The War on Cheese. Real Cheese Wins.


From a calorie model cheese is bad for you, it is high in saturated fats, salt and calories. From a stress model perspective cheese might not only be great for us, but according to a recent anthropological find that cheese has been being made for over 7,500 years. Cheese may even have been one the factors that pushed us into of our current evolutionary projection. With it’s rich flora and fauna it may also be a wonderful compliment to digestion,prevent dental caries and another protection from our meals. A very lucky or purposeful addition of a traditional “cheese course” after dinner.

  • Dairy food consumption and meal-induced cortisol response interacted to influence weight loss in overweight women undergoing a 12-week, meal-controlled, weight loss intervention. Witbracht MG, Van Loan M, Adams SH, Keim NL, Laugero KD. J. Nutr. 2013 Jan;143(1):46-52. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.166355. Epub 2012 Nov 28. LINK
  • Does cheese intake blunt the association between soft drink intake and risk of the metabolic syndrome? Results from the cross-sectional Oslo Health Study. Høstmark AT, Haug A. BMJ Open. 2012 Nov 19;2(6). pii: e001476. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001476. Print 2012. LINK
  • Probiotic cheese attenuates exercise-induced immune suppression in Wistar rats. Lollo PC, Cruz AG, Morato PN, Moura CS, Carvalho-Silva LB, Oliveira CA, Faria JA, Amaya-Farfan J. J Dairy Sci. 2012 Jul;95(7):3549-58. doi: 10.3168/jds.2011-5124. LINK
  • Association between dairy food consumption and risk of myocardial infarction in women differs by type of dairy food. Patterson E, Larsson SC, Wolk A, Åkesson A. J Nutr. 2013 Jan;143(1):74-9. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.166330. Epub 2012 Nov 21. LINK
  • Effects of a dairy product (pecorino cheese) naturally rich in cis-9, trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid on lipid, inflammatory and haemorheological variables: a dietary intervention study. Sofi F, Buccioni A, Cesari F, Gori AM, Minieri S, Mannini L, Casini A, Gensini GF, Abbate R, Antongiovanni M. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Feb;20(2):117-24. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2009.03.004. Epub 2009 May 27. LINK
  • Could cheese be the missing piece in the French paradox puzzle? Petyaev IM, Bashmakov YK. Med Hypotheses. 2012 Dec;79(6):746-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.08.018. Epub 2012 Sep 13 LINK
  • Post-Pasteurian Cultures: The Microbiopolitics of Raw-Milk Cheese in the United States by Heather Paxson

Out of concern for public health, the U.S. government bans the sale of cheese made from unpasteurizedswiss-cheesemilk if it is aged fewer than 60 days. But while the FDA views raw-milk cheese as a potential biohazard, riddled with pathogenic microbes, aficionados see it as the reverse: as a traditional food processed for safety by the action of good microbes. This article offers a theoretical frame for understanding the recent rise in American artisan raw-milk cheese production, as well as wider debates over food localism, nutrition, and safety. Drawing on ethnographic interviews with cheese makers and purveyors and on participant-labor conducted on a Vermont sheep dairy farm, I develop the concept of microbiopolitics to analyze how farmer–cheese makers, industry consultants, retailers, and consumers negotiate Pasteurian (hygienic) and post-Pasteurian (probiotic) attitudes about the microbial agents at the heart of raw-milk cheese and controversies about this nature–culture hybrid.

War on cheese

Traditional (raw milk used as starter) which is currently still threatened by pasterization and mass produced cheese, has been a small war in Europe for a decade. If these particular fermented products are an important part of the synergist quality that makes the MD diet so healthy and we are slowly getting rid of them… should we find a way to perserve these traditions (or hope science and big manufacturers find alternative solutions, like adding pre and probiotic supplements to dairy “carriers”?… personally I’d rather eat the cheese and fresh yogurt, than pill-products with “food-like” products.

Living Raw – the French Revolt Against Pasteurized Cheeses

  • France’s Distinctive Cheeses Are Disappearing March 6, 2012
  • Camembert wars between the smelly originals and “industrial” versions By Henry Samuel, 22 Nov 2011
  • Indigenous raw milk microbiota influences the bacterial development in traditional cheese from an alpine natural park. LINK
  • Influence of pasteurization, brining conditions and production environment on the microbiota of artisan Gouda-type cheeses. Koenraad Van Hoorde, Marc Heyndrickx, Peter Vandamme, Geert Huys. Food Microbiol. 2010 May;27(3):425-33. Epub 2009 Dec 11. LINK
  • Influence of Camembert consumption on the composition and metabolism of intestinal microbiota: a study in human microbiota-associated rats. Lay C, Sutren M, Lepercq P. Br J Nutr. 2004 Sep;92(3):42p-38. LINK

This next study made it sound like a reduction in nitrate reductase is no big deal, when it might be a very big deal. the NO pathway is implicated in many diseases process. Worth continued study i think.

