10 Things to Know About Rennet [It's in your cheese]

We recently received an interesting inquiry from a Fooducate community member:

I just learned what “rennet” is (an enzyme used to make most cheeses and which is usually derived from the lining of calves stomachs).  You can imagine what an unwelcome surprise this might be to some people.

For example, I do not eat 1. Red meat and 2. Baby animals of any kind.

So now I am looking for products, especially cheeses, which are made with “vegetable” rennet.

My question is “what more do I need to know”? Where else in the food world does the ingredient  “enzymes” mean “stomach linings” or similar?  What is vegetable rennet made from?  Hope you can help.

What you need to know:

1. Cheese has been manufactured using rennet for thousands of years, mostly in Europe.

2. Indeed, rennet is extracted from the lining of the inside of the stomach of mammals, and most commonly from the fourth stomach of young calves.

3. Rennet contains enzymes that cause milk to become cheese, by separating it into the solid curds and the liquid whey.

4. Different animal rennet are used as well to create other types of cheese.

5. Most cheese in the US is NOT manufactured using rennet, mostly due to the availability of cheaper alternatives.

6. Vegetable rennet is made from certain vegetables that have coagulation properties as well. Thistle is the most common form.

7. Microbial rennet is derived from molds. Yum. A side effect is a slightly bitter tasting cheese.

8. Genetically engineered rennet is derived from plants that have been injected with cow genes.

What to do at the supermarket:

9. Companies are not legally required to disclose the source of the rennet, so unless the product specifically states a non-animal source for rennet, you won’t know.

10. Another way to verify that the rennet is not from an animal source is to look for a kosher symbol. According to Jewish dietary laws, milk and meat ingredients cannot be mixed or eaten at the same time.

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  • http://twitter.com/cortado Rune Smistad

    It is as easy as this: Cheese is made with rennet. If not, it is something else, a substitute. It’s like a veggie burger.. It´s not a burger, but looks liek one. Eat real food, come to Europe!

    • on: orbit

      come to central-coast California and enjoy the very cutting edge of healthy cuisine… (:

    • Enric Martinez

      Sorry to crash your ego-trip mate, but here in the good’old EU (Holland here) we use almost exclusively genetically engineered rennet… that is actually a mold, not vegetables with cow genes, it’s commercial name is Chymosin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rennet#Fermentation-produced_chymosin_.28FPC.29).

      • Native Respect

        you can keep your GMO

        • Samantha R

          theres no scientific proof GMO does any real damamge to a person… and secondly GMO products are EVERYWHERE not justin Europe and im sure youve eaten them and dont even know it.

          • Anon

            Yes, actually, there is quite a bit of “scientific proof” that GMO’s can cause significant damage. Rather than getting defensive and assuming things, research it for yourself. One example, out of many, would be a type of corn that ended up having sterilizing (causing infertility) effects.
            Also, the fact that most people have unknowingly eaten this “food” is half the problem.

          • Samantha R

            Clearly you misinterpret my comment, its stating a fact. And I have researched this, that study you are talking about is from 2010 and it was flawed.. So get off your high horse Anon.

        • JJ

          Do you eat bananas? All bananas are GMO.

    • Guest

      Absolute nonsense. Non-animal rennet cheeses are just as authentic as animal rennet cheeses. The Greeks, for example, have used fig rennet for thousands of years. It’s one thing to be a food snob, but it’s another to use ignorant non-facts to belittle people who have basic concern for animal welfare.

  • Amy in Colorado

    I don’t eat red meat or baby animals either. Makes me vomit, actually. If it can be derived from vegetables, why slaughter innocent animals? The food industry is disgusting, inhumane, and greedy here and in Europe and most people aren’t aware of what’s going on. Thank you very much for the tip!!


      As a believer, I was grieved in my soul when I read this. Not because of you in particular, but because I wondered how many people who were grossed out at the thought of eating baby animals wouldn’t think twice about sacrificing an unborn child on the altar of convenience.
      Surely our nation will be judged for our sins.
      Repent while there is yet a little time.

