Farming Cells, Not Cows

Dairy without the cow is here, and a new form of sustainable protein will be on our grocery shelves soon through biotechnology. Animal-free dairy startup Perfect Day is poised to change the way we think about dairy through cellular agriculture.

Perfect Day received their first patent to create animal-free dairy proteins in February of 2018. This means making milk proteins in an organism like yeast by giving them a “blueprint” using recombinant DNA technology, and the possibilities are perfectly delicious. More recently, their animal-free whey protein was approved by the FDA.

Two years ago, when the first patent was secured, Michael Rowland of Forbes summarized that “One of the more unique aspects of Perfect Day’s creation is that it’s free from the hormones, antibiotics, steroids, and cholesterol found in many of the dairy products currently in grocery stores, restaurants, and fast food joints. The Perfect Day products are also vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, and lactose-free.”

Investor Jeremy Coller also stated that, “In the milk market, plant-based products, such as soy, rice and almond milk have grown to command 10% of the overall dairy market, while animal-based dairy products have stagnated. That demonstrates the growth potential for the likes of Perfect Day and the ‘sustainable protein’ sector as a whole.” Since Perfect Day is working with large dairy companies, the mutual profitability means they will be able to commercialize their product more quickly than if they were to market directly to consumers and in competition with the dairy industry.

Think about ice cream without factory farming or slaughterhouses, or enjoying a good cheese in a world where bovine mothers are not separated from their babies and kept in a cycle of continuous impregnation. Even if they are “just” cows, this use of biotechnology points us towards a more compassionate way of exemplifying our dominion over creation and stewarding our natural resources as well.

Reality Changing Observations:

1. What are your concerns about recombinant DNA technology?

2. What alternative dairy products have you tried?

3. What other benefits are there to creating animal-free dairy protein?

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