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VEG AND NON-VEG CHEESE
by Hari Puja d.d.
The Following is an extensive research donated by our god sister Hari Puja d.d. in Colorado, USA, regarding the vegetarian cheese issue.

Safeway brand "Lucerne" white cheeses (such as mozzarella, etc) contain vegetable enzymes, orange/yellow colored cheeses (such as American and Cheddar) contain animal enzymes.

Source: 1-888-723-3929 called 7/29/04

Target brand "Market Pantry" cheeses are made from vegetable enzymes

Source: 1-800-316-6151 called 7/29/04

Kraft cheeses contain vegetable enzymes, "Except for sharp cheddar and extra sharp cheddar"

Source: 1-800-323-0768 called 7/29/04

Horizon Organic Cheese: Here is an excerpt from the web site (www.horizonorganic.com) "All of our cheeses, including our Parmesan, are 100% vegetarian because we are able to use organic-approved microbial enzymes rather than rennet to help form the curds that turn into cheese." Information obtained on 7/29/04

Organic Valley Cheese: Here is an excerpt from the web site (www.organicvalley.coop/index.html) Do you use calf rennet in your cheese? We do not use calf rennet in our cheeses. Instead we use the vegetarian option, which is a microbial enzyme. These enzymes serve the same function as rennet, but they meet the strict needs of our vegetarian and kosher consumers. These enzymes are GMO-free. Information obtained 7/29/04

Also, here are the results of the cheeses I called on/wrote to manufacturer a couple of years ago.

King Soopers (Kroger)-bad
Cub brand-good
Sargento-good
Crystal Farms-good
Costco Brands
Kirkland-bad
Cooper-bad
Frigo-bad
Precious-bad

*All of the low priced cheeses at Costco located in the isle where the milk is contain animal enzymes.* There are more expensive varieties of cheese located in the back of the store that I haven't checked on.

VEGETARIAN

· Crystal Farms
· Cub brand
· Horizon Organic
· Kraft (except sharp and extra sharp Cheddar)
· Market Pantry (Target)
· Organic Valley
· Safeway brand (white colored)
· Sargento

NON VEGETARIAN

· Cooper
· Frigo
· Kirkland brand (Costco)
· Kraft sharp and extra sharp Cheddar
· Precious
· Safeway brand (orange colored)

Trader Joe's has a pamphlet called: "Trader Joe's Rennet & No rBST Cheese Products". It explains about the following ingredients:

ANIMAL RENNET:

This enzyme is obtained from the stomach region of a suckling mammal, usually a calf or lamb. Animal rennet is the traditional rennet used to make cheese. Most European cheeses use animal rennet.

VEGETABLE RENNET:

Vegetable rennet is derived from plants. The enzymes are extracted from plants and modified into a from similar to that of animal rennet. This type of rennet is acceptable for lactovegetarian.

MICROBIAL RENNET:

This common enzyme is made from microorganisms through a process of fermentation. Common microorganisms include fungi and bacteria. This type of rennet is also acceptable for lactovegetarian.

ENZYMES:

Additional enzymes may be added during the cheese making process. Unless otherwise noted these are microbial. (Note: the enzymes sometimes used to bake bread are also microbial.)

The list they give is quite extensive and you can pick it up at most Trader Joe's. Normally the package will list which one('s)of the 4 enzymes are used; ANIMAL RENNET, VEGETABLE RENNET, MICROBIAL RENNET OR ENZYMES. It makes shopping for cheeses at Trader Joe's much easier. 83 out of 127 of their cheeses listed are lactovegetarian. But to be on the safe side check the pamphlet to be totally sure. They also list the type of enzymes used in 27 other products that they carry that have cheese in them as one of the ingredients.

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