Is Pizza Hut Bought by the US Dairy Industry?

Can you hear the collective sigh of disappointment today? Despite an outpouring of positive press, Pizza Hut rescinded the announcement of vegan cheese finally coming to their United States locations this summer.

This, sadly, did not surprise me. I was more surprised to find out they were doing the right thing after all these years.

Why? There’s a trend! My brain sees connections, and apparently I am not alone.

Both Domino’s and Pizza Hut have a lot in common financially. They both opened vegan markets successfully in other countries, yet they do not bring these options to the US despite knowing it works.

This is puzzling, because they have undoubtedly lost customers refusing to evolve with consumer demand for dairy free options. Me included! Your girl was a regular at the Rochester Hills Pizza Hut in high school, and the delivery guy knew me well when I was a vegetarian ordering stuffed crust pizza (I now shudder to think of all the baby cows killed for the amount of cheese I consumed). Shifting to a dairy free, plant based diet meant buying vegan pizza elsewhere. And there are tons of yummy options at locally owned establishments.

If United States consumer groups are demanding vegan cheese, yet the restaurant does not cater to consumer demand, why would they make a decision to not carry vegan options from a financial standpoint? Wouldn’t the market research show that vegan cheese is not only the right thing to do for the animals, but actually, dare I say, profitable?

Unfortunately, it’s much bigger than that.

The dairy industry proudly boasts about their financial partnerships with both Pizza Hut and Domino’s. Both companies not only take money from the dairy industry, but they use the Dairy industry scientists and nutritionists to introduce more menu items to push larger amounts of milk.

According to Dairy.org on a February 2018 release, “Pizza Hut – a dairy checkoff partner- increased the amount of cheese on its pan pizzas by 25 percent, a move that will require an additional 150 million pounds of milk annually to meet the change.”

They go on to say that the “project was made possible thanks to dairy scientist Nitin Joshi, a Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) employee who works onsite at Pizza Hut’s headquarters in Plano, Texas.“

Read that again. Let it really sink in.

The Dairy Industry not only gives money to certain big chain restaurants, but they actually have employees on site developing more products that push 150 million gallons more of milk per year. Products are designed for the sole purpose of pushing an agenda for US Dairy Farmers, and that agenda is far from human health.

Following the money further, we look at Domino’s, and their financial partnership with the US dairy industry.

According to a 2018 press release from Dairy.org, because of their partnership, Domino’s “increased their cheese usage by over 1 BILLION milk equivalent pounds. That’s just shy of 20,000 tanker loads of milk that was off the market because of the Domino’s partnership.”

They aren’t selling billions more in pizzas. They are updating their menu items to use more cheese to push more milk. Once upon a time, you could order Domino’s Breadsticks and they didn’t come with melted cheese. Now, you can’t even get their breadsticks without melted cheese, and they are a completely different product.

They go on to say at Dairy.org, “in addition to menu development, Domino’s has also been a partner in sharing the story of dairy farmers through the Undeniably Dairy campaign.  Last summer, Domino’s put the Undeniably Dairy logo on their pizza boxes across the country – reaching 7 million homes a week.”

As a business school grad that studied marketing, let’s really look at what is being done here.

Not only are they working hand-in-hand with the dairy industry to develop menu items pushing higher percentages of cheese usage on products (which is keeping America sick, but that’s another discussion for another day), they are also using marketing through their materials they use to distribute their products to psychologically get you to feel some allegiance to the “Hardworking US Dairy Farmer”. They even have language on their box boasting pizza isn’t pizza without tons of cheese. “How can it be anything else?” says the Domino’s box regarding dairy cheese.

Now, as someone who has eaten actual Italian pizza in Naples, Italy, pizza traditionally highlighted tomatoes and sauce more than copious amounts of cheese. And it’s delicious. It’s the agenda behind the marketing to make you believe you need the cheese to have a good pizza, and they are going so far to push that you should feel good about it because you are keeping people employed. Cheese is super addictive in nature, as milk was meant to encourage baby cows to latch on to their mothers, so it’s easy to give in to this message for the average consumer.

Meanwhile, billions of animals are being slaughtered, and many consumers are opting for the nut milks versus the cows milk. So doesn’t voting with our dollars help?

The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) recently released a statement that traditional milk sales plummeted by $1.1 billion in 2018, so where is all of this dairy money coming from now that consumers are voting with their dollars?

The answer is the United States Government.

According to an ABC news article in August 2018, the USDA stepped in to buy 50 million in surplus milk to bail out the dairy industry. Where does all this milk go?

According to the article, “The USDA is buying the milk under a program that allows the government to buy surplus food or agricultural products and redirect them to food banks or school-nutrition programs.”

So even when we are voting with our dollars that we do not want to consume milk, they repurpose the surplus to encourage milk consumption by our children in schools.

