Taco Bell have uncovered the secret behind the success of their ever-growing range of cheese products on the menu, and it’s more worrying than you might think. Last year Taco Bell released the Quesalupa, a taco with a cheese stuffed shell. They released the the new menu item the day after the 2016 Super Bowl and it’s arrival on menus was preceded by a Super Bowl ad that is thought to have cost somewhere between $15 million and $20 million. And they couldn’t have done it without the help of Dairy Management Inc.
The dairy industry in the USA is in jeopardy. Although the consumption of cheese has increased in recent years, the milk industry is suffering all the while the plant-based alternative industry continues to flourish.
Dairy Management Inc. is an organisation funded by US dairy farmers whose job it is to drum up business for dairy in the US market. Essentially, they work with large businesses and convince them to include more dairy-based products on their menus. They were responsible for the introduction of the Pizza Hut stuffed crust in 1995 which increased Pizza Hut sales by $300 million and recently they convinced McDonalds to move away from margarine and start using butter.
Right now, the dairy industry are more desperate than ever for the help of outside sources. Last year nearly 50 million gallons (227 million litres) were poured away by dairy farmers. That’s the equivalent of all the milk cows in California producing milk for more than 4 days.*
Last year the US government promised to purchase $20 billion worth of cheese which it gave to food banks across America to make a dent in the surplus cheese in cold stores across the country.
In essence the DMI helps large corporations to trick consumers into consuming more dairy products so that the failing dairy industry can stay alive for just a little longer.
So why are the DMI and the federal government trying to keep the industry going when it’s so obviously not sustainable?
The answer may lie in the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). In the popular Netflix documentary What the Health, we learn that the USDA, who are responsible for bringing out a guide to nutrition every five years, is made up of individuals who financially benefit from companies who profit from animal agriculture such as McDonalds, Kraft, Mars and Dannon.
Unsurprisingly this skews the information on nutrition that is presented to the public concerning the health risks surrounding animal products. It was also the USDA who made the decision to pump $20 billion dollars of public money into the dairy industry by buying surplus cheese last year. Could it be that members of the USDA are using public money to in order to put money into their own pockets by way of financial incentives from major companies?
If the federal government are willing to prop up the the dairy industry it makes sense for the DMI to continue the work they do as they receive money for every pound of cheese or milk sold in the US.
Ultimately, personal gain is overtaking common sense and with 50 million gallons of milk going to waste in a single year, the DMI and USDA combined are creating a wasteful, unhealthy America.
*assuming cows produce approximately 6.5 gallons of milk per day