Say Cheese: Feds Just Bought $20 Million Of Surplus Cheese For Food Banks

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By Cooking Panda

You may think America has more important things to worry about than a bunch of cheese sitting around waiting to be bought (and devoured), but it turns out you’d be wrong.

Apparently, America’s dairy industry is actually on the brink of total disaster — more than one billion pounds of surplus cheese (did you even think having leftover cheese was possible?) are waiting to be bought, as the result of too much milk and too few buyers, particularly overseas. 

According to Munchies, this is the largest cheese surplus America has seen in 30 whole years, causing American cheesemakers to watch as their revenues have depleted 35-percent while the cheese stocks have grown.

Luckily, cheese has a dairy-loving savior. On August 23, the USDA announced it will swoop in and purchased 11 million pounds of extra cheese for a cool $20 million. It plans to donate the cheese to food banks and pantries country-wide.

“We understand that the nation’s dairy producers are experiencing challenges due to market conditions,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. The purchase “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.”

In the end, he even hints that perhaps this is a win-win situation, because “food banks continue to see strong demand for assistance.”

Here’s the thing though, Americans: Grub Street reports that producers in the U.S. actually originally requested a staggering $150 million from the government for their cheesy woes. That’s more than a micro-nation’s GDP, which means that even after the USDA receives its $20 million worth, there is still a lot of cheese that needs to be consumed — and pronto.

Do your duty, America, and get cheesy.

Sources: Munchies, USDA, Grub Street / Photo credit: Paul Jill/Flickr via Modern Farmer

Tags: cheese, dairy, Surplus, usda
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Europe Has Too Much Chocolate, And It’s Not A Good Thing

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By Cooking Panda

If you are anything like us, the phrase “too much chocolate” is probably as foreign as Ancient Greek or Klingon. 

As shocking as it may sound, however, that is exactly what is happening in Europe at the moment. According to Vice, the continent is currently experiencing a debilitating chocolate surplus, making this the perfect time to take that long-awaited European vacation.

Apparently, the news was brought to light by a recent report from the Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli. The company stated that both Switzerland and the European continent are “largely saturated” with chocolate, creating a widespread surplus.

If a chocolate glut sounds like your dream, however, it is important to keep in mind that the situation is likely to have larger consequences than expanding waistlines and increasing dessert options. While the surplus is expected to drive down prices of finished confections, the cost of raw ingredients is currently up; creating a dangerous financial situation that could damage chocolatiers across the European continent.

Even more worrying is the fact that there appears to be no end in sight to the financial difficulties of the issue. The prices of both cocoa and cocoa butter have increased due to rising temperatures in West Africa, and current climate models predict that the sweltering heat will only become worse in coming years.

Either way, we think that it is your civic duty as a citizen of the world to eat as much chocolate as possible over the next few years. Much like America’s cheese surplus, sometimes the only solution is to embrace your inner glutton and loosen your belt!

Source: Vice / Photo credit: LongitudeLatitude/Flickr

Tags: chocolate, Europe, Surplus
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Grab The Macaroni: America Is Facing A Cheese Surplus

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By Cooking Panda

It looks like 2016 might be America’s cheesiest year on record.

U.S. cheese inventories are currently higher than they have been since 1984, and the dairy products just keep piling up.

Depressed economic conditions in Europe, combined with above-average dairy production, have led to a dramatic increase in American cheese imports, and it looks like the U.S. may have bit off more (cheese) than it can handle. Over the past year alone, cheese imports from the European Union have risen a full 17 percent, while butter imports have doubled.

However, the surplus isn’t all about endless grilled cheese and macaroni. The price drop in European dairy and cheese products is also hurting American farmers, who can’t compete with prices from overseas. This is especially damaging because American dairy farmers are projecting record production this year, making their products undesirable in the U.S. itself and difficult to export abroad.

Unfortunately, the outlook isn’t exactly rosy for Europeans either. Rock-bottom prices have driven many European dairy farmers out of business, and based on the U.K.’s upcoming vote on whether or not to stay in the European Union, it doesn’t look like things are going to get better any time soon.

So, whether you prefer cheddar, American or Swiss cheese, we think it’s your patriotic duty to eat as much cheese as possible over the next few months! And don’t forget to buy American while you’re at it! 

Source: Vice / Photo credit: Chowhound/Pinterest

Tags: America, cheese, Surplus
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