Isn’t the government supposed to reflect what it’s citizens want?

Let’s not even get into the money circulating between the government and the dairy industry. I encourage you all to watch What The Health on Netflix or YouTube. The doc really lays out all of the financial connections between restaurants, the medical community, the dairy industry, and the government. The Thrive Movement documentary will take it a step further for you to show you who really pulls those strings. (Spoiler Alert: it’s not Trump.)

The day the US government decides to stop bailing out the dairy industry is the day the dairy industry will stop having the ability to lobby and push more dairy, even though demand of milk is technically down. That’s the only presumable reason there’s a resistance of adding vegan cheese at some quick food establishments — it won’t be until they realize their profits can be gained back by the consumers when they do finally lose that US Dairy money. And the day is coming. 😘

There is so much more than our dietary preferences at stake. In many ways, our preferences are being taught at an early age to support corrupt industries.

To keep someone in the dark means to keep someone from being informed. I hope posting this information sheds some light that leads to major changes. We totally have the power to manifest our higher desires, Peace and Prosperity on Earth, and while it seems overwhelming when looking at Earth’s dark parts, we can’t fix what we don’t know about. ✌🏼💚🌱✨

Links to Sources:

Dairy Industry and Domino’s Undeniably Strong Partnership

ABC News: US Government Buys 50 Million in Milk to Bail Out Dairy Farmers

PizzaHut Dairy Partership Leads to 25% More Cheese

Fast Company: Milk Sales Plummeted by 1.1 Billion Last Year

Documentaries Mentioned:

What the Health

The Thrive Movement

Excerpt Clip from Thrive Movement “Follow the Money”:

Eating Compassionately

Compassion Begins On Your Plate!

➡️What losing over a hundred pounds looks like on Instagram vs. ➡️what losing over a hundred pounds looks like in reality.

This is a major vulnerability post for me, friends. In honor of Earth day, I am posting to remind you that going vegan is not only the best thing you can do to save the planet, but also yourself. I rarely took pictures of me at my heaviest. It was one of the hardest times of my life. The picture of me sitting is when I already started losing a little weight a year into me working at Whole Foods Market when I was on a trip to Chicago opening a store. At my absolute heaviest, I was in an abusive marriage and so lost. It took me going vegan to get my groove back after it all. Seriously. I started feeling happier and more positive. I felt like I wanted to move my body more and my back pain was feeling relief. There were days at my heaviest I didn’t even want to move because my feet killed me and my back made me feel immobile. The lethargy went away going vegan. I started going to the gym, and eating a lot of chia for energy, and never felt better in my life.

After I lost weight, I wanted to show it off and look my best. What I didn’t post was the stretch marks, and the stomach pouch I still had, and the ups and downs along the way. You always see me post myself wearing high waisted leggings or jeans holding in my stomach, or a tank top that is loose in the tummy and flatters me just right. Reality is that I often take a million photos and try multiple poses before I post one. Never get caught up in appearances. The main thing to take away from me going vegan is that it literally improved my quality of life from a drastic standpoint.

My point is, veganism saved my life and my health. It doesn’t matter what you look like. It’s a better quality of life for everyone, from a personal level, to how animals are treated, to how many Earthly resources are saved for everyone by eating plant based. Compassion truly begins on your plate: for the animals, for the planet, and for your health. 💚🌱✨💗

Beer-Battered Chick’n Fried Tofu

Compassion begins on your plate! 💚🌱 I am sharing this delicious, indulgent chicken fried tofu recipe just in time for Super Bowl Sunday! This tofu has the texture of chicken and is full of flavor. Enjoy the flavors of a juicy chicken, beer battered and seasoned to perfection, while refraining from harming any living being. ✌🏼

Ingredients

Beer Batter:

2 cups flour

12 oz of lager beer (I used Stella Artois)

1 vegan egg (2 tbsp Follow Your Heart egg powder and 1/2 cup iced cold water, whisked)

2/3 tsp salt

1/2 tsp basil

1/3 tsp oregano

1 tsp celery salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp mustard seed

4 tsp paprika

3 tsp garlic salt

3 tsp white pepper

Seasoned Flour:

1 cup flour

1 cup traditional bread crumbs

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp white pepper

The “Chicken”:

Organic canola oil (enough for 4 inches of oil in large pan)

24oz traditional or medium tofu

1 cup vegan chicken broth

1 cup flour

Preparation

You will need to freeze your tofu twice to attain a chicken-like texture.

Place tofu package in freezer for 6 hrs (or overnight) and thaw for 4 hrs. Repeat.

Once your tofu is thawed, you will need to drain it of moisture using either a tofu press or two cutting boards. I personally do not own a press, so I press my tofu on a cutting board with paper towels and a big glass pan.

