A tall glass of milk is one of life’s great pleasures, but the Harvard School of Public health finds that mass-produced dairy products makes drinking cow milk a dicey self-experiment. The tech industry has increasingly become interested in superfood startups, such as the Exo cricket-based cookie to meat alternatives. But these food startups are only going to be inroads if what they produce is as tasty as it is healthy.
Last weekend, I quenched my thirst during San Francisco’s delightful heat wave with a new product that could make dairy products a healthy option: Desert Farms camel milk.
Camel milk tastes just like normal milk with an added dollop of peanut butter. It’s got a richer, nuttier aftertaste. The raw variety, at $18/bottle, puts is squarely in the camp of superfood startups aimed at a consumer who cares less about money than health.
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The small food startup has been so successful that even some Whole Foods stores are looking to stock up on its humpy dairy goodness. Desert Farms is also taking advantage of academic research is increasingly finding that unique properties of couture camel milk can be a healthy alternative to cow milk.
“I am Palestinian raised in Saudi Arabia, I graduated from the USC Marshall School of Business,” founder Walid Abdul-Wahab tells me via email. “I discovered this opportunity while visiting back home during the month of Ramadan, where people were drinking it abundantly.”
To be sure, at $18/bottle, camel milk seems a tad too much for me. But, as a superfood dessert–well that I can get behind.
So, I mixed in some raw cocoa powder and liquid stevia to see if camel milk had the potential to satisfy my inner child. Indeed, it did. It was the first guilt-free chocolate milk I’ve had in years.
Camel milk has the potential to make some real inroads into the food industry, given how tasty dairy is to the human palate. In the Middle East, businesses have already started experimenting with camel milk ice-cream.
Wahab tells me they’d like to eventually offer cream, but they need to find a way around the problem that camel milk is so naturally low-fat.
Either way, the price point needs to come down (a lot) before I’ll be a regular customer. But the first step is a startup, and hopefully that will lead to downward pressure on prices. If your pocket-book can handle it, check out Desert Farms’ stock here.