Tuesday, 17 April 2012

What is a Vegetarian Cheese?

Cheese is often thought to be the ideal vegetarian food. It is frequently served as the only vegetarian choice on less imaginative menus.

But there are draw backs to regular cheese. Firstly, it is usually made with rennet. Rennet is an enzyme found
in the stomachs of calves. So regular cheese is not a completely vegetarian product.

Some of the better retailers sell rennet-free cheese. It can be hard to find. You have to read the label carefully to check that cheese is rennet-free if you want a thoroughly vegetarian cheese.

The second problem is with the milk itself. Many vegetarians object to milk because cows are kept in intensive conditions and forced to calve every year so that they continue to produce milk.
The unwanted male calves are shot at birth or kept for raising to produce veal. Even non-vegetarians have ethical objections to the nature of the dairy industry.

Many people, especially children, have health problems with milk. They may be lactose intolerant or concerned about their cholesterol levels. The modern diet tends to be high in dairy products and hence in animal fats that raise cholesterol.

But cheese is a favorite comfort food. It would be hard to give it up altogether. Are there vegetarian cheese alternatives to milk-based cheese?

Yes, there are. There are cheese-like soya products and there is cheese which is made from yeast.

Both these kinds of vegetarian cheese are lactose-free, free of saturated fat and will not raise cholesterol levels. Vegetarian cheese of either kind is the ideal product for those who are lactose intolerant or have been advised to follow a diet that is low in saturated fat because their cholesterol level is too high. Vegetarian cheese that is specially formulated to suit children's tastes can be purchased. Whether you choose soya cheese or cheese it is possible to make most of your favorite recipes with vegetarian cheese.

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