Category Archives: taste and health

Make Every Bite and Sip Count, New Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Make every bite and sip count! This is the call to action in the 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).  Every five years the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) update the DGAs, which are a framework for healthy eating patterns throughout life, aimed to promote health, prevent disease, and meet nutrient needs.  

The 2020 – 2025 DGA provide suggestions for healthy eating patterns throughout all stages of life, including specific recommendations for women during pregnancy and lactation, and for infants from birth to 23 months. 

The dietary guidelines have four main points:

1. Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage.

2. Customize and enjoy nutrient dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations.

3. Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and stay within calorie limits.

4. Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.  

The USDA MyPlate and MyPlate website guide all Americans to discover a healthy eating routine that is just right for their individual needs.  MyPlate highlights five food groups (dairy, fruit, vegetables, protein, and grains) and suggests ways you can add more foods packed with vitamins and minerals, called “nutrient-dense foods,” to your diet. Examples of nutrient-dense foods are low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.  Nutrient-dense dairy foods are low fat milk, cheese and yogurt.

One healthy tip to help you meet your food group needs is to include two to three food groups with each meal and, watch your portion size to stay within calorie limits. To learn more about portion size and how much you need from each food group, go to MyPlate.gov.  

Healthy eating should be enjoyable!  Picking foods that sound good to you will also help make changes easier to stick with long term. Try to swap healthier foods into your diet, like low fat yogurt and fruit instead of a donut or Danish, or simply choose whole wheat bread instead of white bread. 

It is recognized in the DGAs that milk, cheese and yogurt are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, iodine, and vitamin B12. These nutrients provided by dairy products are important throughout your entire life. 

  • Starting at 6 months old, dairy foods like cheese and yogurt  are important first foods that help form the foundation for healthy eating. 
  • At 12 months,  toddlers can drink whole milk instead of breastmilk or formula as a t critically important source of 13 essential nutrients important for healthy growth and development. 
  • From pre-school to teenage years, dairy foods provide high-quality nutrients that help kids grow, thrive and stay healthy. 
  • Adolescence is a critical time for good nutrition. Teen girls especially fall short of Vit. B12 and bone-building nutrients.  Dairy foods have more bone building nutrients per calorie than any other food group. 
  • For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, dairy foods provide vitamin B12 as well as iodine which are important to brain health.
  • Older adults benefit from protein and minerals in dairy to support bone health and maintain muscle. 

Healthy eating is important throughout all stages of life for growth, prevention of disease, and overall wellness. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate are helpful guides to help you make every bite and sip count. 

Learn more about the DGA here

Investigate How Dairy Helps People Thrive Across the Lifespan (Download Here)

Makenna Stafford, is currently a Master’s student in the Dietetic Nutrition Program at Oregon State University. She recently worked as a Dietetic Intern for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council in 2021.

Resources:

HEALTH BENEFITS OF DAIRY

HEALTHY DAIRY PRODUCTS AND THEIR NUTRITIONAL POWER

EATING CHEESE MAY PROVIDE HEART HEALTH BENEFITS

IMPROVING NUTRITION, HEALTHCARE OUTCOMES IN OLDER ADULTS

learn more about healthy eating at MyPlate.gov

MyPlate is a guide for Americans on healthful eating that includes five major food groups, fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. MyPlate has recently been updated to reflect the newest edition of the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Click for a video on the new USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Each person needs different amounts from each food group based on their height, weight, gender, and age. It doesn’t have to be complicated, because MyPlate has an app for that!   Easily calculate your daily dietary needs in less time than it takes you to catch up on TikTok. Find the new app by searching for “Start Simple with MyPlate” in your app store.

What to explore on MyPlate.gov

Myplate.gov helps you eat healthier by including specific nutrition guidance for all stages of life! This includes nutrition for pregnancy and lactation, infancy, toddlers, preschools, kids, teens, young adults, adults, and older adults.  

