What am I doing today? I'm checking my refrigerator for termites. Yes, termites. Well, why not? Today I make the great, grated cheese decision. Should I grate four pounds of cheddar by hand next week to prepare casseroles for a local homeless shelter, or should I purchase packaged cheese shards as a substitute ingredient?
In the past, I've always purchased pre-shredded cheese for my assembly-line frittatas and casseroles. Using sharp cheddar instead of extra sharp has been the main downside of the choice. Now, thanks to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, I've learned that packaged shredded cheese often contains powdered cellulose to prevent the product from clumping. In other words, miniscule bits of wood pulp or other plant fiber act as a coating agent. Even some organic shredded cheese contains the stuff. No wonder some pre-shredded cheese has a pinkish tint under florescent light and resists melting.
Still, shredded cheese products contain no more than one percent cellulose. Powdered cellulose goes into plenty of other products, including low-fat ice-cream. The ingredient, microcrystalline cellulose, is sometimes listed as MCC. And we are supposed to consume more dietary fiber, aren't we?
But Jesus fed the 5,000 with loaves and fishes. Not with loaves, fishes and sawdust. Likewise, the homeless deserve the best casseroles I can prepare. The hymm, "How Great Thou Art" pops into my mind. Hmm, a message… Guess I'll buy some bricks of extra-sharp cheddar at the market. Shredding cheese doesn't take that long.
Laurel Anne Hill (Author of "Heroes Arise")
Causes Laurel Hill Supports
Winter Nights Shelter and Shelter, Inc.