There are plenty of organic milk alternatives on the market. From almond to soy to hemp to homemade cashew milk, it’s not as if dairy avoiders and vegans don’t have a plethora of choices. But in 2017 there’s going to be a new option that’s rumored to be closer to cow’s milk than any other milk alternative, and it’s simply yet powerfully named “Animal-free Milk.” Perfect Day (a re-brand of Muufri) scientists are working hard on this innovative milk product that’s crafted without the need for a single cow — and it’s more nutritious, humane, and sustainable than mainstream factory-farmed cow’s milk. Plus, Perfect Day notes that their Animal-free Milk will win people over based on the taste alone.

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Perfect Day’s Animal-free Milk is created with real milk proteins, but with zero cow involvement, making it appealing to vegans and those disgusted by factory farm dairy practices. By using yeast that has been given a “blueprint” that allows it to ferment sugar and create real milk proteins, the team has devised milk without chemicals, hormones, and lactose, but with the exact same flavor. Animal-free Milk is not organic, it’s synthetic, and produced using genetic engineering. However, it’s free from GMO’s in the final product, plus it’s 100% gluten-free and claims to be vegan, yet the company does use real milk proteins and casein (the main protein found in milk) so they note that their milk is NOT for people with casein or other milk protein allergies or sensitivities. The inclusion of casein may be a sore point with vegans looking for a milk alternative, as it’s widely debated as being vegetarian, not vegan. However, Perfect Day notes that they’ve developed a way to make casein without using cows. Instead, they make their casein with dairy yeast. Still, some may argue that while the product is animal-free, it’s not necessarily vegan. Another benefit of this product, according to preliminary lifecycle analysis results by the company, is that Perfect Day milk could, at scale, use up to 98% less water, 91% less land, 84% less greenhouse gas emissions, and 65% less energy than typical industrial dairy production.

There are pros and cons to Animal-Free milk, but it does seem like it could end up being a viable, sustainable, cruelty-free milk option. Will you try it when it debuts in 2017?

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