Categories
Sustainability Technology

Eating Lab Grown Dairy May Be Closer Than You Think

Photo: SoDelicious

Lab-grown meat is all the rage these days, with multiple companies working on developing a type of meat that is sustainable, ethical and better for the planet. But what about lab-grown dairy, since it seems to be lagging behind? There’s good news on that front. 

And yes, that means all dairy products, from lab-made milk to processed items like yogurt and cheese. The good news is coming from Perfect Day Inc., a startup based in California which has managed to recreate the proteins found in good old cow’s milk, without using any animals to do so. What they did was develop a form of genetically modified microflora. It produces whey and casein through fermentation.

Lab-grown dairy – how similar is it? 

According to the company, the product bears a striking resemblance to the protein found in cow milk. In cold hard numbers: classic milk is 3.3 percent protein – 82 percent casein and 18 percent whey. The rest of milk is made of water, fat, and carbs. The company says that the dairy protein in the product is vegan and lactose-free. The latter element might be a relief for my lactose-intolerant friends who cannot have all the ice cream they desire.

The problem with lab-grown dairy (so far) comes with the difficulty in making full-fat milk that has a similar texture and taste to cow’s milk. The fat content of milk is the biggest challenge on this front. But at the rate technology is developing and pushing boundaries, this challenge may be conquered in the near future.

Making watery milk is one thing, but then using this for all types of cheese and yogurt – now that’s something that complicates things. Not to mention that the mouthfeel of butter will be extremely hard to replicate.

How soon is lab-grown dairy coming?

Perfect Day is moving towards full-scale production, just with its milk products. Because they are still working on all of the dairy products that we’ve grown to love. And the products could end up in our local grocery stores in the next few years.

And as the kicker, Perfect Day’s CEO Ryan Pandya says that the company plans to tackle malnutrition in developing countries. “We began to look into how we can use our protein to prevent stunted growth and malnutrition in the developing world.”

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Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Categories
Cravings Health Packaged Food Plant-Based Products

8 Vegan Cheeses You’ll Want To Add To Your Plant-Based Bucket List

Groundhouse’s Vegan Burger

For the majority of my life, I’ve experienced the bitter taste of lactose intolerance in my gut and in my soul. As a result, I simply avoided milk and cheese at all costs. Unfortunately, the siren song of a juicy burger with a hearty slice of cheese or a piping hot pizza straight from the oven would often haunt me.

As many coworkers have pointed out when I mention how much I miss cheese, we now live in an age where plant-based cheese alternatives are bountiful. Some are developed enough to just hit the spot, while others are so close that you actually can’t tell the difference between them or the real thing.

Check out some of the top vegan cheese brands currently in the market, each accessible through the click of a mouse or a trip to a speciality store. Going to make a bucket list to get my hands on each and every one of these. Stay tuned for a follow up with my thoughts!


Follow Your Heart

One of the more popular brands of vegan cheese slices, you’ll find Follow Your Heart on the menu of viral vegan burger chains like Monty’s Good Burger. I’ve had their cheddar on many a vegan burger, and frankly, it tastes nearly identical.

Kite Hill

 

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While Kite Hill is probably best known for their yogurts, they also produce almond milk-based cheeses such as ricotta. According to fellow Foodbeast, Constantine Spyrou, their plant-based ricotta is probably one of the best vegan cheese substitutes he’s had.

Miyoko’s Creamery

 

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The passion project of award-winning vegan chef Miyoko Schinner, Mikoyo’s Creamery is believed to be one of the first brands to bring vegan cheeses into the mainstream. Mikoyo produces high-quality cheeses from nut milks that even include artisanal vegan cheese wheels.

Violife

The first time I got to try Violife cheese, it was at a Natural Food and Products Expo. Violife makes a variety of vegan cheese options like cream cheese, parmesan, feta, smoked provolone, and cheddar. However, their take on queso was truly a mouthwatering experience.