Another new aspect on the MyPlate website is a quiz to help you make sure you’re getting in all the nutrients you need to stay healthy. The quiz will ask you about your regular food intake, what your goals are, and what aspects of healthy eating you want to learn more about. Once the quiz is complete, you can find out if you should increase your intake for certain food groups. You will also be provided links to resources on topics you indicated you wanted to know more about.

Besides these updates, there is a lot more to explore on the MyPlate website. If you are looking for more recipe ideas, the website has a robust recipe section where you can search by type of cuisine, kitchen equipment, food groups and more. It even has tips for eating on a budget and printable nutrition education materials in Spanish and English.

All about the MyPlate App

Once you know what food groups may be lacking in your diet, the app also helps you create goals and holds you accountable. And, it even goes one step further to generate ideas to complete these goals. There are tips on easy ways to add the food groups based on your goals, and it will link you directly to recipes that include the food groups you need. 

If your goal is one more serving of dairy in your day, the app could suggest you “start your day with dairy.” Tips include mixing sliced bananas with yogurt, preparing a fruit smoothie, or cooking oatmeal in low-fat milk. Goals for increasing vegetable intake could be “snack on vegetables” with recipes like Caprese veggie skewers to keep mealtime fun or have veggies with a bean dip or hummus. Recipes have also been gathered for SNAP recipients, featuring an array of healthy options.

If you are motivated by a friendly competition, the app could encourage you to keep up with your goals when you join challenges or earn different badges. Get the whole family involved!  

You’ll eat healthier when you let MyPlate help you implement new and fun foods into your day. And it doesn’t cost a thing, so what are you waiting for? Check out MyPlate and start today!

Liz Davitt, MS is currently a Dietetic Intern at Oregon State University. She completed her community rotation with the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council in 2021.

Resources:

MYPLATE.GOV

USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES 2020 – 2025

STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, STAY HEALTHY

DASH DIET EATING PLAN

Hack Your Pizza With These Quick Tips

On #NationalPizzaDay, take your pizza to the next level with these quick hacks that are sure to spice up your pie, no matter if it comes from a box or straight from your own oven!

Stay Cheesy

Sure, you can always add more cheese to take it to the next level, but you might be surprised how trying different types of cheese can improve an otherwise boring pizza. While some scientists claim that mozzarella and cheddar are the best mix, there’s also provolone, Gouda, Colby, Edam, Asiago, Gruyère, Emmental, bleu, ricotta, burrata – and, of course, Parmesan.  And don’t forget to try local cheeses from your local creamery!  Check out Oregon Cheese Guild to find a cheesemaker near you.

Vegging Out

You can feel good about kicking back and binge watching your favorite show when you add seriously delicious veggies to your pie. Beyond popular favorites like garlic, peppers, onions, olives and mushrooms- have you tried zucchini, corn, cauliflower, kale, quinoa, squash, broccoli or spinach? 

Pizza for Breakfast

There’s a reason that pizza is the breakfast of champions for college students.  Complement your pie with a tasty egg for added protein that will give you a boost at your next class or zoom meeting.

Take a Dip

They say that the secret’s in the sauce. Rev up your pie by drizzling ranch dressing, pesto, BBQ, buffalo or hummus on top.

Some even dip their pizza in milk!  We’re not making this up … it’s a thing.

Spice Is Nice

For those who like their pizza hot and spicy, you don’t have to settle for that packet of dried red peppers. There’s Tabasco, Sriracha, Cholula – and if that’s not enough, you can add peppers ranging from hot to “where’s-the-milk?!”

Crispy Crusts

Promote your small time pizza to the big leagues by cooking it on a pizza stone or in your air fryer – you’ll never go back!  Cooking tools like these give you an incredibly crisp crust while melting the cheese perfectly.  Brushing a thin layer of olive oil on a cast-iron skillet will also give you a crispy crust in no time.  Don’t forget to rub the crust with olive oil or melted butter before baking. You can also mix garlic powder, onion powder, crushed garlic, oregano, or some grated parmesan cheese into the dough to add a seasoned and flavorful boost to any pre-made pizza.

