Question for you ladies regarding cheese :)

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batgirlandrobin's picture
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Question for you ladies regarding cheese :)

I should know this by now right? After all, I'm not a newbie to being preggers...but STILL....I always wonder. When I was pregnant with my first, I didn't worry about anything really. I drank whole unpasteurized milk right from the cow Smile We've since moved and are in a State where raw milk isn't sold legally. Anyhow...my question is in regards to cheese...like BRIE! Smile I love brie (and lemon stilton too Smile and was thinking about having a cheese board for dinner this weekend....of course I'd love to add brie to that! mmmm! I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! I was even thinking that maybe I'd make it a baked brie in cresent roll dough with preserves or dried cranberries! Mmmmmm! Smile Anyone else hungry now? So, what are your thoughts on cheese? And any ole' soft cheese for that matter....I'm pretty sure most that I can buy here are pasteurized anyhow.

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batgirlandrobin's picture
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I've found conflicting info all over the internet...I've also asked my midwife AND I have to say that I KNOW the women in France don't give up their cheese Smile Thus I guess my question is...who does and who doesn't around here and why.

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I am not a big cheese eater anyway, at least not "exotic" cheese--things other than american, cheddar, provalone, & swiss. We also eat one from the Laughing Cow that is "creamy swiss" and it is good. Brie I'll eat if it's at a party or something, though I only really like the taste of the inside and not the rind. I think if you baked it it would probably kill most of the bacteria anyway. I think pregnancy is not a good time to go trying uncooked or unpastureized food you've never had before, but I think Americans are a little over-paranoid about this kind of stuff. I didn't eat deli meat my whole first pregnancy because of the listeria fear (I know you can eat it if you heat it up, but...I'm not a fan of heated lunch meat), but I ate it during my second because if I didn't eat it, my options of what TO eat were very limited. :shrug:

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I ate Brie and other soft cheeses (and if I had access to unpasteurized stuff, would have eaten that as well) as long as I got them from a good source - like a cheese store or a specialty shop where I knew they had good storage/handling practices (but I do that even when I'm not pregnant). In the US all cheese made from raw milk has to be aged for 60+ days to be sold (well commercially anyway) and that is supposed to be enough time for the bacteria to die off. All imported cheeses that are younger than that must be made with pasteurized milk.

My midwife told me it was fine, the only thing they outright said don't eat was runny eggs (and I only buy pastured eggs from the farmer's market).

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"faeriecurls" wrote:

I ate Brie and other soft cheeses (and if I had access to unpasteurized stuff, would have eaten that as well) as long as I got them from a good source - like a cheese store or a specialty shop where I knew they had good storage/handling practices (but I do that even when I'm not pregnant). In the US all cheese made from raw milk has to be aged for 60+ days to be sold (well commercially anyway) and that is supposed to be enough time for the bacteria to die off. All imported cheeses that are younger than that must be made with pasteurized milk.

My midwife told me it was fine, the only thing they outright said don't eat was runny eggs (and I only buy pastured eggs from the farmer's market).

My midwife also said it was ok Blum 3 I just always still worry a tad....ya know?

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I eat Brie all the time, actually what I do with mine is bake it, the heat will help with the bacteria that may be present.

I say everything in moderation is fine (well, not like crack or that kind of thing :razz:)

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I ate cheeses (soft, stinky, hard, ect) with both pregnancies w/out issue. Not daily but often enough. Just made sure it was a good source. I also ate sushi almost weekly so I tend to live on the edge...lol.

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I ate cheeses (brie, feta, etc), deli meats, fish while pregnant. Probably wouldn't eat it everyday or anything, but now and then? Sure!

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We use raw milk and I ate all sorts of imported soft cheeses while pregnant with all 3 kids without issue. Love cheese. Healthy babies, all good Smile

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I didn't pay any attention to the Listeria guidelines and partook in soft cheese frequently. I've worked in microbiology labs so I know how hard it is to really get rid of bacteria. So, if you want to completely avoid bacteria you have to live in a bubble. A little soft cheese from a trusted source every now and then isn't a problem. As for lunch meat, you've got more to worry about with it being loaded with preservatives.

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I don't eat soft cheese unless it's melted because it could have listeria. Listeria is rare, but if you do eat a cheese or lunch meat with it while you're pregnant it can cause serious complications. It's not worth the risk to me. There was a recent recall of lunch meats that were sold at Walmart that had been exposed to listeria, so while rare, it does happen.

Women in France might eat soft cheese during their pregnancy (though not all, I'm sure) just as women in Japan might continue to eat sushi. It doesn't mean they don't get exposed to the bacteria and bad things don't happen from food poisoning to them. It's just rare so *unlikely* to happen.

I personally wouldn't be able to handle it if I were one of the few who got food poisoning just so I could have some sushi or soft cheese. I doubt it would happen if I did eat it, but there are people it happens to. That's why they tell you to avoid it.

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I continue to eat and drink most things in moderation during my pregnancies (raw sushi, unheated lunchmeat, soft cheese, caffiene, etc.).

