Author Topic: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)  (Read 2651 times)

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Offline lucek

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Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« on: January 29, 2020, 07:38:47 AM »
So I'm behind the times a bit here. But in 2019 milk produced by genetically modifying yeast to produce bovine proteins. Artificial copies of genes to make milk are inserted into yeast. In theory this could produce protein identical milk with less environmental impact no lactose and culinary identical to the moo juice we know and love. Very interesting IMHO.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/02/science/lab-grown-milk.html

But according to my friend it's not vegan. I'm left scratching my head what she see as wrong with it. Her argument was there was an animal in the process of making the yeast so the yeast are animal cells and so not vegan.

I digress.

Point is if this ends up in my local store for less than $20 per pint of ice cream I may take one more step towards veganism. Or pseudo not really orthodox religious veganism but something that something most people would point to and say it was.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2020, 09:50:19 AM »
The term "vegan" does not have a universally-accepted definition. Some vegans will not eat honey because you've exploited the bees in taking their honey. Others will, because, well, it's just bees and they don't really count. ;) No doubt there will be vegans who will decline to drink yeast-grown "milk" because yeasts are (?) kind of like animals. Others will decline to drink it for the same reason I don't eat fake meat: After so many years of not eating meat, the stuff just disgusts me, and the idea of eating fake meat seems pointless and repulsive and unnecessary. Some vegans will feel that way about fake milk. And I'm sure that some vegans will welcome fake milk the way some vegetarians welcome fake meat. And some people who are not vegans will welcome fake milk as a more responsible choice, just as some non-vegetarians welcome fake meat as a more responsible choice. Of course the anti-GMO crowd will reject it. GMO fake milk may create a rift in the woo camp as the anti-GMO crowd dukes it out with the vegan crowd. Of course, vegans who are anti-GMO will reject it.

Maybe your friend is concerned because of GMO?
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Offline John Albert

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2020, 09:57:44 AM »
If this stuff doesn't have lactose then it will not be "culinarily identical" to real milk.

Offline CarbShark

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2020, 10:14:40 AM »
If this stuff doesn't have lactose then it will not be "culinarily identical" to real milk.
Culinarily identical simply means that it can used in cooking exactly the same way. It’s a very low bar and lactose is not a requirement.

It won’t be nutritionally identical to milk without lactose.


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Offline lucek

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2020, 10:46:59 AM »
If this stuff doesn't have lactose then it will not be "culinarily identical" to real milk.
Best way I can put it is if you treat lab grown milk as milk durring cheese making you end up with cheese. If you do the same with soy or rice or almond milk etc. You end up with a mess. That's why vegan cheese is margarine thickened with starch.
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Offline Shibboleth

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2020, 11:31:04 AM »
Yeast is a fungi so I don't see how this wouldn't be vegan. It would be GMO. Not a lot of vegans like GMO's.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2020, 12:02:21 PM »
Yeast is a fungi so I don't see how this wouldn't be vegan. It would be GMO. Not a lot of vegans like GMO's.

A person who thinks that GMOs are bad might also believe that fungi are animals.  ::)
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2020, 12:14:33 PM »
I have high doubts this will be good but I had them with impossible burgers too. I have never tasted a milk substitute that even remotely comes close to milk. (its nut juice)

Mozzarella is an interesting example cheese to try to mimic as the stuff in the grocery store usually has very little flavor but getting that "pizza" texture when it melts may be more important. Will it improve with age like regular cheese or will those flavors have to be artificially created? I'm interested to see if blue cheese or other mold cultures would work.

meanwhile several large nationwide milk producers have recently failed.

https://apnews.com/5eb1173f5e2b4994927bc921f5b49f0e

Quote
Got milk? Increasingly, Americans don’t, and that led the nation’s biggest milk producer to file for bankruptcy Tuesday.

Dean Foods blamed a decades long drop in milk consumption that has seen people turn to alternatives like soda, juice and almond milk.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/06/business/borden-dairy-bankruptcy/index.html

Quote
Borden Dairy Co., one of America's oldest and largest dairy companies, on Monday became the second major milk producer to file for bankruptcy in the last two months.

I do see the potential for a great media campaign called "NOT MILK"


Offline 2397

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2020, 12:41:41 PM »
I'd say it's not vegan until the process can be repeated and scaled up indefinitely without involving animals. If it involved animals at some point but only temporarily, then it becomes vegan after not being vegan.

Aside of veganism, I'd hope that all animal welfare and environmentally minded people would be able to distinguish between animal farming of greater and lesser impact.

If we could say produce 50 times as much milk from one cow without adding to the strain on or the emissions from the cow, by using its cells in a process that otherwise doesn't rely on animals to produce far more cells, it's not vegan, but it could completely transform the industry for everyone's benefit.

