Written By: Paul Shapiro March 9, 2018
Lab-produced milk will soon become a ubiquitous part of the food chain without labeling requirements because it is already declared to be GMO-fee. However, the yeast that makes the milk proteins is tricked into doing so because of clever genetic modification. There is no guarantee that the resulting milk protein is 100% identical to a cow's milk. ? TN Editor
Three young entrepreneurs in their mid-twenties sat nervously in the Hong Kong office of Solina Chau, one of the world's most powerful women. Chau, founder of Horizons Ventures, oversees investments for multibillionaire Li Ka-Shing, focusing those investments on disruptive technologies she thinks the world needs.
She'd been introduced to Ryan Pandya, Perumal Gandhi, and Isha Datar by Horizons consultant Josh Balk, who himself had co-founded food tech start-up Hampton Creek just a few years earlier. Now, all four of them sat anxiously before Chau as they discussed the new start-up Perfect Day's big idea: producing real milk without cows.
Only weeks prior, these three young idealists had hatched their business plan via online video chats. No, they weren't interested in producing alternatives to milk, such as soy or almond milk. Instead, Perfect Day wanted to use a process called microbial fermentation to produce actual cow's milk—but without any cows at all.
Humanity's procurement of animal-based foods has remained stagnant for a long time. In the case of milk, we grow massive amount of crops using large swaths of land and other resources. We then raise cows, feed them those crops, medicate them, impregnate them, milk them, and eventually slaughter them. It's intensive, requiring huge quantities of land, water, fossil fuels, and other resources.
Perfect Day's plan was to make milk using the exact dairy proteins cows create, but with designer yeast instead of cows—and in a matter of mere days.
In other words, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?