Love of Cheese.

Via Kate Leinweber
on Feb 9, 2012
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Kate Leinweber, B.Sc R.H.N

Oh, how I love cheese!

There is something about the creamy salty flavor, the smooth texture and a feeling deep in me that is so ultimately satisfied when I eat cheese. There was a long time when I either bought skim or low fat cheese or flat out didn’t eat cheese at all because I thought it was unhealthy. The truth is that low fat imitations of cheese are what is unhealthy for us.

When I ate cheese that was low fat I ate a lot of it. The reason behind this over consumption is that the food is not whole. It is processed and is missing its natural satiating fats, filling proteins, and necessary vitamins and minerals. Of course this incomplete food left me feeling hungry and unsatisfied.  I had such a hard time with eating and eating and eating cheese.  Little did I know I was filling my body with damaged molecules of imitation food. No wonder my body was hungry!

Now I allow myself to have natural cheese made with full-fat milk I am sated by the high quality fats, proteins and nutrients. This satisfaction leads to lower consumption. Moderation is the result. And moderation is the key to health.

The next step in understanding cheese is looking at how it is made. We already know that not all cheese is created equal, but some of it is pre-cooked and others are not.  I prefer to have my cheese made from fresh milk from a healthy animal minus the cooking step. Raw dairy products are high in enzymes, vitamins, minerals, healthy bacteria and when fermented are easier on our body to digest and absorb.

The cooking step is called Pasteurization.

Dairy products have been pasteurized since 1938 here in Ontario, which occurred with the onset of large-scale industrial dairies. This is certainly necessary for the state of conventional milk production. But if you are sourcing your milk from a small local dairy it is not necessary as long as the cows are healthy and the milk is processed in a sanitary fashion.

The downside of pasteurization is that the high temperature destroys many nutrients. The naturally occurring lactobacilli that traditionally colonized our large intestines are killed.  Along with those bacteria go their enzymes and the lactase from the cow, which aids in the breakdown of lactose. This makes those with lactose intolerance or milk sensitivity at an even greater disadvantage in the realm of digestion. Delicate healthy fast and cholesterols are sensitive to heat and are damaged to the point where they are rancid and considered “free radicals”. Free radicals can damage our intestines, arteries and brain. Heat sensitive vitamins are destroyed and synthetic ones are added back in which are inferior to those that are naturally occurring.

Unfortunately dairy processing doesn’t end there. It continues to another step called Homogenization. Homogenization is a process involving again high heat and added pressure. Milk is forced through a fine sieve to homogenize the cream with the milk preventing them from separating. This results in the molecules of protein, fat and sugars being blasted apart into pieces that are unrecognizable by the body. This reduces our ability to digest and absorb nutrients from milk.

Fortunately we can legally buy raw cheeses. Any cheese aged for more than 60days can be made from raw milk. Check the label for “unpasteurized” or “raw”.   You can also ask your local cheese shop to try out the raw cheeses they have. Parmesan is always made from raw milk.


About Kate Leinweber

I am a Microbiologist and Registered Holistic Nutritionist. I have been in the health industry for close to a decade, starting on the allopathic medical end of the spectrum and now in the holistic realm. I am obsessed with food and its healing abilities! I’ve been a vegetarian, vegan, and even a raw foodist…and I felt crappy and unhappy! I formally studied Holistic Nutrition and discovered individualized balanced nutrition. Currently I help plant-based foodies who have energy crashes and digestive distresses to feel amazing by re-programming their food choices. My practice as Holistic Nutritionist extends around the world and focuses on the ancient knowledge of Chinese Medicine, Medical Intuition and Traditional Food Practices. My holistic model empowers each client with knowledge of how whole foods can sustain a healthy and whole body. Visit me on Facebook.


16 Responses to “Love of Cheese.”

  1. Lorin says:

    Cheese was my last holdout in the dairy category 🙂

    Posted to Elephant Food on Facebook and Twitter.

