I want(ed) can-day

The BBC reported (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6653175.stm) that Mars (parent company: Masterfoods) has added animal by-products to its candy bars in the United Kingdom (UK). Specifically, they are now using rennet. Where will this rennet come from? Most likely from an industry that has the resource: veal calf producers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rennet).

It seems to me that the use of rennet is in itself not the issue. That’s fine. It’s used to make cheese and other foods. In fact, I would usually think utilizing a part of an animal that would otherwise go to waste is a good thing. But for this I am not quite sure–and it’s about those veal calves. I still don’t order veal in restaurants because it seems to cross my personal line of acceptable food production (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/food_matters/veal.shtml).

In the end, I can’t really see a reason for the rennet use when the company was going along just fine using non-animal sources in the past–unless, of course, this is cheaper or has proven to somehow increase the number of units sold. Even if either is the case, I would imagine more creative thinking could have led to the preservation of the vegetable rennet use.

Final thought: of course, if someone truly cares about veal production–and that is indeed the real issue for him/her–then that person should really look into the milk industry. In the UK most veal calves are a direct result of dairy farming (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/food_matters/veal.shtml).

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