DUG - Potato is the new oat (milk)
You may have heard of soy yogurt, coconut ice cream, or cashew cheese. You can now add the humble potato to the list of ingredients used to imitate dairy products. Sweden-based Veg of Lund chose it for its gentler environmental footprint to develop DUG, its vegan milk assortment.
More and more people are ditching milk. Lactose intolerance, animal welfare, dairy farmers’ unfair wages: there is no shortage of reasons to make the switch to alternative products. What’s more, ruminants like sheep and cows emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas responsible for 30% of global warming.
While plant-based dairy analogs are generally around three times more climate efficient than cow milk, DUG’s climate impact is even lower. It emits four times less carbon, according to the impact assessment platform Carbon Cloud.
Potato’s multi-faceted competitive edge
DUG’s environmental benefits do not stop there. Potato yields twice as much as the popular oat, for example, making it more land efficient. Compared to almonds, a best-selling substitute linked to California’s wildfires, potatoes are 56 times more water efficient.
On a social level, potatoes are also superior to say cashews, which come with a human cost. Forced and child labor is common in exporting countries like India and Vietnam. Furthermore, getting the nut out of its shell damages workers’ hands, eyes, and lungs, while potatoes can be cultivated and harvested easily almost anywhere, even under worsening climate conditions.
DUG has a nutritional edge too. First, potatoes contain most of the nutrients needed by humans, including proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibers, and carbohydrates. Second, like most alt-milks, it contains added vegetable oil. R&D Manager and Professor emerita at Lund University, Eva Tornberg, whose research is the bedrock of Veg of Lund’s patented emulsion, chose Canola – or rapeseed – oil for its high omega-3 content. Rapeseed can also grow in a variety of climates.
The end product is free from lactose, soy, gluten, and nuts, perfect for allergies. Three drinks – Original, Barista, and Unsweetened – hit the shelves in Sweden and the UK early last year. And Veg of Lund intends to enter the US market soon.
Would you pour potatoes onto your bowl of cereal?
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