    Lorin Arnold
    Blogger at The VeganAsana
    Associate Editor for Elephant Food
    Editor for Elephant Family

  2. Ben says:

    Nice work Kate! Great article. A lot of people out there still think margarine is good for you and cholesterol kills. (As Im sure you know, margarine is a solid at body temp and cholesterol is -the- molecule of repair in the body.) The picture of the Jersey in the field(which is a high cream producing cow from the old country) was a nice touch. I ranch sit for a local dairy on occasion and it is always fun to call for 'Old Bess' and have all the milk cows nonchalantly make their way into the corrals. When they are milked, they get this zoned out look and chew their cudds (regurgitated grass that they chew on when they are relaxed and out of danger). It seems to be relief. Seems like a pretty good life to me. Nothing much to worry about. Nice scenery. All the food provided. Buy local. Home is where your food grows. Industrialized farming is a mess. Soybeans sprayed with poison on denuded ground. Then microbes genetically modified so that people can still get their vitamins without eating anything of substance. Keep up the good work Kate!

  3. Tina says:

    Raw milk is better than the pasteurized version for humans if the insist on consuming milk from another species, but most people consume cheese from the regular grocery store Nancy, and even raw milk has been found by research, done at the National Institute of Health, to contain casein, a short chain protien that has been found to cause cancer and heart disease in the human, along with countless other animals. No "other research" that I am aware of disputes these facts. I would love to know what reseach you are speaking of and who funded it.

  4. Lorin says:

    Hi, Nancy. This isn't my article 🙂 I just replied to it. The article is from Kate.

  5. Nancy says:

    Oops, sorry.

  6. Lorin says:

    No worries! I just don't want to be taking credit (even accidentally) for the work of others.

  7. Nancy says:


  8. and ps: if I'm not at home in the village, I don't do dairy. Like I said, I feel that (in general, commercially) the dairy industry is the same as the meat industry: designed for and promoted by the slaughter of animals. Unnecessary.

  9. Sorry, but I doubt one or two or even three or a hundred modern day reports can negate thousands of years of history. I'm not disputing your insights are valuable in some areas. But please don't wipe dairy off the map because suddenly someone finds something wrong with it. Guaranteed that's going to change in another 20 years. Ad infinitum….:)

  10. Tina says:

    Braja, Well that must be the easiest way out for you. So sorry to hear that…but I still wish you blessings and peace on your journey! And I'm still hopeful that someone…anyone… can bring me some data that says that milk and dairy consumption is good for you. I like the facts, I like data rather than opinion, I can't help it.

  11. Padma Kadag says:

    How many of you out there in the Blogosphere are militant Vegans or any other kind of keeper of an "uncompromised" view or lifestyle use Apple products? Where does your "compassion" and health principles begin and end? Does it end with the suffering of animals? Do you count the suffering of humans in your diatribes on compassion when you are playing with your "APPS" on your IPhone? I love cheese.

  12. Padma Kadag says:

    As a matter of fact…Where are you going to draw the line on your "compassion"? You use computers , cell phones, IPhones which are using children and adults abusively for manufacturing. Then you are mining rare metals, in some cases with blood shed, in 3rd world countries. You cant properly dispose of them when they break. Is it more convenient to be a vegan more so than it is to stop the killing and abuse of people and natural resources? If we have strong compassion for animals, as we should, then where are you when it is time to stop using these products which are as destructive? Where is your compassion? Hypocracy. See what happens when my cheese is dissed! You choose to not eat meat…then choose to throw away your IPHONE and computers.

  13. That's right, choosing quality is the most important part. As a Holistic Nutritionist this is of primary importance. I personally choose raw milk cheese and have a cow share for my other dairy intake. I've visited my raw milk dairy and the jerseys were in fact wandering around in a field just like the picture. They even came up to me and licked my hands. I I will be sending some studies over to you Tina! Thanks so much for the conversation.

  14. I've read the China Study and it did send me along the road of vegetarianism and veganism. Upon further investigation the quality of casein used in the studies is very poor, processed and damaged. And we never consume casein alone. We consume it in a whole foods form alongside vitamins, minerals and numerous other co-factors.