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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 18

Thoughts:Kill a Calf, Make a Cheese. I am about to spill the beans, or should I say cow intestines about the truth of cheese! How good is cheese really? If you like cheese, and you read this blog, you may never want to eat cheese again! The basic ingredients for making cheese are milk, starter culture and or natural acids, and rennet. So we know what milk is, but what is starter culture, natural acids and rennet? And why do we eat things and not even know the ingredients?

Starter Culture is a "good" bacteria added to the cheese (what ever good bacteria means), The biological process is the same as the fermentation of beer or wine. As the bacteria eat, they produce lactic acid which in turn causes the milk protein to develop into curd.

Rennet is an enzyme which acts on protein and causes it to coagulate. There are two sources of rennet enzyme. Animal rennet is an enzyme which is extracted from the fourth stomach of calves, yes there are animal intestines in your cheese! Rennet is also crushed and grinded hooves from the animals. So a mixture of strong animal hooves and intestines makes a yummy cheese(hehe ewww!) Traditionally, the first step in making cheese is to kill a newly-born, milk-fed calf and remove its stomach to make rennet. The rennet was derived from the inner lining of the abomasum, the fourth stomach of the calf or any other animal classified as a ruminant. After scraping the stomach, the cheesemaker would dry it in the sun by stretching it on a rack. After the stomach was dry, it was cut it into squares or strips. Before the strips or squares were used, they were soaked in cold water and washed thoroughly before being placed in milk. In an alternative process the strips or squares were dried, then ground, and finally mixed with a salt solution to extract rennin. Rennin is defined in Webster's Unabridged Dictionary as "a coagulating enzyme occurring in the gastric juice of the calf, forming the active principal of rennet and able to curdle milk." The cheese industry prefers a broader definition of rennin, calling it "any enzyme used for the controlled coagulation of milk." Placed in milk, rennin or rennet breaks down a protein called kappa casein that keeps milk in liquid form. The breaking down of kappa casein leads to coagulation of the milk that will become cheese.

I also chatted with Amy, a lady who works in an organic supermarket on the Gold Coast, Australia. She told me how she grew up on a dairy farm and WILL NEVER EAT CHEESE AGAIN! Because she saw how it was made, and the animal parts they put in it!

But for the cheese lovers there is good news, and that is that organic cheeses don't have rennet in them. They cost a little more, but so what!? Better to pay a little extra and not have to eat cow hooves I reckon! There are a number of rennetless cheeses whose coagulating enzymes are vegetable, microbial, or genetically engineered. One group of rennetless cheeses has acidic levels high enough not to require enzymes for coagulation. This group includes cottage cheese, ricotta, and some varieties of mozzarella. Rennetless has also become a generic term for any cheese made without any animal derived enzymes. Vegetable rennet usually means the enzyme was plant based. The phrase is an oxymoron because rennet implies it is animal derived. To add to the confusion, enzymes produced using microbes are often included in this category. What types of plants have been used to produce these enzymes? In the past, eager cheese makers have utilized plants like lady's bedstraw (Galium verum or curdwort), stinging nettle, fig leaves, melon, safflower, and wild thistle.

After doing all my research on cheese, I am put off forever! eewww ;)

If you want to do the research yourself, check out these links that I fond,

Challenges: The only challenge I had today was not food" was "how do I get out of the ocean?" hehe I loved it so much!

Triumphs: Today I made cookies! Totally naturalness, totally earthy, from scratch! I could taste the naturalness, not at all like the cookies I used to make full of sugar and butter and processed flour. I suppose my taste budds will adjust to my new "simple natural cookies!". And the good thing is that you can eat as much as you want because they are actually good for you! Can you believe it cookies that are good for you? wooohoooo! The recipe is below ;)

What I ate today:

Breakfast: 2 scrambled fried eggs in olive oil, rockmelon and strawberries. Mmmmm my favourite breakfast!

Lunch: leftovers from dinner last night, my very own Tikka Masala mmm. The recipe is on blog "Day 17".

Dinner: A free range organic chicken breast and rockmelon. Actually a good combo!

Dessert: 3 of my cookies! Purple grapes!

Snacks: 2 tablespoons of crushed peanuts.

Cost: Cookie cost: $7 Agave syrup, $7 cocao powder, $2 oats, $2 buckwheat flour. (already had Olive oil and eggs and nuts) TOTAL COST COOKIES = $18, but you will probably get 4 cookie batches out of this!

1.Agave syrup (a natural sweet syrup dervived from a plant, use instead of sugar!)
2.One egg
3.Olive oil or virgin coconut oil
4.cocao powder (this is grinded cocao beans, totally natural and totally raw, where chocolate orginated from!)
5.some oats (you can buy them grinded, or grind them yourself so they are a consistency of flour)
6. Buckwheat flour (which is not actually flour, its a grain from a tree, it acts like flour, but has no gluten at all!)

1. First make the chocolate batter! Mmm check out this photo. It tasted like real chocolate. Not like porcessed crappy chocolate but real real chocolate. So put some cocao powder in a bowl (I rarely use measurements, just use your natural human instinct and get creative), add a little olive oil and then some agave syrup. Mix it together. You want to end up with a smooth, silky consistency. Mmmm taste it, it will taste like sweet dark real chocolate! You could just eat this if you wanted a snack!
2. In another bowl make the flour batter, so put some oats and buckwheat in, some agave syrup and some water, and a pinch of himalayn salt. Mix it together, it will become the cookie batter, it should be sweet.
3. Mix the chocolate batter in the cookie batter. Add nuts if you want! I put almonds on top of mine!
4. Cook in a pre-heated 150 degrees oven, cook until they are soft mmm mmmm!

Exercise: 1 and a half hour walk and run on the beach in Surfers Paradise and then a swim in the refreshing energetic ocean! It was hard to get out! Then an night I did 15 minutes swimming laps!

347 days to go!


  1. EWWWWWW Cheese is so gross isnt it! Can you believe it is on the "Healthy Eating Pyramid".
    Thanks Liana for the blog, it was anothr wake up call to me, as i do love cheese...

    Your going FANTASTIC


  2. Hi Liana! I am starting the Earth Diet for a year tomorrow. Very excited about it. You are such an inspiration.

    Can I just ask though, what is the difference between eating a chicken breast and eating cheese with animal rennet? I am a vegan so I don't eat either, but I am curious as to your thoughts on this. I hope I don't sound offensive, because that is not my intention at all. I'm just wondering if there is a difference between animal products of any kind. Thank you! :D

    1. Hi Natalie! Wowwwww so did you complete your year on The Earth Diet? And how are you? I am just seeing your comment today... ! Great question, and as a meat eater I suppose the thought of eating cheese with animal rennet compared to chicken is gross. Although I realize for a vegan that eating chicken is gross. I suppose chicken is less processed, I come from Outback Australia so eating chicken seems like a more natural process than eating cheese that has been processed with rennet. I know meat is not for everyone, and I do 70% raw and 30% cooked. This works for me. I hope you have found your healthy balance also! I am sure you have enjoyed many of TED recipes from the website, the vegan ones especially the desserts are DIVINE! Well looking forward to hearing from you! Much love! 221 days to my new book launch!