Bad News for Vegetarians: You Shouldn’t Eat These 7 Cheeses

Bad News for Vegetarians: You Shouldn’t Eat These 7 Cheeses

Susmita Baral
Jun 2, 2017
Parmesan Cheese
(Image credit: Dream79/Shutterstock)

Blissfully ignorant vegetarians had their hearts broken this week when they learned Parmigiano-Reggiano is not really vegetarian. Well, not technically at least. It doesn't have meat in the traditional sense, but the beloved cheese, which is a staple garnish and ingredient for an array of foods, is made with calf rennet.

What's calf rennet, you ask? It's found in the stomach lining of calves and it's what causes cheese to curd through the active enzyme chymosin. So, again, it's an enzyme taken from animal stomach lining, but not really meat. For some vegetarians this could be dismissible, but for others it's a deal-breaker.

Parmesan isn't the only cheese that could potentially be on the no-no list for vegetarians. The list of cheeses includes the following:

  • Grano Padano
  • Gorgonzola
  • Gruyere
  • Manchego
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Camembert and Bouchero

How can you tell if a cheese uses enzymes from animals? Bustle recommends reading the label to look for the word "enzyme," as it generally means animals are part of the equation.

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