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2009.04.05

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Timothy Murray

As a non-vegetarian and non-vegan (I side with Anthony Bourdain on the subject) I think I should way in on this from a stand point where I was forced to make different food choices. I have a very hyperactive thyroid (to the point I had to consume 10k+ calories a day to maintain 155lbs at 6'2") and have to avoid iodine as much as possible, this includes all dairy and soy products, but I have no desire to give up the foods I love like cheese.
Things like pizza are something I choose to eat even though I know they are bad for me, and this product gives me that chance, but don't let that fool you into thinking I went into this blind I looked at what it was made of and know it's junk. Sometimes though junk is a good thing maybe not for the body but for the mind. Fake (yes I know it's fake) cheese fills a roll in the lives of people that would rather not eat a certain way but have to due to a certain condition. I do agree that they should spend less time talking about being "vegan" and more time saying they are an alternative for people that can't eat cheese, since vegan does sound like they mean raw foodie friendly (or the like). I also know that I have to watch how much of this I eat since I get all the negative and really none of the positives (I know you think there are no positives save that for another day), so I limit fake cheese to once a month or less. It seems that the problem you have is with junk food and not just this cheese alternative.
Alternatives are meant to be that something to take the place of something you can't have not on "LOOK WHAT (insert group) CAN HAVE NOW. The "can have now" argument is more of a distraction of what is bad about something so you think it's good and fits the lifestyle you live by choice.

[Tks for your thoughtful comment, Timothy. Although we do significantly disagree on some key dietary aspects (hey, I'm vegan for a reason or five!), I can appreciate your perspective and your writing. Best, Mark

Jayess

Hi, Mark -- just wanted to chime in with my own experience with Daiya. I've been a Vegan for nearly 25 years now but over a year ago I saw Daiya in my health food store and thought I'd give it a chance. My first reaction to it was that cold out of the package it looked, smelled, and tasted like stale, sweaty shoelaces. But, what the hell, it melted great and tasted better hot, so me and my family ate it for about a year. We used it in all kinds of recipes that harkened back to our pre-Vegan days--pizza, tacos, heck just about anything that called for cheese in the recipe.

After about six months of after eating the stuff pretty regularly, I felt ... weird. You know the old joke people would say about eating a heavily cheesed pizza? The old "Man, I can feel my arteries hardening as I eat this!" Well, it was like that. Exactly like that. It actually felt like my arteries were clogging up and shrinking with each bite I took. Silly me (by then addicted to the gooey matter), I ignored the feeling and kept right on eating the stuff. I thought, surely there can't be anything wrong with it ... it's not like it's real cheese.

Six more months passed and in that time I noticed that I was getting indigestion almost every day when I rarely ever got it before. One day, I was surprised to step on the weighing scale and discover that I was twenty-five pounds heavier. Strangely, I didn't look it, but I was. Let me just say here that I'm in good health and exercise regularly, but one night I went to lie down in my bed and got the whopper of all chest pains--something I've never experienced in my life. I really thought I was going to die.

Right away my subconscious was telling me it was the Daiya. It just had to be. There were no other changed factors in my life that could have accounted for it. Naturally, I cut out eating the stuff immediately, for my health and my family's health. I returned the unopened packages we had to the store. I've been off the stuff for several months now and my heart feels normal, my arteries clear. We all feel better, lighter inside. Never again will I do something as stupid as get a "so-called" health product that claims to be a substitute for a non-Vegan item. There are too many other things to eat out there without needing something that looks like cheese or whatever else. If me and my family had been Vegan all our lives (we wish!) we would never have encountered something like cheese in the first place, so why try to copy it? If you're Vegan, just be thankful you are because it's a health choice as well as a moral one.

I think it's wrong the way this Daiya product is marketed like it's actually healthy. It's junk food, pure and simple. Nothing but saturated fat, gooey and totally unnatural. It just clogs up your insides and screws with your digestive process making you feel heavy and sluggish. Daiya, meanwhile, is laughing all the way to the bank at all the people they have suckered in with their inedible product. If you feel any of the feelings I've described at any time while eating this goop, do yourself a favor and quit the addiction. You'll live a longer and healthier life and you will save hundreds of dollars a year from not buying this very expensive, unhealthy crap. But why wait until it's too late?

jenn

I wonder if you have read all of the recent research and opinion on fat in the world of nutrition.

[Not all, just enough to believe that oil is not a "real food" and research indicates added oil is bad for your circulatory system (e.g., heart disease). Twenty some years of peer-reviewed research from two independent researchers (Esselstyn and Ornish) that did something no one else has done in the scientific community (reverse, and in theory, prevent heart disease) is enough to convince me that added oil is unnecessary.]

Though I agree that any processed food cannot necessarily be called "whole", and that we should all be opting for REAL food, fat is necessary (and not necessarily the evil one in the heart health saga). Heart disease needs several things to manifest - high fat diets and cholesterol is only a small piece of the puzzle.

[You can get enough fat by consuming real whole foods and not processed goop. Oil feeds plaque, and exercise isn't going to stop that from occuring.]

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, yes - but has different triglyceride chains that most animal sourced saturated fats. Because of that, it's properties are much different... and quite beneficial. Of course, this is all considering the important "rule to live by" - Everything in moderation.

[No... "everything in moderation" is one of those silly statements with no basis in fact. It excuses maintaining taste addictions to fat, sugar, and salt, among other problems in the dietary realm. "Moderation" hasn't solved any major health problems and won't, imho.]

I encourage you to read up on the role of fat in the diet - especially in a vegan diet, where most other things you are doing are heart healthy.

[I don't need to. You should read "Reverse and Prevent Heart Disease" by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.]

That being said, I also somewhat disagree with the food industry which is constantly seeking out ways to "create" foods that taste like their unhealthy counterparts because we can't live without them. Whole, real food is the answer. But at least some of these products are trying to choose healthier ingredients.

[Did you know that 1 TBL of olive oil is about 40 olives? Hardly, imho, real food. You do mean well and I appreciate your comment, but obviously, we've some "real" disagreements that can't be resolved in this forum. I'm totally convinced added oil is unnecessary (remember, Vogel at U. of MD MEASURED that even a little oil or added fat constricts your blood vessels for hours).

When I see an "olive" or "coconut" oil pool in the wild, I'll believe they are "real foods."

Best regards, Mark]

Katie

Thanks so much for such a great post! I eat Daiya cheese all the time and will definitely cut back. Man I am disappointed though. I THought it was healthy!

Boo

This sucks:( Finally I thought I found a cheese i could eat (can't eat dairy) and I do like it but noticed some crazy weight gain suddenly and let's just say, I am NOT going to the bathroom normally. I'm going to stop eating it asap!
cheese lover living another dairy free diet!

[Glad to be of help... wait'll I announce the cookbook (hopefully next week), you'll be intrigued.

Yeah, I was stunned when I realized the oil/fat content of most of the faux cheeses, and even more so, how ticked off at me people often get when I point this out.

As such, your comment is quite welcome! Thanks much. Best regards, Mark]

ldub

Looking at the Daiya website (as of February 4th, 2011) it looks like the ingredients are listed and have been modified slightly, i.e. the safflower and canola oils are now expeller pressed, and there is no palm oil. Links to the ingredients are: http://www.daiyafoods.com/products/cheddar.asp and http://www.daiyafoods.com/products/mozza.asp.

[It's still a processed non-food (oil) and, imho, should be avoided. At least they've apparently dumped the high saturated fat palm oil...

Still, it's a nutritionally vapid product, imho. Thank for the update! Best regards, Mark

Pattie Delevan

I was looking for the ingredients of this cheese. I was on the website and couldn't find the ingredients and thought that was weird. I will not be buying it.I can live without a cheese alternative. I have a parasite/fungi/yeast candida overgrowth in GI tract and food sensitivities and need to eat Gluten free, yeast free, dairy free,caffeine free, sugar free, egg free, soy free, corn free for now. Thanks for the information!

[Glad to help. Check out: http://www.fatfreevegan.com for possible useful recipes for you. Hang in there! Best, Mark]

L

Wow, I thought I was strict! Fat addiction? I've never been addicted to fat in my life, and am actually UNDER-fat, in terms of body composition. Don't assume everyone but you is an out of control eater. I'm not even a cheese fan!

I watch my fat, calorie, sodium, etc, intake like a hawk, but I enjoy Daiya often. I hardly even add olive oil to my food any more, I'm that against added fat. I was told only weeks ago by a cardiologist that I was in the best shape I could be. True, the damaging effects of added oils/fats may not be instantly apparent. But I really do not feel as if I am killing myself by having a little daiya.

[Added fat serves no serious nutritional benefit and is clearly a problem in contributing to fat taste addicition and various degenerative diseases. It's not surprising that Dr. Esselstyn, one of the only two guys to reverse heart disease, has a chapter in his book called "Moderation Kills."

McDougall also expouses the same concerns.]


Even you might agree that an occasional treat is fine. If Daiya is literally my only indulgence anywhere, I hardly think it's the worst thing I could indulge in. No, we can never know what bit of ADDED fat will kill us. But to never eat it ever again would be like me saying I don't want to drive anywhere ever because the car in front of me MIGHT cause me to get into an accident and die.

[Red herring. Added fat fuels development of plaque which causes strokes. Even one high fat meal affects the elasticity of your endothelium, and even moderately periodic abuse, takes its toll. Driving in your car won't kill you unless you have an accident. Consuming added fat WILL affect your cardiovascular system for several hours (that's been measured, isn't theory).]

I don't disagree with your take on health, but the condescension has got to go. Reading the above (replies included) made me feel like a chastised child. Guilt-trip yourself; laying one on your readers is not necessary.

[I'm not laying a guilt trip on anyone. Heart disease is the biggest killer of people in this country. Added fat, whether you are vegan or not, is a major factor. If you want to consume nutritionally vapid added fat, that feeds your taste addiction, in the form of Daiya cheese, that's clearly your decision.

I've made mine. Thanks for your honest feedback, seriously. Mark]

Susan Casey

My son and I are being forced to become vegans because of chromosome mutations in our detox cycle. Some are inherited and some are deleted (not inherited). My parents, grandparents (on both sides) great-aunts and uncles, great-grandparents were all farmers and ate all the meat, milk, cheese and whatever else they wanted. They all lived to 90 years or older and died in their sleep. Two or three lived to 100 years old. All were active their whole lives. My parents are 84 and healthy. No heart or other problems. My generation is not so lucky. We have grown up in a toxin laden enviroment, including food. People today are so full of toxins that they can't eat what our ancestors ate without getting sick. Our chromosome problems make it more obvious, but everyone is affected. My son and I are like the canaries in the mines.

We are just beginning our vegan life (six days). Blogs like this one and the links have given me hope that with the right information, we can enjoy eating again.

Thanks for your time and effort. It changes lives.

[Thanks for your note. I hope it goes well for you and yours. Your parents and ancesters apparently were lucky in the genetic lottery, and I'm sorry that you were not.

I'm very happy to have helped in anyway, and certainly, contact me directly if I can provide any advice or sources of information to you.

Embrace what you can eat; a multitude of vegetables, grains, and legumes. I hope you'll find, over time, that it's wonderful and life giving.

Best regards, Mark]

A. Lynn

Dear Mark,
Thanks so much for the information regarding Daiya cheese. I saw their ad in a Vegan magazine and went to their website to find the ingredients. I was suspicious when I could not find any listed ingredients.

Your information also educated me on the danger on faux cheese. What's the point of eating vegan or any other foods if it's going to damage our bodies and health; it's not worth it!!!! Thanks again, A.Lynn.

