Here’s What $2 Million Milk Tastes Like

It’s made without milking a single cow

We’ve come a long way since the soymilk of the ‘70s, but almond milk still curdles perfectly good cups of coffee, coconut milk makes for a watery substitute, and cashews, no matter how gently you milk them, can’t quite match the subtle tang of dairy. Not to mention that if you have a nut, soy, or gluten allergy, the options are seriously limiting. But will Silicon Valley be the one to swoop in and solve everyone’s lactose issues?

Much to the chagrin of the dairy industry, dairy-free milk consumption is soaring, according to a recent consumer report. Go to any grocery store and you’ll find a dizzying amount of creamy choices: soy, almond, coconut, hemp, and rice milks abound. They all are made via the same general process: soaking a nut, bean, or grain and then blending it with water, sweetener, and thickener to mimic the rich texture and flavor we find so irresistible in dairy milk (and to mask the flavor of the main ingredient as much as possible).

But plant-based food producer Perfect Day isn’t using animals or nuts to craft their version. They’re making—get this—actual milk.

[quote position="full" is_quote="true"]Many people initially go ‘oh, is this like lab or test-tube milk?’—but that’s wrong.[/quote]

“We’ve developed a way to make casein—the same protein found in cow’s milk—without using cows,” says its founders Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi on their website. “Instead, our casein is made using dairy yeast that eat sugar and transform it into milk protein.”

First, they procure standard USDA-approved dairy yeast and manipulate its DNA so that it will ferment sugar and produce milk proteins (casein and whey). They even nicknamed the yeast Buttercup. The company initially launched in 2014 as Muufri, but after two years of research and development, feedback from friends and fans, and a $2 million investment, the founders decided to rebrand with a new, utopic name and a more modern look. They’re slated to release their first animal-free dairy products sometime in 2017, and have promised to be competitively-priced with conventional dairy as they scale up production.

The process of making a more perfect milk is similar to brewing craft beer. Pandya and Gandhi call it “yeast farming,” a process of fermentation where the microorganisms in yeast feed on sugar and grow. Don’t worry, this milk isn’t alcoholic, nor is it lab-grown.

“Many people initially go ‘oh, is this like lab or test-tube milk?’—but that’s wrong,” Pandya told the Guardian. “The meat folks are trying to invent technology that doesn’t exist today, but our milk is made through techniques in use for more than three decades.”

If you can get past the oddity of growing milk in a vat of yeast rather than inside of a dairy cow, the environmental claims are tough to argue with. Compared with conventional dairy products, Perfect Day claims that their process uses ninety percent less water and land, produces 84 percent less greenhouse gases, and uses 65 percent less energy. The impact of switching from factory farmed dairy products to animal-free milk would be a big win for the planet and for the cows, but the real question is: will people actually buy and drink the stuff?

[quote position="full" is_quote="true"]We’ve developed a way to make the same protein found in cow’s milk without using cows.[/quote]

Perfect Day skirts around the ethical complaints brought against the dairy industry for using cows as milk machines, but the founders say they aren’t trying to put all dairy farmers out of business.

“We wholeheartedly support the countless dairy farmers across the globe who use sustainable farming practices and genuinely care for their animals,” their website says, a stance that has already proved unsettling for some die-hard activists.

If Pandya and Gandhi can win over dairy lovers with their yeast-grown milk and appeal to vegans despite their support for dairy farming, Perfect Day could be the one milk that unites us all.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet