Jack Booted Cheese Thugs

Volume 138, No. 5 - Friday, July 26, 2013

What in the heck is going on? It’s hard to imagine the motivation, but once again the federal government, in the interest of protecting us from things that we may not need protecting from, has stopped allowing a certain lactic criminal element into the country, better known as Mimolette Cheese!

If you don’t, and you should know it because it’s quite delicious, this ancient cheese has been consumed by the French for over 1,000 years and has been imported into the United States for many years as well without ever once ACTUALLY causing a problem, other than a little anxiety caused by the absurdly high price.

But based on the same kind of misinterpretation as mentioned in my last few columns, our overlords have decided, once again, there is an abstract potential for an allergic reaction to the critters essential to the creation of the mottled surface rind of this cheese.

These international terrorists, these unwanted immigrants crossing our borders paying no attention to the requirements of Homeland Security, these heathen creatures have been found guilty by the FDA, based not on thousands of years consumption without incident, but on a study which claims to have shown that cheesemites consumed in humongous quantities MAY cause a tiny number of people to have allergic reactions.

Oddly enough, though they don’t respect French cheesemaking tradition and thousands of years history, they do respect this one study, which was done by the French as well!

But this is not the essential issue. Lord knows I’ve seen electron microscopic pictures of cheese mites and don’t relish the idea of consuming the crunchy little creatures, so I am in the habit of trimming the freaking rind off the cheese before consuming it.

Nor do I hold anything against the great American tradition of French bashing: those crêpe eating, wine guzzling, pate loving pinkoes should be held in disdain if for nothing else than, despite all the butter and cheese they consume, they don’t get fat.

But banning foods based on the standard that they coulda would’ve might possibly make a handful of people have a non-fatal allergic reaction is a dangerous precedent!
In case you haven’t looked lately, milk is allergenic to some people as well. And following the paternalistic logic behind the ban on Mimolette, “If it could it will and we must ban,” is the next step to ban milk products as well ?

Don’t laugh, it is no more absurd to think that they would ban milk products, than they would pick on a little-known, and rarely eaten cheese like Mimolette. Of course, how silly of me, I forgot - bullies never pick on people big enough to fight back: us, the US dairy industry. But They can pretty much count on the fact that our sleepy industry doesn’t really care that much what happens to a little Frenchie they don’t consume much of themselves until the day that the men in the uniforms come and arrest their children for the crime against the state of drinking milk, and then it is too late.

The problem is that when people have the power to make decisions unilaterally, without any input from people in the industry or consumers, to ban products based on the thinnest of evidence without any consideration for whether or not any incidents actually happened, nor the potential number of people exposed to the problem, a very dangerous precedent has been set. When we allow the government to make decisions in a reality distortion field, they may begin to take themselves seriously.

And whatever happened to the great American love of fighting for the underdog? After all, the French originally made mimolette in order to stop an invasion of foreigners called Dutchmen, and their infernal “Edam.” Really, a simple warning would suffice, to the six people in the US that can afford the stuff.

Dan Strongin is managing partner and owner of Edible Solutions, a consulting company focused on helping companies making great food make a profit. He encourages your comments regarding this column. Comments can be made anonymously to columnists@cheesereporter.com. For previous Strongin columns, visit: www.cheesereporter.com.

Dan Strongin is managing partner and owner of Edible Solutions, a consulting company focused on helping companies making great food make a profit. He will be writing a monthly column in Cheese Reporter. Strongin can be reached via phone at (510) 224-0493, or via e-mail at dan@danstrongin.com. You can visit and blog with Dan at www.managenaturally.com.

Other Strongin Articles written for Cheese Reporter

dot Towards a Safer Food Supply
dot Lies, Damned Lies and Dairy Safety: How Poorly Applied Statistics Could Lead to the Worse Public Policy
dot Is Dairy Safe Is The Wrong Question, Part 1

dot Not All Data Is Information
dot Start From Where You Are
dot Learning About Your Customer
dot The Vision Thing
dot Customer Service? NOT!
dot Collaboration: The Road To A Better Future
dot Resolution
dot Water

dot In Memoriam: Ignazio Vella 1928-2011
dot Of Cheese, Seals, And Deming
dot In Their Own Words: Lettie Kilmoyer
dot In Their Own Words: Fritz Maytag
dot In Their Own Words: Paula Lambert
dot Show Me the Money: Cost Accounting
dot Cost Accounting Chokes, Part 2: Inventory

dot Cost Accounting Is Choking Your Business, Part 1
dot It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over
dot Raw Reason
dot A Story For The Holiday Season, Part II
dot A Story For The Holiday Season
dot Truth In Labeling
dot This Too Shall Pass or "What were we thinking?"
dot Marketing Language That Resonates
dot When Will We Ever Learn?
dot Cheese Competitions In The Context Of Marketing

dot Economy
dot Even The Best Laid Plans Go Astray
dot Root Causes: Communication
dot Partners
dot Diamond Cutting:
It's What You Don't Know That Can Hurt You
dot Integrity and Ethics
dot Pricing:  The Perceived Value
Designing the Effective Sell Sheet
Common Sense
It All Begins in The Mouth
Of Cars...

The Gathering Storm
As Our Industry Evolves, So Should Our Terminology:

Other Cheese Reporter Guest Columnists
Visit John Umhoefer
Visit Neville McNaughton

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