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East Lansing, MI—Artisan cheese consumers are willing to pay more for raw milk (unpasteurized) cheese, according to a study by Kurt Waldman of Michigan State University.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that cheese makers using raw milk age the cheese for a minimum of 60 days before sale, but is considering tightening restrictions on raw milk cheese,
Waldman pointed out. In Europe, by contrast, there is no aging requirement for raw milk cheese and some of the most expensive cheeses are made from raw milk and not intended to be aged.
The debate over the use of raw milk in cheesemaking has revived in recent years as artisan cheese production and consumption has increased. The debate, Waldman noted, is part of a growing fissure between the burgeoning local food movement and the more traditional “industrial food system” that became apparent during the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Waldman’s paper addresses two key research questions regarding the debate over the safety of cheese made from raw milk: How do artisan cheese consumers perceive tradeoffs between safety and quality? And to what extent do they perceive pasteurization and aging to be food safety attributes?
For his analysis, Waldman combined hedonic analysis of ...more