Are you familiar with the chegan culture? Yep, that’s me. Along with numerous others who really don’t want to be ‘outed’ regarding serious dietary crimes, I try very hard to stick to a vegan diet—not because I’m on a militant agenda marching for PETA and eschewing leather so much—but because it makes me feel good on a consistent basis (and I really just don’t think torturing animals is worth it to eat a piece of meat I couldn’t care less about).
What I’ve discovered as a vegan is that I rarely feel ‘off’; there aren’t any upset stomachs, food hangovers, or strange maladies due to something I’ve put in my system. That is rather addicting in itself, and because you feel so predictably wonderful all the time, you grow protective of the regime. However! Who can resist a world filled with so many variations on that creamy delight known as ice cream? Who can be strong enough to always say no to that slice of pizza from the authentic Italian restaurant down the street that also boasts a ginormous authentic bakery filled with desserts just oozing with creme fillings and confections? We try. Yes, we try. But seriously, have you tried cutting dairy out of your diet?
I’m excited to say that some of this challenge could be erased as we chegans know it, thanks to a team of like-minded, very progressive eaters with a keen interest in dietary science and technology. They don’t see saving animals—and your figure—as something that must be an exercise in misery. They are, in fact, so committed to putting some dairy back into their own lives that they’ve found a way to replicate cow DNA through 3D printing, fabricating a tasty alternative that is vegan, and both lactose- and gluten-free.
Founded back in 2014, Perfect Day Foods isn’t just the whimsical concept of two hungry dreamers. They’ve worked to raise a total of $4 million in investment funds for the 3D printing of this bovine DNA and subsequent new dairy. This entrepreneurial team is planning to give us our ice cream back with a substitute that they feel confident we’ll enjoy much more than all the other ones we pass by in the grocery store today with a mental ‘ick.’ This apparently is not about the all too common labeling and trendy vegetarian marketing that still, ultimately, means trying to force something overpriced, frightening, and weird down our deprived little gullets.
“Just before we started this company, my co-founder Perumal Gandhi and I had recently adopted a plant-based diet and were finding it hard to live without some of our favorite foods: namely, ooey, gooey, cheesy pizza,” co-founder and CEO Ryan Pandya said in a recent interview with Digital Trends.
Perfect Day’s animal-free dairy milk is a product created by people as hungry as you and I are, clamoring for our cheese. And in fact, it’s so close to the real thing—even made with casein and whey—and including the taste, texture, and nutrition—that if you have milk allergies, you’ll need to opt out on this product. (They are currently “working on hypoallergenic innovations,” however.)
Stating that they wanted “zero compromise” in this endeavor, the Perfect Day team (and yes, their name was inspired by the famous Lou Reed song that apparently causes cows to release milk more happily) has created a process not unlike the making of beer. Just think of it as milk crafting and yeast farming.
Here, in making a dairy substitute that is actually nutritious and safe, they use both yeast (fondly nicknamed Buttercup) and fermenting processes to create the same milk proteins as cows. According to their website, they then mix plant-based sugars, fats, and minerals, creating a delicious and innovative milk that allows you to indulge guilt-free.
“All of these ingredients are familiar to your body,” states the Perfect Day team. “The magic of Perfect Day is our ability to make real milk proteins without using a single cow.”
“We gave this yeast a ‘blueprint’ that allows it to ferment sugar and create real milk proteins. This is the very same blueprint, in the form of DNA, that cows use every day.
This process also puts much less strain on the environment overall, leading to the following:
- 65% less energy consumption
- 84% less greenhouse gas emissions
- 91% less land usage
- 98% less water consumption
Dietary wants aside, these are strong numbers that should really make us all think.
As the Perfect Day team of chefs, food designers, nutritionists, scientists, and engineers continue to work diligently, their product should be launched toward the end of 2017, allowing you to look forward to enjoying all the treats that non-vegans love throwing in your face: yogurt, cheese, chocolate milk, ice cream, pizza, more. Are you curious about the further complexities of making this vegan milk? If so, be sure to check out Perfect Day, along with their extensive FAQs page. Let’s discuss this interesting new product over in the 3D Printing with Cow DNA forum at 3DPB.com.
[Sources: Perfect Day; Digital Trends]