It occurred to me that I have a niece who manages a chain supermarket. She eventually got back to me and responded with, “Good question. I’ll get back to you.”
Hours later, she did.
All cheese is not created equal. If the wrapper says “cheese” or “pastuerized cheese” then it is 100% real cheese, made from milk.
If it is “pastuerized cheese product” it is at least 51% cheese plus food color, flavoring, and lord knows what else.
Manufacturers wanted to call it cheese, but the FDA gently said, “Lets not lie to your customers.”
“Cheese food” is less than 51% cheese.
Imitation cheese is what the name implies–it isn’t cheese. I have no idea what it is, but at least we know what it isn’t.
Cheese product and cheese food is usually used for single slices. Doesn’t mean it’s “bad” for you, just means you’re being overcharged and mislead. Like any product, some will swear by it while others will swear at it. But at least I now know what I’m getting for my money. Or not getting for my money.