What happens when Bill Gates attacks world hunger? Chicken-less eggs


Bill Gates has made it his mission to tackle malaria, sanitation in developing countries, better education programs, and now he’s turned his attention to food. The Microsoft billionaire is tackling world hunger, and he’s doing it with a faux egg powder -- call them chicken-less eggs.

Gates, along with Peter Thiel of PayPal through the Founders Fund, has backed Hampton Creek Foods, a company that focuses on creating plant-based, soy and gluten-free alternatives to eggs. Gates has been vocal about his efforts to curb meat consumption on his website The Gates Notes and chose Hampton Creek Foods as one of three companies contributing to the future of food.

“Raising meat takes a great deal of land and water and has a substantial environmental impact,” writes Gates. “Put simply, there’s no way to produce enough meat for 9 billion people.”


A plant-based substitute egg powder could be one solution.

Hampton Creek Foods has come up with a fake egg powder at its food lab in San Fransisco, called Beyond Eggs for cookies, made specifically for replacing eggs in cookie recipes. The powder is made using sorghum.

“The product is not for cakes or brownies,” said Morgan Oliveira, communications director at Hampton Creek Foods. “Cookies are an easier application of the product, whereas cakes require a lot of structuring and leavening.”

A 4-ounce package will sell for $4.40 and Oliveira says purchasing information will be available on the company website in a couple of weeks.

Andrea N. Giancoli, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said she is interested to learn more about the prospect of a new egg substitute.

“Because it’s purely plant-based, it’s naturally cholesterol free, and eggs are notoriously high in cholesterol,” said Giancoli.

Hampton Creek Foods has also created an egg-less mayonnaise called Just Mayo, made like a traditional full-fat mayonnaise, but with pea protein instead of eggs. Just Mayo hit the prepared food section at select Whole Foods stores in California on Tuesday. You can now ask for the spread on a sandwich or wrap.

“When our founder’s lifelong best friend told him that eggs contribute to higher cholesterol and
come from chickens crowded in small spaces, he brought together a team to create something that is just, well, better,” according to Hampton Creek’s website.

Hampton Creek Foods also makes something called Just Scramble, a plant-based egg substitute that scrambles up like the real thing. It’s slated for a March 2014 release.

The company may have Bill Gates’ attention, but other egg replacements already exist on the market. Bob’s Red Mill makes an egg replacer powder from whole soy flour, wheat gluten, corn syrup solids and Algin, and Ener-G egg replacer is made with potato starch, tapioca flour, leavening, cellulose gum and modified cellulose.

“It gives people another option, to use something that’s plant-based,” said Giancoli.


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