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May 17, 2014

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You’re in the grocery store. You need to buy some cheese. You decide on mozzarella. Now, which pack of mozzarella do you buy? Do you get a block of mozzarella or do you go for the shredded stuff?

You stand and ponder. The shredded mozzarella certainly seems easier to use. It’s already shredded so you can just sprinkle it on pita for a quick and easy pizza or add it to a tortilla for a quesadilla. You lean towards the shredded mozzarella but wait.

Did you read the ingredients on the package of shredded mozzarella yet?

Reading Labels: What’s in that bag of shredded mozzarella?

For the purpose of today’s example, let’s imagine you pick up this bag of Kraft shredded mozzarella. You flip the bag over just before you decide to take it to the counter and you read the list of ingredients: mozzarella cheese (milk, modified milk ingredients, bacterial culture, salt, calcium chloride, microbial enzyme), cellulose powder (to enhance flow), natamycin (natural preservative). (A167D)

You ponder that list of ingredients and now you’re having second thoughts.

Looks like it’s time to pick up that block of mozzarella cheese to do a quick comparison. You’re on a time crunch but it’ll take, what, 30 seconds to find out what ingredients are in it.

Reading Labels: What’s in that block of mozzarella cheese?

Now, in all fairness, you can’t just pick up any old package of mozzarella to compare so you decide to take a look at the Kraft Cracker Barrel mozzarella block.

Milk, modified milk ingredients, bacterial culture, salt, calcium chloride, microbial enzyme, (A170E).


Now your wheels are turning. Wait a minute, you say to yourself. Those ingredient lists are different. Mozzarella cheese from the same company, packaged a little differently and THAT causes a change in the choice of ingredients used?

Turns out the shredded mozzarella has a few other things added to it. What’s up with the cellulose powder and the natamycin? Now you’re thinking, do you really need those extra ingredients in your body, in your family’s body? Sure, the shredded stuff will shave off some time to get dinner on the table but is it WORTH it?


At the end of the day, it’s your choice what you choose to buy and what you choose to put on the table for your family. There’s no doubt that the shredded mozzarella is easier but it’s not that hard to do it yourself. When I buy mozzarella, I usually get the block cheese and I’ll slice it myself. Notice I said ‘slice’ because quite frankly, I’m too lazy to shred the cheese. I usually only do that on weekends.

I’m not saying you have to buy one or the other and I’m certainly not targeting just the Kraft brand but I happened to find both their shredded and block version to make a decent comparison.

So, long story short: the next time you’re in the grocery store grab a few items that are similar and read those ingredient lists. You may just be surprised by what you’ll find!


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