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Cow proteins without the cow – an udderly incredible invention!

Environment > Cow proteins without the cow – an udderly incredible invention!

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26 August 2021, 3:22 PM


Looking for a dairy fix that doesn't hurt the planet, but not quite enjoying the plant-based delights all your friends are raving about? Well, have no fear - engineering is here!

Once again, STEM is saving the day in the form of a cool Californian start-up, Perfect Day, which created a lab-made fungi that can make ice cream and other dairy delights... And it's moo-lecularly (!) identical to the whey in cow's milk - so you can still ensure you're getting them gainz!

We’re all just trying to do our bit to make the world a little bit greener, from eating less meat to turning the lights off, but sometimes the more sustainable alternatives can be a little… well, lacking.

And it’s a price we’re happy to pay to save Mother Earth, but that doesn’t stop us craving the original sometimes, does it? Especially when it comes to full fat creamy silky dairy yumminess… *drools*

That’s the same conclusion Perfect Day co-founder and bio-engineer Ryan Pandya came to after a dissatisfying encounter with a fake cream cheese bagel. Don’t worry bread lovers – the bagel itself was fine, but the soya-based filling was ‘bland and runny’. As a recent veganism convert, Ryan was trying his best but still struggled to give up dairy. So he asked, what makes milk milk?

The company is so committed to this new greener dairy production, they even commissioned a third-party study to find out just what kind of impact their protein was having in the real world. The verdict? Their protein is up to 97% lower in greenhouse gas emissions than comparative existing proteins – no bull. 😉

According to the report, if US consumers switched entirely to Perfect Day whey protein, it could save up to 246 million tons of CO2e emissions, which is the equivalent of up to 28 million homes' energy use for one year (or all the homes in New York and California combined!). Now that’s pretty spectacular. And they’re already expanding into other regions too – so just think what a global impact that would have…

What's CO2e?

CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, is a term used to describe all greenhouses gases in a consistent way alongside actual carbon dioxide (CO2), so you can express the impact in terms of one unified carbon footprint.

The only down-side to this glorious invention is that, as it is genetically identical to cow protein, it isn’t going to be one for those of us with milk allergies. Boo-hoo… But it is 100% lactose, hormone, and antibiotic-free, and produced entirely without animals, so is considered vegan. Moo-hoo!

So are you ready to tuck in to some fungus ice cream? We swear it’s a lot nicer than it sounds…

Perfect Day has started partnering with some innovative ice cream brands in the US, but more products and regions are reportedly following – so keep your eye out for a creamy yet sustainable set of yoghurts, cheeses, milks and more coming to a store near you. But if you’re impatient for change (and we’re with you), why not contact your local supermarket or brands in your country and ask them to make the switch?

Fun fact

The company name 'Perfect Day’ came from the Lou Reed song, which scientists discovered was one of the songs that cows produced the most milk to, as it made them calmer and happier. Cute!

Next article: Plant-based bras, supporting you and the planet

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