At this year’s World Cheese Championships, 250 international judges chose the world’s best cheeses. In total, they evaluated 4,500 cheeses from around the world. The cheese that ultimately won was from Norway – the host country of the tournament.
But the cheesy competition came to a bad end. After the winner was chosen, a large amount of cheese was thrown into the trash. Reports Daily newspaper.
Cheese expert Pascal Beaudonnell, who was also a jury for the tournament, criticized the competition in a Facebook post:
“The worst thing about the cheese toilet is food waste. I estimate that six to eight tons of high-quality cheese went into ‘energy production’ after the Cheese Festival due to strict interpretation of regulations by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (the Norwegian equivalent of the Norwegian Food Authority, the editors note). It is “Very painful.”
She has been a judge of the World Cheese Championships several times, and already pointed out the problem of food waste in 2018 when the competition was held in Bergen. Before this year’s competition, she must have tried to raise the issue with the organizers again.
In competitions held in other countries, the cheese must be distributed after the awards ceremony, either to visitors or to non-profit organizations. Pascale Beaudonnel believes that the organizers of this year’s competition did not want to find any other solution than to get rid of the cheese.
– I am very frustrated that in 2023 we can do no better than throw away several tons of good cheese because of strict bureaucracy, says Pascale Badonel to Dagbladet.
Ivar Eken, head of department at the Norwegian Food Agency in Trondheim and the surrounding area, wrote in an email to Dagbladet:
He added: “There are strong demands for importing dairy products from countries outside Europe, and this is the basis of the decision. The risk of infectious diseases entering the country is great, and we cannot take that risk.”
You don’t want to put an end to the competition
They also write that they urged the organizer to limit the amount of cheese sent to the competition, so that unnecessary quantities would not be destroyed afterwards. The cheese that participated in the competition was not imported to be traded freely, but only to participate in the tournament, and therefore could not be used outside the restroom.
Buddonnell says she didn’t want to end the cheese party, but she couldn’t hold back anymore and had to vent her frustration.
– I had to play this role, because it bothers me so much. “I almost lost sleep finding a solution,” she says.
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