Attention: Meat Eaters

To my readers who do eat meat, I hope that you do so responsibly by buying ethically-raised/slaughtered products.  The World Society for the Protection of Animals just created an iPhone app to help consumers find ethically-produced food and to decode product labels.  The WSPA also features guides for finding ethically-produced foods in local grocery stores and restaurants, although the restaurant search is limited to only a few metropolitan areas for now.  You can also sign their petition to end factory farming, a practice that is unnecessarily cruel and wasteful and one that produces more environmental pollution than any other industry.

Careful: Not all cheeses are vegetarian!

I knew this in the back of my mind for some time now, but I didn't really look into it until I saw this feature on the Kitchn this week.  Rennet is an animal-derived enzyme which is used in the acidification process of cheese-making.  Unfortunately, you can't get rennet without killing the animal.  When you shop for cheese, try to look for "vegetal rennet" or "plant-derived rennet" in the ingredients list.  The Kitchn's guide gives some further buying tips.

I was just perusing Trader Joe's website and found an online guide to their cheeses that specifies which use animal, vegetable, and microbial rennet. I'd like to find out if this guide applies to other brands of cheese or just theirs.

Some more Kitchn tips

I've made a habit of reading The Kitchn every Saturday morning, and I'm forever finding helpful tips and fun ideas there.  This week, I found "30 Small Cooking Tips That Pack a Big Punch in the Kitchen," where I learned how to mellow out red onions and a clever way to store small quanities of herbs.  I also found their Quick Guide to Every Herb and Spice in the Cupboard.  The "spice blends" section was interesting since some of the names were new to me!