Good Planet Foods

 

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Good Planet Foods prides themselves in a variety of tastes that tailor themselves to the consumer. What draws me to their brand of cheese is that the slices come in a bevy of unique flavors such as garlic and herb, hot pepper, and tomato basil.

Parmela Creamery

 

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Parmela Creamery draws from the subtle flavors that come from cashews. The company utilizes a slow-aging process for their nut cheeses that unlocks rich authentic flavors. Products include cheese spreads, meltable slices, cheese sauces, and meltable shredded cheese.

Wayfare

 

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A good smoked salmon bagel is something I’ll never turn down — even if the lactose gets the best of me for the rest of the day. Fortunately, Wayfare Foods specializes in dairy-free cream cheeses (with flavors like onion chive, green olive, and jalapeño) that may be the perfect solution to my bagel predicament.

Bute Island

 

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Foodbeast’s Analiese Trimber, a fellow lactose-intolerant soul who’s tried nearly every iteration of vegan cheeses, told me that Bute Islands was one of the best vegan cheeses she’s experienced.

“My favorite was the Greek style,” she said. “It was fashioned after feta cheese and their rendition was super creamy and slightly tangy, just like a good feta.”

Categories
Deals Sweets

Ben & Jerry’s Wants to Thank You With Free Ice Cream

Prepare yourself for the 10th of April. Drink plenty of water the night before. Have a balanced diet the days leading up to it. Try to exercise. Most importantly, keep your sugar intake to a minimum.

Why? Ben & Jerry’s is trying to kill us all. Well, not really, but that fateful Tuesday will test the population’s self control because for that day only anyone and everyone is invited by the ice cream giant to indulge in a free cone or cup.

Now, you might not think that one cone or cup is enough to call for some changes in diet, but add in the fact that Ben & Jerry’s is ready to let people stand right back in line after they get their cone. Now you get the warning?

With 35 flavors to choose from at any Scoop Shop in the US, this calls for a full on ice-cream day-trip with anyone willing to freeze their blood.


Since 1979, Ben & Jerry’s has been doing this Free Scoop Day as a way to show gratitude to the customers that have kept them going from the start.

It’s no shock since then that the flavors of ice cream have grown, no longer are your free scoops fixated to either a chocolate or vanilla. It’s 2018, we’ve got Phish Food, my guy.

This is the best opportunity for anyone not familiar with the plethora of flavors Ben & Jerry’s offers to get a taste. There’s over 30 reasons to stand in line and spend the day eating ice cream.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss News Sweets

Study Shows 48% Of Americans Have No Idea Where Chocolate Milk Comes From

If you’re one of the 7 percent of Americans who thinks chocolate milk comes from brown cows, I hope you’re sitting down for this one, because there is absolutely zero percent chance that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Just to make sure, I checked with our resident food scientist Costa Spyrou, and he has assured me that cows do not produce chocolate.

Costa was thoroughly unimpressed with my chocolate milk questions.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy surveyed 1,000 adults on several milk-related questions, and possibly the most devastating was the chocolate milk question.

At least those 7 percent were aware that a cow is somewhat involved in the process, but a whole 48 percent of those same 1,000 respondents said they actually have no idea where chocolate milk comes from, period.

This is our country ladies and gentlemen, and it is totally deflating.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I won’t leave you hanging—chocolate milk is, well, milk and freakin’ chocolate mixed together. The chocolate is not injected into a cow, nor does a cow naturally produce the chocolate.

h/t food & wine

Categories
News Sweets

Looks Like Joe Biden Is Getting His Own Ice Cream Flavor

The Cornell Daily Sun reports that dairy plant Cornell Dairy is working with the Cornell Convocation Committee to give Joe Biden his very own flavor of sweet soft serve.

When graduating senior Molly Mandel heard that Biden would be speaking at the graduation ceremony this year, she instantly got to work trying to come up with a flavor for the former Vice President. Mandel was an intern at the Cornell Dairy Processing Plant.

