the Real Life section and the quotes page suggest otherwise, though
Ah, cheese. It's just one of those Inherently Funny Foods that shows up quite often in the TV Universe and can be used for either good or evil. Perhaps it has something to do with how odd a food it is, when you stop to think of it. You squeeze a creamy white liquid from a cow, stir it a long time, mix in fungi, and leave it to basically rot. And then you eat it. Makes sense.
A popular treat for mice and rats (in real life, any fatty food will do; peanut butter being more popular), and Trademark Favourite Food of the Surrender Monkey.
For some reason (probably regarding the Rule of Perception) Cartoon Cheese always comes in wheels or wedges of something holey that, if pressed for specifics, most people would call "Swiss cheese". Some mature varieties may have visible stink lines.
The Trope Namer is a line in Monty Python's Life of Brian.note Obviously it's not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.
Not to be confused with The Power of Cheese. That trope is about products in general being portrayed as having amazing powers. This one is literally about cheese.
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The American Dairy Association's "Behold, the Power of Cheese" ads.
Any snack marketed as "Cheese Flavored".
But not "cheez". Note that genuine cheese will see its authenticity as Serious Business.
An interesting example often used in anthropology to illustrate cultural differences concerns cheese. Namely that a French company trying to market their cheese in the US never quite got that Americans generally don't view cheese as "alive" and tends to be grossed out when it is portrayed like that.
Similarly, a silent documentary film made in the early 1900s showed cheese mites in a block of cheese as seen through a low power microscope. Filmgoers were grossed out and sales of cheese dropped alarmingly, but, on the bright side, sales of cheap microscopes took off.
Astérix in Switzerland shows the Romans indulging in a fondue orgy. Before long everybody is covered with sticky molten cheese.
"He lost his piece of bread in the fondue a third time!" "Into the lake with weights tied to his feet!"
Asterix in Corsica features a Corsican cheese whose fumes ignite and blow up a ship.
Milk and Cheese. For those who haven't heard of it, it's a comic about two anthropomorphic "Dairy Products Gone Bad". Most of the time, they're shown delivering violent "justice" to aspects of pop culture.
In the Sandman graphic novels, in "The Wake", Destruction requests some Wensleydale, and comments that Olympus practically ran on cheese.
The Fullmetal Alchemist fanfic ''On the Highway to Healing'' has a character who had been put in prison for several months escape, return home, and find that a moldering piece of cheese left behind in his refrigerator had grown, mutated, and become sentient. ]
In Uninvited Guests, Matsumoto incapicitates near two dozen 11 Squad members, by setting up a plate of cheese in a hallway and when any 11 division members tries to touch it, hit them on the back of their heads and shoving them in a closet. Yeah, it's that kind of story.
Films — Animation
Wallace of Wallace & Gromit shares a bit of a cheese obsession, going so far as to build a rocket to the moon to collect cheese as well as not pursuing a relationship with a woman who was allergic to cheese. Yes, even Wensleydale.
Wallace and Gromit almost single-handedly kept Wensleydale from going extinct. There were only a few dairies who made it, and they were on the verge of going out of business until Wallace's cheese obsession sparked new interest in it.
There are no cats in America and the streets are paved with cheese.
A scene from The Emperor's New Groove has Kuzco and Yzma ordering at a restaurant (where Yzma's henchman Kronk is cooking) without either one knowing the other is there, and without Kronk realizing that he's talking to two different people. It involves a revolving door, Makes Sense In Context, and is uproariously funny:
Kuzco: You know what? On second thought, make my omelette a meat pie. Kronk: Meat pie. Check. Yzma: Kronk. Can I order the potatoes as a side dish? Kronk: I'll have to charge you full price. Yzma:(growls in annoyance) Kuzco: Hey, how about a side of potatoes, buddy? Kronk: You got it. Want cheese on those potatoes? Yzma: Thank you, Kronk. Cheddar will be fine. Kronk: Cheddar spuds coming up. Kuzco: Spuds yes, cheese no. Kronk: Hold the cheese. Yzma: No, I want the cheese! Kronk: Cheese it is. Kuzco: Cheese, me no likey. Kronk: Cheese out. Yzma: Cheese in. Kronk: Ah, come on, make up your mind. Kuzco: Okay, okay, on second thought... Yzma and Kuzco:(together) Make my potatoes a salad.