  • Fate and effects of Camembert cheese micro-organisms in the human colonic microbiota of healthy volunteers after regular Camembert consumption. Firmesse O, Alvaro E, Mogenet A,Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Jul 15;125(2):176-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.03.044. Epub 2008 Apr 14. LINK
  • Antibiotic resistance determinants in the interplay between food and gut microbiota. Chiara Devirgiliis, Simona Barile, and Giuditta Perozzi. Genes Nutr. 2011 August; 6(3): 275–284. Published online 2011 April 28. doi: 10.1007/s12263-011-0226-x LINK
  • Prebiotic effects: metabolic and health benefits. Roberfroid M, Gibson GR, Hoyles L. Br J Nutr. 2010 Aug;104 Suppl 2:S1-63. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510003363. LINK
  • Brussels sprouts, inulin and fermented milk alter the faecal microbiota of human microbiota-associated rats as shown by PCR-temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis using universal, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium 16S rRNA gene primers. Humblot C, Bruneau A, Sutren M,Br J Nutr. 2005 May;93(5):677-84. LINK
  • Functional petit-suisse cheese: measure of the prebiotic effect. Cardarelli HR, Saad SM, Gibson GR, Vulevic J.Anaerobe. 2007 Oct-Dec;13(5-6):200-7. Epub 2007 May 21. LINK

What is a Petit Suisse? BloginFrance: How to make Petit Suisee

It’s very easy to make and easiest of all is if you can get unpasteurised milk. This isn’t a problem in France where you find it in vending machines. You leave a bowl of the raw milk out of the fridge overnight and it should have curdled i.e. set, by morning. Then wrap it in muslin and let it drain for a while so all the whey drips out. Unwrap the cheese, stir in a few spoonfuls of cream and enjoy. If you can only get pasteurised milk, then you need to add some buttermilk or a spoonful of yogurt or other fermented milk product to get the curdling process started. Apart from that, the method is the same. I haven’t made any yet, but now I’ve found these recipes, I shall be. I’m very partial to Petit Suiss

  • The amount and type of dairy product intake and incident type 2 diabetes: results from the EPIC-InterAct Study. Nutrition. 2012 May;28(5):539-43. Epub 2011 Nov 29. LINK
  • Probiotic yogurt improves antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic patients.Ejtahed HS, Mohtadi-Nia J, Homayouni-Rad A. Nutrition. 2012 May;28(5):539-43. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2011.08.013. Epub 2011 Nov 29. LINK
  • Fermented Biotechnology of Animal Based Traditional Foods of the Middle East and Mediterranean Regio

According to the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique the Mediterranean is the birthplace and still the highest consumption of dry aged sausage…. the MayoClinic and WebMD make no mention of sausage in the Mediterranean diet… fyi (some even say to avoid it)… maybe that’s true for some, but it is still not true to true mediterranean lifestyles.

Dry Fermented Sausages going back at least 2,000 years in mediterranean, but (from wikipedia)

“It is often assumed that sausages were invented by the Sumerians in the region that is Iraq today, around 4000 BC. Reference to a cooked meat product stuffed in a goat stomach like a sausage was known in Babylon and described as a recipe in the world’s oldest cooking book 3,750 years ago (Yale Babylonian collection, New Haven Connecticut, USA).

The Chinese sausage làcháng, which consists of goat and lamb meat, was first mentioned in 589 BC. The Greek poet Homer mentioned a kind of blood sausage in his Odyssey (book 20, poem 25); Epicharmus (ca. 550 BC — ca. 460 BC) wrote a comedy entitled The Sausage. Numerous books report that sausages were already popular among the ancient Greeks and Romans.’

Sausage Peddlers, Vagabonds, and Bandits:

Part 1

This was an interesting blurb from a book about Crete vs. US fat intake. Saying that totally amount of fat is about the same, but the Crete’s have about half the intake of saturated fats. So the US then put all their focus on lowering saturated fats (ignoring the essential fat ration—this isn’t news). So the big difference in this is of course the quality of the mono/polysaturated fats from things like the olive oil and mixed meats in Crete. But the replacement of saturated fats in the US was done with vegetable oils (and transfats like margarine/crisco) which RAISED the omega 6 ratio to unprecedented amounts.

Thinking in terms of “saturated fats bad” so get rid of them is a overly singular approach to resolutions… and many time leads to misguidance like this in implement health strategies. IMO.

A Balanced Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio, Cholesterol and Coronary Heart comparison in Crete. LINK

Another discussion and paper on Coronary Heart Disease and the “indian paradox” differences in CHD in rural and urban prevalance as a factor of Omega 6/3 ratio. LINK

From the Advanced Mediterranean Blog Blog by Dr. Steve Parker “Often overlooked in discussion of dietary fat effects is the great variability of response to fats among individuals. Response can depend on genetics, sex, fitness level, overweight or not, types of carbohydrates eaten, amount of total dietary fat, etc. And not all saturated fats affect cholesterol levels.” LINK

Exploring canola oil (my jury is still out, but I think I have reasons to be hesitant of this oil for some of the same reasons as the author of the OP). But it also brings into the discussion not just the fat ratios but also the polyphenol and micronutrient content of these oils and fat sources (which are also complicated by what is mentioned above genetics and state of systems)… complicated but in patterns.

  • The effect of short-term canola oil ingestion on oxidative stress in the vasculature of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats. Papazzo A, Conlan X, Lexis L, Lewandowski P. Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Oct 17;10:180. LINK
  • Rapeseed oil ingestion and exacerbation of hypertension-related conditions in stroke prone spontaneously hypertensive rats. Naito Y, Nagata T, Takano Y, Nagatsu T, Ohara N. Toxicology. 2003 May 3;187(2-3):205-16. LINK
  • HDL-Related Mechanisms of Olive Oil Protection in Cardiovascular Disease.Lou-Bonafonte JM, Fitó M, Covas MI, Farràs M, Osada J. Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2012 Feb 20. LINK
  • Olive oil phenolics: Where do we stand? Where should we go? Visioli F.J. Sci Food Agric. 2012 May 2. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.5715. LINK
  • Rapeseed oil fortified with micronutrients reduces atherosclerosis risk factors in rats fed a high-fat diet. Xu J, Zhou X, Deng Q, Huang Q, Yang J, Huang F. Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Jun 13;10:96. LINK

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