3

votes

Are most raw-milk cheeses grass fed?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 15, 2010 at 1:07 AM

There's a great cheese shop near my house, but the vendors don't really know which, if any, are grass-fed. They do have several European raw-milk cheeses, which I suspect are grass-fed because a) I've heard that CAFO is much less common in Europe, and b) cows bred for milk rather than slaughter are probably much less likely to be fattened up on grains.

This is just speculation, however. Can anyone help me out?

4856eae0511e116135bba0acc3e42ce5

(80)

on June 20, 2013
at 01:02 AM

new zealand doesn't have any grain subsidies and has an amazingly ideal climate for growing pasture!

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on September 09, 2011
at 04:22 PM

From wikipedia: "Only milk from Montbeliarde Cattle is permitted, and each must have at least a hectare of grazing. Fertilization is limited, and cows may only be fed fresh, natural feed, with no silage." Looks like you're good to go!

7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on September 04, 2011
at 03:48 PM

Do you know specifically about Comte'? It's a French Gruyere and the only raw cheese I can find where I live

8632c87a833f1d30f5fa8d4768d10c45

(575)

on December 15, 2010
at 04:06 PM

Exactly! They really go to great lengths to protect their traditions.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 15, 2010
at 02:34 PM

I wish I had a cheese monger! I would love to have awesome cheese locally, plus it's fun to say! :)

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on July 15, 2010
at 08:39 PM

Thanks for the responses everyone!

A80c7d214526e4c4a3a3fe36a7f8b38e

(328)

on July 15, 2010
at 07:01 AM

Dubliner is my favorite snack.

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on July 15, 2010
at 06:06 AM

I agree. I don't eat cheese but when I did, I would buy New Zealand brands (that say "grass-fed" on the label) and Kerrygold brand. The label doesn't say they're grass-fed but their website says they are. Their cheddar and Dubliner are delicious. They aren't raw though.

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8 Answers

4
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on July 15, 2010
at 05:09 PM

If the cheese are from Ireland you'll be pretty much sure they're grass fed. Same from Switzerland, a lot of French cheeses and a lot of Italien.

Most "artisan" UK cheeses are grass fed (really virtually all) but if you buy any of the UK mass produced cheddars etc you may not be able to find out so assume doubtful. If it is pre-packaged in polythene or whatever that covering is - assume mass produced.

1
8632c87a833f1d30f5fa8d4768d10c45

on December 14, 2010
at 09:23 PM

I have no problem buying raw artisanal and traditionally made European cheeses, from France and Italy in particular, whether is stated as pastured or not. The reason is that they take their traditional cheese very seriously... for the finer cheeses the cattle/goats/ewes are left to graze in pastures as that's what gives cheese its flavor, character and specific aroma. European master cheese makers are well aware of this and work to preserve this tradition.

Mass manufactured cheese, from anywhere, is a totally different story. I wouldn???t buy my cheese from a grocery store??? I go to my trusted cheese monger and select carefully.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 15, 2010
at 02:34 PM

I wish I had a cheese monger! I would love to have awesome cheese locally, plus it's fun to say! :)

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 15, 2010
at 04:08 AM

Might want to try finding some stuff orginating from New Zealand. I have read that 'all' of their cows are grassfed. I don't now if that is strictly true, but seems like a good potential place to start for naturally raised beef products. As for anyone else, if they are not bragging about how their animals are grassfed and charging more because of it, you can assume their critters are not grass fed. Most cows are not grass fed and that includes milk cows. Adding a bunch of crap to their diet increases milk production-decreases quality but increases volume. Most of the few producers of grass fed have figured out they can fetch higher prices if their stuff is not grain fed and so advertise and price accordingly. Whereas cheese producers are looking for lower priced milk. They are not going to pay extra for grassfed unless they plan to advertise and try to get higher prices for it being grassfed. Unfortunately, right now, not many people other than those involved in paleo care if the animal is grassfed or not so the market demand is not high enough to support many suppliers. Basically, if it does not say grassfed, you can pretty much assume it is not.

