Tag Archives: pizza

Cheese, my favorite food group

7 Nov

There’s an article in today’s New York Times about the pushers and consumers of cheese and what it’s doing to the American waistline. It’s a pretty long article, investigative journalism at its best, so I’ve translated it to an easy-to-follow figure.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture created Dairy Management to market milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. to the American public to help the dairy industry. Dairy Management went to a floundering Dominoes last year and suggested they boost sales by doubling the amount of cheese on their pizzas. Dominoes went with it, adding cheese to their crust and different cheeses to their topping, and because cheese is delicious, people ate it up. Sales soared by double digits.

Oh, right. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture is the same government agency charged with encouraging Americans to have healthier diets. The article compares Dairy Management’s budget with that of the Center of Nutrition Policy and Promotion, another USDA organization, which receives only $6.5 million annually.

Why does the USDA want Dairy Management to push cheese? Because America’s over-worked cows produce 60 million hormone-induced gallons of milk per day, and we’ve gotta do something with it!

The article quoted the president of the Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine: “If you want to look at why people are fat today, it’s pretty hard to identify a contributor more significant than this meteoric rise in cheese consumption.”

How much more cheese are we eating? According to the article, 33 pounds per year—triple what we were consuming in 1970 (well, not me, personally, but you all). And while it may not seem fair to drawn comparisons to the days of WWII, the Brits only got 52 ounces of cheese for the year during wartime (and for a couple years following)—that’s only 3 lbs. for the whole year! (I couldn’t easily find figures for U.S. consumption; what do you remember, grandmothers?)

I like to think I’m better than the average American in terms of diet, but I don’t think I can say that about my cheese intake. Sure, last year in Taiwan, Colin and I shared a total of three Costco-sized blocks of cheese, but I’m more than making up for that this year. There are five different kinds of cheese in our fridge right now, and to be honest, reading this article just made me want to go check on them, see if they still taste the same…

Meanwhile, my goal of finding an enjoyable yoga podcast on iTunes has stalled at the iTunes podcast search page.

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A link, some pizza, and a writing contest

16 Sep

I can’t promise that I won’t continue to link to articles I read in the New York Times. I’m trying to restrict myself, I am. Just ask Colin about my recent effect on his email inbox.

But I think this story is talking about a real step forward, in that it’s kind of a step backward. The FDA is maybe/hopefully/possibly going to ban the use of antibiotics in pork production. They’re only focusing on the antibiotics that farmers use to make the pigs grow faster, but there are plenty of people calling for an end to the use of the drugs for disease prevention.

In the mean time, you could always eliminate pork from your diet, skipping the pepperoni pizza in favor of the Arlecchino.

Tomato, mozzarella, spinach, and panna. Plenty for two meals, possibly three.

In other news, my friend and former Nexite Sabrina entered a writing contest and said she didn’t mind if I did the same. It’s fun to read the little blurbs, and you can vote for mine at this link, and hers at this one. It does ask would-be voters to create an account, and I totally will not be offended if anyone doesn’t want to do that.

The move-in

1 Sep

It’s hard to look back and recapture how the first days in Bologna felt. We ate pizza for two meals a day for several days. A lot of shops still had their gates down because it was still only halfway through the Italian August vacation, so it absolutely felt like a ghost town on certain streets.

I know it doesn't look like much, but this pugliese pizza (tomato sauce, red onions, and Parmesan cheese) is definitely worth going to the other side of town to get, which I would have to do from our apartment.

The big stores, the department stores, were not only open, but also having inventory-clearing sales. Believe it or not, Colin decided those should be the first stop. We were carrying two weeks’ worth of stinking clothes on our back and would have nothing fresh until we went back to his school to pick up our luggage, offending his administrators with our putrid attire. Or we could buy new things and risk offending only the clerks.

Two days after we returned, we went on a housing tour with a man from the school and seven other students. We saw 34 apartments; Colin counted. We ruled out the three- to six-bedroom apartments immediately, and in the end were left with a handful of single and double apartments that we would be happy in. As nice and easy as it would be to have a single, there was a huge difference in rent with the doubles, and that money could be so much better spent on cheese and traveling.

So we picked a historic-looking double with a spacious master bedroom, a dining room made for dinner parties, and a well-lit kitchen. The wood floors in our bedroom (apparently from WWII) are warped with age and squeak no matter how gently you step, and the gilt gold frames with faded landscapes are high on the list of things to replace.

Alternatively, you can shut the shutters for pitch black any time of day.

Against the wall you can't see is a wooden cabinet stocked with three sets of coffee cups and 18 wine glasses!

The housing guy didn’t want us to take the double and made threatening noises about our having to find the roommate, but when we agreed to the undertaking, he changed his tone and assured us someone would take it and continued to show the smaller room on his tours. Our roommate is Kristen from Seattle; she just graduated from Georgetown and is here at Johns-Hopkins doing international law.

We returned on a Wednesday, and that was all settled by Monday. That’s pretty quick for Italian standards, I’m learning.