Cheese is A Nutritional Powerhouse but THIS Type of American Cheese Can Kill You
Did you know that most cheese in the United States is made from genetically modified ingredients?
Cheese products are not genetically modified themselves, but they may contain ingredients and additives that were produced from genetically modified microorganisms. Hard cheeses contain an enzyme produced by GM microorganisms that would otherwise have to be collected from the stomachs of calves.
Most non-organic cheese produced in the US is made from the milk of cows that are fed GM feed.
I was surprised to learn this week that 90% of commercial cheese is made with GMO rennet. Furthermore, GMO rennet is approved by the FDA (and Generally Recognized As Safe) and not even recognized by GMO activists as something that needs to be on the label!
But here’s the part I think is most important.
Originally, cheese presented itself to the world after someone, somewhere carried milk in the stomach of an animal. The rennet in the lining of the stomach combined with the milk, warmed by the sun, and the milk separated into curds and whey. Until the twentieth century, all cheese was made with milk and rennet from the stomachs of ruminant animals.
Rennet is a by-product of the veal industry. In the 1960s, as the animal rights movement came into being, the price of rennet rose and the supply became less reliable. At the same timed, the demand for cheese began to increase. And commercial cheesemakers began to look for other coagulants to make cheese. Plant and microbial sources worked but were inconsistent.
1 X Organic Liquid Vegetable Rennet, 2oz.In the late 1980s, scientists transferred a single gene from bovine cells that codes for chymosin into microbes, giving microbes the ability to produce the chymosin coagulant that was previously only available from animals. These genetically modified microbes multiply in a fermentation process which causes them to produce and release chymosin into the culture liquid. The chymosin is then be separated and purified. This chymosin is calledfermentation-produced chymosin, or FPC. But what it’s really chymosin produced by GMO microbes.
In 1990, after more than two years of review, the FDA granted Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) status to FPC because FPC was substantially equivalent to rennet produced from calves, and so it needed no special labeling or indication of its source or method of production. And now, most cheese is made with FPC. And it’s not required to be on the label.
I just so disagree with this! Rennet made in a lab with genetically modified microbes is NOT the same as rennet from a natural animal. It’s the same logic as is used when people think ascorbic acid made in a laboratory from refined corn syrup is the same as natural vitamin c from oranges, acerola cherries and other plants.
I looked at some cheese labels and they all say “cheese cultures” but I couldn’t find a legal definition of that term. Again as consumers we run into insufficient labeling so we don’t know what’s in this food product.
If you want to eat cheese without GMOs, here’s what to do.
Avoid commercial cheese. Just assume that all commercial cheese is made with milk that contains pesticide residues and FPC.
Eat organic cheese. Organics certification rules in the United States, Europe and Canada do not allow FPC in organic cheese.
Eat verified non-GMO cheese. The Non-GMO Project lists a number of cheeses that are verified non-GMO by them. Just type “cheese” into the search-the-page box in your browser to find them. I got 43 results. Many of them were brands I recognize at my local natural food store.
Make your own cheese. When you make your own cheese, you have full control over the milk, rennet, and starters used. It is possible to purchase non-GMO cheesemaking supplies.