appeal. In 2017, Breakstone’s, one of the largest manufacturers of cottage cheese usda /webdocs/publications/82220/eib-166 .pdf?v=0. 2 Business Wire.
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The Cornucopia Institute wishes to thank the foundations that support our research and the thousands of family farmers and organic advocates who fund this work with their generous donations. Researched, wri˜en, and edited by the entire policy and communications sta˚ of The Cornucopia Institute. The Cornucopia Institute is chartered as a tax-exempt, public charity focusing on research and education. Cornucopia aims to empower organic producers, consumers, and wholesale buyers to make discerning marketplace decisions, protecting the credibility of the organic food and farming movement and the value it delivers to society. The Cornucopia Institute P.O. Box 826 Viroqua, Wisconsin 54665 608-637-8278 Report design and layout: Dra˛ Horse Studio | dra˛ Buyer™s Guide design: EFN Web, LLC | All photos, except where noted: Adobe Stock or Public Domain Copyright © 2019, The Cornucopia Institute

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2 WEIGHING THE CURDSINTRODUCTION: COTTAGE CHEESE AS A GROWING MARKET FORCE COTTAGE CHEESE IS EXPERIENCING a resurgence in popularity and, consequently, is becoming a more signi˝cant part of the dairy sector. This trend in the marketplace brings new challenges for consumers. This report addresses: ˜The history, decline, and resurgence of co˜age cheese sales; ˜Why USDA certi˝ed organic co˜age cheese is the be˜er choice for consumers; ˜The health bene˝ts of co˜age cheese in a dairy- inclusive diet; and, ˜The variety of ingredients found in co˜age cheese and how to identify nutritionally superior products. Co˜age cheese was a dairy staple in households for decades, reaching its peak in the early 1970s. At that time, the average American ate ˝ve pounds of co˜age cheese per year. 1 Since then, consumption of co˜age cheese has halved; but recent market data suggests that this once beloved dairy delight is primed for a global comeback. Market analysts forecast that the co˜age cheese market will grow by almost 10% between 2018 and 2022. 2 As consumer packaged goods companies maneuver to capitalize on this upward trend, an increasing number and variety of co˜age cheese products are making their way onto grocery store shelves. Many co˜age cheese products on the shelves today have been converted to junk food with the addition of processed ingredients, including starches, gums, thickeners, and added sugar. Cornucopia™s report and accompanying scorecard will help consumers identify the healthful, protein-packed, calcium-rich curds akin to the co˜age cheese which has been consumed for centuries. Our research ˝ndings show that the best choice is always USDA certi˝ed organic co˜age cheese, which consists almost entirely of the wholesome, highly nutritious ingredient from which it was derived: organic milk. Market analysts forecast that the cottage cheese market will grow by almost 10% between 2018 and 2022. As consumer packaged goods companies maneuver to capitalize on this upward trend, an increasing number and variety of cottage cheese products are making their way onto grocery store shelves.

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HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE NUTRITIOUS BRANDS FROM OVERLY PROCESSED CONCOCTIONS 3HISTORY OF COTTAGE CHEESE IN THE UNITED STATES COTTAGE CHEESE HAS BEEN AROUND for generations. It is generally thought that the fico˜agefl descriptor originated in the 1800s, when cooks in country homes (referred to as co˜ages) fermented milk le˛ over a˛er making bu˜er into this mild cheese. Co˜age cheese was also derived from fisouredfl milk as a way of preserving and upcycling the product. 3 During the First World War, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) encouraged Americans to cut back on meat, which was in demand for soldiers overseas. The USDA created a poster that read: fiEat more co˜age cheese, you™ll need less meat,fl noting that a pound of co˜age cheese supplied more protein than a pound of beef, pork, or poultry. 