Tokyo University scientists have used genetic engineering to create cows that produce orange juice instead of traditional milk.
According to a report in New Japan Times Weekly (NJTW, the juice is a little creamier than your store bought orange juice but the taste is exactly the same. The drink is called Kawai Saiko, loosely translates to “Tasty Bovine Pleasure Juice.”
Aki Kojima, the CEO of Kagome, a Japanese fruit juice conglomerate, explained to the newspaper how they spliced a specific orange fruit DNA gene with a cow’s milk producing gland. It took 40 scientists over five years to perfect the cow orange juice.
“We did it with great success, and Kawai Saiko is now for sale at every Japanese markets,” Kojima said.
In a study conducted by the Kagome company, 8 out of 10 participants preferred the orange juice from cows. A participant in the study said through a translator, “It’s orange juice with a little cow. Very good. Number one orange cow.”
Tokyo University scientist Fukia Miyamoto told the NJTW, “The cow orange juice contains protein and other nutrients found in milk but with the look and texture of real orange juice. It’s the next generation of orange juice and the Japanese are at the forefront of this technology.”
With oranges being a delicacy on the Pacific island, the cow orange juice retails for half the price of orange tree juice at 312.87 yen ($2.65 USD) per 8 oz serving. For reference, orange juice in the United States costs $1.38 for 12 oz.
“It saves on transportation cost and is homegrown, just not in tree form,” Miyamoto said. “The Japanese are a very progressive people and don’t mind that their juice is coming from cows. Tree, cow, what’s the difference? One day we’ll be able to grow cows from trees.”
Cow-sourced orange juice sales have exploded in Japan, but this is only phase one, according to Kagome. They plan on entering the Chinese market as soon as all the red tape and bribery is complete in 2015.
Orange juice from cows is just the beginning. Due to the genetic properties of the cow, it is easy to splice their genes with other food organisms.
“We’ll be trying apple juice from cows next. If that works, we’ll be trying anything from alcohol to microprocessors chips,” Kojima said. “The sky's the limit with cows. Anything can come out of those teets.”
PETA Peeved As Monsanto Rejoices
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is upset with the genetic engineering of the cows, saying “they shouldn't be producing orange juice. They produce milk to feed their babies, that’s it. Anything else is a crime against mother nature,” said PETA spokeswoman Sasha Gray. “How would you like it if we engineered your urine to be almond milk? If cows could vote, they would vote ‘nay.’ Or is that horses that say ‘nay?’ ”
Agrochemical biotechnology giant Monsanto acknowledged the Japanese’s scientific accomplishment of orange milking. CEO Hugh Grant told Agroaficiando, “Pretty impressive, Kojimason. But wait until you see what we have planned. In the meantime, congratulations.
“Enjoy it while it lasts.”