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What is the Government Doing With Billions of Pounds of Cheese?

·2 min read
Photo:  Anadolu Agency / Contributor (Getty Images)
Photo: Anadolu Agency / Contributor (Getty Images)

Deep in the caves of Missouri the U.S. government has stored 1.4 billion pounds of cheese for decades, reports Deseret News. We’re not just talking cheddar here either, the cave has Swiss, American, and many others.

Funny that government and private agencies are sitting on a cheese mine in Missouri when over in New York City there’s a bagel and schmear crisis. This insane reserve of cheese was actually started because of a surplus with the intention of it being used for those in need. Back in the 1970s the U.S. government started buying up cheese to help out farmers, but then farmers actually started producing too much so the government had to figure out what to do with everything that was left.

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The solution came in the form of government food assistance programs that would distribute millions of pounds of dairy products. However, that wasn’t enough to deplete the surplus so then big business got involved. A semi-public marketing board was formed and the government started making deals with fast food companies to sell the cheese and make some cheddar. This marketing board is actually responsible for the creation of the “Got Milk?” campaign that had celebrities sporting milk mustaches and the rest of us chugging back 2%.

What happened to all that government cheese?

Today, the underground of Missouri holds more than just government cheese. According to the website, “Springfield Underground contains 3.2 million square feet of leasable space free from exposure to the outdoor elements.” The website also explains that the former limestone mine maintains a constant temperature of 62 degrees and offers refrigerated buildings from negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit to 55 degrees. So, no need to worry about spoiled Swiss.

As grocery prices continue to rise and supply chain issues run rampant, you’d think the U.S. government would put a pause on its cheese stockpiling, but apparently not. As recently as August of 2020, the Department of Agriculture announced the Cheese Purchase Program. The program is meant to “purchase Mozzarella, Process and Natural American Cheddar Cheese for the National School Lunch Program and other Federal food nutrition assistance programs.” Though the announcement came in 2020, the actual cheese deliveries were intended for the entire year of 2021.

Now that I think about it, a government conspiracy makes a lot more sense to me than celebrities genuinely just wanting people to drink more milk.