How did America get to the point that it’s possible to order pizza from a car, or from a watch? You can thank Washington, D.C.’s all-powerful “pizza lobby.” There’s a big Bloomberg feature spotlighting this exact topic, and how the pizza lobbyists are working to fight nutrition rules and menu-labeling laws. Here are the most fascinating takeaways:
• Domino’s, Papa John’s, Little Caesars, and more pizzerias have banded together to form the American Pizza Community, representing about 20,000 establishments. Members “schmooze” congressmen, like any other lobbyists.
• The pizza lobby’s mortal enemy is the national-labeling law, because no customer wants to know how many calories he or she is actually consuming. The FDA initially proposed that pizzerias post calories for not just a slice, but the entire pie. It has since backed down on that stipulation.
• The American Pizza Community’s alternative menu-labeling regulation is called the “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act.” Because it’s common sense that pizza is unhealthy! Duh!
• 88 percent of pizza companies’ political contributions go to Republicans. That accounts for about $1.3 million, or 88 percent of $1.5 million in total politician contributions.
• Out of all the Republican candidates, Mitt Romney received the most money from pizza-industry contributions: $110,807. He has schmoozed with the Papa John’s founder, after all.
• Roughly 41 million Americans eat a slice of pizza daily.
• The frozen-pizza lobby is its own separate beast, and it has beef with the fresh-pizza lobby. Drama!
• The aforementioned frozen-pizza lobby tries really, really hard to make tomato paste count as a vegetable serving, so that it can be served during school lunches. The Department of Agriculture is not feeling this loophole. Get ready for tomato pie, kiddos.