(Photo credit: Permission to use the photo was granted by Plamen Petkov)
The March 2014 issue of Men’s Health magazine published a nice article on artisan cheese. Writer, Clint Carter managed to mention twenty-one cheese professionals, chefs, and researchers into a nine page article, which included several great photographs and charts.
In preparation for the article titled, Praise Cheeses, Mr. Carter tweeted me in October 2013, asking about my involvement with ACS (American Cheese Society). Since he was a writer for a health magazine, I automatically assumed that he meant to type ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). FYI: I’m a Certified Exercise Physiologist through ACSM.
I sent an email to him to explain my relationship with both organizations. He promptly made it clear that he was working on a piece about cheese’s healthy side and that my name was given to him by Anne Saxelby and Mateo Kehler. He wanted my opinion about how the health risks of cheese became so overblown and a comment about the relationship between cheese and heart disease. Thankfully, he had already reviewed my slide presentation from my speech given at the 2013 ACS Conference, so he was familiar with my content. Unfortunately, my quote was cut due to restricted space. However, I have continued to correspond with Mr. Carter, assuring him that my book about the health benefits of cheese is in progress. When my book gets published, hopefully, I will have another opportunity to share the good news with him.
Praise Cheeses: Reinventing the cheese wheel. Want to reap the rewards of real cheese? Start here.
Mr. Carter starts with three rules which are placed on the right sidebar.
Rule 1: Skip the plastic. “Don’t buy shrink-wrapped cheese. Plastic creates off-notes like ammonia. Ask for a fresh-cut piece or buy your cheese from a high-turnover shop.” —Rob Kaufelt, Owner of Murray’s Cheese, New York City
Rule 2: Don’t bulk out. “Buy only enough cheese to last for a week or two. The air movement in your refrigerator can dry it out.” —Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, co-owners of Cowgirl Creamery, San Francisco, California
Rule 3: Come in from the cold. “Cheese tastes best when it’s been removed from the fridge at least twenty minutes before eating. Larger or firmer cheeses will take more time.” —Tripp Nichols, Cheesemonger at Formaggio Kitchen, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Upon glancing at the article, I could tell that his work was thorough. Here’s a list of the names mentioned: Mateo Kehler, Rob Kaufelt, Sue Conley, Peggy Smith, Tripp Nichols, Laura Werlin, Tonya Schoenfuss, Ph.D., Lloyd Metzger, Ph.D, Greg Miller, Ph.D., Liz Thorpe, Bryan Bland, Wade Moises, Ricki Carroll, Anne Saxelby, Paula Lambert, Ludo Lefebvre, Paul Kahan, Grant Achatz, Bill Telepan, Steve Atkins, and Michael Chiarello.
The topic of dietary fat and cholesterol was still fresh in my mind from my presentation given just a few months earlier, so I was pleased to see the following paragraph. “But what about all that saturated fat? Turns out it’s not the bogeyman we thought it was. “The evidence on saturated fat and its impact on coronary heart disease is swinging the other way,” says Tonja Schoenfuss, PhD. In fact, a study last year in the journal BMJ found that replacing saturated fat with plant-based polyunsaturated fats increased the risk of death for men with heart disease by 30 percent.”
As I read the informative article, I realized that the bells of healthy cheese were ringing…loudly! Think about this. Cheese is one of the oldest foods known to humans. For centuries, people have survived on cheese. And yet, for over the past fifty years, it has been vilified, placed on the evil list of foods, and avoided by those who fear fat. Thanks to Clint Carter, 12.5 million readers of his magazine have been asked to enjoy great, high quality cheese. Men’s Health is the #1 ranking magazine for men and is available in 65 countries. Remember one of his early questions? “Want to reap the rewards of real cheese? Start here.” Mr. Carter, I agree.