Provide the relief from the pizza tax by cooking pizzas at home, and offering a healthy alternative to traditional pizza… As you prepare your taxes for 2012, I offer a frivolous diversion of thought for you.

Taxing junk food may help reduce obesity and improve health, suggest some researchers in order to be a suggested incentive to get American’s to eat right.

A study published in 2010 by the American Medical Association’s Archives of Internal Medicine argues that if pizza and soda were more expensive, people would consume them less frequently in favor of healthier fare. Tacking an 18% tax onto pizza and soda would reduce Americans’ intake of calories, which would in turn help slash health care costs by an astounding $147 billion a year, according to the study’s authors.

Pizza was singled out by the researchers because, like soda, its real price (versus inflation, through) fell over time, while costs for seemingly healthier foods such as whole milk rose over the 20-year period reviewed in the study.

Approximately 3 billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year.

With over 3 billion pizzas at an average of $10 each, …and 18% tax on that, …$5,400,000,000.00 could be raised? Hmmmm.

“Policies aimed at altering the price of soda or pizza may be effective mechanisms to steer U.S. adults toward a more healthful diet and help reduce long-term weight gain or insulin levels over time,” the researchers wrote.

Personally, I do not see the tax as the solution to help reduce obesity and improve health’, yet suggest relief from the pizza tax by cooking pizzas at home, and offering a healthy alternative to traditional pizza…

Three Cheese Garden Pizza

1 pkg. (10 oz.) refrigerated pizza crust dough;

2 Tablespoons wheat germ

2 garlic cloves, pressed;

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese;

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese;

1 medium tomato, thinly sliced;

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced;

1 small onion, thinly sliced;

1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced;

1 ounce (1/4 cup) fresh Parmesan cheese, grated;

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Preheat oven to 400oF. Roll pizza crust out onto flat Pizza Stone, and sprinkle with wheat germ. Bake crust 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Press garlic over partially baked crust; spread to cover. Sprinkle mozzarella and Cheddar cheeses evenly over crust. Layer vegetables evenly over crust. Grate Parmesan cheese over vegetables. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. Bake 15-18 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Slice and serve warm. Eight servings.

Fun Pizza Facts

  • Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day, or 350 slices per second.
  • Each man, woman and child in America eats an average of 46 slices (23 pounds) of pizza a year.
  • Pepperoni is America’s favorite topping (36% of all pizza orders we eat approximately 251,770,000 pounds a year!)
  • In America, anchovies always rank last on the list of favorite toppings.
  • In 1830 pizza truly began with the opening of the world’s first pizzeria. Port’ Alba, the pizzas were cooked in an oven lined with lava from Mount Vesuvius, a volcano located on the Bay of Naples.
  • Pizza makers have tried virtually every type of food on pizzas, including peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs and mashed potatoes!
  • According to Domino’s, some of the more popular international toppings are pickled ginger, minced mutton and tofu in India, squid (octopus) and Mayou Jaga (mayonnaise, potato and bacon) in Japan, and green peas in Brazil. In Russia, they serve pizza covered with mockba, which is a combination of sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon and onions. In France, a popular combo is called the Flambee, with bacon, onion and fresh cream.
  • There are approximately 61,269 pizzerias in the United States.

Antipasto Vegetable Pizza


1 package (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust

2 Tablespoons wheat germ

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Provolone cheese

1 jar (6-7.5 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, undrained

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning Mix

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 small yellow summer squash or zucchini

1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Toasted pine nuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Unroll pizza dough onto Large Pizza Stone, shaping into a circle and sprinkle with wheat germ. Using lightly floured Roller, roll dough to edge of stone. Drizzle oil over dough, spreading evenly. Bake 16-18 minutes or until golden brown; remove from oven. Immediately grate cheese evenly over pizza.
  2. Meanwhile, drain artichoke marinade into Bowl. Add seasoning mix and garlic to marinade; Whisk. Coarsely chop artichoke. Score yellow squash & cut squash in half lengthwise; cut into thin slices. Slice olives. Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise; remove seeds and dice. Add Artichokes, squash, olives and tomatoes to bowl; mix well.
  3. Spoon vegetables over pizza, draining off as much marinade as possible. Sprinkle with parsley and pine nuts, if desired. Cut into wedges; serve.

Yield: 12 servings

For a heartier main-dish meal, add 2 cups diced cooked chicken to toppings, if desired.

Best of Cooking, Denise

  Denise Murray, now a 15-year resident of Forest Park. (Lived on the North shore of Chicago for 3 years prior, and a Southwestern before that) comes to us with over 33 years working in Food Service....

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