4 Americans were also encouraged to adopt fiMeatless Tuesdaysfl and to substitute cheese as a protein source. During World War II, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration instituted food rations to preserve processed and canned foods for shipping to the military. Because hard cheeses were able to withstand international shipping, they were also rationed. Due to its perishable nature, co˜age cheese was exempt from rationing and widely consumed at home. 5 By the 1950s, co˜age cheese was hailed as a diet and health food, and, in 1970, the average U.S. consumer was eating a li˜le over ˝ve pounds per year. 6 As large-scale food manufacturers took industrial shortcuts in co˜age cheese production, which o˛en altered the food™s familiar ˙avor, its appeal waned. 7At the same time, consumers began to gravitate toward another darling of the modern processed dairy industry: yogurt. By the 1980s, yogurt was mainstream, with a seemingly endless variety of ˙avored and sweetened options available. Yogurt boasted $7.5 billion in sales in 2017, a 2.7% decline over the previous year. The decline has been a˜ributed to oversaturation of the market and consumer confusion over the myriad choices. 8˜˚˜˛˜˝˜˙ˆ˚˛˝˙˜ˇ˘ ˜ˇˆ˙ ˜ˇ ˜ˇˇ˙ ˜ˇˇ ˝˙˙˙ ˝˙˙ ˝˙˜˙ ˜˚˛˝˙ˆˇ˚ ˘˚ˆˇ˚ ˜˚ˆˇ˚ ˘˚ˆˇ˚ ˇ˙†˘“‘ ’š•‡…˝—–ƒ⁄—š……›’——⁄—˝š−—‡˝˜—›‡⁄ Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service and Eliza Barclay and Alyson Hurt/NPR

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4 WEIGHING THE CURDSNew lines of co˜age cheese, replete with fruit, nuts, and a variety of ˙avorings, are now elbowing their way into the dairy case. 9 Between 2015 and 2016, co˜age cheese sales rose by 1.2%. 10Although this accounted for only 2% of total dairy sales, market forecasters suggest co˜age cheese sales will continue to grow at 9.73% through 2022. 11ADDED FLAVORS AND OTHER MARKETING CHANGES Food manufacturers are now be˜ing on co˜age cheese. Dean Foods recently announced a 2019 advertising campaign that will target millennials with what it presents as innovative, not your grandma™s versions of traditional co˜age cheese. 12Companies have added sweet and savory fimix-insfl to co˜age cheese and changed its texture by manufacturing fismoothfl or smaller-curd varieties. 13 Giant food companies, such as those led by General Mills (Yoplait) and Dannon, have already e˚ectively transformed yogurt into a fijunk food.fl Co˜age cheese faces the same fate at the hands of manufacturers keen on capitalizing on this largely untapped, but growing, market. Large co˜age cheese manufacturers are now taking a cue from yogurt™s modern success. 14 Like the yogurt of old, co˜age cheese has mainly been sold in multi-serve containers. Those tubs lack the convenience of on-the-go packaging, but they remain the more environmentally friendly option. Marketers are now repackaging and rebranding their co˜age cheese to garner wider market appeal. In 2017, Breakstone™s, one of the largest manufacturers of co˜age cheese, introduced single-serve packs with fruit toppings. These ˙avored options range from fimango habanerofl to fihoney vanillafl and bear li˜le resemblance to traditional co˜age cheese. Muuna, a wholly owned subsidiary of Israel™s biggest food manufacturer, Truva (owned by China™s Bright food), has moved into the American market and is also o˚ering its conventional products in single-serve packaging. 15Good Culture, a company based in Irvine, California, manufactures conventional and organic co˜age cheese in multiple ˙avors, such as fistrawberry chiafl and flkalamata olive,fl which are sold in 5.3 oz. cups. An investment arm of General Mills, 301, Inc., provided strategic funding for the company in 2016 to fund sales and distribution strategies. 16Food companies marketing highly processed products, o˛en in ficonvenience packaging,fl frequently add carrageenan (a known digestive irritant), gums, and sugar to their products. Numerous co˜age cheese products contain these additives, compromising the health bene˝ts of an otherwise highly nutritious food. As an increasing number of co˜age cheese products hit grocery store shelves, it™s more important than ever to scrutinize ingredient labels, nutrition panels, and processing techniques to decipher between nutritious foods and additive-laden, overly processed concoctions. U.S. Department of Agriculture. fiEat More Cottage Cheese.fl Special Collections, USDA National Agricultural Library .As an increasing number of cottage cheese products hit grocery store shelves, it™s more important than ever to scrutinize ingredient labels, nutrition panels, and processing techniques to decipher between nutritious foods and additive-laden, overly processed concoctions.