      • tom

        Well, if you eat factory farmed chicken, pork or beef, you’re eating infant/young teenage animals, not sure whether it’s much better than eating babies…

        • deedwan

          Really? You’re not sure? If you aren’t sure and you can equate eating young animals with eating human babies, this just goes to show why this world is on a collision course with judgement.
          And I hate factory farm practices, but I would never in my wildest dreams equate eating young chicken or beef with eating infants.


        Really, Tom? I hope you were exaggerating.
        Mostly I eat chicken, and judging from the size I’d say they’re full grown.

        • LuBabaChica

          My dog is fully grown. It doesn’t mean that he is not still young.. In a natural environment, chickens
          would live for seven years. The vast majority of those
          destined for the table live for six to seven weeks in windowless sheds shared with thousands of other
          birds. Stop being ignorant.


            I’m ignorant? Because I have a different opinion about eating meat?
            Or because in my original post I dared say something against people who wouldn’t think twice about having an abortion,but get squeamish about eating meat and killing animals? It was about hypocrisy.

          • jo

            Whos saying we wouldnt think twice about killing babies? Your choices have an affect on many things. Not you in particular, in general. Both topics are very sad indeed. It is a personal choice, therefore no one should be taking comments personally. I choose not to eat the flesh of animals. It is because I have been awakened to the atrocities of factory farming. I know the difference with animals & humans but I choose not to support the exploitation of animals. Thats just me. Im not speciesist. Im no better than you. Just a personal choice.

          • Jose Gonzalez

            Speciesist? I’ve never heard that term, so I looked it up to confirm what I thought it was. I love that term!

            I am not a speciesist. I won’t even ride a horse because I feel that we shouldn’t be taking advantage of animals. I’m a vegetarian (vegan, actually.)

            I’m not Jewish, but I’ve found that looking for Kosher labelling can sometimes help identify if there are animal biproducts in food. Again, sometimes, but I won’t go into that topic as it is complex.

            The “good” thing is that it seems that rennet these days come from non animal sources.

          • Enric Martinez

            What is actually your point? Are you sad because they throw away the abortions and don’t make burgers out of them?

          • DoYouSprinkleDotCom

            That’s just a sick and nasty thing to say!

          • Enric Martinez

            You say that now, but one you try them with ketchup and pickles you won’t want anything else

          • Aquaria

            Your genocidal filth religion’s banning of abortion would cause millions of those pweshus babeez to be born and starve from lack of resources to care for them, while also causing millions more women to be maimed or die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, often taking your pweshus babeez along with them, genocidal scum moron.

            Women are at least 10 times more likely to die from having a baby than having an abortion, a fact you genocidal filth peddlers refuse to face.

            That’s why people with brains know that your real concern isn’t the babeez, but in making sure that women–and ONLY WOMEN–suffer and die for having sex. You can’t stand the idea of anyone having, never mind enjoying sex, you sexist, genocidal hatemongering scum.

            You don’t fool anyone, christfilth.

          • b2c

            Neither do you, God hater.

          • god hater

            You can’t hate god, for he is not real!

          • Solomon

            The Bible says only a fool believes there is no God. Mr./Mrs. Hater, you just showed all of us how intelligent you are.

          • Alexandra

            Who me nova?

          • Alexandra

            I Belive that The Bible says only a fool believes there is no God.solomon.

          • Alexandra

            God is real !!!!!!!

          • Nova

            Lady you’ve list the plot

          • Disposacc288329

            I got an idea: have the male use a condom. Don’t be a dumb slut who gets an abortion because she doesn’t know what condoms are. Use abortions if you will die during childbirth or if there will be something very wrong with the baby. This way, even a neighborhood slut like you can have sex with any man you want! If you honestly think you can’t enjoy sex with a condom, and instead want to spread your STDs to the world, you are truly delusional.

          • Felix Gill

            no he said you were ignorant of the fact that you eat baby chickens even though you think they are adult sized. an Adult chicken by human standards would be 2 years old.

            if you go by ability to reproduce then just over 1 year… but that means almost all high schoolers are adults and people should treat them better… but that is not going to happen

        • jo

          Full grown by antibiotics.

          • Me

            No, by hormones.

