Individually sliced and packaged cheese may be convenient, but this creature comfort takes a heavy toll on the planet from all the plastic waste it produces.
The clip shows a single piece of strangely-shaped specialty cheese sold in a plastic container, captioned, “The way this company wastes plastic by individually packing cheese.”
The original poster said in the comments, “It’s called tete de moine and you cut [it] so it looks like roses.”
Despite the excessive packaging, the cheese itself has a rich history rooted in simplicity. Tête de Moine was first manufactured in the Bernese Jura region of Switzerland in the 12th century.
French for “monk’s head,” the cheese gets its name from a custom practiced at the Bellelay Abbey monastery, where local farmers would give one tête de moine per monk as tithing.
In another version of the origin story, it was a nickname given by soldiers during the French Revolution since the process of shaving the cheese resembled the way monks shaved their heads, as per the New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.
The cheese is now produced by fewer than 10 cheese dairies in the region and is exported throughout the world.
According to the Academy of Cheese, tête de moine is sometimes served using a special tool called a Girolle. The device has a blade that rotates around a spindle, shaving the top of the cheese to create the unique rose shape seen in the Redditor’s photo.
Because the cheese is so delicate and fragile, it has to be packaged carefully. However, it’s a shame that some manufacturers use plastic packaging since the world produces nearly 150 million tons of single-use plastics per year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Most of that doesn’t get recycled and ends up in landfills, oceans, and other natural areas, where it releases planet-warming gases and pollutes the environment.
While you can’t control how companies package their products, you can reduce your reliance on plastic by opting for reusable water bottles and grocery bags or by supporting brands that use plastic-free packaging.
The comment section on the clip was a mix of confusion, frustration, and helpful advice.
“I thought it was a single piece of cauliflower,” one user said.
“That’s just plain infuriating,” another added.
“[You] can buy them in a bigger package with like 25 roses, that‘s much less plastic,” the original poster replied to someone asking for a better alternative.
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