All cheese news is good cheese news (unless of course that cheese news is, “Hey cheesehead, we’re all outta cheese!”), but Tuesday’s biggest cheese news is particularly exceptional. Not only is it about an abundance of cheese, it’s about putting that cheese to good use.
Because dairies in the United States have been steadily “losing sales to competition from Europe,” our nation has too much cheese. In May, it was reported that our stockpiles of cheese (I’m imagining Scrooge McDuck’s golden swimming pool right now) “have reached a 30-year high of 1.2 billion pounds.” As a way of “assisting the stalled marketplace for dairy producers” and feeding hungry families, the USDA has decided to spend $20 million on 11 million pounds of the stuff and donate it to “food banks and pantries across the nation.”
In a statement, they wrote:
“This commodity purchase is part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need. USDA will continue to look for ways within its authorities to tackle food insecurity and provide for added stability in the marketplace.”
Though the stockpiled cheese may include processed cheese products like Kraft singles, Slate pointed out in their May surplus report that “American-style” cheeses include “cheddar, colby, Monterey, and Jack.”
Celebrate the good news by eating some cheese this evening! But for the love of god, don’t make this: