In another look at the USDA Factbook from 2000, we see that our average American has changed his daily intake of milk products around.
I know growing up, I was putting milk on everything! Loved my morning cereal with it, and even enjoyed a nice tall glass after school with cookies, or infused with chocolate.
After college though I discovered this new way to get my dairy fix, CHEESE. We all know the cheese and wine bars are popping up across America, so it comes as no surprise then to see our Milk intake go from 36.4 gallons per year per person, down to 22.6 gallons. While our cheese consumption moved from 7.7 pounds to 29.8 pounds.
I think of this as a two-fold problem. Number one, the dairy farmers were not making enough profit with plain old milk, so why not jazz it up into other products to increase their profit margin. Milk is a basic commodity now, while cheese comes in five million varieties and prices.
Secondly, I believe that our cheese consumption is harming the environment. It is taking much more energy, gas, clean water, packaging materials, transportation, and more to process a few gallons of milk into a pound of cheese. Causing more harm to the environment.
So as a vegetarian, I am trying to limit my cheese intake drastically to help the environment. If I can, I try to skip the cheese. No cheese on my salad. No cheese on my lunch sandwich. Honestly, I’ve found that I cannot tell much difference really. The subway sandwich cheese is sliced so thin anyway, it hardly adds any flavor to the overall delight of a million vegetables stacked on high. Salad cheese I miss now and then, especially when it was a stronger cheese. If it was your typical shredded American, no loss though.
Of course, I still have a weakness for cheese, so yes I do take my wife out to the wine and cheese bar once a month to enjoy a small sampling of some great varieties. But at least it isn’t once a week like we used too.
Remember, we need to be the change we wish to see in the world. So please help the planet out, and yourself for that matter, by saying, hold the cheese, please!