April 25, 2013

Let’s Talk About Cheese

It’s no secret that I eat like a three year old. I eat more frozen/boxed meals that I care to admit & my lunch rotation consists primarily of Chunky Soup and Turkey Wraps (usually paired with baby carrots and whatever fruit I have in the house that week).

Key ingredients for a turkey wrap: tortilla, turkey, CHEESE, spinach, mustard, mayo.

I give The Boy credit for not complaining when all he can find in my fridge for lunch are sandwich making foods.  However, you guys should have seen his face when he realized the only cheese I had was Kraft cheese slices :) After rolling my eyes at his mini-lecture on my cheese eating habits, I started researching and was surprised at what I found.

Kraft Singles full name is actually Kraft Pasteurized Processed Cheese Product and it contains less than 51% cheese. The other 49% consists of “other ingredients.” The ingredients aren't necessarily “bad” ingredients…you should just be aware that you’re not eating natural cheese. You can see the entire list of ingredients in processed cheese here.

Looking at the side-by-side comparison almost made me sick to my stomach. Just so we all in the same boat: Processed cheese is heated to 180 degrees (striping it of most of its natural flavor), cooked with steam, and turned into a liquid. Then it’s pumped through machinery to be rolled out into slices and wrapped in plastic. Also – some processed cheeses can sit on store shelves for months before being sold.

Needless to say, last weekend at Giant Eagle, I stocked up on all-natural sliced cheese. Not only did it greatly enhance the flavor of my turkey wrap, but I feel like a grownup informed consumer knowing what I’m eating.

Both of these came from my fridge. I think it's pretty clear which is which and which one you'd rather eat!

Here’s a cool cheese infographic (I love infographics!) for you to check out and a Fooducate article about cheese if you’re interested in reading further.

PS – Did you know that the average American eats 30 pounds of cheese annually? Seems a little low to me...I eat at least 300 pounds of cheese annually!

Do you love cheese as much as I do?
What are your Top 3 favorite cheeses?
Does learning about food change your eating habits?


  1. Sorry everyone! I think I finally figured out how to enable the comment section!

  2. yay! comments wooooooo.

    all i wanted to say in the first place is that processed food is disgusting if you look into it... but that's how it has a longer shelf life! the things we do to our food...

  3. My top 3 favorite cheeses are 1)Gouda 2)Pepper Jack 3) Muenster (especially with the orange rind). I once went to a restaurant that stuffed burgers with cheese and toppings. Got a gouda and pepper stuffed burger. It was great.

    I don't tend to respond well to learning about food processes, although I'm trying to be more sensitive to that. I only ever change my diet when I have exercise goals, and I suck at that anyway. So no, I'm pretty set in my ways.

    Fun fact: I have a cheese allergy, so every time I eat a larger amount of "cheese" my face sweats a little under my eyes (not visibly, just gets moist). Weird, I know.


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