I never knew about Rennet until I was at Trader Joe’s last year and saw it listed on a frozen pizza. Not knowing what it was, I bought the pizza then looked it up at home. What I found out was rather…unappetizing to say the least. Rennet is a bunch of enzymes that you can find in any mammals stomach, it helps to aid them in the digestion of milk. These enzymes cause the milk to separate into solid and liquid and your cheese then comes to be.
Rennet is not considered to be ‘vegetarian’ and the process of how rennet comes to be is most defiantly not veg friendly. The stomachs that the cheese producers use to get the enzymes from are all a by-product of veal production, which means the enzymes you are eating are coming from a slaughtered cow/goat/lamb etc. In Europe these stomachs are actually cut up into little pieces and soaked in a mixture overnight to create the proper PH. The ‘good’ news is that here in the U.S. we tend to use ‘Genetically Modified’ rennet due to ‘the limited availability of proper stomachs’. These GM rennets tend to be made from plant-based fungi, soy and other macrobiotic sources, making them safe for vegetarians.
I can tell you from experience MOST cheese companies simply put ‘rennet’ or ‘enzymes’ on the ingredients list. This leaves you to wonder if it is all good or all nasty, I don’t even risk it anymore and just buy Cabot. Cabot cheese is from Vermont, they do not inject their cows with growth hormones and they do not use animal rennet in their cheeses. Honestly this is the only brand of cheese I will use now because after learning about rennet, I want no part of it. When it comes to buying frozen pizzas or any other pre-made foods with cheese I go for Amy’s brand, they are a vegetarian company who also does not use animal rennet in their cheeses.
Save A Life, Say No To Animal Rennet.
http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/pg/106-Rennet-FAQ.html About Rennet.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rennet Rennet Defined.