x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Whey to go

The cheese-fuel cartel is just a fantasy - for now. But a new development in biofuels makes us wonder about the future.

Strictly speaking, the car that just set a new land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats Speedway in Utah is not exactly cheese-powered. In fact, the sleek one-man "Streamliner" runs on a biofuel produced by the waste from cheesemaking, combined with yeast.

Still, this is the sort of technological development that changes everything. Imagine the world of 2062: the Organisation of Cheese Exporting Countries announces a new cut in production, in an effort to balance supply and demand.

At the pumps, the world's motorists ask attendants to "fill 'er up with Ricotta" or request "Dh30 worth of Brunost" because the new grades of fuel have been branded in honour of the whey cheeses they have replaced. Bad comedians make jokes about cheese causing gas.

The world economy has been changed forever by the breakthrough. The US and Germany, the world's biggest cheese producers, become even wealthier. In Iraq, politicians denounce "crippling dependence on foreign cheese". There are riots in Hindu countries. Swiss producers invest in France, buying the Eiffel Tower and re-naming it the Emmental Tower.

We are, of course, getting ahead of ourselves a bit. For now, it's still too early to be investing in Cheddar futures or Brie bonds. But then again, we Camem-dream, can't we?