Random Thoughts [Food Science Edition]


Stool Chef
Apr 12, 2005
San Francisco area, CA, USA
2015 Mazda 3 S GT, 2015 VW e-Golf
I was inspired to make this thread for one topic, and thought it maybe wasn't worth it's own thread on its own...but thought it was separate enough in concept from the other "Food" random thoughts thread to deserve its own conversation.

I imagine this to include everything from GMOs, agriculture techniques, super-efficient produce-growing buildings, etc.

So what inspired this thread in the first place was an ice cream brand called "Brave Robot", and their supplier "Perfect Day".

So, normally when you hear "animal-free ice cream", you assume that it's 1) plant-based, 2) not from an animal, and 3) isn't actually "dairy".
These companies make the argument that their product is the first two, but is also actually "dairy".

When you think about how milk is produced, plant matter and water is fed into a "machine", there's a chemical, mechanical, and enzymatic process, and out comes milk which is water, calcium, various proteins, etc. These companies claim to have invented an industrial process that replicates the proteins found in milk, without the cow, using a fungus. I personally found the taste and texture to be more like "real" ice cream than any alternative I've tried.

Is it technically "dairy"? I imagine the American Dairy Council would likely say "no"...but outside of an industry trying to protect itself...I think it should count, and shouldn't be restricted from using words like "milk" and "dairy".
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There's a company based in the next town, Plenty Unlimited, that grows lettuce inside a building, and sells it to restaurants and select area grocery stores.

Due to their processes, it uses "a fraction" of the water of typical farming, and up to 350x the yield for the footprint of "dirt" farming, with no pesticides, and supposedly clean enough it counts as "washed", further saving water (though that seems more of a side effect than a purposeful goal).

Unfortunately, the price is high. If you compare it to when the main brands go on a good sale, Plenty could be 8x more expensive. I would like to support their efforts, but it's just too rich for my limited income at the moment.

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