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Big Cheese vs. Real Cheese

As shocking as the news is that the United States Department of Agriculture facilitated a cheese bailout with a $12 million marketing campaign to help sell Domino’s Pizza, I believe there is much more to the New York Times story as it affects average Americans and their ever-expanding waist lines.

The story makes a strong case for the correlation between saturated fat consumption and obesity. Michael Moss nails the issue of the USDA’s two-sided policy: promoting cheese consumption in the form of Domino’s Pizza, while simultaneously working to fight obesity by discouraging some of these very same foods.

But as I see it, cheese in itself is not the problem—the issues are deeper and more complex than that. Conventional wisdom says that saturated fat is bad and at the root of the American obesity and diabetes epidemics. The Times article says, “[O]ne slice contains as much as two-thirds of the day’s maximum recommended amount of saturated fat, which has been linked to heart disease.” But let’s look a little deeper at this claim. Read more

Domino’s Pizza and the USDA: The Bailout You Didn’t Hear About

Chalk up another victory for Stephen Colbert’s gut. Back in January, the touter of all things truthy declared Domino’s Pizza his “Alpha Dog of The Week” for a “game-changing ad campaign” to promote its new pizza recipe. Consumers had complained that the old formula tasted like ketchup-covered cardboard, a factor that presumably contributed to the company’s sagging sales.

So, Domino’s did two things: it reformulated its pizzas to contain nearly twice as much cheese; and launched an ad campaign which took the bold step of acknowledging just how awful its old pizzas were, while gushing about the “cheese, cheese, CHEESE!!!” that distinguishes the new recipe from the old one.

With the logos of Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Fannie Mae, Bank of America, and AIG on display behind him, Colbert applauded Domino’s “for joining the great American corporate tradition of screwing your customers and then having the balls to ask them to come back for more.”

Turns out that Domino’s had something else in common with these ethically challenged entities, aside from the dubious products they dumped on unwitting dupes. Read more