[I agree with you... I'm a "pull the bandaid off fast" kinda guy. We need to address and deal with the taste addictions to fat, salt, and sugar, ASAP in our lives, whether we are vegan or not.

Thanks much for your feedback! Best regards, Mark

Emily

[I'm confused how so many socially conscious, like-minded, and great people are fighting with each other. Shouldn't you just be happy that there are other people who care? Why should we fight over specific types of oils and fats? At least none of them are coming from animals. That's a ridiculously huge step in the right direction.

[Non-animal added fat/oil is not food and it is a major causal factor in heart disease, strokes, type II diabetes, and other debilitating diseases.

Esselsytn and Ornish are the only people to reverse yeart disease through a no-added fat vegan diet. Oil does matter, whether you are vegan or not. It is a dietary illusion to think we can eat that much fat and not suffer the consequences. Fat fuels plaque development. It's been measure that even one fatty meal causes constriction of your cardiovascular system for several hours.

Those are facts, and really not debatable.

Daiya, Teese, etc., are nutritionally vapid and near pure fat non-foods that might help with a transition to veganism, but still keep ya addicted to the taste of fat.

Not, imho, worth it. Check out my "15 reasons to avoid added fat" summary with references in the right side bar on the blog's home page.

Thanks for your feedback... Best (on the road for several days, as much as I've time to write for now), Mark]

MolliK

Thanks for getting the ingredients! I make my own vegan block cheeses, but always like to see what the new companies are coming up with.

I've been vegan/strict veg for over a decade and I think it is true that these companies serve a purpose in the transitional phases of people into a more healthy, sustainable diet. At least it did for me and ALL other vegans I know. There is a maturation process that occurs in peoples diet transformation and products like faux chesees can help in turning people around. Faux cheese and others make going vegan more fun and your body will feel healthier even if you are including SOME of the processed foods in moderation. There are alot that go overboard with processed vegan products, but they soon find out how much money that involves and I think overtime many of those will transition into eating more whole foods once they grow up.

[The problem for me is the amount of fat in most faux cheeses. As Esselstyn and Ornish have shown, that added fat contributes to heart disease. Moderation doesn't cut it, as you don't know "which snowflake causes the avalanche."

Then there's the issue of the faux cheese supporting the taste addiction to fat, which, I believe, is really at the core problem for many vegetarians not able to go vegan. There weren't many faux cheeses (and they were not cheap) when I went vegan and I learned early to just deal with it, rather than continue the addiction.

I learned over the past three years since intereviewing Essey that you can re-calibrate your taste buds and I no longer miss the fat taste. Really.]

But I like your ideas and it gives food for thought...or thought for food. But I wonder what you think about virgin coconut oil as I've been reading alot of information that claims it is actually a very beneficial food. From what I've read there are no chemicals used in the pressing b/c coconut oil already has an extremely long shelf life.

[I think coconut oil, especially because of the high saturated fat content, is not a good thing to put in your body. Oils are NOT real food. They are highly processed "goop" to quote Rip Esselstyn.]

I've been making vegan cheeses with cashews, but I do like to see if I can get it to do the pizza melt test. The cashew cheese melts for pasta, but I don't think for pizza. I initially used Earth Balance, but last year I stopped eating Earth Balance and margarines in general. Earth Balance actually worked really well for melting, but I would say that it is the most drug like of all vegan products. So now I'm going to see what happens with virgin coconut oil.

Also I use agar agar, which is derived from algae, but definitely would not consider it whole. Yet it also does have alot of beneficial digestive properties.

Anyway, I look forward to reading through your website some more.


[I've done the cashew thing and it works for me once in awhile. Agar agar is so expensive that even if it does a good job (I've seen many recipes), it's just not, imho, worth it.

I learned a long time ago that trying to duplicate the taste/texture of cheese is a fruitless quest, unless you want a lot of added fat. "Willow" and "Earth Balance" were fun to use until I understood Essey's and Ornish's research and decided avoiding heart disease and other degenerative diseases associated with added fat more important.

