Non-Dairy Cheese: Product Reviews


Dairy-Free Cheese 

My family and I are vegans. (If you’re unfamiliar with vegan diets, they are similar to vegetarian diets — no beef, no poultry, no fish, no pork — but they also exclude all dairy products and eggs.) We happened upon this lifestyle suddenly, but it’s changed everything. Less than a year ago, I decided to tackle a year of vegetarianism for a graduate school project, thinking that it wouldn’t be a big deal, and I’d be happy to have the year behind me. Vegetarianism is so often an emotional decision, but I wanted to approach it through research, not tears.

As it turns out, researching vegetarianism without tears is nearly impossible, especially if your research includes watching animal rights documentaries. Beyond emotions, I found myself surrounded by research that called into question so many of the foods I had eaten for my entire life. Suffice it to say, without going into too much detail, I found myself quickly switching my diet from vegetarian to vegan and deciding that this was a life change, not a year-long journey.

My family was curious about my project, and they began researching the subject as well. A month later, five out of the seven of us were vegans. The change happened so rapidly that our ingenuity had to fight to keep up with our diets. We couldn’t have meat. We couldn’t have milk. We couldn’t have Hershey’s chocolate — I nearly cried thinking about all of the s’mores I’d miss out on. (Then I found out that I couldn’t have marshmallows either, so the chocolate point was moot.) All we could think about was what we couldn’t have anymore. That first month was filled with a lot of salads and yearning.

While milk chocolate was a definite sacrifice, we all felt that our biggest sacrifice was cheese. I never realized how much cheese we had been eating until we couldn’t have it anymore. It had been everywhere.

The holes in our hearts, we now know, were caused by more than just missing one of our favorite foods. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says that cheese is actually considered somewhat addictive. In contains something called casein, which is a protein found in dairy products. When casein breaks down, your body gets a small high.

Jw Gardener
4/18/2013 3:37:55 AM

Whoever wrote this knows nothing and is a silly. Thanks for wasting five minutes of my life.

Cynthia Arpin
1/31/2013 3:12:58 PM

Thank you for the great information. After years of dealing with eczema on my husbands hands we have pretty well linked dairy to the flare ups. We are jumping in to a non-dairy diet to truly see how he does. We once lived organically in a commune so the idea is not a stretch, but actually doing it sounds a bit daunting. Cheese and tortillas have been a staple in our diet for years!!

Kathleen Eynon
1/3/2013 7:20:39 PM

Thank you soooo much for sharing!!!! I've recently been tested for food allergies and found that I'm actually allergic to wheat, corn, dairy, eggs and peanuts. I LOVE cheese, especially blue cheese, and I'll never eat it again. Talk about cheese rage -- it's more of a broken heart! Anyway, I look forward to trying these. So thanks again!!

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