After running through 150 ice cream flavors, looking for the perfect one, the processing plant whittled it down to five, as of this writing: Biden’s Chocolate Bites; Bits n’ Biden; Big Red, White & Biden; Not Your Average Joe’s Chocolate Chip; and Uncle Joe’s Chocolate Chip.

Biden, the former senator from Delaware, is an avid fan of the frozen dessert, maybe even more than Kanye West.

We’ll keep you posted when the final flavor is announced.

Categories
Culture Video

This Animated Short About Father & Daughter Cheesemakers Will Tug At Your Heartstrings

Slow acoustic covers of popular, upbeat songs somehow always make our hearts swell. Just as most dairy products do the same for our stomachs… but I digress.

A recent short film created by Dairy Farmers of Canada, titled Mia & Morton, tells the story of a father and daughter duo of cheesemakers.

Set to the tune of Rose Cousins’ acoustic piano cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop,” the short captures the spirit of a Pixar film without actually being Pixar. Without any dialogue, it highlights the father-daughter relationship and how Mia strives to become a cheesemaker like her father, though at the same time wanting to forge her own path.

We won’t spoil the rest for you, but if you have a few minutes during your day, we highly recommend you check out the heartwarming short film.

It’s pretty damn beautiful.

Categories
Culture Drinks Opinion Products

The DAIRY PRIDE Act Is Poorly Written, Big Dairy Propaganda

A couple of months ago, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the “DAIRY PRIDE” Act into Congress. The bill, now in committee, aims to cut the legs out of the rapidly growing plant-based industry by preventing items like almond milk, soymilk, or cashew cheese from using dairy-related names.

However, the DAIRY PRIDE act is a poorly constructed bill that takes down swaths of other products alongside plant-based dairy and may even be unconstitutional in the first place, all while doing nothing to help the milk industry recover sales numbers, which is the whole aim of writing and introducing this bill in the first place.

The milk industry has been on a long trend of decline over the past 30 years. According to the Journal Sentinel, milk consumption has now fallen to 50% as sales tumbled over the past three decades. Following an increase in milk production due to shortages in the supply two years ago, massive excesses of milk now exist. The Wall Street Journal reports that this has led to a 36% drop in milk prices since 2014 and has forced farmers to dump over 43 million gallons of milk that they were unable to sell off last year.

Big milk would like to see that milk be sold rather than discarded, but consumers aren’t buying milk as much as they used to. So far, they’ve been able to work with the food industry to create cheesier products to use up some of the surplus, but it hasn’t been enough to prevent that milk from being lost.

To recover sales and prevent more milk dumping, big dairy needed to do something drastic. With plant-based dairy rapidly growing and eclipsing $5 billion in market value for the first time, it’s become a target for the milk industry. A bill like this is definitely a welcome boon to the dairy industry as a result.

However, there are a plethora of issues that this bill has that make it ineffective, weak, and possibly unconstitutional.

The bill cites the FDA definition of milk, unchanged since 1938, that is specific to only cows.

“Milk is the lactereal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.”

The DAIRY PRIDE Act aims to strictly enforce this definition. In doing so, plant-based dairy isn’t the only product category that has to change names. Peanut butter and goat cheese would both have to change names to be called something like “Peanut paste” or “goat curds.” Yum.

The bill does get more specific, however, when it targets plant-based dairy multiple times in the opening section of the act, directly calling out plant-based dairy labels as being “misleading to consumers.”

Their reason?

“Imitation dairy products, such as plant-based products derived from rice, nuts, soybeans, hemp, coconut, algae, and other foods that imitate milk, yogurt, and cheese, often do not provide the same nutrition content as real milk, cheese, and yogurt derived from dairy cows.”

As such, the act specifically goes after the plant-based industry and specifically calls them out in the act as “confusing” customers when it clearly doesn’t. We know that soy milk is soy and almond milk is almonds, and to anyone who says consumers can’t read a nutrition label is underestimating the intelligence of consumers. Almond-derived juice would be the basic alternative name, which just sounds… weird. That’s what proponents of the DAIRY PRIDE Act want, though, since it doesn’t sound as appealing. Removing the label doesn’t benefit consumers who are used to the name to begin with.