My feeling is that the risks involved are low, and I do what I can to minimize them - I do buy pastuerized cheeses, cook my meat adequately, and buy from trusted sellers - but I can't spend 9 months in a bubble. Honestly, I feel like I'm more likely to suffer harm from an auto accident than anything I eat, but I still drive my car, run errands, and go about my day ;).

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"jaders" wrote:

Honestly, I feel like I'm more likely to suffer harm from an auto accident than anything I eat, but I still drive my car, run errands, and go about my day ;).

Exactly! Our odds of getting injured or hurting our baby by eating cheese don't even compare to the risks we undertake when we jump in the car or breathe city air or have no wills or life insurance ~ yet we do those things every day without pause Smile

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dude, if it was baked i wouldnt even wonder, i'd assume its fine. other than that, i dont buy/eat brie anyway so i wouldnt start while pregnant, but i have not given up my lunchmeat.

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Yep to any cheese! Smile Especially brie wrapped in pastry and baked...now I want to make one! I thought it was the danger of being unpasteurized, but I can't remember now that I'm reading everyone's responses! We drink raw milk normally (not legal in GA....we have to drive to SC to get ours), but since becoming pregnant, I have switched back to a pasteurized milk. Not sure why I feel like I need to avoid it but it's just one of those things you know? I also don't eat raw sushi when pregnant. Eh, I don't know...I think it's all about your own personal comfort level, you know? If something makes you uneasy, just skip it. But like others say...moderation is key, I think.

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"cindyanns" wrote:

There was a recent recall of lunch meats that were sold at Walmart that had been exposed to listeria, so while rare, it does happen.

Problem bolded Smile Not what I would consider a trusted seller.

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I don't give up much while pregnant and out of 3 kids, only 1 is questionable and she's a 12 year old girl so that's probably the problem Smile

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"batgirlandrobin" wrote:

I've found conflicting info all over the internet...I've also asked my midwife AND I have to say that I KNOW the women in France don't give up their cheese Smile Thus I guess my question is...who does and who doesn't around here and why.

Same here. One of my best friends is from france, and she laughed at the idea. Similarly, she drank wine, ate oysters, etc etc...

I don't give up cheese. It's pasteurized, I see no need to cut it out, and I have never heard of a case of listeria from cheese. Lunch meat is a different issue - that stuff scares me normally and I don't eat it, (I'm a 'mostly vegetarian' anyway), but I won't even TOUCH it to make sandwiches for others while I'm preg. We've had several serious cases and recalls of lunch meat in the last year, so that's a definite cause for concern for me.

I don't know - cheese is my only vice - I don't smoke or drink normally (and certainly not while preg!), and I don't really eat meat, don't eat processed/refined foods... d@mnit, I want my cheese!! Smile
ETA - I will have a glass of wine on special occasions, and don't alter that for preg either....lest someone should confuse my statement above with something I may have previously said. Wink

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"momW" wrote:

Problem bolded Smile Not what I would consider a trusted seller.

That's what I was going to say. "Walmart" and "meat" shouldn't be in the same sentence. :puke2:

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"kris_w" wrote:

That's what I was going to say. "Walmart" and "meat" shouldn't be in the same sentence. :puke2:

Precisely! There's a problem with the microwaving your lunch meat technique, it doesn't work! If your lunch meat is contaminated with listeria, you are likely contaminating your entire kitchen with it simply by taking it out of the bag unless you use sterile technique (trust me you're not doing it no matter how hard you try unless your kitchen has an autoclave). Buy good meat (or no meat at all ;)) and you'll be fine.

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"Preggo_in_Tucson" wrote:

Precisely! There's a problem with the microwaving your lunch meat technique, it doesn't work! If your lunch meat is contaminated with listeria, you are likely contaminating your entire kitchen with it simply by taking it out of the bag unless you use sterile technique (trust me you're not doing it no matter how hard you try unless your kitchen has an autoclave). Buy good meat (or no meat at all ;)) and you'll be fine.

An autoclave would be really useful in my kitchen, now that you mention it ;).

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"Preggo_in_Tucson" wrote:

Precisely! There's a problem with the microwaving your lunch meat technique, it doesn't work! If your lunch meat is contaminated with listeria, you are likely contaminating your entire kitchen with it simply by taking it out of the bag unless you use sterile technique (trust me you're not doing it no matter how hard you try unless your kitchen has an autoclave). Buy good meat (or no meat at all ;)) and you'll be fine.

Ha! See! I KNEW I wasn't being paranoid about the whole 'no lunch meat even TOUCHES me while pregnant' thing! Wink

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I was super paranoid my first trimester but by the end of my pregnancy most of my paranoid food avoidance had gone out the window in favor of rational risk taking Smile I didn't eat a ton of soft cheese or deli meat, but if it was high quality, pasteurized, from a reputable source, etc. I stopped worrying about it. If it was a food safety issue (i.e. "do you think this is still okay?") I played it extra safe the whole time (actually I'm always pretty sketched out by that kind of question, ever since high school biology and a traumatizing slideshow about bread mold), but perfectly good food, sure.

