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#EcoTuesday: A Better Milk Is Coming

Closeup of a cow . being milked by hand. The picture has a red x over it

Plant-based milk is coming!  Wait, don’t we already have almond, soy, rice, and oat milk? Yes, but this is genetically identical milk! At least the proteins that make it up are. You can take these flora-based proteins and turn them into any dairy product, like cheese, ice cream, butter, yogurt, and more!

Perfect Day Foods is perfecting this process and is aiming to reduce the need for dairy farms. Dairy farms are one of the largest polluters in the US.  Each cow emits 100-200 liters of methane gas (cow farts) per day. This greenhouse gas does more damage than carbon dioxide. With hundreds of thousands of dairy cows, this adds up. Even more comes from the manure piles that are stored prior to being sold to other farmers.  Combine this with the water it takes to feed and care for the cows, and dairy farms end up being quite destructive to the environment.

Dairy Farms are not as warm and cozy as we think

But back to this exciting new tech!  Let’s address your likely questions. 

What is flora-based protein?

Milk’s main proteins are called casein and whey. We can now create both of these by combining a specific microflora (probiotics), sugar, and milk’s essential genes.  The flora ferments the sugar into milk proteins that are chemically identical to casein and whey. 

Wait, what is microflora?

These are microorganisms that are friendly to humans, like yeast, bacteria, and fungi.

What are the good parts?

It’s got all the protein and flavor of traditional milk protein, without any hormones, antibiotics, or lactose. It’s also gluten-free and vegan. People who are lactose intolerant can enjoy dairy products without having to worry! The creation of it all happens in vats, like beer, so dairy farms won’t be necessary. 

Why do you keep saying milk protein, and not just milk? 

The milk protein created by this process is not liquid milk. It is part of what makes liquid milk. So you can take these proteins and turn them into ice cream, cheese, or liquid milk, but you don’t start with straight-up milk.

Can I try it now?

Although a limited run ice cream was released, there aren’t any foods readily available to try. But Perfect Day is partnering with manufacturers and have some things in the works.  Expect to see these dairy products in the next couple of years!

All this flavor without the lactose and hormones!

If you have more questions, check out Perfect Day’s FAQ here, it is super informative.

Keep an eye out for plant-based dairy coming to shelves and restaurants!  And look for a positive environmental impact as these foods grow in popularity. 

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