Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

The History of Cheese

June 3, 2019

Paul Kindstedt looks at the history of cheesemaking over the last 10000 years. A TED-Ed video directed and animated by Charlotte Cambon. Narrator: Addison Anderson.

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Government Cheese

May 24, 2019

Andrew Novakovic, Cornell University:

“People talk about food assistance programs as if they were created to help poor people out. Yes that’s true, but almost all of the major food assistance programs were ideas that came from agriculture because we had too much of something.”

Surprisingly, this CNBC video misses two songs named “Government Cheese,” one by Keb’ Mo’ and the first, a less sympathetic take by The Rainmakers:

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The Great American Cheese Glut

July 3, 2018

The Great American Cheese Glut

The U.S. has the largest stockpile of cheese in 100 years,1.39 billion-pounds of coagulated dairy fat. Is this a great country or what? Milk production is booming, but Americans are drinking less moo juice, so dairy producers are storing the surplus as cheese. The summer closure of chocolate-milk– and cheese-happy school cafeterias adds to the dilemma:

“The 1.39 billion-pound stockpile, tallied by the Agriculture Department last week, represents a 6 percent increase over this time last year and a 16 percent increase since an earlier surplus prompted a federal cheese buy-up in 2016.

Analysts say commercial warehouse stocks have swelled because processors have too much milk on their hands, and milk is more easily stored as cheese. Demand has also fallen as school cafeterias close for the summer and restaurants wind down the cheesy specials they offer in the winter and early spring.

Some have grown concerned that stockpiles will build further yet if trade tensions with China and Mexico cut into cheese exports. Cheese prices have fallen sharply, they say, eroding dairy farmers’ already thin margins.”

— “America’s cheese stockpile just hit an all-time high,” Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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War & Cheese

November 12, 2016

War & Cheese, directed and edited by Ben Garfield (2016).

“‘I heard destiny calling… I was going to be a cheesemaker.’ When Oleg Sirota discovered his native Russia was banning all Western cheese imports, he quit his IT job in Moscow, sold his house and cars, took out a $100k loan and set about building a cheese factory in the snowy wilderness. ‘Russian Parmesan’ was born.”

More:

“Please pass the Russian Parmesan: Cheesemakers celebrate sanctions, and hope they continue,” Andrew Roth, Washington Post

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Government Cheese

August 25, 2016

Government Cheese

There’s a cheese glut in America. Cheese inventories are higher than they’re been in over 30 years, while families go hungry. Even a third of those on food stamps need to visit food banks.

The USDA is trying for a twofer by buying $20 million in surplus cheese — 11 million pounds — and distributing it to food banks. While you might question the wisdom of paying tax dollars to support corporate dairy operations, surely no one can object to the government helping food banks feed the hungry, right?

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Who Moved My Cheese?

July 12, 2016

food cheese wedge

Thieves stole 20,000 pounds of cheese from a truck parked at a business in Oak Creek Wisconsin last week.

“Police say the semi driver was transporting the load from Green Bay to the New York City area and unhitched the trailer to run an errand. When he returned, the trailer and $46,000 worth of cheese was gone.

It’s not the first such heist of the legacy commodity in a state where sports fans like to wear foam wedges on their heads. A semitrailer carrying $70,000 worth of cheese was stolen from Germantown, another Milwaukee suburb, in January.”

— “Thieves at large, with 20,000 pounds of cheese, in Wisconsin,” Chicago Tribune

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Sports: Cheese-Rolling Victory at Cooper’s Hill

May 31, 2016

While Americans spent the Memorial Day weekend intently watching automobiles go round and round in circles, many Britons gathered during Spring Bank Holiday to observe grown men tumbling down steep Cooper’s Hill chasing after a rolling wheel of Double Gloucester Cheese. A rookie driver triumphed at Indy, but a seasoned champ won the Cheese-Roll. Chris Anderson, who doesn’t even like cheese, won his 17th cheese-rolling event.

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Perfect Pizza Through Science!

October 8, 2014

Perfect Pizza Through Science!

Researchers at the University of Auckland (in partnership with Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy products exporter) used a machine to measure the integral elements of possible pizza ingredients as precisely as possible, and then published a paper about it in the Journal of Food Science. … ‘Quantification of Pizza Baking Properties of Different Cheeses, and Their Correlation with Cheese Functionality.’”

“For cheese to brown, the paper explains, it needs to lose moisture first. For the moisture to evaporate, blisters need to form, because where they lift the surface of the cheese, free oil can run off and expose the surface to raw heat. And for a blister to form, steam needs to collect in a pocket and push up the cheese.”

“This is why mozzarella makes for good browning. First, it doesn’t have much free oil. Second, it is very elastic. Third, it contains a lot of moisture. So steam pockets form easily, which create healthy blisters, which quickly expose the surface to browning.”

— “Here is the recipe for perfectly browned pizza cheese as established by science,” Sonali Kohli, Quartz (links added)

More:

“Science Crowns Mozzarella The King Of Pizza Cheese,” Maanvi Singh, NPR

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Laboratory Cheese

August 26, 2014

Laboratory Cheese

Bay Area biohackers are trying to figure out how to make cheese without involving cows or other animal moms. A joint team from Counter Culture Labs and BioCurious is planning to make Vegan cheese by “milking” modified yeast cells, microscopic fungi. They’ve crowd-sourced $26K, almost double what they asked for. Obviously, Vegans really miss pizza.

“Wait!” you say, “Generically Modified cheese?” No, the baker’s yeast will be modified but the milk proteins will be separated out.

But it takes 6 to 10 pounds of animal milk to make a pound of cheese. We wonder if there could ever be enough yeast milk in the world to produce an economically viable volume of these laboratory Vegan cheeses. If it can be done, potential customers include Vegans, the lactose-intolerant, and observant Jews (Kosher cheeseburgers, anyone?).

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US Government: ‘Eat More Pizza!’

February 17, 2014

US Government: 'Eat More Pizza!'

13 percent of Americans eat pizza each day (no, not the same 13 percent …). That’s a lot of people and lots of calories, saturated fat, and sodium, too.

And Uncle Sam helps. The USDA runs a “dairy checkoff program” though small assessments on milk sales to processors, raising hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The funds are turned over to Dairy Management, Inc. (DMI) to encourage public demand for dairy products. U.S. fluid milk consumption is down, but cheese eating is way up, and 25 percent of that cheese is melted on pizza.  DMI has a partnership with Domino’s Pizza, America’s 2nd largest retailer of pizza-like objects, and paid Domino’s $35 million over the past 3 years to develop and market cheesier pies.

Read about it here:

“How the U.S. government spends millions to get people to eat more pizza,” Brad Plumer, Washington Post blog

“USDA reports on pizza consumption and on dairy checkoff program initiatives to increase pizza demand,” Park Wilde, US Food Policy blog

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