Health Opinion Packaged Food Products Science

Kraft Singles Actually Combat Food Waste, Here’s How

Photo by Mike Mozart.

Kraft American cheese singles are often regarded as one of the prime examples of unhealthy, processed food in the food industry. However, they’re also a traditional way to combat one of the most trending issues in food today: food waste.

To understand how Kraft Singles fight food waste, you have to become familiar with how this pasteurized cheese product is made. USDA research chemist Michael Tunick gave Business Insider a great explanation of how it happens.

“They grind them up and they add an emulsifier so that it holds together and it’s processed in a way so that it melts easily.

By “them,” Tunick means old or “reject” cheeses, typically those that are over-aged, off in flavor quality by just a little bit, or those that a company wasn’t able to sell. What Kraft and other processed cheese makers do is purchase those cheeses at a discount, grind and melt them down, then mix them together with an emulsifier (such as calcium or sodium phosphate) to keep the different cheeses and their moisture from separating from the fats inside of cheese. Whey and milk protein can also be added based on the type of cheese product being made.

This isn’t something that came about with the age of processed food, but was actually developed earlier in Switzerland, according to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, author of The Science of Melting Cheese. Canadian-American cheese salesman and entrepreneur James Kraft then perfected and patented that method in 1916 to begin selling his version of the processed cheese that we all know and consume today. 

The original purpose of this melting technique was to make a usable product out of leftover cheese that was going to go to waste. That’s the exact principle of why we repurpose so many other foods in the industry today, including juice pulps, spent beer grains, and “ugly produce.” The only difference is that Kraft has been doing it for so long that it’s often neglected in the rise of new food waste-derived products.

While this doesn’t change the fact that to me, at least, Kraft Singles don’t taste that good, if you do get down with American cheese every once in a while, you can feel good knowing that you’re helping tackle the global food waste issue at least a little bit by keeping some cheeses from being discarded.

Packaged Food

Tillamook Wants The White House To Change The Name ‘AMERICAN CHEESE’


Tillamook Cheese is launching a petition to change the name of American cheese because they think it’s unworthy of being called American.

What’s in American Cheese? According to the FDA it’s not even allowed to be called cheese at all. In fact, the processed cheese product contains 18 different ingredients including sorbic acid and sodium phosphate.

Apparently, Tillamook takes cheese identity very seriously. The brand has launched a White House petition to get the name “American Cheese” changed to something else. They’ve also created, with the help of  72andSunny, a radical campaign featuring our countries most iconic figures riding majestic American beasts and destroying the processed cheese product.

The petition currently has about 500 signatures and will end July 23.


Ramen Bun Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Because Why Not?


For all their lack of structural integrity (i.e., falling apart after five bites), it’s kind of hard to believe how many burgers and sandwiches use instant ramen bricks as buns. Still, Keizo Shimamoto’s summer 2013 brainchild, much like its hybrid cousin the Cronut, continues to go strong nearly a year later, spawning breakfast knock-offs and pork belly knock-offs and now, a grilled cheese knock-off, courtesy of blogger husband Kruz of House of Yumm.

Like most ramen burger recipes, House of Yumm’s ramen buns are held together by cooking the noodles, straining them, mixing them with egg, freezing them, and then frying them. The insides (arugula, cheese, and sautéed mushrooms, because the veggies really make a difference) are added immediately after for maximum residual melt.

Oh, and Nick from Dude Foods did one too, though his is considerably more dude-friendly and lacks vegetables. Hey, at least no one’s trying to make tomato boba milk tea to go along with it.


Europe Wants to Ban American Cheeses from Using Non-American Names Like Parmesan and Feta


During recent trade talks, the European Union stated that they wanted to place a ban on using European names like parmesan, feta and Gruyère when manufactured by American companies. The reasoning being that the US equivalent could be damaging to sales and name recognition of the European cheeses.

Arguing that the American cheeses are only a pale comparison to their European counterparts, the EU believes that the original names should only belong to the countries they’re connected to. Example: Parmesan from Parma, Italy. Canada also went through a similar embargo with European cheeses, only being able to market Canadian-made feta as “feta-like” or “feta-style.”

The problem is this will definitely affect US manufacturers who are bound to lose big bucks in name changes and confused customers. Because of this concern, a bipartisan group of 55 senators wrote to US Trade Representatives asking them not to agree to the EU’s proposals.

While nothing formal has been written out, this ban could also extend to other European-based products manufactured in the US.

Actually, Kraft “Pasta Crack” could probably do well.

H/T NY Daily News


Kraft Cheese Removes Artificial Preservatives from Kraft American Singles


Health benefits don’t typically rank high on the list of reasons people eat processed cheese. Nope, nostalgia, cook-ability, and price pretty much have that category locked down, but that hasn’t stopped America’s favorite lunchbox company from trying to appeal to the clean-eating set with — tada! — an ingredient change.

On Monday, Kraft Foods announced it was removing the artificial preservative sorbic acid from its popular plastic-wrapped American and White American cheese slices. Used to prevent the growth of mold and fungi, the sorbic acid will instead be replaced by natamycin, which the FDA states is a naturally occurring anti-fungal, despite its totally chemical-y sounding name.

Thankfully the change only applies to the full-fat versions of the singles and not the 2%, which means if you’d like, you’ll still be able to indulge in your 100% lab-grown cheese product, albeit a less fatty version, in peace. Good ol’ America.

H/T Gothamist + Picthx Kraft

Fast Food

Steak ’n Shake’s 7×7 Steakburger Weighs in at 1,330 calories


These days, it seems that every burger chain is attempting to roll out the newest, most insane dishes for the drunken munchies. And hey, we aren’t complaining, not one bit.

Steak n’ Shake, a Midwestern burger joint, stepped up their fast food game with their new 7X7 Steakburger — a towering phenomenon of seven patties melded together with seven slices of American cheese. The petite snack comes in at 1,330 calories, plus “98 grams of fat, 290 mg of cholesterol, 34 grams of carbohydrates and 4,490 mg of sodium,” according to Burger Business.

Like any proper late-night meal, the 7X7 Steakburger is available at participating locations from midnight to 6 am.

H/T Burger Business


The Fat Sandwich

Measuring almost six inches in diameter, we’re looking at a sandwich made of two rolls, 4 cheeseburgers, double cheesesteak, chicken cheesesteak, gyro meat, grilled chicken, bacon, sausage, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, mac n cheese bites, fried mushrooms, jalapeño poppers, pizza bites, onion rings, hash browns, American cheese, mayo, ketchup and french fries. I guess a good question to ask is, what’s NOT on this sandwich? You can pick one up from the Fat Sandwich Company if you’re so inclined to try all those ingredients and flavors in one bite. (PicThx ThisIsWhyYoureHuge)


The High Life Man Meal

Never has something looked so delicious, but at the same time, made me laugh so hard. We’re looking at a side of chili cheese fries hyping up a quarter pound burger constructed with an Italian sausage patty, three strips of bacon, Swiss and American cheese, grilled onions, jalapeños, mayonnaise and BBQ sauce on a sesame seed bun. Oh yeah, the hilarious kicker? A powdered donut as garnish. Success! (Thx DamnThatLooksGood)