How to make zero carbon cheese
The latest episode of Fully Charged, however, takes a slightly more old fashioned turn as Robert visits Winterdale Cheesemakers in Kent—an artisan dairy that combines both old world and new technologies to create what they are billing as "zero carbon cheese".
By first making the cheese soon after it leaves the cow, Winterdale reduces the need for rapid chilling and refrigerated transportation. Add to that their use of cave-like cold storage requiring no energy to operate, and a traditional Dutch cheese press that uses weights and pulleys, and Winterdale has slashed its energy use even before you start looking at their fancy clean energy technology. The remainder of the dairy's energy needs are met with a ground source heat pump and a photovoltaic array, which has proved to be so productive that they are now using excess electricity to charge a Nissan LEAF that is used to deliver the cheese to market.
Those who follow climate issues closely will rightly point out that there are big questions about the impact of cows on climate change, alongside counterclaims that pasture-raised cows sequester more greenhouse gases than they emit, but Robin Betts is quick to point out that his "zero carbon" claim relates to the production process of the cheese itself.
And that's pretty impressive stuff. And, Robert tells us, the cheese is really good too.