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6 WEIGHING THE CURDSof the starch or whether it was genetically modi˝edŠ another reason to always choose certi˝ed organic. 2. NO RBGH Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH) is commonly injected into conventional dairy cows to increase milk production. Using growth hormones is explicitly banned in organic production. 24Numerous studies have shown increased growth hormones in milk from cows treated with rbGH and a corresponding risk of cancer in humans (see Cornucopia™s Yogurt Report, Culture Wars , for details). 25Choosing organic co˜age cheese assures that dairy cows were not dosed with synthetic growth hormones. 3. ORGANIC DAIRY IS MORE NUTRITIOUS The organic standards require that organic dairy cows be on pasture during the grazing season and obtain a minimum of 30% of their dry ma˜er intake from pasture. 26 Compared with dairy cows raised in conventional con˝nement, organic dairy cows have a be˜er diet, which a˚ects the nutritional quality of the milk they produce (see Cornucopia™s Dairy Report, The Industrialization of Organic Dairy , for details 27). In late 2016, one of the most comprehensive reviews of existing research on organic food and production practices was published. 28 The review, commissioned by the European Parliament, con˝rmed that milk produced by animals raised under organic production methods, including grazing, has a higher content of omega-3 fa˜y acids. Researchers have found 50% higher content of omega-3 fa˜y acids in grass-fed cow™s milk. 29 (See Cornucopia™s Dairy Report for details on how production methods impact milk™s health bene˝ts). 30 Both omega-3 and omega-6 fa˜y acids are essential for human health, but excessive levels of omega-6 and low levels of omega-3 are unhealthy. 31 Most Americans consume insuˆcient amounts of omega-3 fats. 32 Grass-fed dairy is also a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fa˜y acid that has been linked to a range of health bene˝ts, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and obesity. 33 A recent study found that organic milk contains 40% more CLA than conventionally produced milk. 344. NO CONVENTIONAL PESTICIDES USED ON FRUIT AND OTHER STIR˜IN ADDITIVES Conventional co˜age cheese that contains fruit and other mix-in additives, like nuts, likely contains residues of synthetic, toxic pesticides not allowed in organic production. Studies have shown that organically produced crops have fewer detectable pesticides, some of which mimic hormones in the body. 35 Cumulative exposure to chemicals that mimic hormones in the body can have catastrophic e˚ects on human health. 36 When buying co˜age cheese with fruit or other stir-in ingredients, choose organic to ensure the produce was grown without the use of toxic pesticides. INGREDIENTS TO AVOID 1. CARRAGEENAN Carrageenan is a seaweed extract that food manufacturers add to many processed foods. It creates a fa˜y fimouthfeelfl in products such as low-fat or non-fat dairy and plant- based dairy substitutes (e.g. soy and coconut beverages). Carrageenan adds no nutritional value or ˙avor to foods or beverages. Since carrageenan is derived from seaweed, some consumers assume it is healthy. On the contrary, ingestion of carrageenan carries documented health risks. 37MORE THAN MILK: WHAT’S HIDING IN YOUR BOWL Milk Cream Salt Carrageenan Tri-Calcium Phosphate Locust Bean Gum Citric Acid Vitamin A Palmitate Rennet Carbon Dioxide Cultures Live and Active Cultures Monoglycerides & Diclycerides Guar Gum Citric Acid Enzymes Cane Sugar Flavor Pectin Lemon Juice Concentrate Fruit and Vegetable Juice Concentrate Potassium Sorbate Calcium Phosphate Arti˚cial Color Arti˚cial Flavor Natural Flavor Sugar Modi˚ed Food Starch Modi˚ed Corn Starch Carrageenan Maltodextrin Vitamin D3 Black Carrot Juice and Purple Carrot Juice (Color) Caramel Color Annatto Vanilla Bean Seed