Rock and Roll Your Dough

Play with your food and switch up the shape of your pizza dough to make crescents, pinwheels, rolls, dippers and puffs.  

You can also ditch the dough completely and use French or artisanal bread. Or use wonton wrappers to create the perfect package for your cheese and toppings!

Just Desserts

Don’t forget about the sweet stuff!  Break away from  pineapple and make a dessert pizza with fruits like peaches, pears, apples, bananas and figs.  Drizzle chocolate or caramel sauce on top for a sweet treat.

Walk on the Wild Side

Want to try something really different? Try adding some new combos like peaches and prosciutto, blackberries and basil, even shrimp and lobster. There’s plenty of inspiration online … alongside pizzas with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, spaghetti and ramen noodles!

Win Round Two

Don’t let leftovers hold you back from pie-in-the-sky creativity. Put a pizza upside down on another pizza with cheese in the middle and – Voila! Pizza grilled cheese! Or go a stack higher for pizza lasagna. Roll a mozzarella stick inside slices or cut strips of ‘pizza fries.’ Kids like slices cooked on a stick like a Popsicle or heated in a waffle iron.

When reheating slices, the oven is your friend. Preheat to 375 degrees and put it on a hot baking tray, cookie sheet or foil for 10 minutes. When using the microwave – just place a cup of water next to the pizza when you cook it to keep the crust from getting rubbery.

Hopefully these pizza hacks will help you elevate your next pie from disappointing to delectable. If you’re still not impressed, try getting the ingredients to make your own pizza the next time you’re at the grocery store and try your hand at making something from scratch. Grazie!

RELATED LINKS:

NINE EASY WAYS TO HACK YOUR PIZZA

DOMINO’S AND DAIRY: A PARTNERSHIP POWERED BY PIZZA

6 WAYS CHEESE CAN HELP YOUR BODY

Which Flavor Do You Favor? Four Oregon Dairies Selling Milk at the Source

Imagine picking up your milk in glass bottles directly from the dairy farm as the cows are mooing in the background – or having your milk delivered right to your door. Although this may sound like a treasured memory from your grandmother’s past, four dairy farms in Oregon are bringing forward these time-honored traditions with some delicious options. 

Whole, pasteurized milk that is not homogenized is commonly called “creamline milk.” When the milk is homogenized, the healthy fats that occur naturally in milk are broken down to distribute evenly throughout the gallon. In non-homogenized milk, that healthy fat rises to the top to create a line of cream. Before homogenization was invented in 1899 milk drinkers would shake their milk to distribute the cream.

Milk’s nutrition benefits also come in many tasty flavors!  Like “Schocolate” Milk from Schoch Dairy & Creamery, Vanilla Latte Milk from Royal Riverside Farm, or Banana Milk from Lady Lane Farm. You can even get seasonal flavors like Blackberry Milk from Rising Sun Dairy. 

Although some grocery stores carry creamline and small batch flavored milk, you can also buy your favorite dairy products and more right at the farm! Check out the list below for an option near you. 

Lady Lane Farm (Garry’s Meadow Fresh)

Mulino, Oregon 

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter

Address: 13025 Mulino Rd., Mulino

  • Whole, pasteurized milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized “Brown Cow Delight” chocolate milk in glass bottles 
  • Whole, pasteurized cappuccino milk in glass bottles
  • Reduced Fat pasteurized milk in glass bottles     
  • Skim pasteurized milk in glass bottles
  • Unsalted, Salted, Garlic and Honey Farm Fresh Butter
  • Farm Fresh Eggs
  • Farm Fresh Beef 
  • Farm Fresh Pork
  • Artisan Cheese curds and a variety of wedges
  • Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Butter Pecan, Cookies and Cream, Banana Cream Pie, Mint    
  • Chocolate Chip (and many more) Old Fashioned Homemade Ice Cream 