      • Enric Martinez

        Ever heard about a logical figure called “Straw Man Fallacy”? Nope? Check it out, you may find it extremely educative

        • Alexandra

          Who mines ?

      • Kevin Q

        your comment is off-topic. It doesn’t belong in this discussion.

    • andre laforest

      I am from quebec canada and i think like you.

    • Ad

      But if I understand well the vegetable rennet is genetically made that means from laboratory = no real food. It is that right??

      • Paul Staples

        injected with cow genes so its a vegicow type thing
        still a vegi but with a little cow, sorta stuffs the vegans tho hey, it should be disclosed on the packaging

  • http://twitter.com/awakewellness Rachel Assuncao

    Didn’t know about genetically modified rennet. Yet another reason to eat organic. Thanks for the informative post!

    • Aquaria

      Yes, eat organic, so that you can exponentially increase your chances of getting salmonella, e coli, botulism and ptomaine. Worse, enjoy your exposure to pesticides even worse than the commercially grown products.

      The gene pool could do with less stupid.

      • Deshi

        better yet grow your own stuff so you can control all of that. No worry about those bacterial cross contaminations and no worries about pesticides (unless you choose to use them, and in which case you can decide on the safest ones to use)

  • only local meet

    If you’re going to eat meat at all, why are you making those distinctions?

    If you’re going to eat meat, why not make it locally sourced, humanely raised meat?

    Not eating red meat & not eating baby animals is like saying you’re going to reduce your carbon footprint by trading in your Humvee for an SUV.

    @Rune Smistad: not all cheese is made with rennet. Many soft cheese such as mascarpone, ricotta, (some) cream cheese and cottage cheese use an acid as a coagulant. And there are cheese making traditions that favor vegetable rennets.

    • FrugalArugula

      Excuse me, but not eating red meat/baby animals is a choice and has nothing to do with humvees or SUV’s or really anything to do with the environment, though it is statistically proven to do more than that ridiculous comparison.

      I gave red meat up many years ago and have found ZERO reason to reincorporate it into my diet. So few places are doing humane anything. Most likely, EVEN LOCAL MEAT has animals slaughtered at a USDA approved industrial facility. Basically, that says to me that the happy lives and excellent dietary conditions of said animal are then thrown straight into the same squalid conditions everything else gets killed in.

      SO. That said, I love cheese. Real cheeses. From time to time, you’ll see “animal rennet,” sometimes it’s “vegetable rennet” and other times it just says “rennet.”

      I’ve battled with this for a long time over if I care. When I’m already eating cheeses from some small farm in god knows where…that costs me $26.95 a pound. I do my best to keep everything I eat “local” or at least small batch.

      Thanks for the rennet post. In all of my readings, I’d never seen that it was actually “calves.” Now maybe I re-think this a little more. There’s an acceptable amount of risk in eating high quality cheese to my red meat-free diet, and I’ve recognized that for a long time.

      If you’d like to then tackle the rumor of the legally allowed amount of cow blood in milk, that would be appreciated as well.

      As for red meat and baby things… Should the time come that this is all there is in the world, I’m sure they will have had as healthy as a life as myself when I have to kill it myself.

      • Sarahwinks

        I know of a number of “local farms” who use a mobile slaughtering service where a white truck comes to the humane farm and does it onsite. Some farmers do it them selves too…….

    • seemichellecook.com

      Not really sure where you’re going with this but trading in your Humvee for an SUV is still an improvement and if everyone just made one little change then isn’t that a good thing? How can you possibly find a way to criticise someone who makes their own personal distinctions? That’s why it’s called personal.

  • Lisa

    I was never a huge cheese lover, even when it came to my pasta. I broke the cardinal rule of Italian eating by refusing parmegiano for my pasta… thankfully this was after my grandma died, or I would have met the end of a wooden spoon, haha.

    Brie’s all right, but it’s so fatty that I haven’t eaten it for years. I like a bit of organic cheddar sprinkled in a wrap every now and then for something different and do make sure it’s rennet free.

    • Aquaria

      You’re obviously profoundly ignorant of Italian pasta traditions. Parmegiano on pasta is an American thing, nitwit.