What’s more, the DAIRY PRIDE Act isn’t just misleading on its own, it may also be unconstitutional. The Good Food Institute wrote a public statement condemning the DAIRY PRIDE Act as “pandering to the dairy industry” through censorship.

“The government is only allowed to restrict commercial free speech if there is substantial government interest in doing so. Simply pandering to the dairy industry does not qualify as a good reason, therefore this legislation would be in violation of the First Amendment.”

Basically, Congress has a choice: pass this law and kill a rapidly growing and innovative industry in a feeble attempt to preserve the death of an already declining one, or leave the law be. If the DAIRY PRIDE act is dropped, plant-based dairy will be allowed to thrive while milk sales would continue to drop, which means farmers just need to produce less milk. They can sell the beef or switch to alternatives.

There is no substantial government interest in enforcing this rule because it does nothing to save the milk industry and is honestly just blatant censorship.

If Congress wants to avoid a meaningless legal battle and prevent their public perception of corruption to fester even more, they should not let this bill leave committee.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss Opinion Tastemade/Snapchat

Hack Your Lactose Intolerant Body With These Tips To Enjoy Dairy

Maybe your struggle with lactose intolerance defined most of your eating habits for years or perhaps you finally realized your lattes don’t have your stomach’s best interests at heart (the delicious bastards). Whatever the case, as a long-time sufferer of unusual intestinal reactions, I know your pain.

Luckily for you, I’ve dealt with all the embarrassing gurgles and side-clutching spasms in order to save you from yourself. My five years of trial and error need not go in vain.

 

Are you even lactose-intolerant?

lactose intolerant

Before you heed any of my sage advice, you should check with your doctor to see if you actually have a milk allergy. I may be intolerant to guys who wear trilby hats, but I’ve never gone into an anaphylactic shock from them brushing against me.

 

Don’t cut out dairy

dairy-products

Going cold turkey will just make your inevitable moment of weakness incredibly uncomfortable. I went a month without any dairy only to be struck down by a creme brûlée cheesecake. Decadence never hurt so good.

Start out by having small doses of dairy on a daily basis and increase the amounts as you start to notice fading symptoms.  Progress will be long and slow, but now, as soon as I enter certain restaurants, servers start slicing up cheesecake.

 

Grab some chocolate milk

chocolate-milk

Flavored and whole milk contain more fat which softens the Ronda Rousey-force lactose blow to your stomach. Chocolate milk, in addition to being a time machine to your childhood, can also prevent your other muscles from cramping up after a workout.

You’d think the low-fat or low percentage milk would treat you right, but you’re just getting the same dose of lactose with half the flavor.

 

Change your cheese habits

cheese-assorted

Pick up some Brie (unicorn milk aged and curdled by a fairy godmother) and other aged cheeses like Cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan. Truth be told, most cheese contains very little lactose, but if this is a sensitive area in your diet, buy sharp/extra sharp Cheddar instead of mild because they age for much longer. The fresher the cheese, the more likely you’ll turn into a hot air balloon.

 

Quit the cow bias

sheep

Sheep and goat’s milk/cheese have comparable lactose levels to cow’s milk, but many people find them much easier to digest. Try them on their own before you add any to sauces or other recipes; they’re much creamier bases.

 

You can gain tolerance

dairy-products-milk-shake

Not of trilby hats, that’s unforgivable. Nowadays, I can have a gigantic milkshake and as much pizza as I want on a first date without feeling like the Alien is about tear through my abdomen. If you get your body to grow accustomed to lactose, every day doesn’t have to be soy/almond/tofu alternatives (not that there’s anything wrong with those).

Consuming entire bricks/wheels of night cheese a la Liz Lemon is still a forever alone activity, but honestly, it’s worth it.