The Double Down sandwich has come to Canada.
This news isn't surprising, but in watching the commercial that announced this news, there was one intriguing difference between the U.S. and Canadian versions.
The Canadian commercial mentioned that the sandwich contained "processed cheese." The sign at a KFC location at a Canadian mall said "processed Monterey Jack cheese." (In Canada, processed is pronounced PRO-cessed, unlike the American pronunciation of pro-CESSED.)
The U.S. ads say cheese without mentioning that it is processed. It's the same "cheese" so why the difference? United States' standards from the FDA and USDA to the FTC allows processed cheese product to be labeled as "cheese." Canadian standards don't allow you to do that.
Why would you call it processed cheese if it wasn't? But the better question is why the U.S. allows something that isn't cheese to be called "cheese."
Proper food labeling should be obvious: call the food what it is from an objective standpoint. Unfortunately, U.S. standards strongly discourage this.
Nacho "cheese." Cheese sauce that is portrayed as "cheese." Dairy Management pushing highly processed fat-laden cheese. The government is in the cheese business, but they aren't focused so much on actual cheese.
"There is no food closer to my heart than cheese. In fact, according to my doctor, it has nearly filled my aorta." said Stephen Colbert, who is growing into a food expert, as he mocked the use of cheese in last Tuesday's "Thought for Food."
Colbert pulled out a slice of American cheese, straight out of the wrapper. This food is known as American cheese, even if the label clearly states: "pasteurized processed cheese product."
While the label in small print spells out the truth, the food manufacturers are allowed in larger letters to say "American cheese." This isn't cheese. Nacho "cheese" isn't cheese.
Food consumers complain that foods are deceptively portrayed; there will be some of that regardless. But having a system of food standards — not run by the USDA — could be implemented where food has to meet a basic set of rules to be labeled as something that might constitute the product in question.
In other words, we shouldn't call something cheese unless it really is cheese. If processed cheese is processed, we shouldn't be afraid to call that out. We can handle the truth, and the cheese as long as both are real.