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The Milk of the Future Could Be Made Without Cows

It's made from yeast in a process not unlike brewing craft beer

Dairy cows Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

The alternative milk industry is booming: As younger consumers turn to beverages made from nuts, soy, and hemp for a variety of reasons — more diverse diets, ethical concerns, allergies — consumption of cow’s milk is steadily plummeting.

But what if you could drink dairy milk without having to involve cows? A food tech startup based in (where else) Berkeley, California has made that its mission, promising "animal-free dairy products that taste like the real thing."

Perfect Day’s product is "made from proteins derived from fermented yeast" in a process not unlike brewing craft beer, the Upstart Business Journal reports; it’s vegan, lactose-free, and the company claims it "uses 98 percent less water, 91 percent less land, 84 percent less greenhouse gas emissions and 65 percent less energy than typical industrial dairy production."

Quartz says "Over time, they’ve adjusted the amount of calcium and potassium and other nutrients to get the mixture to taste, look, and feel like cow’s milk." And unlike, say, almond or soy milk, it can be used to make other dairy products including yogurt and cheese, thanks to the presence of yeast-derived milk proteins.

Perfect Day has raised $4 million so far, further proving that investors are hungry for plant-based proteins like lab-grown meat and veggie burgers that "bleed". The company intends to launch its first product within the next year or so; per the UBJ, "they hope the product will retail for the same price as organic milk."

Would You Drink This Milk Made Out of Yeast? [Upstart Business Journal]

This Vegan Milk Is a Guilt-Free Replica of Cow’s Milk [Quartz]

Why Do People Want Veggie Burgers That Bleed? [E]