Once the tofu is drained, it should be easily broken apart to reveal chicken-like tofu pieces. Did your tofu fall into bits? No worries! We will prepare this like popcorn chicken.

Place drained tofu pieces into bowl.

Pour chicken-style vegan broth as a tofu marinade. Let soak for 5 mins.

Drain tofu of excess broth.

Dip each piece in plain flour and set aside.

Mix seasoned flour ingredients and set aside.

Mix beer batter ingredients and set aside.

Fill 4 inches of oil into the bottom of a wok or large pan.

Heat frying oil to 350 degrees.

Now, this next part gets a little messy. Commit to the fact they will turn out perfect and charge on through any flour messes along the way.

You are going to take your pieces of marinaded tofu and dip them in the beer batter, coating it completely.

Roll the outside of the tofu in the seasoned flour mixture making sure the outside is coated with breadcrumbs.

Once you’ve done all the bigger pieces of tofu, make sure to dip all the smaller ones as well. They will turn out like popcorn chicken.

Drop tofu into the oil in small batches, turning each side until darkened like fried chicken.

Once cooked evenly, set aside on paper towel or a rack, draining any excess oil from the finished pieces.

Let cool for at least 5 mins before eating.

Serve like a finger food with your favorite dipping sauces, like Organicville Vegan Ranch, or serve it atop some vegan waffles for a southern feel.

Enjoy!

Vegan Confessions: I Dated a Hunter.

When I found myself out of married life and suddenly single, it literally took me years to get back out there. I rebuilt my life from rock bottom to this beautiful, passion-driven career focus. I’d be damned if I was going to let a guy into my life to destroy what I built again. It took a job promotion and moving to a whole new town with literally no friends to finally have the desire to make an online dating account.

It took me awhile to find anyone I was even remotely interested in. I grew tired of swiping left on all the Michigan boys holding bloody deer heads and dead fish proudly for the camera in their profile pictures, so I put right in my bio: no hunters, please ✌🏼 . The intention was set for a relationship based in common interests.

One of the first guys I met was super nervous after reading up on me. For privacy’s sake, let’s call him Ben. Ben saw I was super passionate about veganism in my bio and thought if he shared he enjoyed deer hunting, I would unmatch him for sure. He decided to take the second route: hide it until he saw me in person. And it paid off.

We met shortly after I moved to this area, and hit it off right away. He laughed nervously as he told me he was a hunter, and begged me to give him a chance. I right away wrote it off as something that wouldn’t last, but he seemed sincere, so I listened. I soon realized Ben loved animals. He loved being outside and surrounded by nature, and that’s why he loved to hunt and fish. He had certain qualities he would look for to try to pick a deer that has already lived, and didn’t have babies. He trained dogs by day, and was knowledgeable at animal psychology and genuinely cared. I could see his heart. His genuine intention for animals is to love them and be close to them.

Ben quickly became my best friend in this area and casually dated me a few times a week. We never really ate together, and he tolerated my vegan burritos, but was turned off instantly at the word “vegan” in front of anything. Despite this, we tried to find desserts we both liked and restaurants we both liked (which is a challenge in mid-Michigan). It all seemed like it was going well. He knew my coworkers and friends, he came with me to a wedding, and we were growing closer and closer, until….. November: hunting season.

It didn’t become known to me he had an issue with me being vegan until things got real. What set me on this nutrition focused path was looking for answers after my dad died of cancer back in 2008, never smoked, never drank, but ate a high meat, Atkins diet. The ten year anniversary was in November this year. Ben spent that day with me making sure I was okay. I found myself on my vegan soap box spewing all of my knowledge about preventing disease and longevity with a plant based, Whole Foods Diet. This was the first time I really let my vegan freak flag fly with him.

And then, I said it: “I want to raise my kids vegan so they have the best shot at life.”

This statement, unknown to me at the time I made it, lead to a 4 day blackout period where I didn’t hear from Ben. The man who stayed with me on the anniversary of my dad’s death, told me he was in love with me, and drove me to a wedding hours away, wouldn’t even text me back, until he finally explained.

Ben texted: “If 4 days is a problem, how are you going to feel when I’m on a two week hunting excursion in my near future? You talk about veganism 25% of the time, and I will not raise my kids vegan. It’s something I never wanted to learn about. And I don’t want to hunt and think about how my lady doesn’t approve. It’s not that you’re vegan, it’s that I can’t escape it. And I can’t change you so I’m letting go. ”

After 6 months of friendship and companionship, we are now strangers who don’t speak. 👌🏼

If I learned anything valuable from Ben, it would be how to look at someone who hunts compassionately. Many hunters’ main motivation for hunting is a misguided love for animals and nature. Knowing this is honestly such a gift and has helped me cope with living in an area surrounded by them. It also taught me another very valuable lesson: the red flags you ignore in the beginning will be the very reason your relationship ends. Never let anyone make you feel bad for setting standards out of self love. If they don’t meet them, not a match. 💚🌱✨

Vegan Breakfast Burrito

Compassion Begins on Your Plate! 💚🌱

It is no secret that I love Tofu Scramble and enjoy serving it up in a variety of ways. Get ready for some of the most delicious tofu eggs wrapped in burrito perfection that you will ever taste.

