Living and Snacking Unprocessed with Arla Cheese
As #thebigone has grown, he’s become increasingly curious about the world around him. He’s always been a thinker, with an inquisitive personality. Before he could read independently, he would ask my husband and I questions he was interested in… ‘Type this into your phone and ask the Google, please,’ he’d say. When Arla approached us about getting involved with their new #liveunprocessed campaign, I knew it was perfect for my imaginative kiddo. (Plus, I love cheese- like, really love cheese. So I couldn’t say no!) Read on to learn more about the Arla mission, complete with my six year old’s perspective.
So, what’s in your cheese?
As part of Arla’s newest campaign, the company was anxious to see if kids understood some ingredients commonly found in dairy products. Without any guidance, children were asked to draw their interpretations of Xanthan, rBST*, and Sorbic Acid. The kids (understandably) drew vivid representations of the ingredients, often imagining them as monsters, bad guys, or icky chemicals.
Fun idea, right? Check out what the kiddos in the campaign drew, then had back here to see my crazy kid’s ideas!
#thebigone was no exception. I set out some paper, colored pencils, and a healthy snack of grapes and cheese. We spent an evening chatting and munching while he drew. He loved the activity, and drew excitedly. My son started with Sorbic Acid, saying immediately that he knew exactly what that would look like. #thebigone showed off his drawing with a bit of narration… He drew a before & after image, of someone who’s skin was burned off by the acid. (‘Right down to the bone!’ he said gleefully- such a six year old boy sort of thing!)
#thebigone created an equally creative and colorful representation of Xanthan. His illustration shows a vacuum type of device, reminiscent of something you might see in Ghostbusters. An ominous looking green substance is spilling out on a person. I have to admit, I didn’t entirely get his concept just by looking at his sketch. He offered to add some labels, and then talked me through the drawing. To my six year old, Xanthan is a secret chemical used for sucking out people’s souls. (Seriously, I don’t know where he comes up with this stuff!)
So, sure, these explanations of what the common added ingredients are sound outlandish to us. Straight from the minds of kids, right? But I’ll admit it, I have a cursory understanding of the substances. Can I tell you exactly what each is, or what it does? Nope. Can I tell you the risks or benefits of finding them in my food? Definitely not. And while that may indicate that I need to do some more research and learning on my own before grocery shopping again, the simple, easy choice for me is to stick with Arla cheese whenever I’m able.
Eat Your Heart Out!
As you can see through the photos in this post, we’ve been snacking on our Arla cheeses and loving it! Here’s a few of the favorite ways we’ve been able to live and snack unprocessed this week!
- Use a knife, or food-safe clean scissors to trim half a bagel into a heart shape.
- Spread heart bagel with Arla strawberry cream cheese. (#thelittleone loves this one!)
- Add a few slices of hulled strawberry for a tasty and pretty garnish.
- Serve it to someone you love.
- Spread half a bagel with Arla Mediterranean garden cream cheese. (MY personal favorite!)
- Add a few leaves of spinach on top of the cream cheese.
- Use heart shaped cookie cutters to cut a heart from a slice of Arla sliced Havarti cheese.
- Top the spinach with the Havarti heart, and enjoy!
Do you know Arla?
Arla is a farm-to-fridge co-operative of dairy farmers based out of Wisconsin. They produce some of the most delicious cheeses I’ve had in a long time. They produce a variety of sliced cheeses (Cheddar, Havarti, Gouda, Fontina and Muenster), cream cheeses (Original, Herbs & Spices, Blueberry, Mediterranean Garden and Strawberry), and snack cheeses (Havarti, Gouda and Medium Cheddar). The company seeks to make amazing cheeses with as little of the ‘extra’ stuff as possible. Arla produces cheeses without artificial flavors or preservatives, and uses milk without added hormones*. Additionally, the cream cheeses are free of artificial stabilizers and thickeners.
I love having a quick and easy ‘go-to’ when I’m trying to rush through grocery shopping. (Okay, let’s be honest. I’m spoiled and my husband does the grocery shopping. But he likes easy, smart choices as much as anyone!) I will work to better educate myself on food additives and ingredients, so that I can continue to make choices that help my family live unprocessed whenever possible. But in the meantime, it’s great to have a brand like Arla that is taking the guesswork out of it for me. Be sure to see what Arla is all about!
*FDA has determined that there is no significant diference between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows.
Have you talked with your children about food additives and ingredients? How much do they understand?