Thursday, July 21, 2016

What the heck is animal rennet and why is it in our cheese?

My daughter is a vegetarian and has been for many years. She is very aware of what she puts in her body. She is always reading the ingredients of everything I buy. A few months ago she started reading the ingredients of the cheese we bought from Costco. Underneath the ingredients, almost as a warning she read "Contains no animal rennet". Below is a picture of the back of the package. 



 

Okay ewwwww what's animal rennet I asked. We decided to Google it and below is what we found. 

The definition from Wikipedia

Rennet /ˈrɛnɨt/ is a complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach, and is often used in the production of cheese. Rennet contains many enzymes, including a proteolytic enzyme (protease) that coagulates the milk, causing it to separate into solids (curds) and liquid (whey). They are also very important in the stomach of young mammals as they digest their mothers' milk. The active enzyme in rennet is called chymosin or rennin (EC 3.4.23.4) but there are also other important enzymes in it, e.g., pepsin and lipase. There are non-animal sources for rennet that are suitable for consumption by vegetarians.

I would not suggest looking into everything you eat if you have a weak stomach. The stuff that is added into our food is just gross. I think sometimes it's just better not knowing. 

What do you think about using animal rennet in our food?