Eating on Purpose

My attempt to eat less and pay more.

Do You Know What’s in Your Cheese?

with 2 comments

When Sammy was a newborn, I had to cut all dairy out of my diet because it seemed to upset his stomach. Before that, I had rarely ever looked at ingredient lists.  But because Sammy couldn’t handle even a trace of dairy, I had to be extra sure I wasn’t ingesting *any* dairy.

Once I started researching the ingredients in what we were eating, it became harder and harder to look at food in the same way. I was shocked to discover, for instance, that there is dairy in almost every processed food out there, including flavored potato chips, non-dairy creamers, crackers and cookies, and even non-dairy cheese.

I came across whole groups committed to eliminating dairy products from their diets. And to be honest, after reading about what is ‘allowed’ in milk, I completely stopped drinking it (this is not to say that every milk producer has the poor standards I read about…it just ‘soured’ me on milk in general…pun intended).

I also realized, on a side note, that my stomach had never felt better than it did during the months I was off dairy. That’s how I started to figure out that I was intolerant to lactose.

Two Popular Cheese-like Products I Avoid

Kraft Shredded Cheese (cheddar)

Ingredients: (what, you thought it would only be ‘cheese’?)

  • Nonfat Cheddar Cheese
  • Pasteurized Skim Milk and Milk
  • Salt
  • Yeast
  • Cheese Culture
  • Artificial Color
  • Natural Flavor (Ingredient not in regular cheddar cheese)
  • Enzymes (these are derived from animals – vegetarians beware. Most factory cheeses use animal enzymes in their cheese)
  • Vitamin A Palmitate
  • Potato Starch
  • Cellulose Powder
  • Calcium Sulfate (Added to Prevent Caking)
  • Natamycin (a Natural Mold Inhibitor)–Shredded-Cheese/000011878

Kraft Mac & Cheese


  • Enriched Macaroni Product: (otherwise known as noodles)
  • Wheat Flour
  • Niacin
  • Ferrous Sulfate [Iron]
  • Thiamin Hydrochloride [Vitamin B1]
  • Riboflavin [Vitamin B2]
  • Folic Acid
  • Cheese Sauce Mix:
  • Whey
  • Milkfat
  • Milk Protein Concentrate
  • Salt
  • Sodium Tripolyphosphate
  • contains Less than 2% of Citric Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Sodium Phosphate
  • Calcium Phosphate
  • Milk
  • Yellow 5
  • Yellow 6
  • Enzymes
  • Cheese Culture

(Compare this to Annie’s Pasta. My kids love Annie’s and I recognize every ingredient)


Written by hollyck1

October 5, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Yikes – I’d never looked at the ingredient list for pre-shredded cheese before! Makes me all the more glad that I rarely buy it, and now that “rarely” will become “never”! Pretty much the only cheese we eat is Tillamook cheese from Oregon (we buy it from the Bellingham Costco). After you’ve had that, nothing else compares in taste. Interesting, though, how much better you’ve felt off of dairy. I have definitely limited my dairy intake, and that has helped. On another note, reading that list of ingredients for KD…yikes! I just had it last week, and confirmed once again that it gives me such a stomach ache. I’m not touching it again! Isaac (and I) also love Annie’s pasta…now to try to convert the rest of the family :).

    Heidi McMaster

    October 6, 2010 at 6:15 am

  2. Mmmmm….Heidi maybe I could get you to pick me up some of that cheese next time you’re going down? Let me know before your next trip! What kind is it? (Is Tillamook the type or the brand?)

    I feel MUCH better off dairy! It seems I can’t even handle small amounts of certain things anymore (luckily lots of cheeses I can still handle).

    To be fair (re: shredded cheese), it seems some of these ingredients are also in regular ‘cheese’. At least the mass produced kinds. If you buy local from small producers they seem to much more ‘natural’. I’ve also found a HUGE difference among yogurts. Some are all natural, some have a ton of stuff I don’t recognize. Yikes.


    October 6, 2010 at 6:36 pm

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