"Typhoon cheese" is among the evil schemes that Megamind regrets that he will never be able to put into action.
Man: Are you a man or a mouse? Groucho: Put a piece of cheese on the floor and you'll find out.
Benny And Joon. "Some cultures are defined by their relationship to cheese."
Tiffany Aching from the Discworld novel Wintersmith is a very good cheesemaker, but the living, semi-sentient, mobile cheese was a mistake.
It should probably be clarified at this point that "mistake" meant it was a mistake that it turned out ambulatory, not that making it in the first place was a mistake. She fully intended to make a wheel of Lancre Blue Vein; she just didn't expect that the usual descriptors of it being a very robust and lively cheese to become literal all of a sudden.
When apprenticed to one witch who did everything in black, she even had to coat the cheese she made in black wax. She disliked the look of it, because it made it seem as though they, the cheeses, were plotting something.
Similarly, Mustrum Ridcully was briefly convinced Rincewind is, if not actually a cheese, a very good name for one.
The wizards have a cheese platter with hundreds of types of cheese. They're distressed at the thought it might be cut down to just three.
In the Thursday Next series (specifically First Among Sequels), there's a Cheese Mafia that specializes in delivering cheese so strong, it's considered toxic, a health hazard, and in some cases potentially deadly. Their strongest type is something called X-14, which must be kept in a lead container chained to the floor. Its very presence will set dogs barking for a wide radius.
A ludicrously high cheese tax to pay for the ongoing Crimean War led to cheese-smuggling from the Socialist Republic of Wales, but no-one really takes this "crime" seriously unless the Cheese Mafia are involved.
Alan Dean Foster's Codger Space, the sentience of the machines all starts when a drop of melted cheese interferes with the operation of the supercomputer that runs the plant where computer chips for virtually everything are made.
There is a book by the same title, featuring two character, Abbey Corrigan and Kit Stephens, who "In a series of fantastic coincidences, the two end up at the Coolarney factory, a meeting that will forever change their lives and the future of cheese."
The Doctor Who Expanded Universe short story "Culture War" by Kate Orman reveals that the Doctor is friends with a long line of French cheesemakers, one of whom has stolen the life's work of her sister, a bacteriologist, out of jealousy because her work seemed more important. And to make better cheese, a point the sisters reconcile on.
In the Confederation of Valor series, the H'san apparently think Humans Are Special because we're the first species in the galaxy to invent cheese. So much so that in the Confederation Marine Corps the response to asking an expert in X "Can you do X?" is "Do the H'san like cheese?"
"Restless": during this episode the main cast all falls asleep, and then has bizarre dreams filled with various prophetic or symbolic meanings. However, each dream also bizarrely includes "The Cheese Man," who appears with a tray of cheese and speaks in cryptic words like: "I wear the cheese; the cheese does not wear me" or "The cheese will not protect you". Every other portion of the dreams had some particular significance to the show or characters, but Word Of God is that Joss Whedon wanted one part of the dreams to have absolutely no meaning, hidden, metaphorical or otherwise, and he claims that there is nothing to be learned from the Cheese Man or his actions. He reappears in "Storyteller."
Also, there's Riley's famous pickup line "I like cheese." (Well, he had previously learned from Willow that Buffy, also, enjoyed that particular foodstuff...)
The Red Green Show had their "Homemade Cheese" episode. And the time there was a scale model of the human reproduction system built from cheese.
Cheese is also the moniker of Prop Joe's hilariously stupid nephew.
Scrubs. Turk loves cheese, and even though his girlfriend/wife is a native Spanish speaker, Turk only knows one word in Spanish. Once we see him munching on a huge block of cheese, which he offers to share with Carla's brother. "Queso?" Also, Turk being "drunk on cheese" according to JD.
In a rather disturbing example from Sonny With A Chance, Grady tells Nico that "there's three things I would never lie to you about. Money, food, and what's in my pants." Nico then asks (in a rather frightened manner) "What's in your pants?" Three guesses to what the answer is.
The X-Files. In "Bad Blood", Scully complains of not having eaten anything all day but "half a cream cheese bagel, and it wasn't real cream cheese, it was light cream cheese!"
