You may think America has more important things to worry about than a bunch of cheese sitting around waiting to be bought (and devoured), but it turns out you'd be wrong.
Apparently, America’s dairy industry is actually on the brink of total disaster -- more than one billion pounds of surplus cheese (did you even think having leftover cheese was possible?) are waiting to be bought, as the result of too much milk and too few buyers, particularly overseas.
According to Munchies, this is the largest cheese surplus America has seen in 30 whole years, causing American cheesemakers to watch as their revenues have depleted 35-percent while the cheese stocks have grown.
Luckily, cheese has a dairy-loving savior. On August 23, the USDA announced it will swoop in and purchased 11 million pounds of extra cheese for a cool $20 million. It plans to donate the cheese to food banks and pantries country-wide.
“We understand that the nation’s dairy producers are experiencing challenges due to market conditions,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. The purchase “will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need.”
In the end, he even hints that perhaps this is a win-win situation, because “food banks continue to see strong demand for assistance.”
Here’s the thing though, Americans: Grub Street reports that producers in the U.S. actually originally requested a staggering $150 million from the government for their cheesy woes. That’s more than a micro-nation’s GDP, which means that even after the USDA receives its $20 million worth, there is still a lot of cheese that needs to be consumed -- and pronto.
Do your duty, America, and get cheesy.