Name: Potato milk.
Age: Brand new, although a powdered version has been available – although not very widely – for some years
Appearance: White, milky.
What is it, exactly? It’s like milk, but from a potato.
How do you milk a potato? You heat it up and then emulsify it with rapeseed oil, although the exact process is a bit of a trade secret.
Who is trading in potato milk? A Swedish concern called Veg of Lund, using a formula based on research by Prof Eva Tornberg of Lund University, under the brand name Dug.
And why? Because potato milk is better than regular milk, both for you and the planet.
How is it better? It’s vegan-friendly, and free from common allergens such as lactose, gluten and nuts. It’s also low in sugar and saturated fats and is fortified with calcium, vitamin D and folic acid.
And how is better for the planet? Potato-growing produces considerably less CO2 than dairy farming.
That’s great, but I already drink oat milk. Potatoes use about half the land it takes to grow the equivalent amount of oats.
Fine, I’ll switch to almond milk. Are you insane? Almonds use up huge amounts of water – about 130 pints to produce a single glass. Potato milk uses 56 times less water.
What about soya milk? Some soya has a bad reputation when it comes to illegal deforestation to meet global agricultural demands. Potatoes do not.
I get it – potatoes are sustainable. They’re more than that. “Our choice to use potatoes as a base means we have a super-sustainable drink,” says Thomas Olander, the company’s chief executive.
That’s all very admirable, but I just don’t like the idea of drinking milk that tastes of potatoes. Fortunately, potatoes don’t really taste of anything. And Dug is said to be a suitable replacement for milk in every guise – you can drink it and cook with it, and it even foams for cappuccinos.
When will I be able to hesitantly sample this new miracle product? Soon. In fact you can already get it online – it comes in three styles: original, barista and unsweetened, and sells for between £2 and £4 a litre.
So while potatoes are cheap, potato milk is considerably more expensive than even the finest cow’s milk. There is that, yeah.
Do say: “As plant-based non-dairy milk alternatives go, this is certainly among the more sustainable.”
Don’t say: “I brought you a litre of this expensive potato-derived drink. Have you got any tonic water?”