Every year, more than a trillion eggs are laid globally by hens kept in horrific conditions in battery farms. Josh Tetrick, the amazing 33-year old CEO of Hampton Creek Foods, thinks that his company can change that using plants that can act as emulsifiers in food products or even replicate the flavor and consistency of eggs.
So far, so ordinary. We've had egg replacement powders for decades, but Hampton Creek is in the process of signing deals with global food companies that produce egg-based products like cookies, mayonnaise and similar. As the article below explains the rewards for big business are huge. Not only are plant based replacements less environmentally damaging and ethically compromising, they are also radically cheaper. http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Plant-egg-entrepreneur-We-re-not-in-business-just-to-sell-products-to-vegans-in-Northern-California?utm_source=RSS_text_news&utm;_medium=RSS%2Bfeed&utm;_campaign=RSS%2BText%2BNews
Tetrick's vision, however, is far bigger. As he explains in his Ted Talk, he wants to see a future where we massively re-imagine our entire food supply to take animals out of the equation and make food production more sustainable, more environmentally friendly and more humane. He talks of aligning our food with our values. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbNw00V26pw&feature;=c4-overview&list;=UU4DUZAtqyn1XnGacB8vERpA
It's an inspiring vision of the future and one which is gaining real support. Hampton Creek is one of three companies in the sector to be seeded by Bill Gates. Of the others, Beyond Meat makes plant-based foods that look, taste and feel like meat, while Nu-Tek Food Sciences has developed a product that tastes like salt but has half the sodium. Gates talks about his vision for a sustainable food future here: http://www.thegatesnotes.com/Features/Future-of-Food
There has been a lot of talk in recent years about using insects as food but that doesn't sound like something the general public would buy into. In fact, it sounds like a piece of marketing, a proposal designed to raise awareness of an issue by stimulating disgust, something intended for tabloid journalism rather than a serious proposal for fixing a global problem. But, as these companies are showing, there are real solutions out there and, with the benefit of hindsight, they seem shockingly obvious. When you think that a $500,000 grant to explore the possibilities of plant-based egg replacements has delivered a solution that will save huge global food companies billions of dollars while allowing them to take serious kudos for their corporate responsibility and potentially label their cheaper-to-produce products as higher margin ethical brands, you have to wonder why those companies were not exploring those possibilities themselves and why it has taken so long to arrive at this solution.
Hopefully, this is the start of a revolution in the way that we look at food and the way that companies think about food production. It seems like a win for the entire planet.
Category: Food security: Diet/alternatives, Farming, Food industry, Livestock, Climate/natural disasters: Climate change
Location: San Francisco, CA