Local cheese at Wal-Mart

I never would have thought it, but you can buy Michigan-made cheeses at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and Kroger. Look for Williams Cheese and Amish Country Cheese. These are typical “brick” cheeses – cheddar, jack, colby, Pinconning (perhaps a “native” Michigan cheese?), swiss, etc. similar to Kraft’s versions of those cheeses. While they are not “gourmet” by any stretch, they are certainly affordable. I’ve not tasted them, nor do I know anything about their use of rGBH, antibiotics, and pasturage. My guess is they use milk from mid-sized conventional dairies in Michigan.

A few other finds:

King Arthur brand uses wheat from the US (probably west of the Mississippi, they tell me) in all their flour.

Bob’s Red Mill was very forthcoming about the origins of their grains. Full info after the jump…

From Bob’s Red Mill customer service:

“We do source all of our wheat products, andthe majority of all our products, from the USA and Canada. I have
included below a list of the sources for our wheat products as well as some of the other products. The products we source from other countries are as follows; Mung Beans and Pumpkin seeds from China, Tapioca Flour and Arrowroot Starch from Thailand, Quinoa Grain and Flour from Ecuador, Organic Amaranth Grain and Flour from Peru, Xanthum Gum from France, Potato Starch from Germany, Sesame Seeds from India and Nicaragua and Dried Coconut and Organic Coconut Flour from the Philippines. ”

Their list of US products includes:

Oregon, Washington and Idaho

  • Soft White Wheat (Washington and Oregon (some))
  • Hard Red Wheat (not a lot)
  • Spelt (Washington)
  • Barley, Pearled (Washington)
  • Teff (Idaho)
  • Hazelnuts (Oregon)

USA and Canada

  • Vital Wheat Gluten

Montana

  • Hard White Wheat
  • Hard Red Wheat

California

  • Yellow Corn
  • Rice, Brown
  • Rice, White
  • Rice, Sweet
  • Rice, Wild
  • Beans
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins

North and South Dakota

  • Organic Golden Flaxseeds

Canada

  • Oats
  • Flaxseeds
  • Rye
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5 Comments

  1. farm mom said,

    November 12, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Yes, Pinconning Cheese is a local phenomenon!! 🙂 They are decent cheeses, but you’re right they are by no means gourmet (which my toddlers appreciate immensely). I usually buy my cheeses from Oliver Farm, but the milk supply is gradually dwindling as the cows have to switch from a grass to hay diet and they have been making less cheese I suspect to ensure enough milk for their customers.

    Star of the West is a flour company from Frankenmuth MI that supplies flour from MI and nearby states.

  2. Robyn M. said,

    November 12, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    We’ve got a local Catholic University here totally bent on sustainable farming and the like, who has an extra 300-400 acres they’re trying to figure out what to do with. They’ve already demonstrated on a test patch that it can grow wheat and other grains well. There’s a nearby mill. There’s a someday-soon co-op coming that wants to source as much local stuff as possible. I see possibilities here… (the Great Terre Haute Grain Summit of ’08, anyone?)

  3. espringf said,

    November 14, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Yes! Nothing like growing your own…. 🙂 Do you know what kind of wheat? I’m finding that most of the wheat in Michigan is “soft” wheat, meaning it’s best for muffins, pretzels, biscuits, and pastry, as opposed to “hard” wheats that have more protein (gluten) and make good pasta and bread.

  4. February 11, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Glad someone else has found Pinconning cheeses. Add Meijers to your (Michigan) local cheese list. And remember, Meijers is a Michigan based company.
    Just discovered your blog, and I’ll be a reader.

  5. Emily said,

    February 11, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Hi, Betsy! Welcome! Thanks for the reminder about Meijer. A friend of mine works in the fruit growing industry and she says growers love Meijer because they pay a fair price and sell a whole lot of fruit – unlike Wal-Mart, that sells a lot but pays farmers impossibly small margins on that fruit.


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