Hold on to your blue boxes and your viscous yellow liquids! This blog series will take you on a wild ride through the history, politics, science, and culture of processed cheese, including the origins of factory cheese, the rise of James L. Kraft, and the miracle of milk protein concentrate. If you haven't been keeping up with the intriguing story, here's a link to last week's post on J.L. Kraft.
James Lewis Kraft hit the dairy jackpot in 1914 when he arrived at his magical formula for sterilized, process cheese. As James explains in the patent he filed in 1916:
Hold on to your blue boxes and your viscous yellow liquids! This blog series will take you on a wild ride through the history, politics, science, and culture of processed cheese, including the origins of factory cheese, the rise of James L. Kraft, and the miracle of milk protein concentrate.
I love good, organic, artisanal food as much as the next guy. Hell, probably a whole lot more—I really get behind the narrative of Farmer Joe massaging his cows in candlelight before hand-churning a butter so delicious that little dairy angels pop up out of nowhere and give me the thumbs up as soon as I put it in my mouth. Yet what bugs me about a lot of people who subscribe to the idea that wholesome foods are a good and tasty thing is their categorical refusal to eat anything they consider fake, or gross, or processed.
“Not everyone can afford to eat well”: this has been the rebuttal to health-food-enthusiasts in general (and locavores in particular) ever since the rise of writers like Michael Pollan. The argument goes that it costs more to buy healthy produce than a Big Mac. In the past, economists have compared the prices of these foods by the amount of calories they offer. Recently, however, the FDA conducted a study comparing food costs not only calorically, but also by price per edible weight and price per average amount eaten. The results? According to the latter two methods, “grains, vegetables, fruits, and dairy foods are less expensive than most protein foods and less healthy foods.”