Cheddar Cheese Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/12/22 •  9 min read
cheddar cheese benefits and side effects


Cheddar cheese side effects may include:

Cheddar cheese is…

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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, 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

Cheddar cheese is…


Kills: male calves, in most cases and unless stated otherwise cheese production involves rennet, the dairy industry sells “unwanted” male calves to be slaughtered for veal, as pregnancy must occur for female cows to lactate and produce milk

Harms: cows, calves mother cow and calf distressed due to separation within 24 hours after birth, male calves slaughtered for veal, female calves fed artificially, locked in tiny cages, cows genetically modified to grow so obese that many become lame (unable to walk) shocked with electric prods, shackled with chains and dragged, beaten, prods poked up rectums, live 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 eventually slaughtered for beef once milk production has ended

Indirectly kills or harms: ecosystems and wildlife, habitat contamination (water and soil pollution), wildlife habitat destruction (deforestation/land clearing), wolves and coyotes killed to prevent predation on livestock 

Cheddar cheese is…


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

Cheddar cheese has…

Where does most cheddar cheese come from? 📍

The world’s top cheddar cheese producing country is Germany, followed by Netherlands, France, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, Switzerland, USA and Greece.

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 cheddar cheese nutritious? 🥗

Cheddar cheese is high in calcium but high in saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and 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 cheddar cheese substitutes and cheddar cheese alternatives? 🍴

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

cheddar cheese is acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is cheddar cheese alkaline or acidic?

Cheddar cheese is acidic.

What is the pH level of cheddar cheese?

Cheddar 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

cheddar cheese is gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is cheddar cheese gluten free?

Yes, cheddar cheese is gluten free. Cheddar 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

cheddar cheese is a common food allergen: milk.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is cheddar cheese a common food allergen?

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

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

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

cheddar cheese has a moderate water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does cheddar cheese have a high or low water footprint?

Cheddar cheese has a moderate water footprint compared to most foods.

What is the water footprint of cheddar 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?

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

cheddar cheese has a high carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does cheddar cheese have a high or low carbon footprint

Cheddar cheese has a high carbon footprint compared to most foods.

What is the carbon footprint of cheddar 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

cheddar cheese is unsustainable.

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

Overall, is cheddar cheese eco friendly?

Is cheddar cheese sustainable? Cheddar 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.

cheddar cheese is not vegan.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is cheddar cheese vegan?

No, cheddar cheese is not vegan. Cheese is an animal byproduct, and a female mother cow must be used in order to produce cheddar cheese.

Animals of factory farming 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. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

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

cheddar cheese has labor issues and human rights concerns.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is cheddar cheese a product that has known labor issues?

At this time, there are reports of worker mistreatment regarding dairy farming.

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

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.


cheddar cheese – FoodData Central – USDA

Cheddar Cheese Grades and Standards – Agricultural

Usage of milk by dairies in the United Kingdom – GOV.UK

Adriane Marie

Self-proclaimed Grocery Guru, Material Maven and all around Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful and use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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