Who (Re)Moved My Cheese?

I can no longer ignore it.  There appears to be a consensus that cheese has a powerful hold over most people.  So many of the people that first learn I’m a vegan share admiration or praise about the successful effort.  And then they say, ‘But I could never give up my cheese.’  It seems crazy, but cheese has an ooey gooey grip on us.

The explanation is so simple.  In the 1980’s, scientists discovered traces of morphine in dairy products.  It seems to be that the main protein component of cow’s milk, casein, releases opiates upon digestion.  And since cheese is essentially concentrated cow’s milk, it boasts the highest level of opiates of all dairy products.

Did you know it takes 10 lbs of milk to make 1 lb of cheese?  The high concentration of protein, opiates, sodium, and tasty fat are all responsible for our emotional and physical addiction to cheese.

Let’s quickly list all the physical benefits of cheese:
protein, calcium, and ….   Wow, that was even quicker than I thought.

Let’s list the negative consequences of cheese:
70% of its calories are from fat
15g of fat in a 2 oz serving (2-3 cubes) – roughly the equivalent of a beef soft taco from Taco Bell
saturated fat – linked to increasing cholesterol
high in sodium – raises blood pressure
increases Insulin-like Growth Factor, an aggressive promoter of cancer cell growth
increases the production of testosterone, linked to prostate cancer
high fat content also implicated in 50% of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers

So what about that protein and calcium?  Well, as mentioned previously, we are already eating way more protein than we need, so we can quit striving to consume protein like it’s cool.  I’m over it.

As for calcium, current recommendations call for 1000mg/day for most of us.   You can get that from consuming 5 oz of your typical love-handle inducing, artery clogging, cancer promoting cheese every day.  OR, you can get 1000mg from a grande soy latte, 1 cup of navy beans, 1 cup of broccoli, and 1 cup of greens (collard, kale, turnip, your choice!).  And as opposed to simply taking a calcium supplement or consuming a block of cheese with hefty baggage, the latter menu is chock full of other vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein – all lending to a very slim, healthy, energetic, and vibrant day.

So if someone did (re)move your cheese, give ’em a hug – it’s someone that cares about you and wants you to be around as long as possible!  There’s a chance it was me.


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