It seems the U.S. Food & Drug Administration made a surprise visit to the Castle Cheese, Inc production facility located in rural Pennsylvania. Based on a "tip" the feds inspected the companies 100% pure grated Parmesan cheese product only to learn they have been adding fillers, like wood pulp to their alleged pure product.
Castle is distributor to some of the largest chain stores in the U.S. including products sold by Whole Foods, Walmart and Kraft. A random test run buy Bloomberg found that the Whole Foods 365 brand had the least cellulose at 0.3% , Kraft had 3.8% and Walmart's Great Value brand logged in at 7.8.
Evidently various sources from the Cheese Industry suspect Castle is not a lone soldier out there adding fillers to their grated cheese products.
Personally, I never purchase grated, or crumbled cheese for this very reason. I understand they are time savers but at least for me, not worth the added unwanted ingredients (listed on the label or just suspected).
Image Copyright: dream04 / 123RF Stock Photo
While you're reading let me put in a plug for our favorite cheese grater. In my opinion you can't beat a good old fashioned box grater. I like the handle at the top and I like how it balances firmly on the counter. I typically grate my cheese on top of a paper plate. I can then dump the mountain of cheese into a serving bowl or use it off the plate while I'm cooking. I also like the variety of shred sizes I can get off of one utensil. My second favorite, just for my Parmesan grating would be the Microplane grater. It works very well but without the optional shred sizes it's just more limited.
So, to all you consumers out there still buying grated cheese, give some thought to going back to DIY cheese grating.
Read author Russ Klettke blog A Guy's Gotta Eat where he keeps us up to date good nutrition and simple meals for a guy on the move.