Anyway, I do appreciate your very thoughtful note. Thanks! Mark]

Zanna

Zanna

I wasn't going to respond, but I've got to . . .

Coconut and it's products, given that it is organic and processed safely, is actually a very healthy--and considered necessary--fat. The following article is just an great introduction to some of the healthiest fats out there:

http://www.thedietchannel.com/Healthy-and-Fat-5-High-Fat-Foods-You-Shouldnt-Avoid.htm

This article and a search on Google Scholar should be a great start.

[See response to prior comment. Yes, we need fat, but you don't need to add it to your diet. Coconut milk is the best source of saturated fat (which is to be minimized, according to American Heart Association).

Lite Coconut Milk is reasonable, the non-Lite is grossly high in fat and saturated fat.

That's not real healthy.

FYI, Mark]

Zanna

I wasn't going to respond, but I've got to . . .

http://www.thedietchannel.com/Healthy-and-Fat-5-High-Fat-Foods-You-Shouldnt-Avoid.htm

This article and a search on Google Scholar should be a great start.

[With all due respect, I think I'll believe the two guys who've successfully reversed heart disease regarding the advisability of added oil in one's diet (NONE!). Oil is not a food, and it is the fuel for strokes, among other degenerative diseases.

Avocadoes and nuts, if you don't have heart disease, in small amounts are considered okay.

When the author of that article you cite cures and reverses heart disease (or Type II Diabetes as Barnard has done thru no-added fat vegan diet), then maybe I'll take it seriously.

Regards, Mark]

Nikita

You come off as incredibly neurotic, I have be honest, but I respect your decision to avoid "crap vegan junk" foods for your own personal health. And while I AGREE that Daiya and other vegan faux projects shouldn't be marketed as super healthy if they're not, I don't see the problem with vegans splurging when they want. I know many vegans that drink alcohol and I'm sure you do too. Cry me a river! Most of us vegans are not so STUPID and ignorant; we know that overdosing on Veganaise and eating vegan cupcakes isn't freakin' healthy!

[1) adding fat to your diet causes constriction of your arteries for up to six hours... that's been measured and it's not a psychological neurosis. The constant abuse adds up. In the side bar of this blog check out the "15 reasons to avoid vegetable oils." All documented, not theory, not myth, not assumptions.

2) 20 years of independent peer-reviewed research shows that a no-added fat vegan diet can reverse (and most likely prevent) heart disease

3) there are many diseases implicated in satiating the unnecessary addiction to the taste of fat.]

All you have to do is turn your product around and read the nutrition label. And your comparison that eating faux foods is "kill an animal save a human" logic is ridiculous. Those animals don't CHOOSE to be caged up in factory farms. Those animals don't CHOOSE to be slaughtered. Vegans CHOOSE if they want to eat a daiya cheese pizza topped with veggie sausage. If all vegans wanted to be health nuts we'd all be raw foodies(I have nothing against raw foodies btw). Good day to you sir!

[There'a difference between being a health nut, and healthy. Oil, be it in a salad dressing our congealed as Daiya cheese, is NOT a food. Sure, if you choose to eat non-foods, that's your perrogative. Altogether too many vegans and vegetarians are consuming much more fat (usually as oil) than is recommended by the ONLY two doctors to reverse heart disease and one (Barnard) who reversed diabetes.

The facts don't lie. Like it or not, added fat kills. You may think that a little splurge won't hurt once in awhile, but the experts (y'know, those guys who've studied this for decades and accomplished some things no one else has regarding health) disagree.

Cry your own river, or better yet, get rid of you fat addiction. I've been off it for three years next month and don't regret it one bit.

Finally, I don't think consuming Daiya cheese is going to save one animal, but will most likely aid in killing another (a human).

Mark]

Krista

I don't kow about anyone else but I always read ingredients. It is just a habit of being a vegan, I guess. So, I know exactly what is in what I eat. The ingredients for Daiya are listed on all the vegan shopping sites.
Again, don't know about anyone else but I don't eat vegan cheese on a daily basis. If I eat any kind of "cheese" on a daily basis (which I don't) it is the kind I make my own which is made from whole ingredients.

