“Food starch” is a catchall term for any kind of starch. Corn starch, tapioca starch, hobo starch. Has the word “starch” lost meaning for you yet? I just had to Google it. In a nutshell, American Shreds, and their nefarious international cousins like Italian Shreds, are edible Play-Doh tidbits flavored like cheese, emblazoned with the warning that they are not designed to melt, so please don’t expect to make a ghetto pizza with them. They’re just going to sit there, repugnant little rubbery tubers in yellow or white, mocking your inability to afford real cheese, which doesn’t actually cost that much more if you buy it as a brick and grate it yourself.
Even vegan cheese melts; they designed it that way because it’s really the only redeeming feature cheese has. It’s a major part of the cheese-eating experience. These insincere shreds of deception don’t do anything, and their existence is literally as a placeholder, a mock-up to trick someone (clearly not the person eating them) into believing that actual cheese making and consumption has occurred. To what end? Who benefits from American Shreds? This is the food equivalent of the Matrix. Why is it happening? This lie only makes everything infinitely more complicated for all involved. It has exactly none of the benefits of real cheese — there’s no calcium, it doesn’t melt, there’s no way it doesn’t taste like an old-timey muscle man’s back after a strenuous day of lifting those big, round dumbbells — and I would wager a tidy sum that you can shit these things out completely unadulterated, because if the power of a microwave oven can’t deform them, what chance do your bowels have?