Why Is Cheese on Everything?

In December of 2000, Dick Cooper made a presentation to the Cheese Forum. He noted that there were cravers of cheese and they were the heaviest cheese consumers. They typically were eating lots of cheese and were willing to eat more. They craved it a lot and ate it by itself regularly. Then there were cheese enhancers, who used cheese to top something at most meals and they consumed nearly as much cheese as the cravers. They weren’t as open to increasing the amount of cheese they ate though. So the government’s dairy marketing wing made deals with fast food chains to add large amounts of cheese to Wendy’s Bacon Cheeseburger. They made deals with Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway and Pizza Hut (cheese-stuffed crust was a government program). And it worked. Cheese consumption in the US went up as a result of these cravings. But why? It turns out that there are addictive properties to the casein protein in cheese. Think about it. If you were trying to make sure that babies got all the nutrition they needed, wouldn’t it make sense to make them crave the milk? It turns out that’s exactly how it works. The casein protein is broken down into peptides that mimic the effect of morphine. One, called alpha-casomorphin, has been shown to cross the barrier in the brain that protects it from most chemicals in the bloodstream, allowing this to affect the opioid receptors in the brain. The Dairy Council doesn’t care that cheese is 70% saturated fat, that it’s highly constipating, contains a bacteria associated with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and type one diabetes, that it’s loaded with estrogen, and even more dangerous stuff. There are sales to be made! Four years after the presentation in 2000, the Dairy Council was happy to announce cheese as America’s number one snack food. Cheese consumption in the US has increased almost tenfold since the early part of the 20th century as you can see here:

Quitting cheese can be difficult. But it’s easier to do if you know that cheese isn’t fighting fair. It’s OK to decide not to eat it anymore because of the fact that it often contains somatic cells (skin and pus cells). Whatever works for you. This cheese is everywhere because it makes a lot of money for the dairy farmers, and if they make more than they can sell, the government will buy it from them. Don’t fall for it. If you want to get healthy, you have to cut the cheese … out of your diet.

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