April 2, 2009
Pizza With Double Soy Cheese, Please
Until recently, people who avoid dairy haven't had a tremendous amount of luck ordering pizzas. Happily, that's changing.
A burgeoning array of non-dairy cheeses are not only humane, but taste more and more like dairy.
These milk-free products are a big part of a new generation of dairy alternatives. They're ready to be grated onto pizzas or tacos, melted onto nachos, sliced onto sandwiches, spread on crackers or even sliced and enjoyed with wine (yes, they're that good).
Alternatives for Everyone
One such cheese found a home at San Mateo, Calif.-based Amici's East Coast Pizzeria. The chain offers Cheezly non-dairy cheese at its eleven locations.
Choose Your Cheese
Try these varieties:
If a grocery or restaurant doesn't have your favorite, ask for it.
Other popular Bay Area pizzerias like Fellini's, Pizza Plaza and Beretta also feature dairy-free soy cheese pizza.
Amici's president Peter Cooperstein says, "We're delighted to offer non-dairy cheese! Not only does our new soy cheese taste great, it's an important part of our commitment to satisfying our vegan, lactose-intolerant or more health-conscious customers."
Across the country, restaurants are finding it easy to provide choices for everyone. Washington, DC, for example, has a number of restaurants that offer similar pizza options.
These products are also becoming increasingly available at local supermarkets. Look for brands like Daiya, Sheese, Dr. Cow, Follow Your Heart, Teese, and Cheezly at your grocer—or ask your pizzeria to offer dairy-free cheese as a topping.
Helping Farm Animals
These cheeses appeal to people who avoid dairy for health reasons—and they're a great way to cater to the growing number of people who pass on dairy as a way to protect farm animals.
There are about nine million dairy cows in the country, most confined indoors or on feedlots. Producers often breed them for astronomical rates of milk production and inject them with hormones.
They often also dock cows' tails—amputating up to two-thirds of the tail, typically without painkiller. And a 2008 HSUS slaughter plant investigation illuminated shocking abuses of sick and injured dairy cows.
Karin Olsson, outreach manager for The HSUS's factory farming campaign, says, "By adding dairy-free cheese to their menus, Amici's and other restaurants are helping farm animals—and meeting the needs of people who avoid dairy."
What You Can Do
Try these products and see for yourself how good they are. You can also investigate some of our other favorite dairy-free selections.