The West Wing: "In the main foyer of the White House, Andrew Jackson had a big block of cheese." note The Real Life Andrew Jackson once received a big block of cheese as a thank you from a group of farmers, and people were invited to the White House to partake of the cheese. An etching exists of people of all classes, even children, scraping off bits of cheese. It was demolished extremely quickly. In the spirit of Andrew Jackson's invite, Leo Mc Garry throws open the doors of the White House to those who would ordinarily be unlikely to receive the ear of the American government. They're supposed to do it once a month, but Josh quickly points out it's only been done a few times in their term. Additionally, it seems to attract the crackpots.
Wonderfalls has an nun who lost her faith because of the miracle of cheese.
Katrina: It was the cheese. The cheese was my undoing. This is the miracle of life melted over these chili fries. The bacterial flirtation with enzymes. The co-mingling of friendly micro-organisms giving birth to curds and whey, "And from dust He created the universe."
Jaye: The dairy-board must love you.
In Chef! Gareth spends an entire episode trying to find an unpasteurized Stilton for a special meal. The dairy he finally finds one at also grows cannabis.
iCarly: Sam squirts Freddie with a can of "Low Fat Squirtable Cheese in a Can". It's also shown up on a random debate vs Global Warming and Ointment.
On Modern Family, there is a Running Joke about Gloria's strong Colombian accent and various malapropisms and butcherings of colloquialisms and homonyms. When her husband Jay requests that she orders him a certain kind of very small "baby cheeses," the very Catholic Gloria instead orders a box full of...well, you get it.
On Saved By The Bell, when a mouse goes missing Screech walks around with his pockets full of cheese in an attempt to lure it out of hiding.
Exploited and subverted in a Season 3 Fast Forward, where John Vito & Jill were tasked with eating squares out of a giant wheel of cheese, and both quickly became queasy from the massive amounts of cheese they were expected to eat.
A task on the Season 14 premiere had teams carry large wheels of cheese down a steep hill. Though it did not look too difficult on the surface, poor balance and the cheese carriers breaking under the slightest provocation led it to being one of the most memorable tasks in race history.
Knorkator have a song called "Franz Hose". The first verse consists entirely of a list of French wines, while the second one lists French cheese. The chorus goes
Chanson du vin et fromage. Ce n'est plus pas, vin et fromage.
The Dancing Cheeses in Muppets Tonight! Last seen somewhere near Rizzo the Rat. "It's all part of the circle of life."
Adventures in Odyssey, "Wonder World". Jimmy and Lawrence try to escape from "Gorgonzola" the mutant cheese monster. Who turns out to be Donna.
"Nova Rising", during a BTV pitch meeting, one of the writers comments how "Cottage Cheese" is funny and proceeds to chuckle at it. (It's heavily implied that he isn't much of a writer.)
Cheese acts as a sort of currency in Cabin Pressure. When the bored pilots make bets, the first item wagered is always the cheese tray, and in "Ipswich" Carolyn proves her alpha-dog status by taking the Camembert for herself.
Neopets has the "Cheeseroller" game as well as the Cheese Shop Background.
In earlier versions of Dwarf Fortress, the dwarfs traditionally make their cheese not from cow's milk, but from "dwarven milk" obtained by milking a vermin known as a "purring maggot". This is just one of the reasons why Cheesemakers are considered one of the worst immigrant professions, and therefore will usually end up as haulers, military recruits or test subjects for the elf drowning trap.
"Apparently the two most significant historical events here in Boatmurdered are elephants and cheese. Take a close look at the cheese ones actually, they aren't even carvings of cheese, but renditions of some other image of a cheese. They're freaking homages!" (in all likelihood, cheese was the symbol of Boatmurdered's local government or of its parent civilization).
As of DF 2010, more conventional livestock, such as cattle, pigs, and yaks, will produce milk that can be converted to cheese. (and yes, for you traditionalists, the purring maggot is still an option)
World of Warcraft has the NPC Elling Trias, Master of Cheese, in Stormwind, who turns out to be a retired secret agent who left his career in defending his homeland to pursue his true ambition: to open a cheese shop.
Conkers Bad Fur Day has a segment where you must load a mouse/rat with cheese, in order to kill it, and get a massive, female voiced brick off a gangster-talking smaller block, so you can reach a window... into a barn...
