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The dairy industry has come under fire for it's impact in the environment. Dairy cows and their manure produce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change. Poor handling of manure and fertilizers can pollute local water systems. As we become more conscious consumers, many of us are turning to dairy alternatives for a more sustainable lifestyle. And who doesn't love an oat milk latte? As the demand for sustainable options increases, more companies ae joining the change. From fermented milk, to milk made form potatoes to, these companies are using the latest technologies to reshaping milk as we know it.
Potato milk is exactly what it sounds like: a creamy, full milk made from potatoes! It is resembles oat milk in texture, and is the newest milk alternative to hit the shelves.
Potato milk is described as having a rather pleasant, neutral flavour, and less watery than almond milk. It is easy to mix into hot beverages, and is said to be very creamy.
The potato milk craze is being lead by one brand, DUG. DUG is a Swedish brand with its roots in science and research by Professor Eva Tornberg at Lund university. The brand believes in the sustainable power of potatoes, and seeks to develop new ways to utilise them. Their plant-based drinks are currently sold in stores in Sweden, Ireland and the UK.
Anna, Marketing Manager from Veg Lund, the owner of DUG, explained what separated their potato milk from other alternatives: "Potatoes don't need much to grow at all, and you can cultivate them almost anywhere. This makes them a super-sustainable crop compared to others like soybeans, almonds, not to mention dairy!"
"For example" Anna continued "potato milk is 75% lower climate footprint compared with cow's milk. Compared to other alternatives, potato milk uses half the amount of land use compared to oat milk. With almonds, potato milk is still superior. Potatoes need 98% less water than almonds to grow."
DUG hopes it can inspire its customers to take a more sustainable approach: "DUG is a brand for everyone who would like to make conscious choices, both regarding their health and to the future of the planet."
"DUG's main target group are youthful consumers, at the threshold of greater responsibilities in personal and professional life that want to make the smart choice without too many compromises." Anna says.
Fermentation uses biotechnology to create a chemical change that produces food additives. Fermented milk tends to be made from other proteins, and can be a more sustainable option that oat and soya milk. It is renowned for being almost like regular milk.
Remilk, an Israeli brand, uses precision fermentation to inject yeast with milk making genes from cows, nicknaming it "milk without the cow". They focus on taste, texture and quality of the milk they produce. They want to reimagine milk into a healthier more sustainable alternative.
A South African startup is also using precision fermentation. The company was founded by the same people that launched Gourmet Grubb, an insect protein-based ice cream brand. De Novo wants to optimise human nutrition without the need for animal harm.