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HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE NUTRITIOUS BRANDS FROM OVERLY PROCESSED CONCOCTIONS 7The unique chemical structure of carrageenan triggers an immune response in the body that leads to in˙ammation. It is a known intestinal irritant and can cause ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (see Cornucopia™s Carrageenan Report, Carrageenan: New Studies Reinforce Link to In˜ammation, Cancer and Diabetes , for details). 38, 39 Due in part to consumer pressure led by Cornucopia, the National Organic Standards Board voted in 2016 to prohibit carrageenan in foods bearing the USDA organic label. 40 The USDA chose to ignore the NOSB and reapprove the use of carrageenan in organic foods in April of 2018. Many organic brands have voluntarily eliminated the substance from their product formulations, however, as a result of consumer demand. Shoppers can use Cornucopia™s Co˜age Cheese Scorecard to ˝nd out which brands do not use carrageenan in their products. 2. NON˜ORGANIC EMULSIFIERS AND GUMS Ingredients including guar gum, acacia gum, xanthan gum, and soy lecithin are o˛en added to enhance palatability and give co˜age cheese a creamier, more velvety fimouthfeel.fl They also serve as an emulsi˝er to prevent separation. Some individuals may experience allergic reactions and digestive problems as a result of these unnecessary additives. Xanthan gum is a thickening agent made by fermenting a yeast with corn or another sugar source. It has been linked to digestive problems and colitis. 413. ADDED FLAVORS AND COLORS Flavors and colors o˛en are added to improve the taste and appearance of products that have been highly processed. Arti˝cial ˙avors can consist of any number of 2,500 chemically de˝ned ˙avoring substances considered safe for use by the Food and Drug Administration. Synthetic colors and ˙avors can be a health risk and are prohibited in organic food (see Cornucopia™s Snack Bars Report, Raising the Bar , for more information). 42 4. A LENGTHY INGREDIENT LIST Some brands of co˜age cheese are highly processed. Milk is the only ingredient required to make wholesome nutritious co˜age cheese. Consumers should use caution when they see a long ingredient list or ingredients they cannot identify. Here are just a few to be on the lookout for: ˜MALTODEXTRIN Maltodextrin is a starch found in numerous co˜age cheese products, commonly derived from corn or wheat, but also made from rice, potatoes, and tapioca. The starch is processed to create a water-soluble white powder which is used as a stabilizer, sweetener, and thickener in many packaged foods. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists maltodextrin as a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) food additive. Like modi˝ed food starch, most maltodextrin is genetically modi˝ed. Since all ingredients in certi˝ed organic products must be GMO-free, maltodextrin in organic co˜age cheese must be made from non-GMO corn or wheat. 43Some researchers have also raised concerns about maltodextrin™s high-glycemic index. Ingredients with a high glycemic index cause blood sugar to rise quickly. If this process occurs repeatedly over time, a person is at higher risk for insulin resistance and diabetes. 44 Research has also raised concerns that maltodextrin can change gut bacteria composition, suppress the growth of probiotics, and increase the growth of harmful bacteria that is associated with autoimmune disorders. 45 ˜MONOGLYCERIDES AND DIGLYCERIDES Monoglycerides and diglycerides are commonly added to commercial food products like co˜age cheese to prevent mixtures of oils and water from separating, to improve texture, and to extend shelf life. Mono- and diglycerides may contain trans fats. 46 The consumption of trans fats is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and strokes. 47 The FDA has taken steps to remove arti˝cial trans fats from foods, including a ban on partially hydrogenated oils, the most common source of trans fats. 48 The ban does not apply to mono and diglycerides because they are classi˝ed as emulsi˝ers, not fats (lipids). Some companies have circumvented the FDA™s ban on trans fats by adding monoglycerides and diglycerides to co˜age cheese to obtain the qualities they want in their product. Due in part to consumer pressure led by Cornucopia, the National Organic Standards Board voted in 2016 to prohibit carrageenan in foods bearing the USDA organic label. The USDA chose to ignore the NOSB and reapprove the use of carrageenan in organic foods in April of 2018.

