The NYT has an investigative piece on the $140 million a year organization called “Dairy Management.” It recently teamed up with Domino’s to develop a new line of pizzas with 40 percent more cheese, and proceeded to devise and pay for a $12 million marketing campaign, says the Times. Who is this organization? Well, it’s a “marketing creation” of the US Department of Agriculture.
From the NYT (emphasis ours):
Consider the Taco Bell steak quesadilla, with cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella and a creamy sauce. “The item used an average of eight times more cheese than other items on their menu,” the Agriculture Department said in a report, extolling Dairy Management’s work — without mentioning that the quesadilla has more than three-quarters of the daily recommended level of saturated fat and sodium.
The article says that most of the money comes from a fee on dairy industry, and the program’s success is measured by the amount of cheese being consumed.
The article is fascinating, particularly the part about what happens to all the leftover milk fat and whole milk. Most Americans (I am not one of them, I love whole milk.) prefer skim or 2% milk.
“A vast amount of leftover whole milk and extracted milk fat results,” says the Times. The government apparently used to actually store the excess in caves in Missouri. Weird.
You can see the documents here.