Cheddar Power

Preface. Oh how I love cheddar. When I hear that someone is a vegan I stare in disbelief. A life without cheese is a life not worth living, especially a life without cheddar. As a perpetually hungry child, if Mom was in the front room, I’d dash to the back of the house and get cheddar out of the refrigerator and slice off a small piece of cheese. If there is a substitute for oil, oh please let it be cheese!

Alice Friedemann  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report


Paraskova, T. 2019. Cheddar To The Rescue? UK Company Uses Cheese To Power 4,000 Homes.

Say Cheese

A UK dairy in Yorkshire has signed an agreement with a local biogas plant to supply it with a by-product of cheese-making that would be turned into thermal power to heat homes in the area.

The Wensleydale Creamery, which produces the Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, makes 4,000 tons of cheese every year at its dairy in Hawes in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

The company has struck a deal with specialist environment fund manager Iona Capital, under which an Iona biogas plant will produce more than 10,000 MWh of energy per year from whey—a by-product of cheese making, Wensleydale Creamery said on Monday.

Under the deal, Wensleydale Creamery will provide Iona Capital’s Leeming Biogas plant in North Yorkshire with leftover whey from the process of cheese making. The plant will process and turn the whey into “green gas” via anaerobic digestion that will produce thermal power sufficient to heat 800 homes a year.

Iona Capital already has nine such renewable energy plants in Yorkshire, which save the equivalent of 37,300 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year.

“Once we have converted the cheese by-product supplied by Wensleydale into sustainable green gas, we can feed what’s left at the end of the process onto neighbouring farmland to improve local topsoil quality. This shows the real impact of the circular economy and the part intelligent investment can play in reducing our CO2 emissions,” Mike Dunn, co-founder of Iona, said in a statement.

“The whole process of converting local milk to premium cheese and then deriving environmental and economic benefit from the natural by-products is an essential part of our business plan as a proud rural business. It is only possible as a result of significant and continued investments in our Wensleydale Creamery at Hawes and to sign this agreement and have the opportunity to convert a valuable by-product of cheese making into energy that will power hundreds of homes across the region will be fantastic for everyone involved,” Wensleydale Creamery’s managing director, David Hartley, said.   

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4 Responses to Cheddar Power

  1. EnterpriseSpaceShip says:

    Suspending in humans their natural self-defense against scarcity – plays havoc;

    The fossil fuels-run process allows now any information to propagate so cheesy, so quickly, so farther, so effortlessly – overcoming all tests of truth.

    Suspending in humans their natural self-defense against scarcity, by burning all finite fossil fuels resources at once, as if looted, only produces fake perception.

    Assessing a purchase with stolen money is so different from when the money is hard-earned.

    Once the fossil fuels age is gone, humans will go back slowly and revise every bit of knowledge assumed accurate and real – gathered since the 1700s steam engine.

    Fake the value of finite energy resources – and everything else becomes fake – first of all Knowledge.

    And this is what deserves to be called from now on – the curse of looted fossil fuels – and how it played havoc with civilization.

  2. NJF says:

    My grandma – second generation (her mom was off the boat) Italian – would always give the grandkids a little chunk or two of Romano cheese after she shredded a bunch off a wheel wedge for garlic bread or “zugu” (sugo) for the week. Great memories, all of us loved some cheese as kids! Probably not saving us from oil collapse but delicious nonetheless.

  3. Marty says:

    Cheese consumption in the US went from a few pounds per year in 1900 to almost 40 pounds per year in 2018, with most of the increase happening after 1970. There is a lot of credible medical evidence that eating this much cheese is unhealthy for humans.

    Among the many problems is the fact that a small percentage of humans, probably via leaky gut getting dairy antigens into their blood, generate antibodies to cow milk proteins. Unfortunately, these antibodies can cross-react with antigens on insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, resulting in Type I diabetes (autoimmune attack on the islets of Lagerhans, requiring life-long insulin injections). Virtually 100% of Type I diabetics have these antibodies and almost none of the rest of the population does. Cheese is a hard habit to kick since dairy casein proteins break down into casomorphins, which have an affinity for opiate receptors, roughly 1/10 as powerful as morphine. This probably helps to induce calves to continue nursing.

    An objective look at the data surrounding energy sources, how they are used, and prospects for future growth, as extensively and beautifully documented in this blog suggests that there are serious problems on the horizon in maintaining current civilizational complexity (e.g., production of insulin).

    Given that, it may be prudent to try to eat less cheese :-}