You will need: 1 package organic, sprouted extra firm tofu

1 package of your favorite tortillas

1 tbsp garlic granules*

2 tbsp turmeric

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp basil

1 organic avocado

2 organic russet potatoes

1/2 organic white onion

1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill brand)

1 package of washed organic spinach

1 package Field Roast Breakfast Sausage

Wildbrine Kimchi Probiotic

Sriracha or your favorite Salsa*

Celtic Sea Salt*

Ground black pepper*

*Proportions to taste.

Hash browns: Grate potatoes into hash brown consistency.

Push water out of potatoes in a strainer over your sink. I then usually mix about 1/4 cup of gluten free all purpose flour with the potatoes before frying, but can be skipped.

Fry in pan with a little olive oil until crispy, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Sausage: Fry sausages in pan over medium heat with a little olive oil until preferred browning. I personally prefer a strip of black on mine and cook it a little longer. Slice into small, chewable bites.

Tofu “Eggs”: Slice tofu package.

Pour “tofu guts” into a medium saucepan. Crumble extra firm tofu and place in the pan, turning on medium heat.

Add turmeric, garlic granules, basil, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to pan.

Stir as needed.

Once “tofu guts” water has started to cook away, add a dollop of salsa to the scramble mix.

Slice onion. Add to separate sauce pan with a little water. Cook over medium heat until onions start to caramelize. Then add to Tofu Eggs pan.

Cut avocado in half. Spoon out green avocado onto a cutting board. Cut into slices.

Putting it all together: Warm Tortilla in pan on low-medium heat so it’s easier to work with.

Lay out warmed Tortilla.

Slather on some salsa or Sriracha (I personally do a light layer with my spicy Sriracha).

Make sure you leave an edge around the following ingredients for the perfect burrito roll: Add fresh spinach.

Add a spoonful of hash browns and Tofu Eggs.

Top with avocado slices and pieces of sausage.

Pinch ends of tortilla, pick up bottom, place over and tuck under ingredients, finishing rolling the burrito with remaining slack of tortilla.

Place in warm pan to seal bottom.

And, voila! You have mastered the Vegan Breakfast Burrito. Roll a few in foil and save in your freezer for a quick breakfast to heat up on the run.

Earth Day: Compassion Begins On Your Plate

Compassion begins on your plate!! 💚🌱✨ I’ve always been a bit of a bleeding heart. I was 14 years old when I decided weight loss wasn’t worth eating animals. My entire family was on the Atkins diet, and saw short term successes (but long term health problems, cancers and death). I was repulsed by seeing family members eat flesh for every meal. I went vegetarian without really knowing how to be a healthy one. As a Midwest girl with limited nutrition knowledge, I just decided to eat anything that didn’t have eyes. This included tons of bread, pasta, and cheese. 18 years old wasn’t even my heaviest. I was heaviest in my mid twenties working in the insurance industry. I finally had a moment where I felt like I woke up. I found myself staring down a road I didn’t want to be on, and drastically changed my life.

Working at Whole Foods and learning about The Whole Foods Diet, and finding veganism was the answer I needed all along. It was not only the most compassionate choice for the animals, and the planet, but it was the most compassionate choice for myself and my health. I finally found the answer to all the questions I had about our nutrition, while still limiting our harm, and impacting the planet positively. The energy this diet gave me impacted my physical activities as well.

We are all so hard on ourselves sometimes, myself included. We are all imperfectly perfect. As I learned more, my mind evolved, my behaviors and diet evolved, and then my body followed. It wasn’t a perfect process. It took time. Transformation doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. It’s as simple as making a decision on what you are making for dinner tonight, or to take that walk you are thinking about. May your life and actions be a celebration of the Earth, every day.

Anything You Can Eat, I Can Eat Vegan

Veganism is kind of like the mainstream belief in the normality of the “food chain hierarchy”, but in reverse. How did the animal get this nutrient ? What did the animal eat? If the animal got it from another animal, what did that animal eat? There in lies the answer to any nutrition inquiry.

The design of the Earth and our bodies is so intelligent, our nutrients we need just naturally occur in growing plants, and natural elements. Scarcity during changing seasons and weather conditions is the reason our early ancestors hunted animals. In this day and age, a large variety of plants is at our fingertips within a moment’s notice. Killing is unnecessary. Compassion truly begins on your plate: for the animals, the environment, your health, and the future of the human race.