      • Elle Squared

        I love you, belated troll. I’m Canadian and don’t give a shit about American traditions.

      • Luciana

        Hey there, have you ever considered taking anger management classes? Chill dude.

        You’re completely wrong about Italy and parmigiano. I spend every summer in Italy, and restaurants and friends always offer grated parmigiano for pasta. Assicuratevi di hai raiggione prima di aprire la boca. Who’s a nitwit?

  • Guest

    I’ve just unsubbed from your facebook page. The way fooducate has decided to present rennet as something that should be avoided-when it (along with acid produced by bacteria naturally found in the milk) are the top two most natural ways milk curdles, in order to form cheese. There is nothing wrong with it, unless people want to avoid everything animal-and if that’s the case, then maybe they could look into vegan cheeses (yes, they do exist).

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      Actually, this post (unlike many others we’ve done) did not present any opinion. Just answered a question and stated facts.
      Sorry to see you leave.

    • http://ithinkitneedsmoreturbinado.blogspot.com/ SL

      I try to be vegan and I didn’t feel Fooducate was on the same page on me with this one. It didn’t convey “avoid cheese” to me.

  • Bokumad12

    To Guest who unsubbed from fooducate: The question regarding this subject matter was asked by a fooducate member. All fooducate did was answer the question!!

  • http://bakerymanis.wordpress.com andreadevon

    Tillamook and Rumiano are both national brands that do not use animal rennet in their cheese (with the exception of the white chedder tillamook, old fashioned or something). These cheeses are good quality and flavorful, so if you choose to eat cheese you can do so without rennet. It is also possible to purchase vegetable rennet and make your own cheese, should you be interested in a more radical approach! aloha from maui!

  • http://profiles.google.com/clbrns Corey Colburn

    Thanks for answering this question. I have researched and knew most of it…but it is great to have all these details in one place.

    Another subject you could follow up with: clarifying just what kosher means, and all the different symbols that are used on packaging to denote a food as kosher.

    Thanks — always informative and thought-provoking.

  • clc7

    Thanks for answering this question. I have researched and knew most of it…but it is great to have all these details in one place.

    Another subject you could follow up with: clarifying just what kosher means, and all the different symbols that are used on packaging to denote a food as kosher.

    Thanks — always informative and thought-provoking.

    • clc7

      oops…a quick search of your site shows you’ve informed about kosher before — thanks!

  • http://profiles.google.com/dm.lilith Elizabeth Courts

    Tillamook Cheese does a great job at labeling the source of their rennet. Last time I checked, they used vegetarian-friendly rennet on their cheddar (not sure about the rest of the cheeses). Check the labeling!

    • Ch33ky1

      yes, just checked a package I just bought. On the ingredients it states that no animal rennet is used. Love Tillamook!

  • http://hcgbiggirlnot.wordpress.com/ Chava

    kosher cheese will not have any meat ingredients in it, so just buy that

  • I Like Lichen

    Any ideas on how people discovered rennet. Also, why is it from a calf rather than an adult cow?

    • http://www.canadianfoodiegirl.com Andrea T

      I read the answer to this recently. My memory is slightly hazy on this, but basically it was guy wandering the dessert, had milked a cow (or goat?) in the morning and stored the milk in a wineskin made from a goat’s stomach. When he went to drink the milk he discovered cheese. It sounds like an urban legend but I read it in a book about raising goats for cheese-making.

    • Emily

      Unweaned calves have the enzymes, adult cows do not.

  • http://www.culturezest.org/home/users/detail/?UserHexID=73427218-9BE9-4919-8842-F2D519B90147 Morgan

    I had no idea that’s what rennet was. I greatly appreciate the tips for identifying and avoiding cheese made with animal rennet, as I have a friend who also refuses to eat baby animals, and this ought to help her immensely.

  • Candice

    Yeah, this is thw reason Im learning to make cheese at home! I made queso fresco last month. All it is is Milk, salt and vinegar, that’s it! No preservatives and “other” ingredients to worry about. I have the recipe on my blog:


  • Ann G

    Careful about the assumption that kosher cheese is free of renet. I researched this a few years ago for a vegetarian kid at a Jewish summer camp. Apparenly a few animal enzymes are forgivable as long as they’re super kosher. http://www.kashrut.com/articles/cheese/

  • vashini

    this really not believable,but it’s true
    i’m a vegetarian i ate cheese a lot more many times.and i just love it it when it is eaten with bread.