Rising Sun Dairy

Turner, Oregon

Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Address: 12092 Parrish Gap Rd, SE, Turner

  • Whole, pasteurized A2A2 milk in glass bottles
  • Skim, pasteurized A2A2 milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized A2A2 chocolate milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized A2A2 strawberry milk in glass bottles
  •  30% Whip Cream

Royal Riverside Farm

Albany, Oregon

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. by appointment

Address: 36042 Riverside Dr. SW, Albany 

  • Whole, pasteurized milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized chocolate milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized strawberry milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized vanilla latte milk in glass bottles
  • Soft Serve Ice Cream
  • Fresh Eggs
  • Farm fresh pork
  • Farm fresh ground beef

Schoch’s Dairy and Creamery

Hillsboro, Oregon

Hours: Seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Address: 24335 NW Union Rd, Hillsboro 

  • Whole, pasteurized milk in glass bottles
  • Whole, pasteurized “Schocolate” milk in glass bottles
  • Eggs
  • Artisan Swiss cheese from Helvetia Creamery


In closing, here are some quick tips. When visiting a farm, watch for signage, and park in designated areas.  Avoid wandering into other parts of the farm without permission. Practice social distancing and bring a mask to ensure safety. Lastly, some farms take cash only, and if you aren’t going straight home from the farm, be sure to bring a cooler with some ice for safe storage. 

RELATED LINKS:

MILK DELIVERY RETURNS TO ITS ROOTS

THE MAGIC OF MILK: HOW TO KEEP YOUR MILK FRESH

NINE REASONS TO ENJOY REAL MILK IN YOUR HANDCRAFTED COFFEE DRINK

“blue cheese day” celebrates america’s first grand champion cheese

This month marks the one-year anniversary of an Oregon success story that made national and international news. 

On October 18, 2019, Rogue Creamery from Central Point, Oregon, earned the title of “best cheese in the world” for their Rogue River Blue Cheese at the World Cheese Awards in Bergamo, Italy. It was the first time in the history of the competition that an American cheese was selected as grand champion.

In honor of Rogue River Blue’s historic win, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued a proclamation designating October 18 as Blue Cheese Day.

Similar to the “Judgement of Paris” in 1976, when American wines triumphed over the best French vintners in a blind taste test, this was a statement win and a landmark moment for American artisanal and farmstead cheeses.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council President, Tom Vilsack said, “This is more than a win for Rogue Creamery of Central Point, Oregon, The ‘Best Cheese’ title creates a halo effect that will cause global customers to look at all U.S. cheeses in a brighter light.”

This was no small feat. An international panel of 260 judges selected Rogue River Blue out of more than 3,800 cheeses from 42 countries. 

The judges experienced the signature Rogue Valley terroir captured within each taste of the organic, cave-aged blue cheese wrapped in Syrah grape leaves soaked in pear spirits, with flavors of sweet pine, wild ripened berries, hazelnuts, morels and pears. It earned their high praise and respect.

This special cheese is the product of many years of hard work and refinement by President David Gremmels with support from his dedicated team at Rogue Creamery and their organic herd of Brown Swiss and Holstein cows. Rogue Creamery is a certified B-Corporation that serves as a model for sustainability in dairy, committed to leaving a positive impact on people, animals, and the planet.

“I am humbled and filled with gratitude. This is the greatest distinction a cheese can receive,” said Rogue Creamery President, David Gremmels. “What extraordinary validation of our commitment to quality, of the place that inspires our cheese – Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley – and of the excellence of the growing American artisan cheese industry.”

Since the 2020 World Cheese Awards were postponed to 2021, Rogue River Blue will have the rare distinction of continuing its reign as “best in the world” for two years running. 

This is just one example of Oregon’s dairy producers and processors who bring our state’s great agricultural bounty to our tables. 

