Where To Cut The Cheese?, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

Let’s be honest… it is better with cheddar. But what cheese is clean? And is raw (unpasteurized) cheese harmful?

In 1987 the FDA mandated that all milk be pasteurized to remove harmful pathogens like E. coli. However, some good bacteria is also destroyed in pasteurization that strengthens the immune system of the colon. Pasteurization also destroys enzymes of raw milk that aid in digestion of lactose, resulting in an intolerance of dairy for some people.

People with weak immune systems or an immunity deficiency should be careful when adding raw milk and cheese from raw milk to their diets. In the past couple years the FDA passed that raw cheese should be aged at least 60 days, but the debate is still on about whether that makes a significant difference in the safety of the product. Here’s a New York Times Archive about it. http://www.nytimes.com

As for the clean part, clean dairy is where your morals lie. If you’re a purest, you’re reaching for raw and organic. If you want the pasteurization, go for low fat block cheese. Non fat cheeses tend to have added ingredients to help with taste. If you’re on the fence, skip the cheese altogether. It’s added fat that your dish probably doesn’t need anyway.

***If you are still skeptical, only about 40 people per year report getting sick from raw milk or raw milk products. Here’s a good article on those numbers. http://thecompletepatient.com