Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 36: Bye Bye Shredded Cheese

Just when I think that I'm doing good, someone comes and bursts my bubble!  I should know by now that every single thing I buy needs to be scrutinized, yet I still give items the benefit of the doubt and I shouldn't.  The latest example is shredded cheese.  Every 3-4 months one of our local grocery stores will have 6-8 ounce bags of shredded cheese on sale for $.97 with no limit.  Woo-hoo!  I love cheese.  A lot.  So it would be nothing for me to go in and buy $30-50 worth of cheese depending on how much money I had in the budget.  I would freeze it and pull a bag as I needed to. 

My cheesy life was all grand until one day a couple weeks ago when someone on a forum that I frequent asked about the potential savings of block cheese versus shredded.  Several people pointed out that they won't eat shredded because of the additives in it.  Hmmm, really?  So off I go to check out my bag of cheese.  Lo and behold, I find that every bag has anti-caking agents, and a specific ingredient:  cellulose.

After doing a little research, I found that cellulose is one of the main components in the cell walls of plants.  This sounds a little reminescent of high school biology class.  Essentially, cellulose is all natural in that it comes from plant fibers.  However, it is highly processed and used in a number of food products, as anti-caking agent in cheese being one of them.  Granted, I suppose using cellulose is better than using something completely chemical, but still I don't think my cheese needs these "extra" ingredients.  If I want to eat plant fiber, I'll eat plant fiber.  I don't want it in my cheese.

So, from now on, I'll be purchasing blocks of cheese and grating them myself.  I don't have the cool attachment on my food processor to do it quickly, so I'll just do it by hand as needed.  Since cutting back on dairy to help Baby Girl's eczema, we don't need to be eating alot of cheese anyway.  Grating it myself will just be one of the ways to limit myself from wanting it all the time.  At least, that's what I'm telling myself.  :)

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