Cheese! We’ve all heard it before, and many of us have said it ourselves: “I could never give up cheese!” Why the hell are we so addicted to cheese?
You’d think it was the fat and salt that trigger the cravings, and maybe they play a role. But the real culprit is a secret ingredient unknown to most: morphine. Researchers say that a protein in milk called casein creates pleasurable “opiate effects” when it breaks down into “casomorphins” during digestion. It’s the morphine that draws babies to boobies and grown ups to cheese.
Ethical vegans don’t eat cheese from the milk of dairy cows for humane reasons, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like the taste. In fact, plant-based cheeses that melt, stretch and mimic conventional cheese have become cash cows for the companies that recently launched them. But one group of vegans, engineers and computer scientists is taking cruelty-free cheese to the next level — creating dairy cheese that’s vegan. Isn’t that an oxymoron? How is that possible? Here’s the explanation:
“Through synthetic biology, we engineer our yeast to become milk-protein factories, churning out real milk proteins (known as caseins). These milk proteins are then combined with water, vegan sugar and oil to make a kind of milk which is ultimately converted into Real Vegan Cheese using the age-old cheese-making process.”
If vegan dairy cheese replicates conventional cheese with the same precision that Just Mayo and Beyond Meat have replicated mayonnaise and chicken, then we will be able to say with even more conviction, “You don’t have to give up cheese.” In the meantime, health food stores already have cruelty-free, plant-based cheeses, such as Daiya and Treeline, that would satisfy almost everyone who eats cheese, if they’d only give them a try. There’s even a non-dairy cookbook!
The best part about vegan dairy cheese? Tens of millions of cows could be unhooked from painful milking machines and reunited with their babies who were kidnapped at birth.
If you want to learn more about and/or support this endeavor, please visit their Indiegogo page.