Do you like mayonnaise? Hellmann’s and Best Foods have been making it for decades and also dominating the mayo market. The original Hellmann’s came from Richard Hellmann’s wife’s recipe in 1905. Of course, their classic recipes contain whole eggs and egg yolks.
You might say Hellmann’s defined what mayonnaise is supposed to taste like. However, a new eggless mayonnaise has been developed by Hampton Creek Foods, and it actually tastes better, if you like a light, clean mayo. (The Hellmann’s version tends to have a stronger aftertaste and can be a little overpowering.) Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo has a more subtle flavor and is creamier than Hellmann’s. It contains no preservatives, no dairy, no soy and no gluten. It is also non-GMO. Call it a more modern mayonnaise. It will be available at Whole Foods stores this week and rolled out to others in the Rocky Mountain area at the end of September and then to the Pacific Northwest, Mid Atlantic and South Pacific by the end of October.
Why create an eggless mayonnaise though? For one thing, consumers today are more health conscious than they were in 1905. Additionally, some are very particular about how much cholesterol they are eating, and Just Mayo has none. Hellmann’s real mayonnaise has about 5 milligrams or 2% of the daily allowance for cholesterol per tablespoon. Considering that most people don’t use only one tablespoon, it could add up to a significant amount.
The Mayo Clinic says that in order to be healthy, we need to limit our daily cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams or less each day. One egg with egg yolk has about 186 mg. Beef sirloin has about 25 mg per ounce, so an eight ounce steak would have 200 mg.
Egg-based mayo is sometimes combined with high cholesterol foods such as shrimp, which has 179 mg in three ounces. (It would be much better to use a cholesterol-free mayo on a shrimp sandwich.)
Another issue is that egg-laying chickens in the United States are too often kept in tiny cages that are so cramped they can’t even spread their wings. According to the Human Society, there are about 252 million chickens kept in such cruel conditions. It has been reported that there have been 11 hens kept in one very small cage.
Large-scale poultry farms generate nitrogen, phosphorus and arsenic which can all pollute natural watersheds and even wind up in the aquifers that we use for our drinking water.
Emissions at the farms themselves can be harmful for poultry workers. For example, a fire at very large poultry farm caused by an ammonia leak resulted in the deaths of over 100 workers.
To make matters worse, poultry farms generate climate change emissions in the form of methane and nitrous oxides. Yes, even egg-based mayonnaise contributes to climate change to some extent.
So, developing eggless food products makes perfect sense. Hampton Creek Foods is also in the process of developing an eggless scrambled egg product, which already has reached the stage where it closely resembles the physical characteristics of real scrambled eggs when placed in a pan and fried. The taste profile is still being studied and enhanced.