In the Touhou game Undefined Fantastic Object, when mouse youkai Nazrin speaks, there's an accompanying speech bubble with cheese in it.
Surprisingly useful for Self-Imposed Challenge games that allow it— having the Grilled Cheese aspiration automatically enables sims to cook grilled cheese sandwiches, untrained, whenever they want, when otherwise they're a Level 3 food that can only be prepared for lunch or dinner. In Free Time, they even gain the power to magically summon sandwiches for themselves whenever they want.
The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion contains a side quest for the Daedric Lord Sheogorath which involves the player convincing a small village armageddon is on the way by bringing about several "plagues". The first plague is causing the town to be overrun by rats, which is accomplished by placing a particularly stinky cheese in a cooking pot.
Sheogorath: Wonderful, Time for a celebration... Cheese for everyone!
Referenced again in Skyrim. Apparently your old character picked up the previous Sheogorath's taste for it.
Sheogorath: You know, I was there for that whole sordid affair. Marvelous time! Butterflies, blood, a Fox, a severed head... Oh, and the CHEESE! To die for!
Skyrim has even made a certain type of cooked cheese dish slightly more powerful than anything else you could use early on. For a reasonably priced investment buying the ingredients (one of them is the slightly rare-ish Moonsugar), you can make an Elsweyr Fondue, which increases your Magicka regen by 25% and increases your Magicka by 100 points. To put it in perspective, an increase of 100 Magicka is akin to leveling up 10 times and choosing to upgrade Magicka.
In Fable II, one of the random lines that an NPC will say is: "Do you like cheese? Me, I love a bit of cheese. Cheesy, cheesy cheese."
The Curse Of Monkey Island contains a massive wheel of nacho cheese, which Guybrush gets to use to tar a ships' hull and sacrifice to a lactose-intolerant Volcano God.
Gythol Granditti, a freeware RPG, contains a religion centered around "Holy Cheese". (Pieces of said Holy Cheese can be found in the game and act as Rare Candy).
In Dragon Quest VIII the hero's pet mouse, Munchie who actually turns out to be the hero's grandfather, Chen-Mui, in disguise to help him out can be fed various types of cheese to perform special attacks in-battle.
Half-Life 2: The rebels in the chapter 'Follow Freeman' will say things if you prompt them with the Use button, or if they'll just ramble if nothing is happening. One of them occasionally says "Sometimes...I dream about cheese."
Dungeons of Dredmor: Nearly every healing item is a cheese, the trailer points it out by saying the game contains '87 bazillion types of cheese.'
Pajama Sam's favorite snack is Cheese Giblets, and there are many clickable background events that have something cheese-related. There's also Cheese and Crackers, which is just tic-tac-toe with cheese and crackers.
In the older games of The Dark Eye "Northland triology", always had Easter eggs about cheese toast all over the place, from small pamphlets to prophets. The later was really annoying because if you listened to long to him one of your party members will be enthralled and leave the party for good... cheese toast.
In Koudelka, cheese is a common healing item found all over the game. Taking into account that different types of wines take the role of potions and ethers, this makes an awful lot of sense.
Kid Radd during the break the forth wall week, where Radd destroys the world with the power of cheese. It even includes an admonition that a certain number of universes are destroyed every day by people misusing "The Power of Cheese", so you should be careful.
Parodied in Sluggy Freelance, when Torg is chasing a ghost. He notices that her name, Brie Meighsaton, is evocative of Brie cheese, and begins laughing that it's a really funny name and makes it hard to consider her scary. Then she scares him so much he runs and hides under a bed with the 4th wall caption "Behold the power of cheese".
Sluggy Freelance also contains the formidable pizza chain House of Cheese, front for the evil organisation HeretiCorp. At one point they attempt to get rid of a fly problem by developing a cheese that is toxic to flies and not humans... resulting in pizzas covered in dead flies.
Gordon Frohman of Concerned caused the entire Half-Life series plot to begin when he mixed up a block of cheese with the cheese-like alien sample for the teleportation experiment.
The incalculably powerful cuisine magic spell, the Fondue of Four Thousand Cheeses in Triangle And Robert.
Daisy Owl: Everyone is at least a little bit afraid of cheese.
The cheese that lives in Emily and Tesrin's fridge in All Over The House tends to complain about the influx of heat when anyone open's the door, and also tells embarrassing stories about Emily and Tesrin to visitors when it thinks they aren't around.
