Top Blue Cheese Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/22/22 •  12 min read

What are side effects of eating blue cheese that every ethical consumer must know? Here are blue cheese pros and cons and how buying it will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

blue cheese benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on blue cheese benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about blue cheese side effects and benefits. This will include blue cheese benefits for your health and potential risks, blue cheese water footprint and blue cheese carbon footprint, blue cheese sustainability, if blue cheese is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if blue cheese is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about blue cheese benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Side Effects Of Eating Blue Cheese

HEALTH

Blue cheese health side effects may include:

There are no notable health benefits to eating blue cheese.

Additionally, blue cheese is…

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ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: moderate, it takes 5,060 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of cheese / 606 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cheese

Carbon footprint: high, 13.5 CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of cheese, a car driving equivalent of 31 miles or 50 kilometers

Destruction: high, blue cheese production is relatively destructive, land usage for pasture, grain and forage, solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, deforestation for feed crops, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction, responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction

Blue cheese is…

ANIMALS

Kills: in most cases and unless stated otherwise cheese production involves rennet (rennet = the lining of the fourth stomach of young goats, calves and lambs) meaning cheese typically cannot even be considered “vegetarian”

Harms: cows, calves mother cow and calf are distressed due to separation within 24 hours after birth, male calves are slaughtered for veal (dairy industry can only use females), female calves fed artificially, locked in tiny cages, cows genetically modified to grow so obese that many become lame (unable to walk), cows are shocked with electric prods, shackled with chains and dragged, beaten, prods poked up rectums, cows live their last few months in crowded feedlots with hundreds or thousands of others, without pasture, often without shelter, must stand in mud, ice and their own waste, dairy cows are slaughtered for beef once milk production has ended

Indirectly kills or harms: the dairy industry sells “unwanted” male calves to be slaughtered for veal (pregnancy must occur for female cows to lactate and produce milk) habitat contamination (water and soil pollution from animal waste), wildlife habitat destruction (deforestation/land clearing), wolves and coyotes killed to prevent predation on livestock 

Blue cheese is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Blue cheese has…

Where does most blue cheese come from?

The world’s top blue cheese exporting country is Denmark, followed by Germany, Italy, France, UK, Luxembourg, Armenia, Spain, Austria, USA.
In the United States Wisconsin has the most dairy plants (199 dairy product plants).
Other leading dairy processing states were New York with 123 plants and California with 114 plants. 

Is blue cheese nutritious?

Blue cheese is high in calcium but high in saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium.
It often contains antibiotics and hormones such as rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) which is a genetically engineered synthetic hormone by Monsanto to increase milk production levels, resulting in cow mastitis infections, ultimately requiring more antibiotics.

What are some blue cheese substitutes and blue cheese alternatives?

Use this Dairy Foods + Substitutes List to quickly see blue cheese alternatives.

blue cheese is acidic. side effects of eating blue cheese includes not fitting into an alkaline diet.

blue cheese side effects include not fitting into an alkaline diet.

Is blue cheese alkaline or acidic?

Blue cheese is acidic.

What is the pH level of blue cheese?

Blue cheese has a 3.0 pH level, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

blue cheese is gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is blue cheese gluten free?

Yes, blue cheese is gluten free. Blue cheese does not contain gluten.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

blue cheese is a common food allergen: milk. side effects of eating blue cheese includes being dangerous for some.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is blue cheese a common food allergen?

Yes, blue cheese is a common food allergen: milk. Many people may experience allergic reactions to blue cheese.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

blue cheese has a moderate water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does blue cheese have a high or low water footprint?

Blue cheese has a relatively moderate water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of blue cheese?

It takes 5,060 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of cheese / 606 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of cheese.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake…quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

blue cheese has a high carbon footprint. side effects of eating blue cheese includes using lots of energy and emitting pollution.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does blue cheese have a high or low carbon footprint?

Blue cheese has a relatively high carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of blue cheese?

It takes around 13.5 CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of cheese, a car driving equivalent of 31 miles or 50 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

blue cheese is unsustainable. side effects of eating blue cheese includes environmental destruction.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is blue cheese eco friendly? Is blue cheese sustainable?

Blue cheese production is unsustainable.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

blue cheese is not vegan. side effects of eating blue cheese includes harming animals.

blue cheese side effects include harming animals.

Is blue cheese vegan?

No, blue cheese is not vegan. Cheese is dairy, the byproduct of a cow, sheep or goat, therefore making it an animal-derived food. A mother cow, mother goat, or mother sheep’s milk must be used in order to produce blue cheese. 

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

blue cheese has labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is blue cheese a product with laborer concerns?

At this time there are major concerns with blue cheese and dairy production. It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

This post was all about blue cheese benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Cheese, blue – FoodData Central

Cheese – Dairy Food Safety Victoria

21 CFR 133.106 – Blue cheese. – Content Details – Govinfo.gov

To Help End Sexism, You Should Stop Eating Cheese | PETA

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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