I looked all over my local health food markets but could not find anything grassfed. Right now, the main market is looking for the word 'organic.' PLus there are those few who say 'free range' for the chickens, which only means that after they lived in cages for most of their lives and are scared of the outdoors, then a small door is put in so that they could go out if they wanted, but they never do because their brains have been so warped that they won't go out anymore. They are too scared. That is why I do not pay extra for stuff marked 'free range.' It's a scam I will only pay for the word 'grassfed.' Even then, you have to be careful because many cows are grass fed at first but then later sent to the corn feedlot to fatten them up before slaughter. And by the time they get to your dinner plate, the omega profile and other benefits of grass fed have long since been 'corned' out of them. -Eva

Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on July 15, 2010
at 06:06 AM

I agree. I don't eat cheese but when I did, I would buy New Zealand brands (that say "grass-fed" on the label) and Kerrygold brand. The label doesn't say they're grass-fed but their website says they are. Their cheddar and Dubliner are delicious. They aren't raw though.

A80c7d214526e4c4a3a3fe36a7f8b38e

(328)

on July 15, 2010
at 07:01 AM

Dubliner is my favorite snack.

4856eae0511e116135bba0acc3e42ce5

(80)

on June 20, 2013
at 01:02 AM

new zealand doesn't have any grain subsidies and has an amazingly ideal climate for growing pasture!

0
0108e3efc1277045d256614fd3937c6a

on June 20, 2013
at 12:56 AM

Truly raw milk products do not exceed 105F. Parmesan cheeses are processed at 131F, which is lower than the minimum pasteurization temperature dictated by the USDA of 161F.

0
7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on December 15, 2010
at 02:08 PM

European cheeses, if made from raw milk, are generally grass fed. Some cheeses even have regulations stipulating where the cows may pasture. Parmesan (real parmiggiano reggiano) is a raw cow's milk cheese made of milk from grass fed cows, whose pastures are defined by law. Same with Grana Padano. Same with most French and Spanish cheeses as well. Agricultural production in Europe is not like the US yet, thank God.

8632c87a833f1d30f5fa8d4768d10c45

(575)

on December 15, 2010
at 04:06 PM

Exactly! They really go to great lengths to protect their traditions.

7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on September 04, 2011
at 03:48 PM

Do you know specifically about Comte'? It's a French Gruyere and the only raw cheese I can find where I live

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on September 09, 2011
at 04:22 PM

From wikipedia: "Only milk from Montbeliarde Cattle is permitted, and each must have at least a hectare of grazing. Fertilization is limited, and cows may only be fed fresh, natural feed, with no silage." Looks like you're good to go!

0
46161685a30e121470da02077c1a4301

(0)

on December 14, 2010
at 04:07 PM

thank you for this questions and the answers! i think its possible to to see a bit if its a good cheese or not? The taste, the texture and colour and the smell or the package can tell you about the cheese. Sometimes also the price. I try to get organic raw milk cheese. Im ver aware of this cheeses from italia. Italia is also a country where all kind of toxic things are thrown in the landscape. So its hard to find out if even if its grassfed its a good cheese from a healthy cow or a bad cheese. I feel good so far with the cheeses from south germany allgaeu and from switzerland, also austria and france. Or i try to see what local produced cheese from small goat or sheep farmers is available.

I would go for organic. in germnay i think in milky ways the organic demeter the organic dynamic anthrophosophic is very strict on right feeding and breading of their animals. Also if you try to get ure stuff from animals which are endangereaurd species.

There are old species of cows and sheeps. What about buffel mozerella?

0
D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on July 15, 2010
at 12:12 PM

Cows raised for milk are more likely to be found in CAFO-like operations, because they need to be milked each day. Cows raised for meat are more likely to be left out to pasture, sometimes for days at a time.

Where I live, you have to go directly from the farm and buy there. These products are not available in any stores. Some imported cheeses might be OK.

0
Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on July 15, 2010
at 03:00 AM

Raw cheese does not necessarily mean grass-fed, unfortunately. I don't know about the prevalence of CAFO's in Europe, but I do know that cows bred for milk as opposed to meat still live in disgusting conditions, which affects their milk. If you're going to consume raw dairy (which is the very best IMO) I'd suggest finding the best quality raw dairy. My general rule of thumb with dairy is when in doubt, just say no.

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