RELATED LINKS

Going Rogue: Oregon Cheese Makes a Big Statement

Rogue Creamery

Oregon Cheese Guild

Milk delivery returns to its roots

What’s old is new again as companies like Milk Run and Alpenrose bring back milk deliveries of the past with a new twist.  Vans splashed with colorful logos and full of local milk and produce are bringing the farm directly to your doorstep so that you can experience the fresh taste of locally harvested food.

Alpenrose, a dairy that began in 1916 in Portland, recently returned to it’s milk delivery roots this August by delivering daily milk and produce within the Portland metro area. You won’t get milk in glass bottles, but it’s easy to order through their website or mobile app.

“It’s been nearly 40 years since our trucks delivered fresh milk to the area,” said Josh Reynolds, general manager for Alpenrose. “We are ready to bring back a new, modern twist on home delivery.”

Customers can order dairy products, along with an array of produce that includes coffee from Stumptown, blackberries from Hurst’s Farm and Spielman’s bagels.

Milk Run, the brainchild of farmer Julia Niiro, started with a question: How could farmers bring fresh food from their farms directly to their neighbors?  Niiro, a partner with Revel Meat Co. in Canby, OR, reached out to a handful of neighboring farms to join her in answering it.  A few short years later, Milk Run operates in Portland and Seattle and works with over 200 farmers across Oregon to supply it’s rapidly growing customer base.  

With more people stuck at home due to quarantining, Milk Run saw an opportunity to shrink the gap between farmers and consumers and educate prospective locavores. “I think that the tactile experience of getting the food in our Milk Run box is the teaching tool for understanding what can be experienced locally.” said Lilly Harris, Operations Manager for Milk Run.  

Alongside favorite staples like Sourdough Boules from Grano Bakery, fresh eggs from Trent Family Farms and Gravenstein Apples from Kiyokawa Orchards, dairy lovers will be happy to see locally produced milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream and more.  Participating farms and processors include TMK Creamery, Garry’s Meadow Fresh, Nancy’s, Organic Valley, Larsen’s Creamery, Lulubelle’s Creamery, Briar Rose Creamery, Cascadia Creamery and Willamette Valley Cheese.” 

“We can think about local food abstractly,” said Harris, “But having it delivered to your doorstep and opening a box of local produce is a totally different experience. You’re able to see what’s in season and learn why it’s important to cherish the produce when it’s fresh and ripe.”

Farmers seem to be responding in kind to the local demand for their products. Lulubelle’s, one of Milk Run’s dairy purveyors, will soon be producing new products like Half & Half and Heavy Cream for it’s online customers.

In working directly with farmers, Harris commented, “I think farmers are the most grounded, intelligent people that we could possibly work with.  They’re knowledgable about their craft and excited to share what they produce with consumers.  I love being able to provide that conduit for their excitement and knowledge.” 

It’s Time to Celebrate Ice Cream Month!

Let’s celebrate ice cream!

Many activities have been cancelled during this pandemic, but don’t let that stop you from celebrating National Ice Cream Month and National Ice Cream Day on July 19!

Ice cream seems to make everything better, as we witnessed when ice cream sales increased by 45% in March. When the going gets tough, Americans reach for comfort foods, and ice cream is a quintessential comfort indulgence. After all, money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy ice cream and that’s basically the same thing. 

So, how can you celebrate this national ice cream month? We have some ideas to get you started. 

If you’re comfortable leaving your home, there are ice cream shops that have figured out a way to open their stores and still comply with social distancing protocols, and with the recent closures, these shops still need your support! Just in time for National Ice Cream Day on July 19, we have updated our crowdsourced Oregon Ice Cream Trail for 2020. Open the map, connect the dots, and check out some open shops near you. You could even plan an ice cream-themed road trip! 

