It may still sound super futuristic, but it seems that the future is almost here: lab-grown dairy is a fast growing industry, with startups from all over the world rapidly joining the race to create and mass-distribute the first imitation cow’s milk, and some of them, as they report, are very close.
The technologies vary, but most of them are based on artificially reproducing the proteins in curds (casein) and whey, in a way that is suitable for mass market consumption. This will result in a product that will have the authentic mouthfeel and temperature resistance of the real thing, and yes, we are talking about that thing many vegans miss the most: stretchy cheese!
The good news is that things are likely to be sped up soon by the entry of big consumer companies, such as Nestlé and Danone, which are buying lab-grown dairy startups, as well as investment banks and private investors “pouring money” into the industry.
One of those investors happens to be Robert Downey Jr., who had this to say: “Given the stresses our planet faces from population growth and climate change we need to find new ways to feed the world.” Another big investor in the field, billionaire Jim Mellon, said that he thinks the dairy industry will disappear entirely because “it’s an industry that’s in terminal decline.”
Here’s to hoping that in the very near future many around the world will be able to enjoy some nice, stretchy, delicious lab-grown cheese.