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Consumer

San Francisco Firm Cooks Up Sustainable, Affordable Egg Alternative

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(Photo Illustration by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

(Photo Illustration by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

CBS SF Bay (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSSanFrancisco.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSSanFrancisco.com/Health

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A San Francisco food producer wants to make you an omelet without breaking any eggs – and they may be able to do it with one key ingredient they make in a lab – no chicken required.

From their Mission District laboratory, Hampton Creek Foods and CEO Josh Tetrick are taking aim at the egg farming industry.

“We just cannot go on eating like we all are right now with our food system,” Tetrick said. “It’s just unsustainable.”

Many Bay Area farms let chickens roam the pastures, but the Humane Society says more than 90% of the country’s egg-laying hens are kept in cramped conditions. Tetrick takes issue with the restrictive quarters, with the resources needed to feed the chickens, and the diseases they may catch and spread to humans.

“We just kind of look at that and say ‘this is absurd,’” Tetrick said emphatically. “Our product is just better.”

That’s right – Tetrick claims Hampton Creek has improved on the egg. They call their product “Beyond Eggs.”

“It’s made up of a variety of plants, including peas. We use different gums. We use a host of different plant-based protein sources,” Tetrick explained.

It’s hard to believe a blend of plants can imitate not only the taste of an egg, but the ability to whip up into foam like an egg, or coagulate into gel like an egg, but Tetrick said his team is clever about selecting plants that not only replicate, but surpass the egg in food products.

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