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Posted at 05:13 PM ET, 07/24/2012

Blessed are the cheese makers


There is cheese on this, so I bet it’s great for you. (Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

We live in one of the few eras when someone could spend vast amounts of time studying diabetes in depth and the first piece of news to be extracted from the study would be that we Needed to Eat More Cheese.

Consider. Scientists published intensely detailed findings about the effects of dairy product intake on Type 2 diabetes, and the headline became: “Cheese ‘Could Reduce Diabetes Risk.’ ” The other half of that quote probably consisted of words like “if” and “then we’d be much thinner and I’d be out of a job.” But never mind that. Context is so 2008.

So cling to the fact that regular cheese snacks might lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes by 12 percent. Praise the Lord and pass the cheddar.

This cheese news is wonderful. Sure, it’s the opposite of what people have been telling me as I carve and devour small ziggurats of gouda. But I believe it unreservedly.

When the doctors of nutrition emerge from the lair, they tend to bring either bad news ("Eat more kale!") or news that expires quickly. (“Red wine is good for you! Drink it every day! No, wait, be in the
demographic that drinks a single glass of red wine every day! No, wait, forget I said anything!”)

Shhh. Have more gruyere.

After all, to borrow a phrase from Benjamin Franklin, cheese is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

The great disappointment of astronomy was that the moon contained no cheese whatsoever. What’s the point of a space program? Save money. Send those astronauts to France.

Without cheese, macaroni is just macaroni. Ham is just ham. Crackers is just a rude thing to yell at strangers. Canned cheese is still canned cheese, because there was no cheese involved in the production of that substance at any point.

As dairy products go, cheese reigns supreme. Milk is just a whitish liquid that reminds you that you are not yet mature enough to live alone. At first, you make an effort to drink it. But soon you slip.

“I am pretty sure I read a New York Times article that said this wasn’t necessary,” you mutter to yourself, and you decide to forget it. (The same thing happened to yoga and marriage.)

Then you open the refrigerator weeks later, and there it is, frantically scrawling equations all over the egg cartons. The eggs have been there so long that they hatched, led full lives and died.

“Hey,” the milk says. “I expired two months ago! Don’t throw me away! I’m sentient now, and I think I’ve developed a soul.”

Contrast this with cheese. When cheese goes bad, it just grows more cheese.

Who was the first man to eat cheese? I think we would have had similar approaches to food storage. “Huh,” we say, glancing into our goat-stomach bags. “This used to be a liquid, but now it’s a solid. It’s probably still fine to eat.”

Yogurt is fine, except when it’s Greek (depressing financial resonances) or the kind that Jamie Lee Curtis is always urging middle-aged women to eat. Nothing says, “This tastes uniformly wonderful” like “Hey, are you constipated and middle-aged? Eat this! It will fix one of those things!”

In pictures, they urge you to say “cheese” because saying “cheese” makes you smile. Yes, I realize that this is more a question of the shape your mouth forms when uttering the word. But the sentiment is real. If you need me to smile, don’t require me to say cheese. Just ask me to think about it.

Of course, there are some naysayers. Dr. Iain Frame, director of research for the charity Diabetes UK, told the Telegraph that “it is too simplistic to focus on single foods.”

That just shows what Dr. Iain Frame knows!

The secret to enjoying new scientific findings about nutrition is never to read all the way down to the bottom of the page. Stay at the top, with the good news. In the fine print, monsters lurk. If the news were good, it would be printed in a larger font.

Stay up top, where it’s safe. With the cheese.

By  |  05:13 PM ET, 07/24/2012

Tags:  cheese

 
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