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8 WEIGHING THE CURDSIf you see mono- and diglycerides on an ingredient label, it™s impossible to know how much trans fat is in the product. Medical experts contend there are no safe levels of trans- fat consumption. 49 ˜POLYSORBATE 80 Polysorbate 80 is a chemical compound that is made in a lab and is available in di˚erent grades, each with a di˚erent characteristic. Polysorbate 80 can be used as an emulsi˝er in foods, vitamins, medicines, and vaccines. It is used in some varieties of co˜age cheese to retain its creamy texture and prevent separation. While the FDA considers it safe for human consumption 50, polysorbate 80 may promote in˙ammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn™s disease. 51 According to some researchers, fi[it] has been hypothesized that emulsi˝ers, detergent-like molecules that are a ubiquitous component of processed foods–might be promoting the increase in in˙ammatory bowel disease observed since the mid-twentieth century.fl 52When fed to rats, polysorbate 80 has caused in˙ammation, as well as changes in metabolic function and gut bacteria. 53 Animal studies also suggest that polysorbate 80 could cause anaphylactic shock and interfere with the development of reproductive organs. 54 ˜POTASSIUM SORBATE Potassium sorbate is a chemical additive that is used in food and personal care products. It extends the shelf life of foods by halting the growth of yeast, fungi, and mold. Although the FDA recognizes it as GRAS, some people have reported allergies to potassium sorbate. 55 When you see potassium sorbate on a co˜age cheese ingredient label, consider that it is an arti˝cial preservative made from industrial chemicals. 5. ADDED SWEETENERS Flavored co˜age cheese may contain added sugar. Consuming large amounts of sugar is associated with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. 56 The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to no more than six teaspoons per day. 57 Consumers can add the sweetener of their choice in order to be˜er control the level and quality of sweetening. PUBLIX BRAND FAT˜FREE: IS THIS REALLY COTTAGE CHEESE? Thickeners, Preservatives, Colors BREAKSTONE™S NON˜FAT COTTAGE CHEESE Arti˚cial Color, Gums, Natural ˛avors, and Mono- and Diglycerides ˜˚˛˝ ˙˜ˆ˚ˇ˘˛˚˝ ˙˜ˆ˚ˇ˚˜˝˜˛˚˝ ˙˜ˆ˚ˇ˚˜˜˙˝˛˚˝ ˙˜ˆ˚ˇ

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HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE NUTRITIOUS BRANDS FROM OVERLY PROCESSED CONCOCTIONS 9NUTRITIONAL PROFILE COTTAGE CHEESE IS RICH IN PROTEIN , vitamins, and minerals, all of which are vital for human health. 58 Nutrition needs vary from person to person, based on gender, age, level of activity, speci˝c health circumstances, and dietary choices. Cornucopia recommends consulting with a medical professional for individualized nutrition plans. For those who eat dairy products, there may be health bene˝ts to eating co˜age cheese. PACKED WITH PROTEIN Co˜age cheese is high in dietary protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. 59 One cup of co˜age cheese can pack up to 25 grams of protein, which accounts for over 70% of its calories. 60 The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight (.8 grams per kilogram). 61 This averages out to 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams per day for women, although individual protein needs vary based on factors such as activity level and age. 62Co˜age cheese has long been popular with many ˝tness enthusiasts and athletes due to its high content of casein protein. Casein, a type of protein found in abundance in co˜age cheese, is slow-digesting, meaning it feeds cells over a long period of time, and is thought to reduce muscle breakdown. 63Foods high in protein, like co˜age cheese, also help eaters feel full longer by controlling the level of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. 64DAIRY FAT IS GOOD FAT The fats in co˜age cheese, if not stripped out in the low- fat and no-fat varieties, are high-quality saturated and unsaturated fats. Contrary to propaganda disseminated by the sugar industry for years, 65 new scienti˝c studies have found that whole-fat dairy is not associated with cardiovascular disease and stroke. 66 Not only does emerging research show that full-fat foods are heart-healthy, researchers are also ˝nding that re˝ned sugar in processed foods, not fat, is the culprit in many chronic health problems, such as diabetes. 67A study by Tu˛s University found that, compared to those who eat the least dietary fat, people who eat the most dietary fat have a 46% lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. 68 Because the fat in dairy delays the absorption of milk sugar, blood sugar rises more slowly without a corresponding spike in insulin. An excessive amount of circulating insulin leads to insulin resistance, which can ultimately lead to the development of diabetes. WHAT’S IN 1 CUP OF COTTAGE CHEESE ˜Up to 25 grams of protein ˜Approximately 24% of daily recommended B12 intake ˜Roughly 30% of the recommended daily intake of selenium

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