ETA Lol re: Walmart.

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"momW" wrote:

I don't give up much while pregnant and out of 3 kids, only 1 is questionable and she's a 12 year old girl so that's probably the problem Smile

ROFL

I also have 3.

I did everything right I hardly ate anything with my first because the list of what not to eat is so long, went to every OB visit, and had him at 39 weeks with a birth defect of the penis that is cosmedic (his forskin is not 100% formed). 7lbs 3oz. He is 6 now and hyper, but getting all A's in school and supper socal.

2nd time I avoided all drugs (OTC) and while I ate more the the foods on the no list I did things like heating them first and I took baths. I also declinded all routine US. I did have a wine or sips of beer for like Thanksgiving of x-mas, I did crave BG King and gained 60lbs and delivred her at 41 weeks 1 day all 6lbs 13oz of her. She is 4 now and full of life, and things she runs the house.

3rd time I did my best still limited the food list, took hot showers but not baths, declined all US, took no drugs, drank nothing and ate well. I craved heathly things that prego. So why is it that him my biggest at 8lbs 9oz is the one with all health issues? (see my blog)

It is because God gives you the child that you can handle and the child you are ment to be a mom to. And IMO he is the best of them the most easy going, the happy baby and the funny toddler. The are all indvidules and will we can only do our best.

As I type this I am drinking cafeeine and not scared to pot a tylenol if I need to.

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"Preggo_in_Tucson" wrote:

Precisely! There's a problem with the microwaving your lunch meat technique, it doesn't work! If your lunch meat is contaminated with listeria, you are likely contaminating your entire kitchen with it simply by taking it out of the bag unless you use sterile technique (trust me you're not doing it no matter how hard you try unless your kitchen has an autoclave). Buy good meat (or no meat at all ;)) and you'll be fine.

EXACTLY! Ewwww to walmart meat! I only buy organic and hormone/antibiotic free and nitrate meats...I buy at a local store where things are handled properly. I had NO issues with lunch meats during my other pregnancies....

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where would I go about finding a good place to buy meat? I usually buy my lunch meat at the deli counter at Fred Meyer--at least then it's not the slimy packaged stuff

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The problem with soft cheeses are if they're unpasteurized. But I quickly found out during my pregnancy with DS, after reading many labels, that just about all of them are. And I love brie, so I never saw any reason to abstain. Jmo but I think its easy to go over-board on all the "do nots" of pregnancy, especially when we take bigger risks doing every day things like driving a car. I'm big on the whole "everything in moderation" idea.

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"MrsMangoBabe" wrote:

where would I go about finding a good place to buy meat? I usually buy my lunch meat at the deli counter at Fred Meyer--at least then it's not the slimy packaged stuff

I really like Applegate Farms meat...it's antibiotic and hormone free....very fresh. Don't know if a place like whole foods carries it...but I would think they would....do you have WF's around?

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"batgirlandrobin" wrote:

I really like Applegate Farms meat...it's antibiotic and hormone free....very fresh. Don't know if a place like whole foods carries it...but I would think they would....do you have WF's around?

we dont have a WF...small town...we have a small local natural foods place--they sell bulk herbs, grains, supplements, etc. I don't think they sell meat.

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They might not sell meat at your natural food store, but they might know some good sources. Do you have a farmers market nearby? They might have some meat for you. I buy my husband Applegate Farms stuff occasionally as well, he says it's pretty good if you don't have other options.

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Some small local farmers will ship meat to you if you can't get it at a farmer's market. Washington is probably loaded with them!

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now that I think about it, I think I remember hearing that the natural foods store is owned by Seveth Day Adventists, which would mean they're vegetarian. So, the likelyhood they sell meat there is probably not high. There is a farmers market here during the summers, but I don't go because it's on Sundays and I don't believe in shopping on the sabbath. I will have to see what I can do about finding a local farm. I might be able to find local eggs, too (I'm interested in that after reading about it on the other thread). This is a big agricultural area, but it is mostly orchards.

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I searched online (found this site: www.eatwild.com) and there are two farms listed in the town where I live. One sells grass-fed beef and the other grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb, and grain-and-pasture-fed pork, all hormone free and not routinely treated with antibiotics. The only thing is I don't have freezer space to store larger quantities that small farms usually sell in.

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See if some of your friends will go in on it with you!! Then they benefit too and you don't have to go purchase a deep freezer! Smile

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This is a great resource for finding local organic or pastured meats (also CSA's and much, much more)

http://www.localharvest.org/

HTH!

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"batgirlandrobin" wrote:

See if some of your friends will go in on it with you!! Then they benefit too and you don't have to go purchase a deep freezer! Smile

I was considering that. I have some friends who might be interested.

"Potter75" wrote:

This is a great resource for finding local organic or pastured meats (also CSA's and much, much more)

http://www.localharvest.org/

HTH!

great site, TFS! lots of u-pick farms on there, which is great...I know we have that kind of stuff around here, I just don't know WHERE it is!