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I've been listening to a lot of Ani DiFranco lately. She suits my mood - bittersweet.

Last night I found myself spending ten minutes unwrapping 12 boxes of generic brand American cheese and tossing it in the compost. The cheese was the awful kind that comes in giant 2 pound rectangular blocks. It is crappy cheese - even at it's name brand best which took the word "velvet" and added "ita" at the end. I suppose that is supposed to indicate how smooth the cheese is. To me it is more bland than butter.

But that isn't why I was tossing it in the compost.

I don't think you can actually purchase this cheese anywhere. I believe it is specially made just for food shelves. Unfortunately the local Korean Methodist Church has been giving loads of it to a little old lady who gardens in our yard. She then leaves it at our doorstep, along with canned chicken, sugary peanut butter, dried beans, and other bland food shelf-type foods. One time I tried to tell her that we didn't use the stuff but she looked so sad that I just smiled, said thank you a million times, and ended up taking it anyhow. She doesn't really speak any English.

Ironically enough I turn around and bring the stuff back to the food shelf (fortunately a different one) but I can't give anyone giant blocks of cheese that have been sitting out for unknown amounts of time. I don't think the Korean lady realizes that some of the stuff she passes on needs to be refrigerated. We didn't realize it either one bag full of groceries started to odorize the kitchen pretty bad (sometimes it is quite awhile before I bring the stuff to the food shelf).

So there I was last night unwrapping 24 pounds of cheese and putting it in the compost, thinking what a weird world we live in where all this awful cheese is made in the first place and then not even eaten. But I was thankful it wouldn't dampen the incinerators and instead would be composted (at a facility that gets hot enough to break it down - I would not recommend putting that stuff in your back yard bin. Hopefully I am the only person in the world with this issue though). The waste breaks my heart but then I rejoiced that at least the few nutrients this stuff has will have a chance to grow something more wanted in the future.


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