your move, sir
June 28, 2018 12:16 PM   Subscribe

So you have all this cheese lying around, and you don't fancy eating it. Or maybe, if you're in the US, you're facing down the largest cheese stockpile in a century. What can you do? Suggestions include paint, plastics, jewelry, glue, fabric, and so much more. Turns out cheese is pretty useful after all.

Of course, here we need an operational definition for cheese, so we'll use the dictionary's definition here. Cheese, then, is a product made of the pressed curds of milk, or at least all the bits of milk that don't include the whey. (Or, well, at least get most of the whey out.) Fortunately for us, the curds include almost all the casein protein in the milk, and casein is a startlingly useful material....

Other things we can use cheese for involve cavity repair, cosmetics, and candles; flatware, fountain pens, and glue again; and pretty things like jewelry, sculptural media and paint. Cheese curds make pretty cool textiles, too: lovely fibers and drapey yarn and even interesting knitting needles and buttons. Cheese is pretty good for skin care, too. It's useful for refining white wine and sherries. You can use cheese as a great model for ecosystem development or turn it into plain old packaging film. Or, if you get really bored, you can of course always race your cheeses (previously) or even worship them.

Previously on Metafilter:
Uses of inedible cheese
Edible uses of cheese
Previous cheese surplus
Demand for cheese knowledge
posted by sciatrix (31 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
what the... {fires up laptop and prepares tech for a counter-post}
posted by Wordshore at 12:28 PM on June 28 [18 favorites]


ironically I am genuinely not that big a fan of cheese for eating purposes
posted by sciatrix at 12:29 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Hah, I was about to comment "Did Wordshore put you up to this?"
posted by duffell at 12:29 PM on June 28 [8 favorites]


Heh. From the fountain pen link:

How do I know its casein?

Well there are three ways to find out, one destructive and the other non-destructive. Unfortunately one of the definitive tests is the destructive one! If you want to be certain that it is casein, the soak test will prove it, shame that it has just destroyed your pen!

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:33 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


I am so disappointed that the "so you have all this cheese lying around" part is not linked.
posted by jferg at 12:37 PM on June 28 [18 favorites]


So you have all this cheese lying around, and you don't fancy eating it.

FALSE
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:54 PM on June 28 [29 favorites]


resulting overproduction

And its also much less humane to the milk cows than we treat them up here in Canada.

Casein is also pretty useful in a bunch of molecular biology applications.
posted by porpoise at 1:05 PM on June 28


FALSE

Aaaand there it is. Came for the "you lost me there..." comment, left to go eat cheese.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:08 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Slow clap for post title.

If you're like me, you might do it habitually when you're rearranging your DPNs, but: don't put casein knitting needles in your mouth. Trust me on this.
posted by clavicle at 1:10 PM on June 28 [7 favorites]


I feel like we could solve this with cheese adoption programs. I could give some cheese a good home.
posted by Foosnark at 1:24 PM on June 28 [6 favorites]


I work in cheddar 90 percent of the time because it's dense and consistent, holds up very well, tastes great and the price is right. It comes in big sizes, from 40- to 10,000-pound blocks and wheels. I can use other cheeses—like Gruyere, aged Gouda, Parmesans, Asiago and aged provolones—but they have to be firm because they need to stay up. I'll frequently work in 90-degree weather, and the cheese, of course, warms up but it doesn't melt.

Need more cheese art!

(and i'll take care of the shavings)
posted by sammyo at 1:29 PM on June 28


Quantitative cheesing.
posted by slogger at 1:38 PM on June 28 [13 favorites]


There is only one answer: Cheese Zombies
posted by KingBoogly at 1:39 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


ironically I am genuinely not that big a fan of cheese for eating purposes

so it turns out sciatrix does make posts I don’t agree with
posted by skycrashesdown at 1:42 PM on June 28 [7 favorites]


If you're like me, you might do it habitually when you're rearranging your DPNs, but: don't put casein knitting needles in your mouth. Trust me on this.

That's what I was thinking about the pens - they're kind of high on the list of "Household items likely to be absent-mindedly/habitually chewed upon."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:43 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Oh, is it cheese pun season again? The Wheel rolls ever onward...
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:09 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


The Wheel rolls ever onward...

There's no whey to stop it.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:11 PM on June 28 [9 favorites]


[I hate to see good puns go down as collateral fromage, but please lets recognize that the stupidity of American politics is not in this thread's wheelhouse.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:15 PM on June 28 [17 favorites]


In all seriousness, that fining link is really interesting - I didn't know casein was on the roster of fining agents. This is a super-informative post.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:24 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Just don't get Keith Richards started about cheese. He absolutely despises the stuff.
posted by lagomorphius at 3:18 PM on June 28


No mascarpone grows on a Rolling Stone, eh?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:47 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


I can’t help but think I might be partially responsible for this...
posted by wintermind at 5:18 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


What, no link to Metafilter's own great Red Leicester conundrum?
posted by panhopticon at 5:50 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


I know I've been doing my part. Just bought 2 lbs. of Cabot 'Extra Sharp' tonight.
I wish I'd known about the Red Leicester at the time... I've been wanting to try that.
posted by MtDewd at 6:34 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Oh come on what is this fetafilter?
posted by vrakatar at 7:44 PM on June 28 [8 favorites]


I dunno, I thought it was a gouda FPP.
posted by bologna on wry at 8:09 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


This is just that whole thing again where capital would rather food go to waste and people starve than sell something at reduced profit, right?
“The issue this year is that, with so much supply, it’s going to be tough for a lot of farmers to be profitable.”
It's not that there's not demand, it's that there's not profitable demand.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 8:39 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


I didn't understand from the article exactly what was causing the overproduction. One person is quoted saying, “We’re producing more milk. It’s inevitable. That milk needs to get turned into something storable.” But I don't understand what it is about the US agricultural system that makes producing too much milk a persistent problem. Is it some weird interaction between farm subsidies/protections and the market?

Agricultural subsidies or protections of one kind or another are necessary. But choosing a scheme that leads to pointless and wasteful animal suffering and environmental degredation isn't necessary! Other countries (and other agricultural products within the US) have agricultural support mechanisms that don't cause needless overproduction. I'm most familiar with Canadian strategies like our supply management for dairy and maple syrup and the old wheat board.
posted by congen at 9:48 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


Other countries (and other agricultural products within the US) have agricultural support mechanisms that don't cause needless overproduction.
Is that true? In my 40s and I've heard many a tale of European Beef Mountains and similar in my time, not all from bangers-on about Europe nor the relentlessly "straight banana" press. Hell, growing up here in the UK I distinctly remember once being offered n cans of free Stewing Steak sourced from the aforementioned EBM provided one could prove your family was on [welfare] benefits (it wasn't something we'd normally have bought so it was memorable!)
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:07 PM on June 29 [2 favorites]


What I'm saying is: overproduction happens, it's right that we should want to limit it and the only right non-edible use for God-damn glorious, delicious cheese of all things is launching it into space as Earth's second moon, against the day when we need it again.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:13 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


it's right that we should want to limit it

This what I don't understand. Why is it right to want to limit it. It seems wrong to want to limit it while there is still need.
Just distribute it. When demand is completely met, and everyone's got as much food as they could possibly want worldwide, and we have extensive stored supplies in case of emergencies, then I'm going to worry about "overproduction".
posted by AnhydrousLove at 8:16 PM on June 29 [2 favorites]


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