  • kj burnett

    The word “Kosher” does not always mean it is from non-meat sources, even when applied to dairy products. Once I called Dannon to find out if the Kosher gelatin in their yogurt was from animal sources. Dannon told me the Kosher gelatin they use is derived from cow leather.

  • Daisy

    You should read this article before you completely endorse #10: http://www.kosherquest.org/book.php?id=CHEESE.htm

  • Jon

    I am allergic to animal rennet. So you think its difficult to avoid it, can you imagine not being able to breathe if you ate it? I have a website where I list all of the cheeses in restaurants and stores that don’t contain animal rennet. http://www.safecheese.com

  • Shariq

    How can I make rennet at home if it is not easily available in the market?

    • Aquaria

      You kinda have to kill the cow and gut it to get to the fourth stomach, and then strip the lining from the inside, and then process it to get good rennet.

      Oh, you meant vegetable rennet? Well, I hope you have access to a good biochem lab. You’re gonna need it to separate, filter and purify the phytic acid from your vegetable source.

      You can buy vegetable rennet online or in some of the veg*n stores.

  • Madam

    Just buy soy cheese or other types of vegetarian cheeses. I refuse to buy cheese containing animal rennet. It’s bad enough that the male calves are ripped away from their mothers, so we can have that milk instead. The way humans use and exploit animals is disgusting. I notice several brands of cheese state “animal rennet” in their ingredients making it easier on the consumer to decide. Humans are the vilest species on Earth. We do not need dairy products in our lives to survive, so the cruelty and exploitation we put on animals is inexcusable. I hate people who are too ignorant to care.

    • A Jacobs

      Have you ever been to a dairy farm? A dairy cow can feed up to five calves at one time. So male calves are not ripped away from their cows. There are so many people who believe crap they want to, to make them feel their choice is the right choice. I don’t hate vegetarians. So why do vegetarians or vegans hate meat eaters. Are their minds so small because they are craving real food?

      • Kelli N Fadanelli

        I don’t hate anybody, but I do hate cruelty and apathy. I have been to a dairy farm. I do know they must take the calf away from it’s mother for her to provide milk for the masses, and young calves are killed for their tender meat and rennet. Knowing that I have survived over 30 years without eating meat is enough for me to know that people eat meat because they WANT to, not because they NEED it. People are impressed with my health at my age. My entire family who are meat-eating people are having many health issues. It is heart-breaking in so many ways to see people and animals suffer for their choices. I don’t appreciate people mistaking my caring and passion for knowledge and better choices as hate. Please do not label me, or others like me who are not afraid to think before we eat.

      • Ox

        Well said!

    • Ox

      Dear Madam, you may have missed the fact that humans are “carnavours” It is quite natural for us to eat meat.

      • Leslie Corsa

        You misspelled “carnivore”.

      • Deshi

        no, Humas are Omnivours, we are designed to be able to digest both as kindof a balance. Cows can digest plant matter better than us, while Lions and Wolves can digest meat better than us. We are designed as sortof a compromise and digest both equally well, but not as well as a herbavore or Carnivore.

    • Ox

      “Vilest species on earth” I suppose Madam will have her name down for the first available trip to Mars then?

  • JulsDiane

    Number 5 is not correct; ask Sargento and Kraft~ all of their cheese, except cream cheese, and all commercial cheeses used in restaurants are made with animal enzymes. Animal rennet is no cheaper than vegetable rennet.

  • Cher Stewart

    Look for “vegetarian” cheese as well. Tilamook’s are great!

  • Jess

    If you don’t like your eating to contribute to the suffering of baby animals (particularly calves), you should really give up dairy all together. The dairy industry is responsible for the deaths of countless of calves every year. Cows must give birth to produce milk. So they are impregnated, and their baby is torn from them straight after birth.
    It’s a very cruel industry.
    The good news is, there are lots of yummy, cruelty free alternatives these days! Go vegan -you won’t regret it! :D

    • Aquaria

      You’re amazingly stupid. A cow will lactate as long as she is suckled, moron. She doesn’t have to keep giving birth, moron.

