Raw Milk Cheese Association

camembert-normandieAbout 10 years ago, the FDA attempted to create a rule that would ban all raw milk cheeses regardless of whether they'd been made under strictly sanitary conditions and aged over 60 days. A group called the "Cheese of Choice" coalition successfully lobbied to keep the rules the way they were, appealing to the general public's fear that they might lose their beloved Parmigiano Reggianos and Roqueforts. However, the rule is again up for consideration this year, and again American cheesemakers are not taking things lightly.

Slow Food has stepped up efforts to block any change in the law by forming the Raw Milk Cheesemakers Association. The RCMA, whose membership is open to all licensed cheese producers in the United States manufacturing non-thermalized raw milk cheese, will "provide a forum and some educational tools to help raw milk cheese producers make safe and high quality cheese." The organization's board of directors reads like a veritable all-star team of American cheesemaking: Cary Bryant from Rogue Creamery, Judy Schad of Capriole Farmstead Goat Cheese, Helen Feete of Meadow Creek Dairy, Jaime Yturriondobeitia of Shelburne Farms, Alyce Birchenough of Sweet Home Farm, and Mateo Kehler of Jasper Hill Farm. I think I speak for curd nerds everywhere when I say that I hope the organization is successful in blocking any changes the FDA might be considering!