In select communities where county fairs have been cancelled, the Oregon Dairy Women and Wilco have partnered to deliver some happiness in the form of ice cream. Many Oregon State Fair attendees look forward to the Oregon Dairy Women’s soft serve ice cream every year, so this year the Oregon Dairy Women figured out a way to take their famous State Fair soft serve ice cream on the road with the “Red Barn on Wheels.” They will be set up in Wilco parking lots across the Willamette Valley and will be open most weekends in July and August, Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Money from their ice cream sales and tips will go to support dairy education programs in Oregon. Check out the Oregon Dairy Women Facebook page to see if they will be visiting a Wilco near you! And may we recommend you try the delicious Marionberry Milkshake? 

If you’re not comfortable going out, ice cream can also be delivered straight to your home! Check out this article for ice cream deliveries available in the Portland area. 

Or, maybe after you finish making your 130th sourdough bread, you’ll want to try your hand at making ice cream. It’s much easier than you may think!

You can make it in a couple of zip top bags, with ingredients you probably already have in your home, or with an ice cream machine.

It’s a great opportunity to try new flavors like the Loganberry ice cream Guernsey Dairy Mama recently created. Don’t forget to add your favorite toppings of berries, chocolate, or sprinkles! 

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Have you tried a new flavor during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments on our Facebook page

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

We will all remember the Spring of 2020 because of the stay at home restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of disease.   To make the most of the time, we offer you these tips to stay healthy while staying home.

Eat Well. Our bodies need the best fuel every day, and this is a great time to focus on healthy food choices.  Eating a balanced diet, which includes lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grains, can help keep you healthy. And, it’s easy! Use the USDA’s MyPlate app as your guide.  Think about food groups when planning meals and snacks.  Try for at least two food groups for a snack – fruit and cheese, for example – and at least three for a meal – whole grain pasta, tomato sauce with added vegetables, and lean ground beef.  Pour a glass of milk to round out the meal.

Drink plenty of fluids. Your body depends on fluids to survive, and most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. Water is recommended, but when you want something different, consider drinks that won’t add unnecessary sugars to your diet, like milk. Milk not only tastes great, it also is an affordable, excellent source of 9 essential nutrients. And, did you know that three of the nutrients – vitamin A, vitamin D, and protein – are essential for a healthy immune function?

Get fresh air. While doctors don’t typically prescribe sitting on your porch to cure an ailment, they do say that stepping outside can help to impact both our physical and mental health.  Open a window, take a walk, or sit on your porch. “Taking a short break outdoors can leave you feeling refreshed and more energized to get back to your daily tasks,” says Dr. Jimmy Johannes, a pulmonologist at Long Beach Medical in this article. Plus, it’s easy to keep a safe “social distance” outdoors!

Keep moving. Just because the gyms are closed doesn’t mean you should stop your exercise routine. Use this time as an opportunity to try something new. Many gyms are offering online classes, and many at home programs are offering free trials. Who knows? Maybe now is the time to start training for your next 5k or marathon. It starts with the resolve to keep moving. Need to get started? The Department of Health and Human Services offers physical activity guidelines and practical ways to be active on their website.

Get plenty of sleep. Getting a good night of sleep not only helps you feel and think better, it can also help you manage stress. Start with a healthy evening routine.  Turn off the screens, including your phone, an hour before bed and pick up a good book, meditate, write, play music or find another relaxing activity that will settle your brain.  Being “stuck” at home does mean you have an opportunity to binge-watch your favorite television show, just consider that getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep will help you stay healthy.

Do something good. Times are stressful. People are uncertain, confused and cooped up. A great way to help manage your own stress is to take time each day to do something for someone else. Check on a neighbor, share a roll of TP, call a parent or grandparent, sew some masks for healthcare workers, or donate funds to your local food bank. While you are at it, thank a farmer for continuing to produce food for your family. Even doing something small for someone else will boost your mood- and theirs too!

