Could you eat three extra pounds of cheese this year? While the answer in our office would be a resounding “yes,” every person across America would need to say the same for the country to accommodate our current oversupply of cheese. That’s why, as Business Insider reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is buying 11 million pounds (about $20 million worth) of cheese with plans to distribute it to food banks.
Our national cheese surplus is at a 30-year high because the strong dollar has driven foreign buyers to do their dairy shopping elsewhere. On top of that, farmers had increased their cheese production earlier this year due to high prices.
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While the USDA believes this purchase will help to increase dairy prices (the price of cheese already recovered about 30% this summer), head trader and cofounder at Dairy Opportunities Joe Schmit says that the 11-million-pound purchase is only one percent of our total cheese inventory. The purchase is also smaller than industry watchers had expected.
For the time being, we implore you to help our nation’s dairy industry and eat as much cheese as possible.