Organic cheese hypocrisy
Imagine you are on a beautiful farm. It is sunny out. A young calf frolics in the grass. It comes up to you with large, black, glossy eyes, curious to meet you. It smells you and presses its head against your side as you pet it. Two days later a hydraulic piston drives a blunt metal cylinder through its skull into its brain.
This is what happens in the production of organic cheese. The stomach lining of calves is harvested for rennet. Rennet is a complex of enzymes used to coagulate milk in the production of cheese. In 1960, there was an impasse causing cheese prices to skyrocket due to limitations of rennet – demand that could not be met by killing baby cows.
The solution: genetic engineering. Today the enzymes required for some cheese production are derived from genetically engineered single celled organisms. No calves harmed unless you are buying organic cheese.
Certified organic cheese in Canada still uses rennet derived from calves. The opinions surrounding both organics and GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are highly polarized and political; however, when it comes to cheese, I think it is clear.
*Creative Commons Image – Jim Champion – Southampton UK