One NationStates issue features cheese as a means of satirical political protest.
In episode 5 of The Guild, the guild meets at a restaurant called Cheesybeards. This exchange ensues.
Vork: The price difference here between a cheeseburger and a hamburger is one dollar. Now, if you divide twelve into $2.95, the cost of a pack of Kraft Deli Deluxe mild cheddar slices, each slice costs 24.5 cents. If you bring your own cheese, that's a saving of 75.5 cents per burger. Anybody requiring cheese can pay me so accordingly. Go ahead and round up. Tink: What the fudge? (Except she didn'tsay fudge...) Vork: I want to grow my money, Tink. Not spend it on cheese gouging! Codex:Ok, forget the cheese! Clara: Yeah, you guys, cut it out, OK? Cut the cheese out! Cut the cheese!
Codename Kids Next Door "Operation:T.H.E. S.H.O.G.U.N." features a cheese-themed restaurant which gets attacked by cheese-hoarding ninjas, who kidnap the customers and force them to work in the Cheese Shogun's Cheese mine. Nacho cheese was also the most effective weapon against hair-eating lice.
Raj's Cheese Wheel is the subject of much misunderstanding in the Camp Lazlo episode "The Big Cheese".
Cartoon Network also ran a block of Crossover Shows as "Cartoon Network Invaded", which featured a series of cheese-obsessed aliens.
An episode of Dexters Laboratory features "omelette du fromage". This means "Cheese Omelet" in Broken French. The correct form would be 'omelette au fromage'; 'omelette du fromage' means that the cheese owns the omelet.
In "Out of Scale," Dale throws a chunk of Limburger cheese into a toy truck, commenting that Monty will love it. Of course, Monty smells it and goes into "cheese attack" mode — until he finds the shrink ray gun and attempts to drag it back with him, only to have the smell of Limburger literally drag him away. Monty fights it — until the smell taps him on the shoulder and goes up his nose.
Norton Nimnul attempted to go legit and use an age-accelerator gun to make cheese for an audience of scientists, but in a fit of nervousness backstage ate all his fuel—prunes. What resulted was a foul-smelling flood of sour milk. Kicked out of the assembly and angered, he then used his gun on people—and Monty—to turn them into decrepit old geezers.
Bugs: Only a rat would shoot a guy... (turns around)... in the back. (Elmer starts to pull on the trigger) Bugs: I reiterate: only a big, fat rat would shoot a guy in the back. (Elmer shoots — a smoke cloud appears where Bugs was) Elmer:(gloating) So I'm a big, fat wat! Bugs(appears out of smoke, imitating Jerry Colonna) Ah! Have some cheese, rat! (shoves cheese wedge on Elmer's mouth)
Inverted in Chuck Jones' Cheese Chasers, where mice Hubie and Bertie, hung over from a cheese binge, realize they'll never be able to touch the stuff again, and with nothing else to live for they decide to end it all by having Claude Cat eat them, even if they have to force him to.
In Kitty Kornered, Porky Pig puts a bunch of housecats (led by Sylvester) out for the night. Sylvester attempts to rouse the others to fight for their "cat-stitutional" rights with a speech, rhetorically asking, "Are we men, or are we mice?" To which the smallest cat replies, "I like cheese." (*smack!*)
Brought up again later:
Sylvester: Ah! I think I've got it! Small Cat:(hopefully) The cheese? (*smack!*)
Another episode had the guys rescued from a fishing trip gone horribly wrong by a giant squid obsessed with their cheese bait.
Heffer: Hey Rocko, which is funnier: bannanas or cheese? Rocko: Cheese, Heff. Definitely cheese.
Though Invader Zim mostly avoided cheese jokes, they snuck one in to the final episode, where Gir is talking to Santa.
Gir: And a chair made of cheese, and a table made of cheese....
In Danny Phantom, Vlad comes from Wisconsin, the state infamous for cheese. He's also been called "cheesehead" several times from various characters (as both an insult and reference to his love for the Green Bay Packers) and in an alternate universe, is a dairy farmer specializing in cheese.
There is also the Dairy King. "Try the Gouda, it's dairy fresh!"
