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Science & Technology

Would you drink milk grown in a lab ?

By T.K. Randall
October 23, 2014 · Comment icon 50 comments

Dairy products grown in a lab could become commonplace in the future. Image Credit:
The world's first in vitro hamburger could soon be accompanied by a nice glass of lab grown milk.
In an effort to further advance the field of artificial animal products, two bioengineers based in Silicon Valley are attempting to use genetically engineered yeast to create the world's first lab grown milk substitute without the need for any cows.

"If we want the world to change its diet from a product that isn't sustainable to something that is, it has to be identical [to], or better than, the original product," said co-founder Perumal Gandhi.
Unlike other milk substitutes such as those based on soy or almonds, the petri dish milk will retain both the taste and nutritional value of the genuine article because its yeast cultures will be producing real milk proteins. It will also have the potential to be a far more efficient product as it won't be necessary to breed and maintain a large number of farm animals in order to make it.

"Making an entire cow to make just the milk is inefficient," said Gandhi. "You're giving it all this feed and water, and most of it goes towards growing legs, growing a head, growing a liver and lungs."

Whether the general populace will actually drink the substitute milk however remains to be seen.

Source: National Geographic | Comments (50)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #41 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 9 years ago
Of course not.
Comment icon #42 Posted by Mr Supertypo 9 years ago
What "possible food shortage" exactly? If the earth population keeps growing then we will get some problem in the future....
Comment icon #43 Posted by libstaK 9 years ago
I'm sitting on the fence. I love Pepsi Max and a few other less than natural sweets - not twinkies though but I'm pretty sure most cookies are made with more than their fair share of artificial colorings and flavorings for starters. I will see if the day comes, which is the lesser of evils then - dealing with a worldwide milk shortage or harming the farming industry by supplanting with alternatives or getting better proteins and minerals like calcium etc from one or the other would be considerations.
Comment icon #44 Posted by Jacques Terreur 9 years ago
i don't see why there shouldn't be a market for both, artificial milk and "the authentic cowjuice"...the existence of the first wouldn't necessarily mean the abolishment of the latter, would it?
Comment icon #45 Posted by quiXilver 9 years ago
I don't even drink regular milk. Not even remotely healthy for humans. By the time we can eat solid food, milk is no longer viably processable for anyone, not even human milk... but specifically it's messed up to be ingesting the reproductive enzymes from another mammals' endocrine system, especially if you're female. Dump Dairy... feel better.
Comment icon #46 Posted by Whatsinausername 9 years ago
What sort of milk is it in it's fist initial state? Low fat? Skim? Whole? Will you be able to separate cream from it to make butter etc?
Comment icon #47 Posted by Stubbly_Dooright 9 years ago
I drink milk originally from a powder coming from a packet, so yeah why not. Great, more farms going redundant then Although, this is a good point.
Comment icon #48 Posted by psyche101 9 years ago
I hope they make an A2 Lab milk. A2 is good milk. I love Almond Milk, people drink rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, goat milk, sheep milk, what's the biggie?
Comment icon #49 Posted by AliveInDeath7 9 years ago
I don't even drink regular milk, so no..
Comment icon #50 Posted by Stubbly_Dooright 9 years ago
Well, even though anything dairy I go crazy over, I do remember a horrible reaction to the taste of spoiled milk. So, if this lab milk also spoils, not on your life!

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