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Growing and Printing Cows’ Milk is ridiculous

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From the people who brought you stem cell burgers

The American Council on Science and Health reports that milk grown from yeast and printed in 3D printers could be an option soon. Somehow, as we move further in to our food future, some people seem hellbent on keeping archaic cows’ milk options around.

In the yeast department, milk proteins are cloned and transferred to the microorganism, similarly to how genetically-engineered insulin is made. As yeast grows, they would produce the proteins that would normally be found in cows’ milk. Then, water, fats, minerals, vitamins, and lactose would be thrown in to the mix to help constitute what’s needed for a solid milk moustache. The author of this article calls this milk “vegan,” minus the initial DNA transfer that starts the whole thing up, and the part where we’re scrambling to find futuristic means to replicate cows’ milk when many actually vegan, plant-based options exist. The argument being more strongly enforced is that it’s more environmentally friendly, because cow farts could be reduced, even if yeast smell is pretty potent. 

In the 3D printing category, it’s less the average consumer and more astronauts that hold the concern. The author says some trials are underway, and folks like NASA are looking in to printing sodium caseinate, the protein in milk, to form a milk like substance. It’s on the menu alongside pizza, something I think we can all agree astronauts shouldn’t be forced to live without. If this were successful, it would only take convincing genetically-modified food fearers to make this available on store shelves.

Look, good intentions *might* be behind engineering milk “without” cows, but it’s going to hold our vegan future back. Can you imagine people arguing that their cows’ milk is more cruelty-free than another? If people are genuinely concerned about the well-being of cows, the environment, and for what they’re putting into their bodies, they’d drop all animal products, altogether. We live in an age of incredible substitutes that don’t call on scientists, technicians, or any campaigns to continue supporting animal use in any capacity (no matter how small it’s perceived to be). Eliminating some of the concern surrounding a single product won’t impart the change that’s really needed.

Go vegan, check out this dairy free guide, and say no to any variation of cows’ milk.

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  • William Shakespeare

    Anything that holds back any kind of “vegan future” is a win in my book.

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