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Asia's Richest Man Is Betting Big On Silicon Valley's Fake Eggs 269

Daniel_Stuckey writes with more news about science making non-human animals obsolete "Li Ka-shing, widely billed as Asia's richest man, announced a $23 million Series B investment in Hampton Creek Foods through his fund Horizon Ventures on Monday, bringing the food technology startup's total take to $30 million after initial investments by people including Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems. Bill Gates is also an investor and fan. The egg replacement still requires fine-tuning, according to Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick, but the company's mayonnaise replacement is already on shelves at stores including Whole Foods and some of the largest retail brands in the country. (Mayo is usually made with eggs and vinegar.)"
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Asia's Richest Man Is Betting Big On Silicon Valley's Fake Eggs

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  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Eggs are dirt cheap and plentiful.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:02AM (#46285905)

      Eggs are dirt cheap and plentiful.

      Eggs are cheap compared to meat. They are not cheap compared to soybeans and grain. They are plentiful in first world grocery stores. They are not so plentiful in the diets of third world children.

      The taste should not be a problem. As someone who has a small flock of chickens in my backyard, I can tell you that the factory farm eggs you buy don't taste like "real" eggs either.

      • Eggs are cheap compared to meat. They are not cheap compared to soybeans and grain. They are plentiful in first world grocery stores. They are not so plentiful in the diets of third world children.

        Right, but that's not because they can't raise chickens where they are. It's because someone will eventually steal their chicken. You can raise crickets in a trash can and feed your chicken crickets, but someone would steal their trash can as well. Problem is, won't someone just steal their egg substitute?

        • No, it's because they're living near subsistence levels and every organism in the chain between sunlight and water and the food in your belly represents a serious efficiency loss. Chickens are one of the more efficient higher animals, but every pound of meat still requires 2-3 pounds of feed to produce, and I doubt eggs are considerably more efficient.

          If you're perched near the razor edge of survival, why on earth would you feed the crickets to your chickens? The crickets are actually more nutritious to e

      • Our grains have been highjacked to make ethanol for car engines. So far nobody has found a way to ferment chickens and turn them into alcohol.
      • Having been in poor native housing in Mexico, part of Africa and the Middle East that is false. Eggs are amoung the most common items you will eat. For the few places that were able to purchase items they are cheap and last without refrigeration. For those that did not chicken are easy and cheap to raise, in the desert they require minimal water and they can find food if you let them loose on the dung pile.
    • Re:Why? RTFA (Score:4, Insightful)

      by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:24AM (#46286113) Homepage Journal
      Carbon produced in food production is apparently greater than carbon produced in consumer transportation like cars. The non-egg food product is aimed at one of the most costly food production consumers, henhouses. The interest, and active investment, of Bill Gates, Li Ka-shing and Vinod Khosla indicates they RTFA.
    • TFA mentions that animal factories aren't very efficient compared to plants. Think of the energy pyramid of the food chain: taking energy from the sun and putting it into food directly is more efficient than channeling it through plants to chickens to eggs. For another, there's health issues: free range egg farming isn't very efficient, keeping them penned up and close to each other increases the likelihood of diseases spreading, ruining the efficiency.

      So while they are somewhat cheap, they could be M
      • >Bad news for egg farmers if he does

        Maybe. Probably for the factory farmers whose product only competes on a price that will be badly undermined. But the collapse of factory farming could actually be a boon to the smaller farmers currently trying to compete on quality of goods and ethical/environmental considerations. They may no longer have the environmental advantage over the competition, but they're not necessarily worse either - managed responsibly animals are in fact good for the environment (imag

        • That's a good point. And I've heard in general that the giant industrial farms employ relatively few people. It might be a win-win-win.
    • by turgid ( 580780 )
      I am allergic to eggs (and milk) you insensitive clod.
    • Beyond Eggs, however, are made from ingredients that include peas, sunflower lecithin, canola, and natural gums. They’re also gluten-free and cholesterol-free. In fact, the current formula is purportedly healthier than actual eggs.

      Underestimating the health value of eggs. Assuming cholesterol is bad is hilariously stupid. The yolk of the egg is the healthiest part.

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:46AM (#46285759)
    "Mayo is usually made with eggs and vinegar."

    Well, yea, but it's at least 65% oil.
    • That's because the ingredients are eggs and oil, not eggs and vinegar. Vinegar or another acid like lemon juice are a minor and optional ingredient.

  • Ingrediants (Score:3, Informative)

    by koan ( 80826 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:53AM (#46285811)

    This what I found for their "Just Mayo" product. []

    Original site. []

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      It's flavoured rapeseed oil, then.


      • You turn your nose up at rapeseed why?
      • by ledow ( 319597 )

        Okay, for those who don't see it.

        You're trying to sell me flavoured rapeseed.

        So why not... just buy rapeseed... flavour it... and not buy this product?

        Substitute "egg" in your recipes for "rapeseed and flavouring". Done.

        If things were that simple, and this makes things "cheaper" than just using eggs, I think we'd have done this YEARS ago (manufacturer's and home-cooks).

        My guess? It doesn't taste anything close to similar to eggs, and doesn't have anywhere near the cooking properties of eggs, and can't be

    • by UdoKeir ( 239957 )

      Canola was created using traditional cross-breeding techniques. [] That this idiot with a blog doesn't know the difference between that and genetically modified organisms probably shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

      That a Slashdot reader doesn't know the difference is just plain disappointing. (I must be new here etc.)

    • How the hell do you have an egg substitute with no protein? I certainly hope that's just the recipe for the mayo product... if their egg replacement brings no protein then what is the point?

      • How the hell do you have an egg substitute with no protein?

        From what I've been able to see, largely with starches.

