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February 18, 2018

038 GMO Cheese; Nat’l Academies Review

038 Cheese enzymes

Chipotle proudly serves it.  The Vermont GMO labeling rules exempt it. Still 95% of cheese is manufactured from enzymes created through recombinant DNA technology. These GMO-derived enzymes are tremendously beneficial to the process.  Young cow stomachs are not needed and the prices are lower because the enzymes are abundant.  Levi Gadye is a graduate student in neuroscience and science writer.  He recently wrote an article on cheese enzymes in Gizmodo, and joined us in talking about cheese.  Kavin Senapathy co-hosts.

In the second part of the podcast I cover the continued FOIA requests for my emails and do a quick review of the National Academies of Science scholarly review of genetic engineering released last week.

QUICK NOTE:  The recording now is different than the original one posted.  It turns out that there was a factual error.  Our guest stated that dairy cows gave birth to offspring that are “probably immediately euthanized”.  After consulting with an expert in animal cooperative extension it was resolved that male and female offspring of dairy cows are raised 12-14 months before being moved into beef production.   I wanted to follow up on that before posting and forgot.  The podcast stands corrected. 

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4 Comments on 038 GMO Cheese; Nat’l Academies Review

  1. Good podcast about rennet but please correct the idea that male dairy calves and surplus female dairy calves are killed at birth…they are grown to maturity and at ~ 14 or so months and enter the beef supply!

  2. New listener here. Finally made my way over from the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe. Liking the podcast a lot so far! Just a quick comment — there was some confusion in this episode about vegetarians and their eating of cheese from an ethical standpoint. I just wanted to point out that not all vegetarians restrict their diet for ethical reasons. Some, like my wife and I, do so for health. We both had cholesterol and triglyceride issues before cutting out most meat. And — we both have stellar cholesterol and triglyceride numbers now. It’s anecdote, but it’s the single biggest reason we don’t eat most meat (an amusing aside — we’re technically pescatarians these days, though my wife was lacto-ovo-vegetarian for over a decade before. I jokingly tell people that “If it has more than two chambers in its heart, I don’t eat it.”)

    It’s also a bonus that, even with eating cheese, we are contributing less to climate change and water shortages by not eating chickens/cows/pigs. 🙂

    Hope the perspective helps. Thanks so much for the podcast!

    • Very good point. I have a similar story. I lost 60+ lbs back in the 90’s based on eliminating animal muscle. It seemed like I could go to a plant-centric diet with some dairy etc, and maybe get the cholesterol /tri-g down. I also could save some money. That worked well and then I didn’t really want meat. That ended up lasting 16 years. I eat it now, not tons.

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