No, I am not going to talk about the grinning at various political conventions, and I won’t even mention Berlusconi whose cheesey smile has been tattood onto his face – or so it seems. The topic is fake cheese, quite literally.
On my way back from Paris I was reading a newspaper article (link to Dutch article) quoting a certain Mel Tunderman, CEO of Vika, the only Dutch producer of fake cheese. The headline reads: Fake Cheese: ‘Inedible but lucrative’. I know it’s an older bit of news but I was shocked by this. Frankly I had no idea there was such a thing as fake cheese, although mr. Tunderman prefers the term ‘analog cheese’. For obvious reasons.
Tricks of the trade are to include a tiny bit of real cheese in the finished product – often a frozen pizza – so you can claim to have used cheese in the ingredient list. The fake cheese is included on the list as it’s components: vegetable oil, starch and a number of artificial flavourings. And the consumer is none the wiser.
You know, this raises so many questions that I do not even know where to begin. It’s starch and oil and it won’t hurt you, but what else is in my food – or rather, what else is not in my food where it should be? And with all the campaigns going on in Western countries to promote healthier diets, why don’t I hear any government say anything at all about this?
I want my food back, damn it!