Wood Parmesan?


Today on NPR I heard a snippet of legal news about a Western Pennsylvania woman, the president of two family owned cheese companies, who was convicted of a crime of mislabeling cheese. Specifically it was Parmesan and Romano Cheeses that actually did not include any of those cheeses in them. What authorities found is that the grated cheese products included other cheeses and, wait for it, wood pulp. The woman is probably getting probation and has to pay a fine of $500,000.
Now I know some of you might be outraged that you could have paid close to $14 a pound for fake Parmesan, and for that I don’t blame you. The thing that intrigues me is that this woman completely missed the boat in making even more money from her fake cheese.
I think anyone who can make something taste like Parmesan, but has fiber in it, (cheese alone has not fiber) and has fewer calories than Parm could have made a killing. Since the human body can not really digest wood they would end up running through you and not contributing to any weight gain. If you made that wood tasty, well now you have a diet “cheese like” sprinkle.
This cheese woman is no marketing whiz because diet products sell for so much more than regular products. If she had just marketed her “cheese product” as Parmesan flavor she never would have gotten in any trouble.
Of course she would have to list her ingredients on the label, but how many people really understand that cellulose is wood? It was the nutrition label where she could have made her killing since it would be fewer calories than REAL very fattening Parmesan.
I am not condoning lying, especially about food, But if she could make this stuff taste good she was on to something. My only question is, “what kind of wood was she using?” If there is a Parmesan tasting tree out there I want to start a tree farm. Imagine what kinda of market there could be for Parmesan tasting tooth picks? One tree could make billions of tooth picks. I could be realy happy sucking on that tooth pick to help curb my cheese craving, especially since it would be calorie free!

One Comment on “Wood Parmesan?”

  1. edward w carter says:

    a couple of weeks ago i read on the internet that companies that sell grated parmesan were putting wood in it. they did not tell which brands like Kraft were doing it. I suspect there are some manufacturers who supply it unbranded to super market chains who package it in 1 pound bags and sell it as a store brand so the reporters didn’t have a national brand name to cite.The article said you might see cellulose listed as an ingredient but Food Lions store brand does not list it.If it would really cut calories,then your idea for calling it diet or light and highlighting how many calories it saves might work.The thing I read sort of led me to thing that real grated parmesan has such a strong flavor that you could use the real thing but add wood{saw dust} and the average person wouldn’t notice.I bet it would only work for grated. I would think a chunk with sawdust would have a noticeably different texture. The article only reported that sawdust was being added to Grated . >

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