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

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.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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7:02AM PDT on May 23, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

11:21AM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

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.

4:24AM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

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

4:59PM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

Okay, good

4:29PM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

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

12:46PM PDT on Sep 24, 2013


9:32AM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

8:36AM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

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.

8:29AM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

Loran W. : The chickens where my eggs come from do. I know the person personally, a high school friend who grew up living on a large piece of property that is classified as a farm inside the city. They have a chicken coop that is open 24/7 so they can come and go. I've tried store bought eggs after a year on free-range (because I was out of town and wished for some eggs) and the store bought ones had no taste at all.

8:25AM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

"If people want to use eggs they may want to think about cage free eggs but make sure that they have the Humane seal on them and that they are fed a veg. diet"

Carol M.: Chickens that are free-range (most companies that have taken cage-free still keep them inside in small crowded rooms :( so sad on that, so I even avoid cage-free labels, luckily I have a friend who raises chickens who gets more eggs than what she knows what to do with half the time) will eat bugs/pests and even their own eggs if they are non-viable (for the calcium) that are not taken, as well as plants, there is no way to guarantee that they are fed a veg diet if they are truly free-range chickens. A GMO free diet is easier to guarantee.

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