By now, we’ve all become familiar with vegan meat substitutes and plant-based milk alternatives.

But what about lab-grown milk?

The Plant-Based Journey

Beyond Meat and similar competitors have (almost literally) taken the world by storm, and you’ll find even the most carnivorous burger joints turning plant-based.

More recently, it’s been the advent of lab-grown meat that’s becoming more and more popular. Real meat that doesn’t involve animal cruelty.

And next on that train is lab-grown milk.

Why Synthetic Dairy?

Young bioengineers in Silicon Valley are working on producing artificial milk using genetically engineered yeast.

Real milk, minus the cow.

Animal welfare is a concerning factor, but so is agricultural sustainability and creating enough produce for the mass market.

Milking cows has worked perfectly for thousands of years, but at the rate that the human race is growing, this simply isn’t sustainable – not without devastating effects on livestock and the environment.

Synthetic diary provides a sustainable alternative that’s more scalable – without compromising on taste.

Real cow lying on the grass

Making Lab Milk

So how exactly do you make lab milk and can it mirror the real thing?

Making milk is (apparently) less complicated than growing meat:

  • Genetically engineered yeast produces real milk proteins.
  • Vegetable fats are tweaked to mirror the flavour and structure of real milk.
  • Minerals and sugars are added.

With this process, lab-grown milk will have all the taste and nutritional benefits of cow’s milk.

That definitely makes it stand out from other plant-based alternatives like soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk.

But because you can control what goes into the milk, scientists can also ensure that the “bad” sides of real milk – like lactose and cholesterol issues – don’t become a factor with lab milk.

Even though technically this is a GMO product, it aims to give you all the good minus all the bad.

Who’s Creating Lab Milk?

Currently, Perfect Day Foods (Muufri), a San Francisco start-up, is leading the development of lab milk.

They’ve got a pretty interesting website that details their process and brand vision, which includes lab-grown cheese, lab-grown yoghurt, and even lab ice cream!

Other contenders in the race for lab milk include Impossible Foods and Real Vegan Cheese.

And since all of these are in development, you can hop on to their pages and follow their progress – or even get involved!

Lab Milk Test Tubes

What About Other Milk Alternatives?

Of course, for now, you’ll have to make do with other milk alternatives.

Popular variants include soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk. You can also try tiger nut milk, coconut milk, rice milk, and cashew milk.

We’re big fans of Rude Health products, and recommend checking these out:

If you’re in South Africa, you can purchase Rude Health products via Faithful to Nature.

Will You Try Lab Milk?

So, will you try synthetic dairy? Are you excited about its development?

Chat to us on social media or drop a comment below – we’d love to hear from you!

Written by Benike Palfi
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