Saturday, January 05, 2008

Toxic Mozzarella

Need another reason to buy Wisconsin cheese? Look no further than Naples, where the mozzarella has turned toxic, thanks to locals burning garbage in the streets.

In a truly bizarre turn of events, Naples is literally throwing away its cheese. According to Marketplace on American Public Media, garbage dumping has become so out of control that the public has resorted to starting it on fire just to get rid of it. The garbage is on the streets, in ditches, caves, abandoned fields, you name it.

All of the burning plastic is releasing toxic waste in the air, which is finding its way into the water system and into local forage. Since one of the largest industries around Naples is dairy production -- the reporter even says that "all of the world's mozzarella cheese come from around Naples" -- insert rolling of the eyes here -- there is huge concern the mozzarella cheese is toxic. Sales have dropped drastically.

The article goes on to say that the European Union, as one of the largest mozzarella importers, is now suing Italy to try and get the problem under control.

I have a much better suggestion -- just buy mozzarella from Wisconsin. We've got dozens of plants making it, including Alto, Arla, BelGioioso, Burnett Dairy, Edelweiss, Grande, Land O Lakes, Foremost, Saputo ... the list goes on.

In fact, one of my favorite snacks is Farmer's Rope mozzarella from Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese. Shaped like a coiled rope, it strings as you eat it and is the best string cheese I've found since Arpin Dairy stopped making it several years ago.

Ahh .. toxic cheese in Italy ... yet one more reason to buy local.

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