      • WNCmountaingirl

        Actually it is true … a simple search and you find this info…
        A cow produces the most milk around 40 to 60 days after she’s given birth. She’s then impregnated again, after which her milk production will slowly decline, until she’s “dried off” and stops producing at about 305 days after calving. About a month later she will give birth again and a new cycle will begin.

        • Erica Marie Lawler

          Some dairy animals are bred to “milk through,” meaning that they can go multiple years without needing to be re-bred. Yield does decrease over time to the point where the labor input exceeds the milk value so most commercial dairies aren’t concerned with milking staying power. With sexed semen available, artificial insemination can yield guaranteed herd replacement through heifer offspring. That provides a strong incentive to rebreed the cows without trying to milk through. While extended lactation be done, it generally isn’t profitable to do so. Natural rennet, however, is a very useful product derived from calf slaughter just as leather is a useful product.

          • WNCmountaingirl

            True but my response was regarding the dairy industry in general and it’s practices .. Although your right it can be done most dairy farms don’t do that .

    • Devil’s advocate

      Those mass-murderig cows! Killing millions of insects when they munch on grass! The only solution for a nonviolent future is to eradicate all life from the face of the earth, because life will always consume life. If you truly believe reducing unnecessary suffering for lower life forms, you should have compassion for the billions of microbes that you murder daily in the act of human metabolism, and kindly murder yourself.
      (Both sides of the debate should consider the middle way of permaculture raising methods and compassionate killing with ether, and also the value of alternative protein sources like insects. Going pure vegan is possible but is usually a science experiment requiring many exotic ingredients to fulfill certain nutritional requirements, whereas by eating insects one can thrive almost anywhere, like St.John the Baptist who survived on locusts and mead.

      • k.nicole

        Replies like yours are so ignorant. It’s not just about eating/killing another living being. For instance, I have absolutely nothing against those who hunt deer and eat it.. or those who eat meat (as i have eaten it FOR YEARS until i became aware of the meat & dairy industries cruel treatment. It’s about treating another living being who has a soul and central nervous system and can feel when their legs are broken from being kicked and stomped on and ears cut off and castrated … all without painkillers. COULD you imagine feeling all those things?? being beaten because people don’t have patience for you or think it’s amusing? I in no way look down at those who eat meat, because they are probably just unaware of the reality. Hell, if the killing was done quickly and humane, I would most likely eat meat again.. but that will never happen. To be able to do that kind of work, you have to be mentally sick. Quoting Sir Paul Mccartney, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”

        • MaryMary, Houston, TX

          Devil’s Advocate reply was not ignorant. It’s one of the most thoughtful, well-balanced ones on here, using satire. I’m against animal cruelty, but I’m also against insulting people because you don’t understand their point of view.

      • Ox

        Onya! D A! Some of these clowns should have a long hard think to themselves along with a strong herbal tea! Anything stronger and they may become dangerous or even real!

      • Samantha R

        Are you from another planet or something? YOU DO KNOW US HUMANS ARE KILLING THE PLANET RIGHT???

      • Samantha R

        While what youre saying makes alot of sense, Us all as human beings are slowly but surely destroying Earth, if we all cut down on eating meat at least we can make somewhat of a difference.

    • Kelli N Fadanelli

      I agree. I am excited to try a new product I just discovered that is said to be delicious and dairy-free. It is a type of “cheese” available at Whole Foods, made by company called Heidi Ho. Healthy and nobody has to suffer. That is my kind of cheese!!!

  • HazFL

    Thousands of bull calves are killed every week shortly after birth because they are of no use to the dairy industry. I don’t think that it is pleasant by any means to farm baby animals for meat, but if you use any dairy products whatsoever you are contributing to the fact that baby animals will be killed anyway. Because of the stigma behind eating baby animals there is not a sufficient veal market here (UK) for these animals to have any value to farmers and so the meat is completely wasted and discarded in most cases. If they are going to be killed anyway for this reason then I personally think it would be better if someone eats them than they be discarded. I would be surprised if rennet is not sourced from these animals prior to the meat being wasted.

