Say Cheese!

Another way I pinch pennies is to shred my own cheese. If you compare the price per pound of shredded vs. block cheese in your dairy case you will see that the block cheese is significantly cheaper. (I must give the discloser that I am referencing store brand block cheese.) When you shred your own cheese on a box grater you have to work for your shreds. Therefore you might be apt to shred less cheese thus saving yourself money and calories! If you use a food processor with a grater blade it is not as much work but you do have more clean up!

But there is an added bonus to shredding your own cheese. No calcium sulfate. If you look on the back of your shredded cheese bag there will be listed "calcium sulfate, added to prevent caking". At least that is how it is listed on my bag of KRAFT natural shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese. (my mom left it at my house last time she came for a visit)

But what is calcium sulfate and why don't I want it? It has calcium in it. Isn't calcium good? Calcium yes. Calcium Sulfate no. I looked it up on Wikipedia and this is what I found:
Calcium sulfate is a common laboratory and industrial chemical..... It is also used as a coagulant in products like tofu. In the natural state, unrefined calcium sulfate is a translucent, crystalline white rock. The hemihydrate (CaSO4.~0.5H2O) is better known as plaster of Paris, while the dihydrate (CaSO4.2H2O) occurs naturally as gypsum.

Did you catch that? There is food safe plaster of Paris coating your shredded cheese. **Shudder**

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