Friday, 24 May 2013

Could Science Hatch the Perfect Fake Egg?

Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer
Date: 22 May 2013 Time: 10:57 AM ET

SAN MATEO, Calif. — Fake eggs made from plant materials could one day replace chicken eggs, one researcher says.

Though egg substitutes of various types have been around for decades, more scientific methods could finally produce new products that actually taste good, said Josh Tetrick here on Sunday (May 19) at this year's Maker Faire Bay Area, a two-day celebration of DIY science,technology and engineering.

Admittedly, he has a dog in the fight: Tetrick is the CEO of Hampton Creek Foods, a company based in San Francisco, Calif., that is developing plant-based egg substitutes.

Industrial production
Every year, hens lay 1.8 trillion eggs around the world, and 99 percent of these hens live in cramped cages where they never see sunlight, stew in their own waste, and are fed massive amounts of food and antibiotics to boost their production and keep them from becoming ill, Tetrick said.

"This system is crying out for just a little bit of innovation," he said.

The production of eggs and other livestock is also environmentally taxing, he said. For instance, livestock consume more food than it would take to feed the 1.3 billion people who go to bed hungry every night, and are responsible for 51 percent of greenhouse gas emissions due to flatulence and land needed to produce their food, he said.

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