Domino’s and Dairy: A Partnership Powered by Pizza

What does a popular pizza chain and a local dairy have in common? A lot more than just cheese. Both are part of a strong partnership that benefits farmers, local franchisees and their communities.

Recently, Jake Fraizer of Dallas, Oregon, was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council for his exemplary contributions to the dairy industry and his local community.

Jake Fraizer has only had one job in his life. “I started delivering pizzas when I was 18, and worked my way up,” he said. Now 17 years later, he’s part owner in a successful Domino’s pizza store in Dallas, Oregon. “I love it,” he said. “I still love delivering. No one is ever mad to see the pizza guy.”

In 2019, Domino’s was named the top pizza chain based on annual sales, but that has not always been the case. In a 2009, in a survey of consumer taste preferences among national pizza chains, Domino’s tied for last place. That same year Domino’s announced plans to entirely reinvent its pizza with a unique ad campaign where consumers were filmed criticizing the pizza quality, and chefs were shown developing a new pizza. The dairy checkoff organization, Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) committed to address this situation with Domino’s because about 25 percent of all U.S. cheese ends up on a pizza.

“During the past ten years, we have invested in partnerships with influential quick service restaurant companies,” said Marilyn Hershey, board member for DMI. “That investment includes providing these partners with consumer insights, product development and nutrition expertise to develop new menu choices that include dairy, and that in turn find new markets for farmer’s milk. “Our four key partners, Domino’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut have moved more than 2 billion equivalent pounds of milk in the duration of our work together.”

“Domino’s is one of these partnerships that feels more like family than partner,” said Hershey. “They love our partnership, they love dairy farmers, and they love our cheese.”

“It’s nice for me to let customers know that the cheese is actually from a farm,” said Fraizer. “Everybody thinks all fast food is fake, and it’s not. So that’s a big part of it, especially when it comes to dairy. I’d rather have all of our ingredients locally, like in the US, instead of getting shipped around, so I like the dairy partnerships.”

But this small town Domino’s and a local dairy have more in common than just cheese.

“When we are harvesting the crops, my guys put in long hours. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to offer them a warm meal as a thank you,” said Louie Kazemier, Owner of Rickreall Dairy, located just outside of Dallas, Oregon.

Even though the farm is technically out of Fraizer’s service radius, he will still deliver to Rickreall Dairy.  “We deliver out to the dairy a lot,” said Fraizer. “Louie does so much for the community I don’t mind.”

And, Fraizer often goes above and beyond. One year, after a particularly difficult harvest, Fraizer didn’t charge anything for the pizzas. “I’m still not sure if he could see the exhaustion on my face or was just feeling generous, but either way it was really nice,” said Kazemier.

The appreciation is mutual. “He does so much for Christmas Cheer, and the community. And Christmas Cheer means a lot to me,” said Fraizer.

Christmas Cheer, a nonprofit organization in Dallas, feeds families in need over the holidays. Fraizer and his wife joined the board of directors four years ago. “I think every kid should see how lucky they are that they have food,” said Fraizer. “That was ingrained in me, especially by my dad.”  

Christmas Cheer does various canned food drives throughout the year, but the perishable items like meat and dairy products, are more difficult to obtain. Kazemier’s donation of ground beef and milk helped to feed 500 families this past Christmas. “Anything perishable like meat or milk or cheese is so expensive that getting a donation is massive,” says Fraizer.

Fraizer’s donation of time and effort is an easy decision. “I grew up in this town, I think it’s kind of selfish if I don’t [give back],” he said. “I also like that it’s local. I know exactly where the money is going”.

Kazemier shares Fraizer’s sentiments on giving back. “I’ve been blessed and I want to bless others,” he said.

Their lives barely ever intersect, except when pizza is delivered, but this dairy farm owner and franchisee partner together to not only make a high quality product for their customers, but also in giving back to their community.

RELATED LINKS:

Domino’s Bets Added Cheese Will Further Grow Brand

Domino’s- An Undeniably Strong Partnership

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