AGRIBUSINESS: The USDA Promotes Cheese And Pizza

The USDA is promoting milk consumption through the dairy check-off but the department is now pushing cheese and pizza consumption.

Milk consumption has declined in recent years.  Americans are now eating more cheese, a lot more, especially through pizza.  The USDA said 13 percent of the country is eating a slice or two of pizza on any one day for roughly 10 percent of their daily calories.

Some of the credit goes to the USDA’s dairy check-off program renewed in the Farm Bill.  The check-off raised more than $200-million in 2011 from a $0.15 per hundredweight levy on milk.  The USDA said it’s been worth it because it generates almost $4.50 in extra revenue for every dollar spent boosting cheese demand.

And that helps pizza makers, who use one-quarter of the nation’s cheese.

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