This article is an extract from a newsletter in which I subscribe, written by Nick Hodge of the Outsider Club. These details I felt are relevant to Inner Origin and the truth on label guarantee as transparency is paramount for products to be in the Inner Origin store.
Cheese is still not cheese.
This is something I’ve written about to you before, now with a new twist. It started last year when a company called Castle Cheese came under fire for distributing fake parmesan after a fired employee tipped off the Food & Drug Administration.
A subsequent investigation found that “no parmesan cheese was used to manufacture” the company’s Market Pantry brand of parmesan cheese. It was made with several other cheeses and wood pulp to save money.
It was being marketed as “100% Grated Parmesan Cheese.” And this wasn’t some small snafu. The fake cheese was being sold through Target and via Associated Wholesale Grocers, which supplies 3,400 retail stores in 30 states.
A subsequent investigation by Bloomberg News found that several national brands were selling 100% Grated Parmesan cheese that had high levels of wood pulp. Wal-Mart’s Great Value 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese was 7.8% wood pulp. Kraft’s was 3.8% wood pulp.
Lots of lawsuits ensued… And last week over 50 of them were simultaneously thrown out of court by U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman. The lawsuits alleged that touting “100% Grated Parmesan Cheese” was deceptive since the cheese contained large amounts of fillers. Kraft Heinz, Jewel-Osco parent company Albertsons, and other large retailers and manufacturers were the defendants.
The judge sided with big business, writing in his ruling that these kinds of “labeling and marketing, when viewed as a whole … are not deceptive.”
The point here is that in Bizarro World, cheese that is 92.2% parmesan is close enough to 100%. And a U.S. court will uphold corporations’ ability to lie about it.
You think if we took 7.8 cents out of every dollar Judge Feinerman earned he would rule that he was getting 100% of his salary?
100% cheese not being 100% is fake. Unless a judge says otherwise.
You can follow Nick on Twitter @nickchodge