America's Cheese Surplus Is Getting Out Of Control, & Here's What That Means For Cheese Lovers

I love cheese, you love cheese, we all love cheese. Cheese is just amazing. Discounting the fact that it's not exactly good for me, I could never get enough cheese. Well, it looks like the limit on my ability to get cheese may not exist — America has a cheese surplus right now, and it's really, really huge. I'm talking — wait for it — 1.2 billion pounds of surplus cheese that's sitting in storage. Billion, with a b! Some people say we can't possibly eat it all, but I think anything is possible if we just believe in ourselves and let our love of cheese guide us.

As for why we have this much cheese lying around and not being eaten by me personally, it's actually pretty complicated. Basically, back in 2014 China's economy was growing and people started buying more milk from the United States. Dairy producers expanded to keep up with the growing demand, but then China's economy slowed. While that happened, the European Union lifted domestic caps on dairy production, and Russia placed sanctions on foreign cheese. All that created, basically, a perfect storm of excess milk. Dairy farms have been sending a lot of the extra milk to cheesemakers, who are making a bunch of cheese and hoping for the best.

This surplus is admittedly pretty great for cheese lovers — not only do we basically never have to worry about running out of our beloved dairy product, the price of cheese has gone down. As you can probably guess, that's not great news for dairy farmers. The government is trying to help them out — for example, by buying up some of the cheese and donating it to food banks — but it's not enough, and the farmers are in big trouble.

So what can you do? You've probably already guessed, but the remedy is more cheese! Vox calculated that in order to eat through the surplus, each American would need to buy an extra 3 pounds of cheese. For the record, that's in addition to the 36 pounds of cheese the average American already consumes per year. But 3 pounds? That sounds easy. I could buy 3 pounds of cheese right now and eat through that quicker than I'm willing to admit.

So Americans, I implore you to do your civic duty. Eat more pizza. Make more grilled cheese sandwiches. Do whatever you have to do to get your extra cheese in. Your country needs you.

Images: Jez Timms / Unsplash; Giphy (4)