    • HMS

      Do you have any idea the value of a calf at market? Do you know the time involved in gestation? To think they wait all yhat time to slaughter the calf just for the stomach, to make cheese, and throw the rest away, is ridiculous! Every morsel is used for something. If not for human consumption, it will feed your precious meat-eating pets! (Sorry to burst your bubble, but the dogs and cats have yet to return to their vegan roots!) We raise cows, quite humanely, out in lush green fields, not for mass market, but for meat for our own family and I promise, the expense involved in raising livestock does not afford that the animal would be wasted. I was just looking up info on rennet and it’s crazy how hateful, arrogant, and judgemental people are and each believing the other is the problem. SMH.

      • HazFL

        I’d suggest that you do a little research before labelling people ‘arrogant’, ‘judgemental’ and ‘hateful’. The fact you have a couple of cows in a field is frankly obsolete, I am purely referring to mass market dairy farming.

        I am no vegan, just aware of current practices within industry.

        Male calves are essentially a waste by-product within the DAIRY industry in the UK. 90000 per year are shot at around 1 day old. In order for cows to continue producing milk, they need to be repeatedly impregnated and give birth year on year. The female calves are generally reared and either kept on site for future dairy use or sold to another dairy farm, the male calves have very little value in this country and so are not worth the cost to the dairy farmers of rearing them. The point of gestation in this instance is for milk production more than the resulting calves.

        There was a documentary on channel 4 about it. About 3 seconds on Google will bring up a whole range of articles about it so you clearly didn’t even attempt to check before writing your ill informed little tirade.


        In the instance shown in the documentary the dead 1 day old calves were sold to be rendered down into fuel for a Belgian power station. I’m not saying they have no value whatsoever but I can’t imagine they commanded a fantastic price to then be rendered down.

        The point of my initial comment was to illustrate that it’s kind of ironic to avoid cheese made with rennet but still eat commercially produced dairy products, when so many calves are killed regardless within the dairy industry.

      • Samantha R

        alot of animals provided as livestock are killed for no further use or not being of any use at all…. as HazFL has stated, you should research more.

      • Deshi

        (Sorry to burst your bubble, but the dogs and cats have yet to return to their vegan roots!)

        um…. Dogs and cats have no vegan roots, they are and always have been Carnivores. If you try to make your dog or cat vegan, you’ll be slowly killing it over time depriving it of essential nutrients they can only obtain from meat. Most of us are probably doing this by feeding them commercial dog food. Ideally they should be eating raw prey animals like rabbits, small birds, squirls, etc. Thats their real roots.

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  • Truth

    Meat is meat it does not come without killing. You kill baby or young, both looses life. So unless you are pure vegetarian stop this crap. You have no right to say anything. Is white meat falls from sky? Have you seen flipping head of a chicken or struggling fish to survive? If not you should how gross your thoughts are.

  • Anonymous

    Why does it even matter if it’s from a baby animal or an adult animal as long as it’s done humanely? Yes, baby animals are cute and sweet, but a life is a life. The adult animal on the farm is no less “innocent” than the newborn animal, and it’s not like you’re not going to deprive the adult animal of a long life ahead of it when you eat meat in general.

  • Irish Cath

    Hi people – just a wee warning about this globally used ”vegetarian/vegan/kosher/halal” rennet….a massive lie because it cannot be made without using the rennet of a hacked to death baby calf in the first place, as a starter!

