Here is how cheese is made. You take a couple of gallons of not-ultra pasteurized milk, warm it up to just under body temperature, 85-90 degrees, add some culture (which is beneficial bacteria), add some rennet, which is an enzyme that will cause the milk to curdle up. You process the curd to get all of the moisture out of it, and after the curd is firm and dry, you ‘wax’ it to keep air out and let it age, at room temperature, for a couple of months.
We buy this two month old, rotten milk at the store, all encased in plastic and promptly refrigerate it and treat it like it can spoil.
American cheese, which is a processed version of cheese, thus the name ‘processed cheese food product’, is not full of delicious, beneficial bacteria. It is dead.
Most of the foods that we eat are, likewise, dead. Our breads, crackers, boxed and bagged foods are all processed with special chemicals to keep the naturally occurring foods from getting a toe-hold on our food. Preservatives keep our foods from containing any of the things that nature planned to put on it for us to eat. For many millenia, man ate foods that were fresh, not even realizing that those foods contained the bacteria that would make them rot in a few days’ time. We ate those bacteria. Their uses by our bodies is still a mystery that is just now slowly being discovered. Some scientists are right now trying to prove or disprove that gut bacteria or the lack of gut bacteria is the reason behind the explosion of asthma and or food allergies in the US.
You can wait for the science, or if you are like me, you can just eat fresh foods. Eating foods that don’t need labels is a pretty painless way to do your own research. I know that until recently, I had never heard of a peanut allergy. The sudden explosion of cases of it make me wonder if my childhood and adolescence of eating far less processed foods than kids do today had anything to do with that. Someday we may know definitively, but for now, I will just eat fresh foods, and avoid foods from boxes, bags and bottles.