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Newsweek: French Cheesemakers Crippled by EU Health Measures



Most of the recent attention has been focused on challenges facing American cheesemakers due to regulatory pressures, but all is not well in what is arguably the world capital of artisan cheese: France. Newsweek reports on the losses that France’s cheese heritage is currently experiencing (this story touches on many of the same themes and issues as the documentary The War of the Stinky Cheese):  

French Cheesemakers Crippled by EU Health Measures

President Charles de Gaulle famously remarked on the impossibility of governing a country that produced so many cheeses. But that was in 1962. Today it might be just as hard to govern the country, but it has nothing to do with cheese – because 90% of the producers have either gone to the wall or are in the hands of the dairy giants. This is thanks to a mixture of draconian health measures in Brussels, designed to come down hard on raw milk products, and hostile buyouts by those who want to corner the market.

Unpasteurised milk, which gives a unique earth-and-fruit flavour, has been gradually marginalised on false public health pretexts after intense lobbying by the food processing industry, to the detriment of the consumer but the incalculable advantage of those producing cheese made with pasteurised milk. The latter will last up to a month on the supermarket shelf, while many made with raw milk – such as fresh goat’s cheese – are unlikely to be edible after more than 10 days.

France produces more than 1,000 different types of cheese and is the second biggest consumer in Europe, after Greece. But products made with lait cru, or unpasteurised milk, now make up only 10% of the market, compared with 100% 70 years ago. The cheese war is particularly savage in Camembert, an area where there are now only five authentic local producers left. It has fallen victim to a culture that favours a production line that can churn out 250,000 Camembert cheeses a day.

“The big industrial producers will not tolerate the existence of other modes of production. They are determined to impose a bland homogeneity upon the consumer – cheese shaped objects with a mediocre taste and of poor quality because the pasteurisation process kills the product,” says Véronique Richez-Lerouge, founder of France’s Unpasteurised Cheese Association, which lobbies to protect traditional raw-milk varieties.

“The multinationals don’t care a fig and with the complete cooperation of the powers-that-be have swept aside 2,000 years of know-how, and now the great cheeses of France are on the road to extinction,” says Richez-Lerouge, who recently published France: Your Cheese is Going Down the Drain. “The small guys just get crushed underfoot by companies like Lactalis with its €15bn turnover and Bongrain (€4.4bn). French cultural heritage and freedom of choice for the consumer are at stake here.”

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Save the cheese!

#raw milk  #cheese  #cheese mongers  #yummy  

One day I woke up
and we no longer spoke
the same language.
I haven’t heard from you since.

Where did you go?, Hishaam Siddiqi (via bl-ossomed)

(Source: pridefulvanity, via in-your-head-they-are-fighting)

Because when I was 13 years old, I was sent home for my tank top straps being a little too thin, but a boy could wear a Cool Story babe, Go Make Me A Sandwich shirt and not be looked at twice.

Because when I was 17 and I told a guy “No” and the next day the word tease was painted on my locker.

Because when I was 18 and just wanted to be friends, I was a bitch.

Because I feel the need to say “I have a boyfriend” instead of “No” because guys respect other men more than they would ever respect me.

Because society screams “don’t get raped” instead of “don’t rape”

Because I am scared to walk alone at 10 PM

Because being beautiful is the most important thing I’ll ever do.

Because when I wear my favorite skirt “I’m asking for it”

Because the song Blurred Lines exists

Because no means no no matter how you fucking spin it

Because a girl was drugged and raped with a beer bottle, and the boys who did it are out on bail.

Because I owe you nothing

Because pepper spray is a gift I receive yearly.

Because I am asked if I have a boyfriend more than I am asked about my mental health

Because my clothes say more about my consent then my mouth does.

Because the wage gap exists

Because “not all men are like that” is said way too often


Because I feel the need to say “I’m not a feminist but…”

Because I’m writing this fucking piece

– When you ask why I’m angry? (via brennanat)

(via lovatos-beanie)