We may have underestimated the power of the dairy industry. Maybe the
Remember when extra cheese meant an extra charge? In the past few years, fast food has gotten really nice about loading up on melty, gooey goodness for free. Almost too nice...
Turns out the industry has gotten incentive from the government to add more cheese to their products. Blame Americans trying to eat healthier: the push for obesity prevention and dietary initiatives have been taking a toll on the dairy industry. So the Department of Agriculture teamed up with a dairy marketing enterprise to reposition fatty cheese as a mainstay in our nation's diet. This isn't such a helpful tactic for the millions of Americans who suffer from obesity and are in need of more dietary options.
"Americans now eat an average of 33 pounds of cheese a year, nearly triple the 1970 rate," according to the New York Times, which led the investigation into the covert cheese operation. "Cheese has become the largest source of saturated fat; an ounce of many cheeses contains as much saturated fat as a glass of whole milk." But as much as we're bombarded by these statistics, we're also being coaxed to have another cheese fry by the people telling us to lose weight.
In the past few years, Dominos has launched a super-cheese soaked line of pies. Pizza Hut's found more places to bury the cheese. And both Wendy's Double Melt and Burger King's Cheesy Angus Bacon burger have twice as many slices as older items on their menus. Even Jared's beloved Subway has been singled out for folding their cheese into triangles, requiring more slices to cover the roll. The result is inevitably, more money for the dairy industry and more health issues for the consumer.
This year's cheesiest additions to fast food menus are so fat and calorie laden, they make cheeseburgers look like cucumber slices.
Pizza Hut's Big Italy Pizza
The company that brought you cheese-infused crust in 2007, managed to get even more cheese on their pie this year with the 2 foot long Big Italy--the biggest pie the Hut's ever hawked. Calories: 680/4 slices Fat: 15 g
Domino's Wisconsin Pizza
Their latest creation offers 6 varieties of cheese (feta, mozerella, provolone, cheddar, parmesan and asiago) that's over 40 percent more than their usual serving. In a lab test, the NYTimes found that one slice contains as much as 2/3 of a day's maximum recommended amount. Most of us need at least two to call it a meal. Calories: 430/ 1 slice
Denny's Fried Cheese Melt (with wavy fries and marinara)
It's no longer enough to get a grilled cheese, it's got to be deep fried and stuffed with cheese sticks. Each greasy sandwich-half is lodged with fried mozzarella sticks in case your arteries want to build a Les Miserables-style barricade to keep out your blood. Calories: 1,260 calories Fat: 63 g fat
IHOP New York Cheesecake Pancake Sandwich
Even sweet breakfast meals are getting the cheese treatment. Who are we kidding? This is dessert. It's a pile of fluffy, maple-y dough injected with fingers a sweet cheesecake. According to Men's Health, IHOP's Chocolate Chip Pancakes, with 660 few calories, are healthy by comparison. Calories: 1,270 Fat:Applebee's Provolone-Stuffed Meatballs with Fettuccine
There is a distinct possibility dairy industry representatives have been sent out with cheese-filled syringes sizing up every thing in their vision as potential place to bury more curds. These meatballs are proof. Eat This, Not That author, David Zinczenko calls the invention a "beef-based Gusher, a sort of meaty water balloon of fat." And if surprise cheese bombing wasn't enough, there's a creamy slathering of alfredo sauce spooned over the dish.
Friendly's Grilled Cheese Burger Melt
In 2010, the grilled cheese went from sandwich to edible utensil designed for man-handling a burger. Two goopy hangover meals took on the role of bun for a patty with twice as much cheese layers than the already cheesy cheeseburger. Calories: 1,500 calories Fat: 97 g
Burger King's New York Pizza Burger
In order to get even more cheese into the average burger, emergency pizza services were called in. A bubbling lava-filled maw of teenage skin problems, the mozzarella and meat sandwich is like a personal pan pizza on HGH. "Eat just two slices and you've taken in an entire day's worth of saturated fat," says Zinczenko. He also notes that a double cheeseburger is healthy by comparison. That's when you know the cheese crusade has gone too far. Calories: 2530 Fat: 144 g fat