    Fermentation-produced chymosin (FPC)[edit]

    Because of the above imperfections of microbial and animal rennets, many producers sought further replacements of rennet. With the development of genetic engineering, it became possible to extract rennet-producing genes from animal stomach and insert them into certain bacteria, fungi or yeasts to make them producechymosin during fermentation. The genetically modified microorganism is killed after fermentation and chymosin isolated from the fermentation broth, so that the fermentation-produced chymosin (FPC) used by cheese producers does not contain any GM component or ingredient. FPC is identical with chymosin made by an animal, but is produced in a more efficient way. FPC products have been on the market since 1990 and have been considered in the last 20 years the ideal milk-clotting enzyme.[5]

    FPC was the first artificially produced enzyme to be registered and allowed by the US Food and Drug Administration.[6][7] In 1999, about 60% of US hard cheesewas made with FPC[8] and it has up to 80% of the global market share for rennet.[9]

    By 2008, approximately 80% to 90% of commercially made cheeses in the US and Britain were made using FPC.[1] Today, the most widely used Fermentation-Produced Chymosin (FPC) is produced either by the fungus Aspergillus niger and commercialized under the trademark CHY-MAX®[10] by the Danish company Chr. Hansen, or produced by Kluyveromyces lactis and commercialized under the trademark MAXIREN®[11] by the Dutch company DSM.

    FPC is chymosin B, and is therefore more pure compared with animal rennet, which contains a multitude of proteins. FPC can deliver several benefits to the cheese producer compared with animal or microbial rennet, such as higher production yield, better curd texture and reduced bitterness.[5]

    Cheeses produced with FPC can be certified kosher[12][13] and halal,[13] and are suitable for vegetarians if there was no animal-based alimentation used during the chymosin production in the fermenter.

  • Native Respect

    noun: rennet
    curdled milk from the stomach of an unweaned calf, containing rennin and used in curdling milk for cheese.

    I would love to inform you that rennet is not made from the animal stomach but from the enzymes from the undigested and curdled milk extracted from a young animal like a kid goat or calf. avoiding cheese made from rennet is a personal choice you may make but dont get it twisted by telling others it made from the animal itself because it has nothing to do with eating meat or animals. rennet can be carefully and lovingly extracted and shared with a farmer that loves to make his own cheddar cheese and such.


  • agriscientist

    This article is factually incorrect. “Most cheese in the US is NOT manufactured using rennet, mostly due to the availability of cheaper alternatives”. Not true, all cheese making requires some form of protease, the broad term for which is rennet. One type of rennet is called chymosin. Its basically another name for the same enzyme that is extracted for the calf’s stomach lining. Except instead having to slaughter a baby calf to get it, it can be produced by microbes.

    “Genetically engineered rennet is derived from plants that have been injected with cow genes.” Nope. Not plants, microbes. Nope, not injected with cows genes, but with the genes which code for the production of the enzyme inserted into them. And if you don’t like this approach then you shouldn’t use vaccines either, or insulin.

  • Goffy140

    And to think, I read this artical and its comments hoping to learn a little more about making cheese. You’re all a bunch of wankers.

  • Tont Davies

    Gm rennet is not made from plants injected with cow genes – it is made from yeast or bacteria genetically engineered by inserting the cow gene. Ks there nobody here who is smart enough to study up the facts?

  • Evone

    So do you know if you can just grow your own rennet and if so what would you suggest are the best plants to grow?

  • Alexandra

    I do not understand this this is a child

  • Johnnydh4

    Hello all, just wanted to share this bit of information. I don’t know where the OP got the idea that Kosher cheese doesn’t include rennet from cows and/or sheep.


    As long as the cow/sheep is slaughtered in accordance with Jewish law before being used as rennet, then it is considered Kosher. However, if animal rennet is used then it is only under direct supervision of a Rabbi.
    Granted, nowadays, most cheese is made with microbial/vegetable enzymes…this goes for most Kosher cheeses.
    Not sure if this was brought up by others, as I ran out of patience reading all the negative comments from trolls. I hope this helps…

  • Arieh

    this article is lovely but the Kosher bit is incorrect. Kosher cheese can use animal rennet. it is a bit of a loophole and doesnt really have an acceptable reason.

  • ellie

    Actually point number 10 above is incorrect. As both a strict vegetarian and an orthodox Jew, I am aware of this misconception. While it is correct that Jewish law forbids the mixing of meat and milk products, none-the-less, if the animal from whom the rennet was derived was a kosher animal and slaughtered according to the ritual method, the quantity of rennet used is deemed so minuscule as to render it insignificant with regard to the injunction against mixing meat products with dairy. So rather than look for a kosher symbol, in this instance it is better to check for a “suitable for vegetarians” assurance.