Public service announcement: Your cheese addiction is now backed by science.
According to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, you’re addicted to cheese because of the way it’s processed.
Why cheese is addicting
Cheese has an ingredient called casein, which is a protein found in all milk products. When casein is digested, it releases opiates called casomorphins. Casomorphins impact the dopamine receptors and trigger the addictive element. There you have it.
So how exactly did we figure this out? (And who can we thank for validating our addiction?)
Researchers at the University of Michigan studied two groups. All of the participants filled out something called the Yale Food Addiction Scale to see which foods they found addictive.
The first group of participants then identified which of 35 listed foods were most associated with addictive-like eating. The second group took the same 35 foods and identified which food attributes, like fat grams, were related to the addictive-like eating.
Long story short: Pizza was the most addictive food on the list. And guess what’s on pizza? Cheese. There’s no word on any support groups in the works for cheese addiction, but if we hear of any we’ll be sure to let you know.
How to save on cheese
The Krazy Coupon Lady suggests using coupons for cheese, because they aren’t as rare as you may think! You can also save in the long run by making your own cheese. Here’s how to do it in six steps (from the Krazy Coupon Lady):
- Heat a gallon of whole, organic milk (not ultra-pasturized) in a pot until it reaches 55 degrees.
- Dissolve 1 ½ teaspoons of citric acid (found at any health food store) in ¼ cup water and then add it to the pot.
- Dissolve ¼ teaspoon liquid rennet (found at grocery stores like Whole Foods in the spice section) into ¼ cup water and add to the pot when the temperature reaches 88 degrees.
- When the milk reaches 100 degrees, it will be thickly curdled and pulling away from the sides of the pot.
- Scoop out the curds into a microwave safe bowl and squeeze out the whey (it’s clear).
- Microwave for 35 seconds and repeat until you have bendable, stretchable pile of cheese that you can now salt and shape to your liking.