Cheese glut crisis! Eat more cheese!


Blame the Europeans.

Did you know the U.S. has a cheese stockpile?  1.2 billion pounds of cheese is stored away in case of emergency.  That’s about 3-3/4 lbs of cheese per person.  Which comes to:

  • 7000 calories
  • 400 grams of protein
  • 580 grams of fat
  • 12,300 mg calcium

So if everyone did their share of cheese eating, while also refraining from overeating and gaining weight, we could solve this problem in about a month by adding about 2-1/2 oz of cheese a day.  Of course this means cutting out some other food, preferably empty calorie stuff like soft drinks, sports drinks, chips, cookies and candy.  Of course, some of the 310 million of so citizens are children and wouldn’t be able to eat that much cheese every single day.  So adults would have to pick up the slack, perhaps eating extra cheese for another month.

Well, if we have to add something to our diets, at least it’s cheese, not jelly beans or corn dogs or quinoa.  Cheese is nutritious, tasty and versatile.  Unfortunately most of our cheese stock pile is orange cheddar cheese, not even good on pizza.

How are the Europeans to blame for this situation?  Don’t they eat lots of cheese?  Yes, but the cheese glut has more to do with economics than culinary traditions.

The weak Euro has made European cheeses cheaper for export markets in Asia and the Middle East, crowding out American exports.

There’s a glut of milk.  Milk doesn’t keep so well, but cheese does, so make it in to cheese and stock pile it away.

We eat about 30 lbs of cheese a year in the US, so adding another 3-3/4 lb over the course of a year doesn’t sound that onerous.  The average daily consumption would go from 1.3 ounces to 1.5 ounces a day, an amount that would be hard to even notice, considering that some pieces of pizza have at least an ounce of cheese.

So if you want to do your bit to solve the cheese glut, here are some ideas:

  1. more cheeseburgers (yes Food Police, I know this sounds unhealthy, and I don’t care)
  2. a little extra cheese on burritos and tacos
  3. grilled cheese sandwiches more often, perhaps for dinner and add sliced pears or apples
  4. pizza, preferably loaded with veggies instead of pepperoni and sausage
  5. cheese for snacks (high protein and satisfying)
  6. cheese omelets (high protein breakfast or dinner)
  7. grate cheese on soup (adds protein to vegetable soups, turning it into a meal)
  8. cheese veggie wraps (a great way to eat lots of fresh veggies)
  9. cheese chunks mixed into a bean/vegetable salad for a refreshing summer dinner
  10. with wine and perhaps some olives — the perfect appetizer course
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