Interesting Stuff

Kraft Velveeta Shortages And Alternatives / The True Meaning Of The Polar Vortex


Wait, a Velveeta shortage?  And why is the media scaring people about the polar vortex?  These are the two stories I am going to talk about!

Kraft Velveeta Shortage

Velveeta Cheese

Kraft Foods has confirmed that there is a Velveeta shortage just in time for the big NFL playoff games.  Think about it, our favorite processed yellow cheese is used in everything from nachos, dips, and even brownies.  Kraft Foods says some customers may not be able to find Velveeta cheese over the next few weeks.  The company says that it happens from time to time given the “nature of manufacturing.”  And even during the shortage, Kraft is still airing commercials featuring a recipe for a chili con queso dip made with Velveeta.

Kraft says it should be a short-term situation and that Kraft hasn’t yet heard from any customers who are having problem finding the products.  One store in New York City says the Velveeta shortage is due to a plant issue, but most stores still has Velveeta on their shelves, for now.   All of this could be a production issue that stopped production for a short time, or this could be a Kraft PR stunt to raise awareness of their Velveeta brand and to increase sales.

So, if you go to the stores and can’t find Velveeta on the shelves, I am going to insert some links where you can make your own Velveeta cheese, and it’s much better for you than the processed stuff!  America’s Test Kitchen (yes, the PBS show) has a wonderful recipe for a copy cat version of Velveeta cheese!  The recipe is free but you must register for a free account.  And the website Momables has a version of homemade Velveeta called MOMveeta, click here to view the recipe, and enjoy their video as well!

Polar Vortex Misunderstandings


Most of the United States has experienced the coldest weather in over 20 years.  It was so cold public schools in Minnesota were closed!  That is cold!  People have experienced severe driving conditions, burst pipes, dangerous wind chills, and a couple of fun science experiments, like this one!

Most of the mainstream media has turned the polar vortex into something scary that people should worry about.  The polar vortex is actually the planetary-scale cyclonic circulation, centered generally in the polar regions, extending from the middle troposphere to the stratosphere.  The westerly airflow is largely a manifestation of the thermal wind above the polar frontal zone of middle and subpolar latitudes. The vortex is strongest in winter when the pole-to-equator temperature gradient is strongest.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the vortex has two centers in the mean, one near Baffin Island and the other over northeast Siberia.

The polar vortex is always there, it’s just the strongest during the Winter.  The media has duped the public by saying the polar vortex has broken away from the North Pole and is attacking us like a hurricane does.  And sadly, #polarvortex is trending on Twitter.  NWS New York put out this great infographic talking about the real meaning of the polar vortex.

polar vortex infographic

Let’s get things straight, the polar vortex is not attacking or invading the United States.  Every winter, the jet stream sends pieces of the polar vortex southward which includes cold temperatures and wind chills.  Yes, we will see more pieces of the polar vortex sent southward this Winter.  This happens every year, the polar vortex is something not to be scared of, you just need to be aware.  It’s not like the movie The Day After Tomorrow where everything freezes over.

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