Cheese, mmmmm, creamy and smooth or sharp and strong. I love it! But, in paleo circles all dairy is out. I was really interested that on the Whole 30 programme clarified butter or ghee is endorsed when made from organic, grass-fed, unsalted butter. I started reading up on why certain forms of dairy might be good for you.
What I discovered is that grass-fed (predominantly, most cows eat some grains, hay and silage in winter when they can’t graze in the fields), organically produced dairy has significantly different properties to intensively farmed, grain-fed dairy. For example did you know that grain-fed dairy contains Omega fatty acids 6:3 in a ratio of 25:1 which is totally unnatural and unhealthy for humans and cows alike. Whereas, organic grass-fed dairy is at an optimal natural level of 2:1 for Omega 6:3.
Pasteurisation, whilst it kills any potentially harmful bacteria also kills all the good bacteria (of course!) which in turn changes the properties of the milk and cheese. Surely we must rate these good bacteria otherwise the supermarkets wouldn’t be selling out of Yakult and the like, plus, in a bizarre twist, yogurt manufacture these days involves adding the good bacteria back in as we are all so desperate to eat it!
Unpasteurised cheese, or raw cheese as the Americans call it, contains calcium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin b2 and more. The Sunday Times reported in 2007 that raw milk contains 10 percent more B vitamins and 25 percent more vitamin C. Raw cheese is a nutrient dense food per calorie and is a great substitute for those that have trouble digesting milk as it does not contain the milk sugar lactose.
Cheese also contains large amounts of high quality protein. The process of fermenting actually increases the bioavailability of protein so your body synthesises cheese protein more efficiently than it does other forms. A single ounce of raw-milk cheese has on average 10-12 grams of protein (depending on style of cheese).
Raw cheese productions begins begins minutes after the morning milking. Because the milk is so fresh, it isn’t necessary to pasteurise it. The natural heat involved in the cheese-making process preserves the beneficial enzymes in the milk which aid in the digestion of lactose and in the absorption of protein, calcium and other critical nutrients. There are many stories of how enzymes help both health and longevity.
It’s pretty tricky to find unpasteurised cheese in the supermarket these days, and to be honest I prefer to buy most things from smaller local producers. I was wandering down the amazingly picturesque Cheap Street in Frome today and so stopped in at Sagebury Cheese as I figured if anyone would have raw cheese they would. I was not dissappointed. I got myself some delicious Keens Cheddar, a delicious locally produced cheddar from Somerset, like cheddar should be and a fine piece of Aged Manchego, quite possibly my favourite ever cheese and a nice bit of Membrillo (quince paste) to go with it. Now I am all set for Easter weekend.
So, as a result of all my research, I have decided that we will continue to eat some cheese but it will likely be raw cheese and we will still keep it in small quantities. I am also raring to try some raw unpasteurised milk now and I found that Hook & Son, who were supplying Selfridges until the FSA (Food Standards Agency) got their knickers in a twist about it, offer a nationwide delivery service. Any Froomies fancy sharing a big delivery? I love the fact they offer gorgeous milk bottles you can keep, and you can freeze the milk.
Would you give raw milk or cheese a try? I’d love to know what you think. Leave me a comment below.