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America is Stockpiling Cheese

America is Stockpiling Cheese

Show me the way to Cheese Mountain

I LOVE cheese. ALL the cheese.

Me, basically:


So I was thrilled to learn America has a Cheese Mountain. Well, kind of.

It turns out, America has been stockpiling cheese and butter and has amassed more golden treats than any time in past thirty years. Why? Europeans, trade, and because cheese is delicious.

Whitney McFerron of Bloomberg News has the breakdown:

Exports from the European Union have climbed so far this year and last — even after the bloc’s once-largest customer, Russia, banned trade in retaliation for sanctions over its incursion in Ukraine. A glut of milk, plunging prices and a weakening euro mean the EU has been able to grab customers in Asia and the Middle East, while U.S. sales have fallen.

European dairy products are so cheap right now that the U.S. itself has become the new No. 1 customer for some products — imports of EU butter doubled last year and rose 17 percent for cheese, according to the European Commission. All that excess supply is building up in U.S. refrigerators, especially as American dairy production heads to a record this year.

USDA statistics show cheese inventories at the end of March were the highest for the date since 1984, the year Prince’s “Purple Rain” was released. More than half of the supply is American cheese, while Swiss accounts for about 2 percent, and the rest the government classifies as “other.”


Scott Lincicome, trade attorney, Cato adjunct, and Duke lecturer, told Legal Insurrection, “cheese is heavily subsidized and protected here, thus distorting markets (and leading to booms/busts).” He also loves cheese.

Update: A Fromage Fort to call your own

Grant Bosse, Editorial Page Editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News made a marvelous suggestion that was too good not to share:

Build your very own cheese mountain:

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 1.55.39 PM

[Featured Image courtesy of Whole Foods Market®]

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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UnCivilServant | April 29, 2016 at 2:37 pm

I can appreciate your attitude towards cheese.

I am still having Wisconsin cheese sent to me in Massachusetts twice a year. They won’t ship May thru September, but all of the cheese for holiday cooking is from Wisconsin.

    Char Char Binks in reply to mrtomsr. | May 1, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I live in Wisconsin, AKA Cheese Mountain! I love cheese! My first real job was in a cheese factory.

NC Mountain Girl | April 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Even grocery chains in small town America now stock imported cheese and even butter.

Actually, follow the money trial. It’s the government that is doing this to appease the Dairy farmers by keeping the prices artificially high. The government is picking winners again which is very wicked and hurts the consumer (us).

Sorry, guys. My fault. I went shopping yesterday for the ingredients for my five-cheese penne. 🙂

Ahhh … an accumulating “stockpile” means that the cheese is stacking up in inventory faster than it’s selling.

In the industries with which I happen to be familiar, this is not considered to be a good thing.

I guess since ARAmark and Sedexo took over so many school cafeterias, the USDA doesn’t give away as much cheese.

Everyone should buy hard cheese and shred it.
Make America grate again!!

Don’t know if it’s still the case, but Kraft’s biggest competitor in the sliced American cheese marker used to be the government, which gave away what Kraft was selling.

And this gives a chance to say something about WIC. I buy sliced American cheese in 5 lb. blocks, the cheapest per lb. way to buy it. A WIC voucher is good for 1 pound of sliced American cheese. Doesn’t matter where it’s from. So, everyone I’ve witnessed using a WIC voucher has a pound of sliced American cheese from the deli department. I don’t know if the deli department American cheese is better then the 5 lb. blocks; I’ve never splurged on it. But it’s good to know that my taxpayer money is being wisely used to feed those less fortunate then me with more expensive food then I can afford to buy…

legacyrepublican | April 29, 2016 at 5:42 pm

Is this where I can make a cheesy comments?

Set my people Brie!

I Cheddar to think who will do this, but I Camembert the thought of what will be on the table if I say nothing. I feel like such a Muenster, really I do. I Swiss my arguments didn’t have such gaping holes in them.

    Char Char Binks in reply to legacyrepublican. | May 1, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    I gouda whey my options, but, er, If I wheel play my curds right, I could stock up and I colby rolling in cheddar, Jack!

Kemberlee, if you like cheese, you gotta’ try some of this: A friend (yes, I actually have friends) sent me a gift pack and I couldn’t stop eating it. I have never, ever, eaten blue cheese other than in salad dressing, but I couldn’t stop eating this, mold and all!

It’s an election year. We need the cheese to go with all of the whine!

What a *PERFECT* opportunity for a truly conservative politician “to root out waste in government and make the best possible use of our nation’s resources.”

(The above quote links to President Ronald Reagan’s “Statement About Distribution of the Cheese Inventory of the Commodity Credit Corporation” dated December 22, 1981. You know, it’s not like we’ve never seen this movie before.)

    donb in reply to donb. | April 30, 2016 at 10:40 am

    On second thought, it is like we’ve never seen this movie before.

    “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” — [most likely] George Santanyana