Did you know that cheese is the number one stolen food item in the world? Why is that? Actually, cheese gets stolen for a multitude of reasons.
Reasons Why Cheese Gets Stolen
The first reason why cheese gets stolen: it can be pricey, like $600 or more per pound pricey. In fact, one of the world’s most expensive cheeses is made from donkey milk and to make matters even worse it’s made from only 100 select donkeys and they produce only about 2.2lbs of cheese per day. Cheese is popular, people like cheese, popular cheese gets stolen. Plus, cheese can be very expensive and rare, and expensive, rare cheese can be attractive to thieves.
Another reason cheese gets stolen is that it can be incredibly hard to produce. Since cheese can spoil incredibly easily without the possibility of saving it, it must be made by absolute professionals that have the means to put the time and care into it that it requires. It also takes a substantial amount of products to produce a relatively small amount of cheese. Generally, it takes between 6 and 12 units of milk to produce 1 unit of cheese. For goats milk cheeses, the milk to cheese ratio is 6 to 1 because goat milk naturally has a higher fat content, but at the same ewes produce significantly less milk than a cow still making it hard to make large amounts of cheese without an even larger amount of milk.
Cheese is one of the most nutrient-rich foods around. It can contain twice the protein and a quarter the amount of cholesterol of eggs. A four-ounce piece of cheese can contain more than half the adult recommended value of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorous. And to top it all off, during the cheese-making process bacteria and enzymes “predigest” the nutrients in cheese for us, making it easier for our bodies to digest sugar, fat, and proteins. Nutrient-rich foods like cheese make it attractive to selective thieves.
But maybe the biggest reason that cheese is so frequently stolen is that cheese makes us happy. It’s true, cheese has scientifically been proven to make people happy. And it all starts with tyrosine, which is an amino acid that can exist in high concentrations in cheese. Casein, milks primary protein, also comes into play. When we eat cheese, molecules of casein are broken down and digested releasing tyrosine into our bloodstream. The casein is broken down into a “feel-good chemical” called casomorphin, which is an opioid and likely accounts for the addictive properties of cheese. The tyrosine then reacts with an enzyme in our bodies then producing neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Increasing blood flow, fighting depression, activating the brain’s reward system, and getting us addicted all with one little bite of cheese. That is pretty amazing if you ask me.
To sum it up, cheese gets stolen because cheese is expensive, cheese is hard to produce, cheese is nutrient-rich, and cheese makes us happy.
What cheese makes you happy?
What cheese would you be willing to steal?*
This blog post is part of “Let’s Talk Cheese: A Series”.
Cheese is one of my absolute favorite subjects when it comes to food. But why cheese? Is it because I love the science behind it, is it cause I love to eat it, maybe it’s the terroir’s effect on cheese (terroir is the French term for earth or soil and in regards to cheese, it’s referencing the environment around the milk-producing animal – the grazing grass, the soil composition, and even the humidity in the air – that will affect the final cheese results), or because there are nearly 1000 different kinds of cheese (with undeniably countless variations of each of those cheeses)? OR… maybe it’s all those reasons. I will be sharing all about cheese regularly on Park City Culinary Insitute’s blog. From science to varieties to mankind’s love of it, you’ll be able to learn about the wonders of cheese on the Park City Culinary Insitute blog.
About the Author
– Chef Jess
Chef Jess Everson teaches the Professional Certificate in the Culinary Arts and the Cuisine Certificate at the Park City Culinary Institute and enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge of food with other people.
*Chef Jess does not encourage stealing cheese but does encourage purchasing and consumption of cheese you love.