Modern diners want to know exactly what they are eating and where it came from. As consumers get more and more skeptical about foods with an abundance of fillers, they’re prone to choose products with limited ingredients.

Thanks to a FDA lawsuit against Pennsylvania cheese maker Castle Cheese, the “filler” ingredients used in the company’s parmesan have been exposed. The company claimed that its cheese was “100 percent grated parmesan,” but as Bloomberg notes, that claim was 100 percent false. The parm was found to contain cellulose, which is commonly made from wood pulp. Castle Cheese is now pleading guilty for its unethical marketing and can face up to a year in prison and $100,000 in fines.


Neil Schuman, an Italian cheese seller, believes if the product isn’t 100% pure, it should not be marketed as such. He tells Bloomberg,

“The tipping point was grated cheese, where less than 40 percent of the product was actually a cheese product. Consumers are innocent, and they’re not getting what they bargained for. And that’s just wrong.”


Even big-box stores like Whole Foods have been distributing cheese that contains ingredients not labeled in the ingredient list. When Whole Food’s cheese was tested by Bloomberg, the product that claimed to be cellulose-free was found to contain .3 percent cellulose.

Castle Cheese, the company under fire from the FDA, was a brand primarily sold at Target and Walmart stores. If you want to guarantee your cheese is as pure as it can be, you should opt for a brand not made in America.

[via Bloomberg]