February 9, 2015

Slaughter-Free, Gluten-Free Cheese from Gita Nagari Farm

By Evan Sandsmark -  

Most people who eat gluten-free know that cheese is gluten-free (at least in most cases). When you have a dietary restriction, you tend to become aware of the full range of foods that are possible to consume. You are constantly reminded of what you can’t eat, and so naturally you quickly turn to, and embrace, foods that you can eat. This presents certain problems for people who have to eat gluten-free, but also want to stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet. The gluten-free diet is in some ways hostile to vegetarianism and veganism because meat and dairy products are two major food groups that are reliably gluten-free. If you want to be a vegetarian or vegan, but find this difficult because of the limitations already imposed on you by the gluten-free diet, you can take some comfort in the existence of places like Gita Nagari Farm, which makes cheese in about the most humane way possible. They basically treat their cows like family pets, and cows live out their entire lives on the farm and are never sent to slaughter.

Gita Nagari Farm Cheese

Gita Nagari Farm was brought to our attention by our partner site The Happy Gluten Free Vegan. The publisher of that site, and the publisher of Gluten Free in Boulder, Anne P. Mitchell, wrote a widely read review of the slaughter-free cheese from Gita Nagari, which sounds as delicious as it is ethically produced. We won’t simply repeat what is in that article, but we wanted to call our readers’ attention to it for the reasons outlined above – in case you are stuck between the high ideals of vegetarianism and the practical demands of avoiding gluten. It is very difficult to avoid a massive food group like dairy when you are already trying to steer clear of gluten and its thousands of manifestations, but when you order cheese from a place like Gita Nagari, you are at least sourcing your food from a place that other farms should emulate. And to do this a dairy farmer needn’t necessarily embrace the philosophical system, which stems from the teachings of Bhagavad Gita, that drives Gita Nagari Farm. They could instead just be more sensitive to the suffering of animals, and treat the life of a sentient being as more than something of mere instrumental value.

For as much as we support efforts like Gita Nagari Farm, we realize it is impractical to order all your cheese from there. For one thing, it is expensive, especially when you have to ship it across the country (they are based in Pennsylvania), which itself raises environmental concerns. However, if more people demand high ethical standards from farmers, the market would no doubt abide, giving rise to a greater supply of guilt-free cheeses and other products. And if this were to happen, the options of those striving for a humane diet, but restricted by gluten avoidance, would greatly expand.

You can learn more about Gita Nagari Farm here.

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Slaughter-Free, Gluten-Free Cheese from Gita Nagari Farm
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If you want to be a vegetarian or vegan, but find this difficult because of the limitations already imposed on you by the gluten-free diet, you can take some comfort in the existence of places like Gita Nagari Farm.
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