Millennials have been deemed responsible for the death of a lot of things older generations hold near and dear — malls, cars, diamonds, fast food, golf, and much, much more. Now, millennials are being blamed for killing American cheese. But maybe that's not such a bad thing. Bloomberg reported that so many millennials are opting out of this cheese product that fast-food restaurants are changing up their cheese game to cater to your more sophisticated, socially responsible palate.
According to Cheese.com, American cheese isn't really cheese at all, and must legally be referred to as processed cheese or a cheese product. "American cheese is processed cheese made from a blend of milk, milk fats and solids, with other fats and whey protein concentrate," the website explained. "Under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, American cheese is a type of pasteurized processed cheese."
According to Bloomberg, Wendy's now offers asiago cheese, McDonald's is offering a preservative-free American cheese, and myriad other fast-casual eateries are opting to serve a four-cheese blend that contains fontina, cheddar, monteau, and smoked gouda. But American cheese just might be one thing you can feel good about killing. Organic Authority noted that when it first hit the scene in the U.S. in the 1950s, cheese-product singles were called "embalmed cheese." Hey, maybe let's not eat anything that was once referred to as embalmed.
The website also called American cheese "milk's deal with the devil — a complete transformation into a shell of its former self, utterly stripped [of] soul and substance." There's no denying the fact that American cheese melts perfectly on a grilled-cheese sandwich or a cheeseburger, and I like to enjoy one every now and then. It's easy, convenient, and it lasts forever.
If you're an older millennial like me, you likely grew up unsupervised with a fridge full of white bread and American cheese singles. The '80s and '90s were the height of convenience food because your parents could leave you alone with food products that you could make yourself without burning down the house. Really, between the freedom to walk to the neighborhood park without your parents being arrested for neglect, and consuming all of the processed food you could eat, it's amazing any older millennials survived their childhoods at all.
Now that you're a grown-ass human, what you put in your body is your business. If you don't want to eat embalmed cheese, don't let the haters shame you into it. You also shouldn't feel pressured into playing golf, buying diamonds, or owning a house if that's not your jam. If you want to participate in the annihilation of all things unnatural, socially irresponsible, environmentally unsafe, and just plain dumb, rage on my friendlies. It's 100 percent your right to do so. Just be sure to keep a package of American cheese singles on hand for the zombie apocalypse because they really do last forever. You can even wrap a slice around a Twinkie for an extra post-apocalyptic treat.