3 Reasons to Shred Your Own Cheese

Pre-shredded cheese certainly has its convenience but as often is the case convenience comes with trade-offs.

3 Reasons to Shred Your Own Cheese:

1) Avoid unnecessary additives. In order to keep shredded cheese from turning into a clump, additives like anti-caking agents and mold inhibitors are added. One of the ingredients that is used (and less than appetizing) is cellulose powder. This light powder keeps the cheese from sticking together. Even though it's not terrible for you, it's also not necessary to eat when you have the option to grate real cheese.  Oh, and it's made from cotton and wood pulp. Food manufacturers love it as a way to thicken food, replace fat, and raise fiber content. And it's cheap! Potato starch and Calcium sulfate are also added to pre-shredded cheese.

The Wall-Street Journal reports:

While some food manufactures say they aren’t increasing the percentage of cellulose in their products, others are boosting the amount of fiber in their foods with cellulose and other ingredients. Companies can save money by using it, even though it costs more by weight than conventional ingredients. Cellulose gives food “more water, more air, a creamy feeling in [the] mouth with less of other ingredients,” and only a very small amount is needed, says Niels Thestrup, vice president of the hydrocolloids department for Danisco AS. The Copenhagen-based company makes ingredients and enzymes for food, cleaning supplies and other products.

At MightyNest, we strive to keep our food as real as possible and avoid commercial foods with added ingredients.

2) Less expensive. Grating your own cheese from a block of cheese is definitely cheaper than having it pre-shredded. Minimal time with maximum benefits. Enough said. 

3) Hand shredded cheese tastes better. Maybe you'll have to do your own taste test but considering the powdery texture of wood pulp coating the outside of grated cheese, we think you'll agree. 

Two tips for shredding your own cheese:

1) Use a high quality cheese grater. Our preference is always to use grade 304 stainless steel. The Endurance stainless steel box grater from RSVP is very durable, well-designed and will not rust even after repeated dishwashing and soaking in the sink.

2) After shredding a block of cheese with your box grater, store the extra in a Stasher bag. You can write the date or the type of cheese and either store in the fridge if you plan to use it in the next two weeks, or simply divide into 2 cup portions and freeze it! Shredded cheese freezes really well, especially in the reusable silicone storage stasher bags.