The Ren & Stimpy Show: Ren has a telephone receiver and a big hunk of cheese strapped to his head, as Stimpy introduces his latest invention.
Stimpy: Presenting the Cheese-A-Phone. Now we can talk to cheeses, anywhere in the world, regardless of their foreign tongues. Go ahead, Ren, say something in Limburger.
An early episode of Hey Arnold!! revolves around Arnold's attempts to impress his then-current crush, Ruth McDougal, at the Cheese Festival - while Helga attempts to sabotage his efforts - in "Operation Ruthless." Arnold understands the Power of Cheese:
Arnold: It seemed like last year we celebrated the festival of the Holy Provolone.
He attempts to do the same thing with Lila in "Love and Cheese."
Arnold: And I was thinking maybe I'd invite Lila to go with me. Gerald: Lila? Arnold, are you forgetting something? She doesn't "like you-like you", she just likes you. Arnold: But if I invite her to the Cheese Festival, and we have a really good time together, maybe she'll start to "like me-like me." Gerald: Yeah, sure, Arnold — I mean, nothing brings people closer together than cheese.
At least two episodes of Camp Lazlo centre around cheese: "The Big Cheese" and "Cheese Orbs".
The Uruguayan navy once broke through an Argentinian blockade by using old, hard edam cheeses as cannonballs. (Tested on MythBusters, although the Edam didn't fare as good as Spanish Garracha.)
In 1935, an argument between two postmasters over whether limberger cheese was too smelly for a postman to deliver made national news. More info here.
Diana Duyser's famous Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich.
Casu Marzu is the most infamous of the (sometimes) illegal cheeses. It's a fermented cheese which is infested with maggots which are actually able to survive passing through the intestine and can infest the eater. Naturally, it's a delicacy.
Charles de Gaulle once observed "How can one govern a country that has 263 kinds of cheese?".
Britain boasts an amazing diversity of cheeses, as many as 1200 distinct varieties by some accounts.
There's also a joke that Britain has 200 political parties and 3 cheese, whereas France has 3 political parties and 200 cheeses...
Russian proverb about a well-off or generally successful person is "rolling like a cheese in butter".
Pike Place Market in Seattle is world-famous among foodies, with a ridiculous amount and variety of delights for any glutton. The two biggest crowds? City Fish (where they throw the fish) and Beecher's Cheese.
In 1802, the people of Cheshire, Massachusetts wanted to send Thomas Jefferson a gift. They set aside one days' yield from all their cows and devoted all the milk into making a single wheel of Cheddar cheese for Jefferson. The cheese was four feet in diameter (thirteen feet in circumference), 17 inches thick, and weighed 1,235 pounds. It took three weeks by sleigh to deliver the cheese, and by the time it got to the White House one observer quipped that "it was strong enough to finish walking there itself." Nevertheless, Jefferson accepted it, and it took him two years to eat through it (it even got brought out and added to the buffet table at the July 4th State Dinner in 1803). An ode was written to it by Thomas Kennedy.
Andrew Jackson received a similar gift from New York dairy farmers who were determined to upstage Massachusetts. The block of Cheddar, which was 635kg (1400 pounds), was kept by Jackson for two years to allow to age. He then proceeded to throw an open party at the White House with the cheese as the main course. It was finished in under two hours.
Another "mammoth cheese", weighing over seven thousand pounds, once had an ode written about it by Canadian poet James Mc Intyre. (Which was once read aloud, deadpan, by David Hyde-Pierce at the Just For Laughs festival.)
April 3rd is Cheese Weasel Day, on which people show appreciation for their tech professionals by leaving gifts of cheese on their keyboards.
Cheese in general has a powerful effect on geeks (much like caffeine), as evidenced by its presence here.
Eating cheese produces tryptophan, so it is often a "comfort food" and can have soothing effects. Some dieticians claim cheese is actually addictive.
Due to cheese's makeup including substantial amounts of fat and protein, it is also much more filling than other types of traditional snack food, meaning it makes a more effective power snack between meals, or while spending long hours hunched over a keyboard trying to make sure the company email server doesn't implode.
The Vermont Department of Agriculture has a special unit to help dairy farmers produce "value-added products" on a small- to medium-scale basis and/or connect them with people doing just that, since the profit margin on artisanal cheeses is much higher than on selling bulk milk to distributors.