Offline mindme

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2020, 12:56:20 PM »
I suppose a lot of vegans have worked hard to demonize animal-based products (sorry for using a loaded term... I'm just being lazy, not taking a stand on the issue) and don't want to help normalize their consumption. "Wow, if vegan milk is good what does the real stuff taste like!"

I find it amusing the beef industry is getting vegans to do a lot of their work for them. Both sides seem to wildly oppose the impossible burger.
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Offline Shibboleth

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2020, 01:14:56 PM »
I have high doubts this will be good but I had them with impossible burgers too. I have never tasted a milk substitute that even remotely comes close to milk. (its nut juice)

Mozzarella is an interesting example cheese to try to mimic as the stuff in the grocery store usually has very little flavor but getting that "pizza" texture when it melts may be more important. Will it improve with age like regular cheese or will those flavors have to be artificially created? I'm interested to see if blue cheese or other mold cultures would work.

meanwhile several large nationwide milk producers have recently failed.

https://apnews.com/5eb1173f5e2b4994927bc921f5b49f0e

Quote
Got milk? Increasingly, Americans don’t, and that led the nation’s biggest milk producer to file for bankruptcy Tuesday.

Dean Foods blamed a decades long drop in milk consumption that has seen people turn to alternatives like soda, juice and almond milk.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/06/business/borden-dairy-bankruptcy/index.html

Quote
Borden Dairy Co., one of America's oldest and largest dairy companies, on Monday became the second major milk producer to file for bankruptcy in the last two months.

I do see the potential for a great media campaign called "NOT MILK"

When I see a grown adult now drinking milk in a restaurant now I think to myself, "Fuckin weirdo." When I was a kid it was so common to have a glass of milk with every meal.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2020, 01:25:12 PM »
I have high doubts this will be good but I had them with impossible burgers too. I have never tasted a milk substitute that even remotely comes close to milk. (its nut juice)

Mozzarella is an interesting example cheese to try to mimic as the stuff in the grocery store usually has very little flavor but getting that "pizza" texture when it melts may be more important. Will it improve with age like regular cheese or will those flavors have to be artificially created? I'm interested to see if blue cheese or other mold cultures would work.

meanwhile several large nationwide milk producers have recently failed.

https://apnews.com/5eb1173f5e2b4994927bc921f5b49f0e

Quote
Got milk? Increasingly, Americans don’t, and that led the nation’s biggest milk producer to file for bankruptcy Tuesday.

Dean Foods blamed a decades long drop in milk consumption that has seen people turn to alternatives like soda, juice and almond milk.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/06/business/borden-dairy-bankruptcy/index.html

Quote
Borden Dairy Co., one of America's oldest and largest dairy companies, on Monday became the second major milk producer to file for bankruptcy in the last two months.

I do see the potential for a great media campaign called "NOT MILK"

When I see a grown adult now drinking milk in a restaurant now I think to myself, "Fuckin weirdo." When I was a kid it was so common to have a glass of milk with every meal.

I drink at least a half gallon daily, sometimes more. Milk drinkers have been demonized almost as much as alcoholics for no good reason.

Offline lucek

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2020, 02:28:52 PM »
I'd say it's not vegan until the process can be repeated and scaled up indefinitely without involving animals. If it involved animals at some point but only temporarily, then it becomes vegan after not being vegan.

Aside of veganism, I'd hope that all animal welfare and environmentally minded people would be able to distinguish between animal farming of greater and lesser impact.

If we could say produce 50 times as much milk from one cow without adding to the strain on or the emissions from the cow, by using its cells in a process that otherwise doesn't rely on animals to produce far more cells, it's not vegan, but it could completely transform the industry for everyone's benefit.
It's interesting. In theory a single saliva swab is enough. In practicality it's probably a few hundred to thousand punch biopsy then they are done.
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Power is just energy over time and. . .
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2020, 06:33:34 PM »
The person may understand the GMO fungus to be transgenic, with genes taken from a cow and inserted into the fungus. If so, that could be considered exploitive. Even if the genes inserted into the fungus were created artificially, the person may believe that the collection of milk to analyze its proteins and genetic material to sequence and study from cows is exploitive.  Remember that a vegan may not merely be concerned about practices that kill an animal, but those that exploit it or its labor.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Lab made milk (and what is vegan?)
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2020, 07:32:13 PM »
If this stuff doesn't have lactose then it will not be "culinarily identical" to real milk.
Best way I can put it is if you treat lab grown milk as milk durring cheese making you end up with cheese. If you do the same with soy or rice or almond milk etc. You end up with a mess. That's why vegan cheese is margarine thickened with starch.

Soy cheese is tofu. There are a few differences in the production method, but the basic idea is the same.

But daniel is right. There are as many varieties of veganism as there are vegans. Some will drink it, some will not. They make their own decision.
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