Who Cut the Cheese?

Well, no one cut it yet, actually. However, we’d love for you to do the honors.

Everyone loves cheese. I love cheese. You love cheese. How can you not love cheese? Lactose intolerant? Sorry ’bout that. Try some Beano®. We gotta’ have our daily cheese… just gotta. Americans like cheese. Average cheese munching in the U.S. almost trebled from 1970 and 2003; that’s 11 pounds per person to 31 pounds (1).  YUM! Most of that cheese was mozzarella; American’s favorite, due to its prevalent use in pizza (2).

So, what’s my point in posting all this praise about cheese? Did you know that without some lowly little microbes, commonly referred to as yeast, that we wouldn’t be able to experience the joys of that hot, stringy cheese that we love so much in double and triple layers on our pizzas? That’s right, folks… a bug makes your cheese for you (your beer, too, but that’s another story).

It had to happen sooner or later… Wisconsin, America’s Dairy State, has named one of these little bugs as State Microbe (3). Yes, that’s right. Wisconsin has a state bacteria. It’s called Lactococcus lactis. It’s one of them good bugs, so don’t be afraid. It’s a distant cousin to that ugly buggy called salmonella;  one constipates you, the other loosens you up. There are differences.

Now you know. Get on out there and have some yummy bug-produced beer along with an XL Meat Lovers pizza with a double order of bug-produced mozzarella cheese. Just make sure that dude slinging the dough around washed his hands so you don’t get any bug-produced explosive intestinal tract clearing tomorrow morning.




1. Source – U.S. Dept of Agriculture

2. ibid

3. And Now, A State Microbe – NY Times article by Monica Davey

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