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Is it Really Local Cheese?

I read a brief product review in the March 2009 Chatelaine magazine showcasing a soft goat cheese, “…from the award-winning Quebec cheese maker Alexis de Portneuf.” That sounded really good and since Local Delicious is all about locally produced food, I wanted to delve a little deeper.

As it turns out, the artisan cheese maker is actually a facade. A Maclean’s article from April 2008 described it this way:

“Who is Alexis de Portneuf? By some accounts, he is a Quebec artisan cheese-maker who appeared out of nowhere a couple of years ago to sweep top honours at awards shows, secure a place on high-end restaurant cheese plates and at the same time snag prominent displays — at considerable cost — in supermarket counters across the country. In fact, Portneuf is the creation of Saputo, one of Canada’s biggest dairy companies. Think Betty Crocker — he’s a marketer’s fiction…”

The cheese itself may well be made in Quebec, and produced from bona fide raw milk produced by genuine Quebec cows.

But I was still a little disappointed that it isn’t actually made by a micro cheese producer. I felt a little misled, frankly. And am reminded that it pays to check a little deeper into where your food is coming from rather than believe everything you read.

Have you tried this product? Add your feedback, post a comment…

More Supermarket Secrets – Farmers Caught in the Middle

“This is a great myth. Supermarkets have not given us cheap, good quality food. They’ve given us some foods that are fantastically cheap, but it’s very expensive to eat well.”

Does it make sense that perfectly nutritious produce is tossed out — at the farmers’ expense — because it’s not the “perfect” shape? (What exactly is the perfect shape for a potato, anyway, and just who decides?)

How about the new, trendy Zero Grazing milk production? That’s just a fancy term for cows that never see the light of day, feel the warmth of the sun, or eat fresh grass, all in the name of optimal, “cheap” milk production.

The mega grocery store chain you likely shop from wants hardy, easy to ship produce, taste be damned. And that means farmers either produce it, or find another career. Part II of the Supermarket Secrets exposé is just as insightful as the first. Warning: it is also not for the faint of heart.

See Supermarket Secrets I.