Vegan cheese to me has always been a treat, not a staple. I have tried many different vegan cheeses (not yet Daiya though) and I have never been shocked to find they are almost all fat. I read ingredients and nutr. labels I know what i'm buying. Not happy that is what they are, but hey it is not an everyday thing. I can't imagine many vegans as having veg. cheese as an everyday thing unless they are rich as that stuff is pricey. Honestly you won't be finding vegan dollar menus anywhere. Vegan food are pricey.

I agree that we should get away from processed foods. In my perfect would nothing but whole food exist. The only sugar there is is the kind in fruit or sugar cane still as a cane. The only fat is the kind that exist in an actual plant, no oil.

Saddly we don't live in a world like that and probably never will. Alternatives are a great option for new veggies or old ones looking for a fun treat. People need to read ingredints and know what they are and what they mean. I have many friends and family members that automatically say my food or faux food is healthy because it is vegan. I know better, because I know what I eat.
I still would prefer my world where none of this exist, but it is just a fantasy. Hopefully some day, but i'm not holding my breath.

[Thanks for a very thoughtful comment. I agree with most of what you've written only that I am concerned about the fat content of the faux cheeses (let alone the price), and I'm convinced that the research of Esselstyn, Ornish, and the measurements of fat's affect on cardiovascular elasticity, that moderation won't prevent or research heart disease (and other ailments). I also think that most people who use the faux cheeses miss that, in some cases, they contain more fat per serving than their "real" counterpart.

'Sides... oil is not food. But, regardless, thanks for your feedback!

Best regards, Mark]

Andrew

Daiya apparently eliminated palm oil from its products. http://www.daiyafoods.com/products.html#ingredients

Even with the palm oil, products like this help people become or stay vegan, and a vegan cheese that may contain palm oil is likely still a lot more animal-friendly that dairy in the big picture.

[I have to take issue... humans are animals, and if you consider promoting heart disease, diabetes, Altzheimer's disease, obesity, et. al., non-real food added oil to the degree in Daiya and other faux cheeses is not animal-friendly.

I just don't believe in the "kill a human; save an animal" philosophy that is inherent, imho, in the view that's it's okay to exchange an unhealthy animal product for an unhealthy vegan one.

Too many vegetarians and vegans are missing the fat, salt, and sugar issues. Even now, I read a "great salad recipe" post from "Veg Women of Power" that had a full day's worth of fat in ONE serving.

Daiya cheese is just FAT. It's NOT a real food. IMHO, We need to get over the addiction to FAT and transcend our old taste conditionings. Replacing a lesser fatty "dairy" cheese with a more fatty "non-dairy" cheese is hardly a sound accomplishment.

In any case, thanks for your comment.... Best regards, Mark]

VKA2B

To all those who knocked on this post by saying, "I'm vegan for ethical reasons related to animal welfare and not for health" -- here is a wake-up call -- You are still harming animals by eating these sorts of vegan "cheeses", so even if your reasons are not health related, you really should not consume these products and like the author said, stick to the whole foods. All these products (including Daiya) usually contain palm oil, the harvesting of which is directly responsible for the loss of orangutan habitat. That's pretty much common knowledge at this point -- just Google it.

[Very interesting angle on the topic... will have to look into it. Thanks much for your feedback and thoughts... Best regards, Mark]

kandiss

its [expletive deleted by Mark] cheese. its not supposed to be a health food. veganism is a moral and ethical belief system...not a low-fat, whole food belief system.

[What veganism is or isn't, is not my issue. Cheese is inherently unhealthy for many reasons, not just the fat. Daiya vegan "cheese" and many other similar products are excessively fatty and unhealthy. That's the issue. Altogether too many people believe that because these oily cheese subs are vegan they are "healthy."

