Animal-Free Cow's Milk Is (Almost) a Thing
Eat your heart out, soy (almond, coconut, oat, and cashew).
The world of non-dairy milks has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no shortage of possibilities when it comes to the beverage. (We knew this when people started "milking" almonds, and we knew this when people started making milk out of bananas.) But the latest innovation in milk is going where no innovation has gone before: it's creating cow's milk, sans cow.
Perfect Day, the company producing the animal-free dairy milk, is the brainchild of Ryan Pandya, 24, and Perumal Gandhi, 25, both of whom had been trying to adhere to a vegan diet -- and finding themselves sorely disappointed with the dairy alternative options available to them -- when the idea for the product came to mind.
The co-founders, both trained in biomedical engineering, decided to try to create a milk option that wasn't plant-based but actually mimicked animal milk, without the use of animals. The method? A kind of craft brewing technique, similar to how beer is made, by which Pandya and Gandhi use yeast, sugar, and fermentation to produce the same proteins that cows make, which are then combined with plant-based ingredients to create the final product.
The primary benefit of a product like this is pretty straightforward: it's a vegan milk option that functions like actual cow's milk. Since it's essentially dairy milk created by cellular agriculture rather than milking a cow, we hear Perfect Day has a taste similar to traditional milk but comes without the hormones and lactose that can be problematic in the animal product.
As with any new product that challenges or tries to reinvent a natural foodstuff with the help of science, there are drawbacks. The biggest issue with animal-free dairy milk is because it is so innovative, the FDA has yet to figure out how to regulate it. Perfect Day will have to work closely with regulators before the milk hits markets (hopefully) in 2017.