Food & Drink Magazine

Heidi Ho Organic Cheese

By Chuck Underwood @brandnewvegan


I would say one of the biggest obstacles for becoming a Brand New Vegan, besides giving up the meat, is giving up cheese.

What is it about cheese that is just – so – addicting?

Well, there is the little fact that Casein, the main protein in Dairy Milk, breaks down into Casomorphins.   See that -morphin part?  Think morphine.

Yep – casomorphins trigger the same pleasure centers in your brain as morphine, a powerful opiate (narcotic).

Government statistics suggest that America is home to 2.3 million opiate and cocaine users, and while opiates in cheese have not yet made their top ten drug list, make no mistake about it, cheese IS physiologically addictive, just like the drugs.

What’s so Bad About Cheese?

I hear you.  So what.

We all love our cheese anyway, addictive or not.

Well….consider this.  In 1970, the average American was eating 8 pounds of cheese a year.

Today?  Make that 23 pounds and let that sink in for a minute.

fried cheese

Fried Mac & Cheese photo by Jason Lam, Flickr

The average American eats 23 POUNDS of cheese a year!  

Thanks Dominoes and curse you Cheese-It.  

We have cheese crust stuffed pizza.  We have deep-fried macaroni and cheese. We even have a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with mozzarella sticks.

And besides the addictive nature of the casomorphins, all that cheese comes with a lot of fat.  Saturated fat.  The kind that adds rolls to our backs, not to mention our thighs, butts, and bellies.  And it adds cholesterol and plaque to our arteries.

Houston, we have a problem.  Is it any wonder we have an obesity crisis?

The question is then, what are all of us addicted cheese heads to do?

Heidi Ho Organic Cheese

Heidi Ho is a local Portland, OR company who makes a different kind of cheese.

What’s so amazing about their cheese spreads is that they contain NO DAIRY.  That means NO casomorphins, NO saturated fat, and NO cholesterol.  And better yet?  They taste really, really good.

When the good folks over at Heidi Ho asked me if I’d like to sample their products, I jumped at the chance.

They sent me 3 different flavors to try, their flagship Creamy Chia Seed Cheese, and two different Cashew based cheeses.

Yes cashews.

This was the thing that impressed me the most about their cheese (besides the amazing taste),  the ingredients.


Potatoes, carrots, cashews, nutritional yeast.  This is like real food, not some chemical listing.

And the taste?

Oh man, like the best Nacho Cheese Sauce you ever tasted.  It was so fresh and clean and with none of those off flavors from preservatives.

The other two cheeses were like a Goat Cheese Spread (hence the name Ne Chèvre).  Amazing.

You may have heard of Heidi Ho as Heidi (the owner) was a big winner on the hit ABC show “Shark Tank”.  Her cheese was such a hit she got an instant offer and $125,000 worth of funding.

Overall, my wife and I loved all 3 flavors and I’m sure my daughter will dig in later today when she visits.

Now, there is just one thing I have to add, and this applies to all of you who are on a low-fat McDougall type diet.  These products do contain cashews, which contain natural fats.  There is also Chia Seeds and some Sunflower Oil, so the percentage of calories from fat is pretty high.  If you are on a strict weight loss diet and are restricting your fat content, please read the labels to see if this is something you are allowed.  If nothing else you could consider this a treat food or a feast food for those special occasions.

Other than that, this is an amazing product which will surely cure all those cheese cravings we have all had since beginning a plant-based vegan diet.

Thank you Heidi Ho, and great job!  (now where’s those chips…….)

heidi ho

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