I LOVE cheese. ALL the cheese.
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:
— Grant Bosse (@grantbosse) April 29, 2016
Build your very own cheese mountain:
[Featured Image courtesy of Whole Foods Market®]
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