Have you ever noticed the dusty stuff on packaged shredded cheese?  It’s always there, whether you see it or not, and it’s an anti-caking agent.  It keeps the shreds from sticking and lumping together.

Different companies use different methods. For example, Kraft uses cornstarch. Other anti-caking agents can include calcium sulphate, which is a component in cement.

That sounds questionable, but they’re all food-safe in small amounts.  Still, not everyone is excited about ingesting these substances raw.

So there’s a social media trend of people WASHING their shredded cheese before use.  Most people dump the cheese into a colander, rinse it with water, and then dry it on a paper towel.

The water that strains out is cloudy, and sometimes discolored, which adds theatrics to the videos.

Yes, this is ridiculous, all around.

Rinsing cheese is messy, and you have to measure it out first because you shouldn’t return the “cleaned” cheese to the fridge.  Even if it’s dried, it can develop mould faster, because you may have washed off the “mould inhibitors” that are also added.  (Kraft labels theirs as “natamycin.”)

You won’t drop dead from this stuff that’s included in shredded cheese, but if it seems unappetizing, there is another option:

Buy a block, and shred it yourself.  It is less convenient, but so is WASHING SHREDDED CHEESE.  And it will probably have more flavour, and it can be cheaper.

Here’s a TikTok of someone washing their shredded cheese.  Here’s another amusing one.  Then, there’s this guy who loves the rinsing process because he “doesn’t have time” to shred cheese.


Yup. washthecheese. I said it. Rinse off preshredded cheese to help it melt be removing the anti stick coating #kitchenbearhack @frank_mentorsf

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