Sunday, May 01, 2005

Seeing pizza slices in the new My Pyramid

The Eclectic Econoclast and What do I know? both link to Freshman 44's obeservation about the new dietary guidance graphic: "I'm pretty sure this means, as I've long suspected, that pizza is the perfect food. See? There's even a little delivery guy coming up the porch steps." The pizza connection was also noted by Wet Canvas Dreams.

But satire can't compete with the real world. Consider the USDA-sponsored and dairy-industry-administered promotional campaign from a couple years ago, pushing Pizza Hut products in a "Summer of Cheese." You can get the history from Informed Eating or an excellent article in the Chicago Tribune (sorry, registration required).

Did I say "history from a couple years ago"? I mean "current practice." See a recent Dairy Board announcement in which the checkoff program -- which is officially considered USDA's "government speech" -- promotes Pizza Hut's new Dippin Strips pizza. Pizza Hut does post its nutrition facts online. For example, the "Meat Lover's" Dippin Strips, under this promotion, have 370 calories of which half are from fat, including 7 grams of saturated fat, plus another 85 calories listed for a marinara sauce. Is it make-believe to see those Dippin Strips in the new Pyramid?

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