ni was searching cheese storage and cheese aging on the internet, trying to figure out if we could match any conditions in our house. we usually make feta, which is easily stored in brine in the fridge, but thought trying another type of cheese might be nice.
he came across a cyber-community of survivalists (as often happens on the internet) and a huge chain of articles about storing cheese for the apocalypse. because it's immanent and they really didn't want to run out of cheese!
one dedicated woman was developing a system for maximum long term storage of cheese. it involved removing the plastic wrapping, coating the bricks of cheese in wax, and testing the length of time the cheese could be stored in different conditions. the whole community was into it. everyone wanted to know how to keep cheese for years.
these were not your average consumers, they were doing heaps of research, testing out what they found and sharing with each other. on the surface, they really seemed to be engaged in their food, and really wanted to keep control of their food supply, and maintain it come-what-may.
and yet, THEY WERE PUTTING ALL THIS EFFORT INTO STORING BRICKS OF PLASTIC WRAPPED GROCERY STORE CHEESE!
they weren't researching animal husbandry, cheese making, food production or actually achieving any sort of real food security.
to them, and to other people, food only comes from the store.
where were they going to buy cheese after the apocalypse? THEY HAD TO SAVE THE CHEESE NOW!
they idea that anyone could, with a little bit of effort make their own cheese, produce their own milk, and thus have a sustainable, secure food source within their own control had not entered into their calculations.
perhaps they had no room for a goat or two in their fallout shelters, perhaps they were going to stay underground until the magical grocery store shelves replenished themselves with pre-packaged orange blocks of american cheddar.
i think they were so distanced from where food comes from, they couldn't imagine making all the stuff available in the grocery store themselves! we can totally do it everyone, we can make carrots, cheese, crackers, bread, soymilk, potatoes, french fries and canned soup! people make the packages of baby carrots, people make the cheese and the cereal and the cookies. it's not easy to replicate oreos, but you can totally make yummy cookies. out of flour and sugar... YOU CAN EVEN MAKE THE FLOUR AND SUGAR YOURSELF!
i have a certain affection for the survivalists out there, i rely heavily on the wisdom of the amazing dehydrate2store.com website, and i dream of having a pantry like Tammy, with all those jars of sunshine and yummy stacked up on shelves somewhere. ready for dinner deliciousness and able to take advantage of fresh foods on sale or in season.
i hope the survivalists have time before the end of the world to see the error in their hordes of industrial cheese. i want to empower them so they think about how they can be self-reliant and make their own food. maybe we can all make cheese together someday. we'll scamper out of our hideouts and burrows after the rapture once the zombies are gone and all farm together.
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