Vegetarian diets have existed since ancient times.
In modern times, technology enables better transport and storage of produce, plants, and other ingredients used in vegetarian dishes. Technology also provides information about veggie diets. Cookbooks, magazines, newspapers, and the internet spread recipes. Many restaurants specialize in vegetarian dining while others offer meat-free options. Travel and exploration continually advance culinary awareness and skill sets that enhance vegetarianism.
Simply put, it’s never been easier, or tastier, to be a vegetarian.
I follow a mostly vegan lifestyle myself, which goes one step further than vegetarianism by eliminating food that contains any animal product, including dairy.
But every so often, I do consume dairy. Cheese constitutes one of the greatest loves of my life. Oh, God, I simply adore it. It doesn’t make me ill, but when I embarked on a big weight loss journey, I decided to cut out the regular consumption of dairy.
For the most part. Every once in a while, I submit to the urge.
Besides, on a personal level, I feel no moral issue with consuming cheese. After all, cheese is vegetarian-friendly, right?
Oh, how wrong!
Before I Begin
Please let me clarify something before proceeding: If you eat animal products, don’t take this piece as a criticism of your diet. The only thing I want to do is inform unaware vegetarians that they might be consuming products that aren’t vegetarian-friendly.
I live with meat-eaters so truly, no judgment.
But some people believe that a vegetarian diet reduces pain and other symptoms caused by numerous conditions, including Fibromyalgia. It’s important that they know the facts.
Therefore, here’s what vegetarians need to know, in a veggie-friendly nutshell.
It’s All in the Enzymes
A number of cheeses contain rennet. Rennet is an enzyme used in the coagulation of milk curds. Rennet comes from three sources:
Animal rennet comes from the stomach of a slaughtered calf or other young mammals.
Microbial rennet comes from a fungus, mold or yeast.
Vegetable rennet usually comes from thistle plants.
Generally speaking, the following cheeses contain no rennet:
Check the label on the above, just in case. Also, some of these cheeses may contain other animal by-products. For instance, certain cottage cheeses contain gels derived from slaughtered animals.
You may decide that eating an omnivore diet or eating mostly vegetarian with the occasional treat works well and therefore, the type of rennet doesn’t concern you. But if you prefer to steer clear of products that use slaughtered animals, then by all means start checking cheese labels.
If you feel like Fibro fog might make you forget the info provided above, copy it down on a small piece of paper that you can slide into your purse or waller, or print this article. Depending on where you shop, you should be able to find an employee who can assist in you in buying a veggie-friendly cheese.
However you eat, bon appétit!
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