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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't want to sound stupid but what is the difference between regualar cheese and vegetarian cheese? And for that matter vegan cheese. How can I pick which cheese is good and which one's aren't.

please help
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffin_398 View Post

I don't want to sound stupid but what is the difference between regualar cheese and vegetarian cheese? And for that matter vegan cheese. How can I pick which cheese is good and which one's aren't.

please help
Most conventional cheeses contain rennet, which is a stomach enzyme from, most commonly, cow calves.

Vegetarian cheese contains milk but doesn't contain rennet, and usually have a non-animal alternative.

Vegan cheese doesn't contain milk nor animal rennet.
 

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In short:

Non vegetarian cheese uses Rennet. Rennet is a substance taken from calf stomach, its what makes the cheese set.

Veggie cheese uses a non-animal rennet.

They should be labelled.

vegan cheese suprisingly enough, doesnt contain any milk and is made from err... whatever that particular brand is made from! (soy, rice, etc)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
if rennett isn't labeled does that mean that it's ok...I bought cracker barrell cheese and it doesn't have rennett labeled. I don't want to eat it in case it has some. Does anyone know if it's ok?
 

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No, that's the problem with cheese and rennet-- you usually can't tell from the label. It just says "enzymes" and you don't know where the enzymes came from. The best way to find out is to call the customer question/comment phone number on the packaging (most major brands have one) and ask them.

And it's no longer true that most cheeses have animal rennet. A lot of mainstream brands use non-animal rennet these days. But many of them don't say so.
 

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I was at the store yesterday and found vegetarian cheese. I stopped and thought "Hey, what kind of cheese have I been eating this whole time?" I figured rennet was the difference. I've only heard about it... that's nasty. I only want vegetarian cheese now...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
the only thing it has on the label is milk, cream, bacterial culture, salt, water,calcium chloride, and microbial enzymes.

Is this ok...cause I really miss cheese. lol
 

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I know that Whole Foods sells rennet-less cheese (has milk) and it says that it is rennet-less on the package. You need some sort of enzyme for the chesse process though.

I did a search on line and it looks like microbial enzymes are NOT animal derived.

So, it looks like your cheese is vegetarian - although, obviously not vegan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yay!!!! I'm eating the cheese right now....I missed cheese which is weird cause I don't usually eat a lot of cheese.

Thanks guys!!!!

So a note to people Cracker Barrel cheese is ok for vegeterians!
 

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I only eat cheeses that have a customer service # on the package so I can call them and ask what the source of the enzymes are. I recently got a recipe from a vegetarian cook book and one of the ingredients was feta cheese. When I phoned the company they said the enzymes came for calfs and lambs. How distgusting! It was immediately returned.
 

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Originally Posted by bonnbeth7 View Post

I only eat cheeses that have a customer service # on the package so I can call them and ask what the source of the enzymes are. I recently got a recipe from a vegetarian cook book and one of the ingredients was feta cheese. When I phoned the company they said the enzymes came for calfs and lambs. How distgusting! It was immediately returned.
me too...i have the same policy and always call and most companies are very helpful...thanx for the info on cracker barrel cheese.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffin_398 View Post

if rennett isn't labeled does that mean that it's ok...I bought cracker barrell cheese and it doesn't have rennett labeled. I don't want to eat it in case it has some. Does anyone know if it's ok?
Muffin: Your best bet is if you call the number. I once called Kraft and they said they don't use animal rennet in their medium chedder, but in their extra sharp they do, and they also use just microbial in their parmesan, (I am a big parmesan cheese fan). Don't buy any cheese that does not have a number to call so you can ask what is the source of the enzymes in their cheese, (or e'mail).
 

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Something to keep in mind is that rennet is from the fourth stomach of slaughtered newborn cow calves. Since all dairy cows are impregnated and give birth to cows (otherwise they wouldn't lactate)- some of the calves inevitably male and thus who will be slaughtered as babies, all dairy cheese production "includes" rennet, whether the cheese product actually contains it or not, because buying any dairy products supports the slaughter of baby cows and their mamas. Dairy-free is a good way to go!
 

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Originally Posted by lilac wine View Post

Something to keep in mind is that rennet is from the fourth stomach of slaughtered newborn cow calves. Since all dairy cows are impregnated and give birth to cows (otherwise they wouldn't lactate)- some of the calves inevitably male and thus who will be slaughtered as babies, all dairy cheese production "includes" rennet, whether the cheese product actually contains it or not, because buying any dairy products supports the slaughter of baby cows and their mamas. Dairy-free is a good way to go!
Good point Lilac! Still trying to get there.
 

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Originally Posted by ginkgo View Post

The vegan cheeses hav no milk but they do not taste as good as real cheese.
True. Right now, I pretty much just avoid commercial cheese substitutes altogether.

Another definition for "vegetarian cheese" is a cheese not made from milk but that includes casein. This includes a lot of soy cheeses. Such cheeses are good if you don't have access to a store with good labeling for its cheeses, or if you're lactose intolerant. However, if you're vegan, casein comes from milk, so cheese substitutes containing casein are not vegan.

If you have a Vitamin Cottage in your area, if they sell cheese, it will be labeled for whether it contains animal rennet or not.
 
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