Whole Foods Tosses Out Mayo to Make Room for a Cruelty-Free Alternative

Starting this week, select Whole Foods stores in California will be phasing out mayo and introducing a vegan-friendly product in their prepared food sections from Hampton Creek Foods called Just Mayo.

If you haven’t heard of Hampton Creek Foods, it’s a food tech startup based in San Francisco that is aiming to change our food system for the better and they’re focusing on eggs.

Most often, eggs are used as an ingredient in food products, particularly as a binder in baked goods. If they can be replaced on a large scale, it would not only alleviate the suffering of millions of egg laying hens, but help us move towards a food system that’s more sustainable and will be able to meet the future demands of a global population that’s projected to reach nine billion people by 2050.

The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that food production will need to increase by 70 percent by then to feed the world. At that level, cutting chickens out of the equation could streamline food production and help curb some of the problems caused by animal agriculture, which is one of the reasons the company has attracted the support of well-known funders including Bill Gates and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Beyond those neatly packaged cartons in stores and other items where egg products go unnoticed, the problems with industrialized egg production abound. From the intensive confinement, mutilation and genetic modification inflicted on hens to the mass killing of male chicks who have no “usefulness” to producers to environmental pollution and the risks of food-borne illnesses, there are quite a few reasons to abandon eggs. Eggs are also high in cholesterol, which is a known risk factor for heart disease.

“You have chickens packed body to body in cages, which is a hotbed for avian flus,” Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek, told ABC. “They’re gorging on soy and corn, both of which require a lot of land and fertilizer. From an animal welfare, human health, and greenhouse gas perspective, the system is incredibly broken.”

Unfortunately, the demand for eggs keeps this cycle of cruelty and problems going. Hampton Creek examined these issues and decided there must be a better way to meet the demand with a healthier and more humane option.

Armed with a team of scientists, food industry experts and chefs, the company has developed plant-based, soy and gluten-free alternatives called Beyond Eggs and Just Mayo products that are a win for both us and animals and can be sustainably produced at a lower cost. Made from about a dozen plants, including peas, sorghum and a type of bean, the results are just as versatile as the real thing. As for how they taste, reviewers seem thus far impressed.

Tetrick admits the path wasn’t a simple one.

“Our first attempts weren’t great, we tried to make a muffin using a mix of plants,” he told the Daily Mail. “Ours tasted really gummy, and didn’t have the ‘bounce’ we wanted. Our mayonnaise would not hold the oil and egg together, so had what looked like liquid syrup. Scrambled eggs were even worse they just wouldn’t congeal at all, and had a really bad aftertaste.”

The company hopes to have its egg replacer for cookies and Just Mayo available for consumers soon and is working with food manufacturers to get them to replace eggs in their products. It is also working on plans to bring this technology to developing countries. The company’s stand alone egg product, Just Scramble, is still in the works.

While there are already some products out there, including egg replacers and vegan mayo, the intent here is to create a mainstream product for people who may not necessary have any interest in veganism, but who may just want a healthier or cheaper option.


Photo credit: Thinkstock

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a month ago

thanks for the article.

Pat P.
Pat P.5 months ago

LYNN C. Although I agree we should be caring more about our fellow human beings, there are also far too many who are not concerned about animals, at all--You only have to read about the atrocious worldwide cruelty to grasp that fact. This site just so happens to have more animal lovers than the average public. Ideally, you should be concerned about both (excepting the hateful abusers) for a better kinder world.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

sevonya m.
sevonya m.2 years ago

I have made moist cakes without eggs, using applesauce, and eggless french toast and waffles.

The waffles were especially good, the rescipe used about half a cup of orange juice. Use organic oj, though, as Florida's Natural oj producers caused a massive bee die off by using pesticides.

American's use so many eggs, because they've been hyped up or mainstreamed.

If we all start cooking again, instead of buying quick prepared foods, then cook for our friends and family, the prepared stuff will start to taste bland.

Ever had pale yellow tomato soup? I made some, using homegrown organic Old Ivory Egg, tomatoes. I don't really like to eat tomatoes, but it was so good even I ate it.

Those vegan waffles I made, were better than bland restaurant "belgian waffles". They are so addicting, that I can't stop wanting to eat them up.

There is organically grown soy out there, but it's the chemical extraction process (hexane) that people in the know, have a problem with.

Lynn C. has a good point.

Laura Saxon
.2 years ago

Good for them! I'll be shopping there more. Thanks for sharing.

Steve Zeitz
Steve Zeitz2 years ago

Okay, good

Lynn Christy
Lynn Christy2 years ago

I sometimes wish people were as concerned about other people as much as they are about animals... the world would certainly be a better place... ty

criss S.
criss s.2 years ago



Thank you for sharing.

Nicole Bergeron
Nicole Bergeron2 years ago

While i probably can't have the alternatives, my mayo is handmade, mainly so I know what is in it as most use soy oil, and my eggs comes from a close friend who raises her chickens free-range, with a chicken-coop that is open 24/7 (except during the winter then it is during the day/non-blizzards so the cold wind doesn't freeze them all as some of her chickens in the past have decided they favor more the night than the day. Best eggs come from true free-range chickens that can eat a wild diet (bugs, their own eggs for calcium and plant matter), and that sleep and rise with the sun (or in some cases the stars), as they are happier and healthier.