Thursday , May 19 2022
Home / Madsen Pirie /The big (government) cheese

The big (government) cheese

Summary:
Observers of the British media might form the conclusion that politics in the UK is somewhat cheesy. In the United States, however, government is literally cheesy. In underground cellars, converted limestone mines, and caves kept at an exact 36°F are stored 1.4 billion pounds of government-owned cheese.Government started the scheme of buying surplus milk products to help dairy farmers by maintaining their prices. It mostly consists of processed cheese and dehydrated milk powder because these have the longest life spans. US processed cheese is typically composed of various different types of cheeses blended together with other ingredients such as emulsifiers. It was widely used by the US military in World War II, and in US schools since the 1950s.There was a UK Government cheese in World

Topics:
Madsen Pirie considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Tim Worstall writes What horrors! How could this be?

Don Boudreaux writes Elizabeth Warren Encourages Resource Waste

Don Boudreaux writes Some Non-Covid Links

Don Boudreaux writes Applauding Jeff Jacoby’s Busting of Trade-Deficit Myths

Observers of the British media might form the conclusion that politics in the UK is somewhat cheesy. In the United States, however, government is literally cheesy. In underground cellars, converted limestone mines, and caves kept at an exact 36°F are stored 1.4 billion pounds of government-owned cheese.

Government started the scheme of buying surplus milk products to help dairy farmers by maintaining their prices. It mostly consists of processed cheese and dehydrated milk powder because these have the longest life spans. US processed cheese is typically composed of various different types of cheeses blended together with other ingredients such as emulsifiers. It was widely used by the US military in World War II, and in US schools since the 1950s.

There was a UK Government cheese in World War II when it was officially decreed that as part of the war economy and rationing, only cheddar cheese made in a certain way would be broadly available to consumers on a national scale. It was unofficially known as “government cheddar,” and was rationed. This was phased out after the war ended, but US Government cheese goes on.

When Ronald Reagan became President in 1981, he ordered the distribution of 560 million pounds (250,000 metric tons) of government-stockpiled cheese. It went to welfare beneficiaries, food stamp recipients, and the elderly receiving Social Security in the United States, as well as to food banks and churches.

The surplus has built up again, however, and is currently given out regularly to prevent the stockpile growing ever larger. In 2016 the government decided to distribute approximately eleven million pounds of cheese worth $20 million, to give aid to food banks and food pantries from across the United States. The purpose was to reduce a $1.2 billion cheese surplus that had been at its highest level in thirty years, and to stabilize farm prices. Currently eligible senior citizens over the age of 60 are provided with one 2-pound block of processed cheese every month, supplied by participating dairies.

The policy is controversial because the processed cheese is high in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, and is regarded as unhealthy by many food scientists.  In a difficult-to-believe scenario, the US Department of Agriculture has run campaigns promoting greater consumption of dairy products, while the US Department of Health has run campaigns urging less consumption of them.

Although US government cheese reportedly melts readily and is therefore easy to cook with, its taste and texture are regarded with disdain, even by those not already disdainful of American cheeses. Its production has nothing to do with demand, but is down to the lobbying of the American Dairy Association.

The US government cheese stockpile is what happens when government interferes in the market to ‘protect’ producers. It calls to mind the EU’s once infamous butter mountains and milk lakes, and its current mountain of milk powder. Unfortunately, many of the countries that face food shortages have populations with a high degree of lactose intolerance, ruling out the obvious solution.

One unnamed official of the US Department of Agriculture reportedly suggested that the best thing that could be done with the surplus cheese would be for the government to dump it all in the ocean and not buy any more. It would perhaps be preferable to the current policy.

Media enquiries: 07584 778207 (Call, Text, WhatsApp 24 hour)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *