Sustainable Cheese: Nourishing the Palate, Respecting the Planet

Sustainable Cheese: Introduction

Welcome to your weekly tip which this week focuses on Sustainable Cheese! Embracing Sustainable Cheese in our choices has a positive impact on our planet. As we approach the festive season, cheese platters appear from nowhere! Everyone knows the impact that meat has on the planet, but have you considered the impact of cheese?

Today, we’ll explore simple actions each of us can take to make a difference. By understanding how our individual choices add up, we contribute to a collective movement for real change. Let’s dive into the world of Sustainable Cheese and discover how our conscious decisions ripple through, influencing others along the way.

Read on to learn how you can be part of this flavourful journey towards a greener, more sustainable future!

Christmas Decorations: History

Cheese, a timeless delight, has a rich history steeped in tradition and innovation. Its origins trace back over 4,000 years, with our ancestors stumbling upon the magical transformation of milk into curd and whey.

In ancient times, nomadic people carried milk in animal skins, unintentionally kickstarting the cheese-making process. Picture this: the first cheesy discovery occurred when milk, jostling on a long journey, separated into curds (the solid part) and whey (the liquid).

As civilisation evolved, so did cheese. Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Greeks all contributed to its development, refining techniques, and experimenting with flavours. Fun fact: ancient Greeks even had a god, Aristaios, credited with teaching humanity the art of cheese-making.

Fast forward to the Middle Ages, and monasteries became cheese-making hubs, perfecting and passing down recipes. By the Renaissance, cheese had become a staple, with diverse varieties emerging across Europe.

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Sustainable Cheese has come a long way since its discovery around 4,000 years ago
Cheese has come a long way since its discovery around 4,000 years ago

The Industrial Revolution introduced mass production, making cheese accessible to more people. Today, cheese remains a global culinary phenomenon, evolving in countless forms and flavours. Curious about the environmental impact of non-sustainable cheese? Read on to discover the hidden stories behind the choices we make.

Non-Sustainable Cheese: Environmental Impact

Indulging in non-sustainable cheese has repercussions echoing across the environment. Massive dairy farms contribute to deforestation, displacing wildlife and disrupting ecosystems. These operations emit substantial greenhouse gases, with a single cow producing around 100 kg of methane each year.

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Transportation adds to the ecological toll, as cheese journeys from farm to table, racking up carbon miles.

The excessive use of water in cheese production further strains precious resources, with astonishing figures like 5,000 litres of water required to make just one kilogram of cheese.

Waste piles up too, with the cheese-making process generating significant byproducts that, if mishandled, can harm local ecosystems.

Did you know that the global cheese industry produces 145 million tons of whey annually and only 79 million tons (54%) are re-used in the food system?

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Sustainable Cheese A 1.5-ounce serving of cheese might be expected to produce around 16 ounces of carbon dioxide
A 42g serving of cheese can produce around 453g of carbon dioxide

But fear not! Transitioning to sustainable cheese choices can turn the tide. Interested in how you can contribute positively? Read on to discover simple actions that make a big impact. Let’s reshape the cheese narrative for a greener, more sustainable future!

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Sustainable Cheese: What to Look For

Selecting sustainable cheese involves considering various factors to minimise your environmental impact. Look for cheeses with organic or grass-fed certifications, indicating environmentally friendly practices. These certifications ensure that the cheese comes from sources committed to ethical and sustainable farming methods.

Supporting local and small-scale cheese producers is another impactful choice. By purchasing locally, you contribute to your community’s economy and reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation. It’s a win-win for both you and the environment.

Explore cheeses made from alternative milk sources such as sheep, goat, or buffalo milk. These options often require fewer resources and have a lower environmental impact compared to traditional cow’s milk cheese. Plus, they add diversity to your cheese palate.

Consider the production methods and packaging of the cheese. Sustainable brands prioritise energy-efficient processes and use eco-friendly packaging, contributing to a more environmentally conscious choice.

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Sustainable Cheese Eating sheep or goat's milk cheese can lower your footprint
Eating sheep or goat's milk cheese can lower your footprint

Ready to lower your cheesy footprint while enjoying delicious flavours? Stay tuned to discover three of our favourite sustainable cheese brands, each making a positive impact on the planet.

Sustainable Cheese: Three of Our Favourite Brands

Daylesford Organic

The amazing Daylesford Organic is renowned for its commitment to sustainable and organic farming. Their cheese is made using milk sourced from their own certified organic farms. They prioritise animal welfare, ensuring their cows graze on organic pastures and are treated ethically. With a focus on regenerative agriculture, their practices promote soil health and biodiversity, contributing to a more sustainable ecosystem. Like Play It Green, the company is also a certified B Corp. Best of all if you use code WELCOMEDF10 at checkout, you will receive a 10% discount on your first order!

Sustainable Cheese Draylesford Organic's sustainable Christmas cheese board
Draylesford Organic's sustainable Christmas cheese board

High Weald Dairy

Our next fantastic brand, High Weald Dairy specialises in handmade, artisanal cheeses. They source organic cow and sheep milk from local farms, supporting the local economy and reducing transportation emissions. Their cheeses are made using traditional methods, and they actively work to minimise their environmental impact by utilising renewable energy sources in their production facilities. Their sustainable cheeses and team have won over 100 awards including the Soil Association Organic Food Awards. Best of all the lovely people at High Weald Dairy have provided code PLAYITGREEN10 to use at checkout for 10% off your first purchase, but hurry the voucher only lasts 7 days.

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Sustainable Cheese High Weald Dairy's organic chilli marble cheese
High Weald Dairy's organic chilli marble cheese


Our final amazing sustainable cheese brand is Godminster, known for its organic cheddar cheese. They prioritise sustainability by using organic milk from their own farm in Somerset. They focus on eco-friendly packaging, using recyclable materials and minimising waste. Additionally, they implement energy-efficient practices in their cheese-making process, reducing their carbon footprint. Not only that but their farm is carbon-negative meaning they take more carbon out of the atmosphere than they produce! The kind folks over at Godminster have offered Play It Green members free delivery on orders using code PLAYITGREENGFP, but don’t delay the code runs from 8th Dec for seven days only.

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Sustainable Cheese Godminster's organic cheese cake with heart
Godminster's organic cheese cake with extra heart

Sustainable Cheese: Wrap Up

This week we have learned about the rich history of cheese-making and the impact of non-sustainable options. Our exploration also reveals the power of conscious decisions. We have discovered brands like Daylesford Organic, High Weald Dairy, and Godminster, where taste meets environmental responsibility.

These choices exemplify how small steps, magnified by community strength, drive significant change. As a member of Play It Green, you are part of a growing community of changemakers shaping a sustainable and delicious future. Here’s to the joy of sustainable cheese, where every bite makes a positive impact!

Not A Member Yet?

Why Not Join Play It Green for £5 per month

Play It Green: Empowering Your Sustainability Journey

Ready to take your commitment to sustainability to the next level? Play It Green stands as your partner in creating positive environmental change. From educational resources on sustainable practices and signposting to sustainable services to initiatives like tree planting and social giving, Play It Green offers a holistic approach to environmental stewardship. 

Join us in the journey toward sustainability—embrace eco-conscious practices and be a force for positive change in our world. All whilst staying relevant, meeting legislation and aligning with the values of today’s consumers and employees.

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