Being on a vegan or a plant based diet is alot more common today than maybe a year ago. Every time most of us think of even starting this healthy lifestyle, one big reason why we can’t follow the diets comes to mind and basically aborts the entire idea: CHEESE! why would anyone give up life, I mean Cheese, right?! While we are not asking you to quit cheese, we want to shed light on one type of cheese that could possibly be the most harmful and worst cheese for your health in general, not just your waistline.
Gebna roumy is sadly one of the most harmful cheeses for your health, and we are not even referring to its high content of saturated fat. According to Dr. Mohamed El Hofy, a Lab Quality Supervisor at a cheese factory,”there is almost no safe gebna roumy in Egypt”.
He explains the process of which roumy cheese is made. The main problem occurs in the storage areas where the cheese is placed for months to develop its texture. He claims, “The storage areas are supposed to get cleaned daily, but unfortunately they don’t get cleaned at all.”
When the roumy cheese is brining, the salted water drips onto the wood shelves where the cheese blocks sit for months, leaving the wood to absorb and build up bacteria and fungi. The rotting fungi then gets transformed into the cheese blocks where the cheese is kept, which forms a type of toxin called, aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is an odorless and colorless toxin produced by certain molds that can cause liver damage and cancer.
Before the cheese is sent out to supermarkets, it gets cleaned with a special brush to try and remove the toxin, however, it only cleans about 1-2mm and by then the toxins have already reached 5cm into the cheese disc.
While we are shocked and saddened to hear this about one of Egypt’s favorite cheeses, we can say with confidence that we’ll be staying well way from roumy from now on. Who knows, maybe it will help us kick our cheese habit after all. For more information, you can watch Dr. El Hofy’s interview below in full.