A report by the US Food and Drug Administration has revealed that several brands of dairy-based Parmesan cheese products branded as “100% Parmesan” actually contain levels of wood pulp far greater than the nationally recommended amount. In one more egregious case, Pennsylvania-based Castle Cheese, Inc—supplier to some of the nation’s largest grocery chains—was found to be swapping scraps of cheaper cheeses, adding cellulose (a food-grade additive derived from wood used to produce paper) to bulk up its products, and leaving out Parmesan all together. During a time when the plant-based sector is booming, the dairy industry has been left scrambling to recover lost sales. One method used has been to produce cutting advertisements aimed at plant-based alternatives, boasting cow’s milk purity, and positioning it as “real” to vegan options’ “fake.” However, with these recent developments (and last year’s horse meat and poop findings), it’s clear why consumers are increasingly moving away from supposedly “pure” animal products and toward plant-based alternatives.
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