More cheese, please

Ronna LawlessStaff Writer

You can never have too much cheese.

It’s a simple rule, but one that I’ve found to be true for most of my adult life. Cooking for my family or ordering in restaurants, no amount of gooey melted cheese ever seemed to be too much.

I might make a potato casserole topped with ham and mushrooms and Colby-Jack. Serving it, the cheese strings all the way from the pan to the plate. “Uh oh. I may have put too much cheese on this,” I would say. “You can never have too much cheese,” my son would say.

I taught him well.

Extra cheese on pizza? Yes, please. Cheese on your burger? Yes, of course.

One of my favorite things is a grilled cheese sandwich with sliced tomatoes, the bread golden brown with a little crunchiness that tears the roof of my mouth a bit. But it’s worth it. Cheddar cheese oozing from the edges, dripping down to the pan and getting a crispy surface that really brings out the savory goodness of the cheese.

Yum. You just can’t have too much of it.

Or so I thought.

Apparently, it is, in fact, possible to have too much cheese, and this country has too much of it right now.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the United States has an enormous surplus of cheese. As of March 31, about 1.2 billion pounds of it was sitting in cold-storage across the country.

Americans already eat an average of 36 pounds of cheese per capita. If that’s the average for every man, woman and child, then that means most of us are eating more than 36 pounds apiece, because lots of the population is not consuming that much — vegans, toddlers, lactose-intolerant, little old ladies, super models.

According to experts, the extra 1.2 billion pounds of cheese could be consumed if we all — all of us good-hearted Americans — would just eat an extra three pounds of the stuff. But my theory is that since, as I’ve already pointed out, we are not all cheese eaters, the burden is probably higher than that. I’d say, it’s more like four pounds each that we all need to eat to get us out of this cheese conundrum.

I’ve been doing my part. Cheese burgers, pizza, lasagna, cheese on salads, cheese on crackers, cheese balls from Starbucks. I’ve been doing what I can to help this cheese glut. I feel it’s my civic duty.

Now just promise me, if you hear there is a surplus of hot fudge, let me know right away.

Ronna Lawless is a staff writer for the Nevada Journal and Tri-County Times. You can email her at rlawless@nevadaiowajournal.com or follow her on Twitter, @ronna67.