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Last week, an artificial egg product called Beyond Eggs went on sale at Whole Foods in northern California. The product is backed by Bill Gates and aims to revolutionize the world as a plant substitute for the real thing. With no chickens involved in the process, could artificial eggs be the future of food?
To Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek Foods which produces Beyond Eggs, the answer is a big 'yes.' ''We want to take animals out of the equation. The food industry is begging for innovation, especially where animals are involved - it is a broken industry,'' he told the Daily Mail.
Aside from being cheaper and more humane than real eggs, Beyond Eggs attempts to solve the problem of sustainable protein. In the past, chefs like René Redzepi (with a backing from the United Nations) have vouched for edible insects as a way of feeding the booming worldwide population that's predicted to hit 9 billion by 2050.
But for Tetrick, the answer is simply in Beyond Eggs, which is made of ingredients like peas, beans, sunflower lecithin and canola. It is meant to replace tradtional eggs in every type of existng food - whether it be cakes, cookies or mayo. His team behind experimented with 287 different types of plants from around the world and test 344 prototypes, TechCrunch reports.
Beyond Eggs is used to make Just Mayo, a mayonnaisse substitute that's being slathered on sandwiches, used in potato salad and in mayonnaisse-based dressings at all northern California Whole Foods deli counters. You should also keep your eye out for an upcoming sustitute for scrambled eggs.
Artificial eggs have been a trend for some time now. Last year saw the release of Vegg, the first all-vegan egg yolk made of sodium alginate and Indian black salt. It's also sold in powder form and can be used to whip up a variety of dishes.
In case you are wondering how Beyond Eggs is made and what it tastes like, here's a taste test conducted by Anthony Ha from TechCrunch. At the 9-minute mark he samples cookies while at the 10-minute mark he goes for eggless mayo.