They aren't. People are exchanging one addiction for another, and that's got nothing to do with the animals. "Saving" an animal and killing yourself with heart disease, obesity, and/or Type II Diabetes is an interesting quandry/question. That such faux cheese encourage people to not use animal products is cool, but the negative impact on the human animal's health, imho, is not.

Mark]

Chaz

Thank you for exposing Daiya cheese for what it truly is. I love pizza, however, I am vegan because I am super concerned about my health, so a conflict always arises when I want to grab a slice or pie. I will continue to create my own. That way I know whats in it and can always choose the freshest and most organic of ingredients. Thanks, again!

[Appreciate your comment and agree whole heartedly!
Best, Mark]

Mike

"within several weeks, your taste and texture cravings will end"

You're delusional if you think that's true.

[Worked for me, has for many others, and it also worked for Dr. Esselstyn's patients. That's hardly delusional, but don't let reality get in your way.]

And by the way. Of course Daiya isn't good for you. But high fat food-like products can still be part of a healthy diet. If I have a couple slices of pizza occasionally my heart isn't going to immediately seize. You need to chill dude. You seem uptight. And as one commenter said, not every is vegan so they can be healthier. My objections to eating animal products are rooted in animal welfare and environmental issues. I was healthy before I was vegan and I'm healthy now.

[Again, in reality, you don't know which bit of fat will cause that "heart seizure" any more than which "snowflake" will cause the avalanche. Check out my post "15 Reasons to Avoid Vegetable Oils" in the right sidebar for more than enough reasons (and facts) to avoid added fats.

"Chill?" I'm doing fine! You've the delusion that high-fat food-like products can be part of a healthy diet. Simply put, it's not true. It's the added fat that fuels the plaque development that causes 90% of the heart events that kill us. Added fat is essentially useless nutritionally and isn't a real food.]

If that cheese is good and I can take my friends out for a vegan pizza it opens them up just a little more to becoming vegetarian or even vegan. Everyone I know says they could never be vegan because they love cheese to much so I welcome any new cheeses options no matter how fatty they are. It's not like regular cheese is good for you anyway.

[Exchanging one addiction for another doesn't accomplish anything, and ultimately has a high probability of inviting ill-health. Being addicted to methadone to quit heroin is dubious at best. I think the wisest strategy is to re-calibrate your tastes to not crave fat. It's doable, one just needs the will and the discipline.

In any case, thanks for taking the time to submit your opinion and comment. Best regards, Mark]

drwellness

Great points however, a very important component is missing. For the most part, all so called vegetarian cheese have Casein in them, which of course is a cow's milk protein derivitive. This is not found in vegan cheese products.

[I was referring to Vegan cheese products and didn't call them vegetarian. Sure, many of the vegetarian cheeses have casein.]

I have always been stumped on this issue... What part of vegetarianism is Eggs, Cheese and Milk they are all still from animals and contain all the toxic sulfer based amino acids any other animal protien does so why do some people think it is healthy?. Now, it is very true, the oil content is a very big issue in vegan cheese.The take home point is the oils that are used in any and all processed foods and even the oils used in everyday cooking are not only nothing but fat but,they are also oxidized rancid fats. Any oil that is extracted from it plant source begans to oxidize in seconds and the longer it sits the more rancid and toxic it gets.
So, Is vegan cheese a better choice...No, Not really!.
Whats the answer? Well... In some cases Nutritional Yeast has the same texture and the same creamy nutty taste as some mild cheeses but the reality is that the taste of cheese will become vile to the taste buds once it is used to the foods it really wants and needs.
Remember, it was once said " Nothing tastes as good as great health feels"

[I agree and have written much about the oils/fats and also that oil is NOT a food, or a whole food, or a real food. We CAN overcome our taste addiction to it (and salt, and sugar), but it takes determination, understanding, and will power.

Thanks for your feedback! Mark]

In Good Health...Naturally

Dr Scott B Raphael,T.N.D.

Ruth

Thanks for finding out and posting the ingredients. I had looked at their website too, and was disappointed to find no real info. You confirmed what I suspected, though--it's way too high in fat for me!

[Thanks for your note and understanding the importance of (a) that they didn't post the information they had readily available about their products and (b) how unbelieveably unhealthy those faux cheeses are.

Best regards, Mark]

The Discerning Brute

It's important that this product is out there for people who are transitioning from a traditional diet to a vegan diet - because it resembles something they are familiar with. Telling people to 'get over' their addictions to taste is impractical and useless to say. No many people are going to go from eating cheeseburgers to a low-fat, raw, vegan, wholefoods diet.

While this info is valuable to some, it simply doesn't bother many who are vegan for animal advocacy and environmental reasons, and who will occasionally indulge in it regardless of the fat content.

We should not be attacking these products - they are incredibly important from a strategic standpoint in the ethical-vegan movement, making it possible to get people who are eating dairy to take a small step in the right direction, and hopefully sparing many cows and veal calves in the process.

[Sorry, DB, but we'll have to agree to disagree. I consider them anti-strategic to saving humans from the ravages of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Altzheimer's Disease, etc., a tad more more important than worrying about people's inability to give up taste and texture addictions. Instead of excusing these products as "temporarily useful" we should shine the light on them for what they are: high-fat delivery vehicles for people addicted to pre-vegan taste and texture addictions.

Altogether too many veg'ns believe these faux cheeses are "pure, healthy, wholesome, and natural." They aren't. The companies that make, market, and sell these products are NOT contributing to the health of humans (regardless of how many cows, in theory, are saved).

In many cases these products are worse than their dairy counterparts from the perspective of nutrition and fat content. Our cardiovascular systems are at serious risk and moderation clearly doesn't work (I've sourced that idea on this blog many times).

Although I don't like the idea of animals being raised and/or slaughtered for food, I am species-bigoted in the sense if given the choice between helping humans live longer and healthier versus animals/food, I'd go with the humans. Ever watch what happens when the "fat hits the biological fan" from a lethality standpoint in a person you love? I have. It's not pretty (or humane).

However, it's unlikely that anyone truly has to make that kind of binary decision in life regarding animals versus human. Yeah, I also dislike animal "welfarism" believing that making the cage a bit larger before slaughter is an attempt at compassion but, in the end, akin to giving people a bar of soap and mood music before going into the Holocaust showers. That kind of "transition" makes no sense to me. Minimally, wasteful.

But then, I'm a "pull the bandage off fast" kind of guy

Also, I disdain the promotion of any product without (a) noting the nutritional content and (b) recognizing when said product has excessive fat, sodium, and/or sugar. I think, with all due respect, it's lazy and not helpful to the reader to promote a product solely on taste and texture. It's that kind of superficial "surface" analysis that keeps so many from really examining the non-vegan (and vegan) junk they eat and are continuing to do so.

When you consider all the reasons to avoid vegetable fats (see "15, etc." link on the "favorites' sidebar), imho, added fat consumption just can't be condoned. The myths about "oil being good for you" as as bad as the "meat makes you strong" and similar absurdities propagated by mainstream media and corporations for altogether too many years.

Exchanging one unhealthy addiction for another of the same is hardly progress.

Finally, as to transition: how many alcoholics really reform through a gradual transitional process? Not many, I'd guess. I tend to believe the same holds for added fat (and sodium, sugar substances). In any case, without being given the health information to begin with, reformation is less likely. People need to know. Sure, they can do what they want with the information, but without it, the unwittingly denegrate their own health. With it, there's an opportunity to do otherwise. Whether they take that opportunity or not is their option.

Some believe in baby steps, some believe in large strides. To each his/her/it own.

But, know that I do respect and generally enjoy your blog and certainly your goals. You are, and I mean it, doing some great work and making a fine contribution to the movement(s). We just disagree regarding high-fat non-food products.

Thanks sincerely, too, for your comment and the time you took to write a a polite and cogent opinion. It is appreciated, and be assured that my own response is not a negative reflection of personal opinion about you.

After all, we both mean well.

Best regards, Mark]

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