        There are vegan egg replacers, and I read the ingredients once and promptly concluded that vegans are willing to eat anything as long as it doesn't come from an animal.

        I had been thinking it might be a healthy alternative to eggs, but the reality was it was just garbage that I wouldn't eat.

  • Why do we need to call this substance "eggs"? Anything wrong with calling it what it is? Same reason that "the industry" is pushing FDA to let them call "chocolate" about anything regardless of cocoa content?
    • Highly agree with this. I have the same problem with things like veggie "bacon" and soy "cheese". Personally I also don't like the name almond "milk", as we should really reserve "milk" from something that comes from the mammary glands of mammals, but coconut milk has been called milk for a long time, so I guess we should let that slide a bit. I think that vegetarian food can taste really good, but not usually when they are trying to make it resemble meat. Similarly these food substitutes should not be ab
      • I largely agree with this, except that these fake eggs (based on TV segments I've seen on them) are being done for the cooking properties of eggs, not the "fake scrambled egg" thing.

        Heck, if we can get something vaguely like a chocolate chip cookie that has way fewer calories, I'm all for it. (Being able to make a decent 'fake deep frying' without all of the calories would be one goal, IMHO.)

  • When global warming fucks up the world's food supply, California hippies are going to have to get a clue and start eating animals and their delicious eggs whenever they're available.
  • Sorry, there has to be a thread devoted to this . . .

    -What kind of egg-head does it to take to create fake eggs, anyway?
    -If this does not succeed, it will be fake egg on his face . . .
    -Whenever I crack an egg, I will imagine I am hearing the sound "Li Ka-shing" for the rest of my life . . .
    -He has got some huge juevos (but I bet they are fake. . .).
    -The 3rd picture in the article looks like an eggman is eating another egg (a form of egg cannablism)

    Add your own below!
    • by turgid ( 580780 )


      Whenever I crack an egg, I will imagine I am hearing the sound "Li Ka-shing" for the rest of my life . . .

      That's the sound of his cash-register while he's Ka-shing in on his new enterprise...

  • Soy lecithin is a good example of how plant-based replacements for eggs can succeed.

  • Because it doesn't give any specifics in TFA, or int the article [] linked in TFA. Are they soy-based? Yeast? Cloned-meat that exists in a semi-alive state? Some sort of toxic mix of petrochemicals? I have no idea.

    The fact that the articles seem to go out of their way not to bring this sort of thing to our attention seems a bit telling. Just telling me that "they're eggs, but better!" does not encourage me to eat them. If anything, given how frequently corporations use deceit and distraction, this absence of

    • From []:

      INGREDIENTS: Non-GMO Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Filtered Water, Lemon Juice, White Vinegar, 2% or less of the following: Organic Sugar, Salt, Apple Cider Vinegar, Pea Protein, Spices, Garlic, Modified Food Starch, Beta-Carotene.

      Relatively benign if you ask me. The key for the emulsification seems to be the pea protein.

  • by judoguy ( 534886 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:42AM (#46286339) Homepage

    For those of us who eat dead animals, eggs are health food. I eat 5-6 eggs a day for breakfast. Sometimes more later when I'm feeling lazy. I lost 40lbs and my cholesterol panels went form heart-attack-soon to teen age athlete levels.

    All this stupid "Don't eat eggs or fat" bullshit is literally killing us.

    • Related: []

      Lustig in his "Sugar, the Bitter Truth" youtube video claims the whole fat-is-evil thing started out based on a flawed study (one that failed to separate variables, and shaped an anti-fat public policy.

      Food without fat tastes like cardboard, so Lustig says producers responded by cranking up the sugar. I'm sure the subsidising of corn and sugar didn't help. And certainly they are cheaper. But now they could argue their food was healthier "low fat" instead of having

    • All this stupid "Don't eat eggs or fat" bullshit is literally killing us.

      Yeah, the eggs this is particularly ridiculous. Every year or so, there's always still some study coming out trying to make eggs out to be the most evil thing ever.

      Here's the deal: eggs have cholesterol. They have it in a more concentrated form than other foods. Some lunatic half a century ago who realized that cholesterol might have some relationship to circulatory system and heart problems decided that the way to lower blood cholesterol would be to ingest less cholesterol.

      Perhaps this seems like co

      • everyone still thinks that dietary cholesterol regulation should be a high priority for health.

        Well, they may still talk that way, but the prevalent treatment strategy has clearly shifted to drugs: "Nearly one in four adults age 45 and over already take pills like Lipitor and Zocor to manage their cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease." cite []

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          Too bad the evidence is showing statins to be useless for actually reducing heart disease.

          Apparently they are failing to treat the disease by suppressing it's symptoms.

  • by RivenAleem ( 1590553 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:45AM (#46286367)

    Why can't he be called Li Ka-ching?

  • by Oligonicella ( 659917 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:47AM (#46286387)
    People Eating Tasty Animals. - Sorry, had to.
  • You mean like adding all sorts of bacteriocides, fungicides and other preservatives to make sure they last 52 weeks in warehouses & on the shelves?

    Meanwhile, the rise in synthetic chemicals affecting fetuses and children in their early years starts showing more coorelations.

  • Another unreadable summary. Dice, please hire editors that have a clue!
  • Isn't this the plot to a yahoo serious movie? "Mr. accident" or something like that?
  • This reminds me of the Friends episode where Monica has to make recipes for a chocloate substitute - Mockolate.
  • Mayo is usually made with eggs and oil (and perhaps a drop or two of vinegar).

    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

    Unless you're out to catch fruit flies, then use apple vinegar.

    Remember my grandma's saying: "Miracle Whip ruined the dip"

    A shot of (apple cider or balsamic) vinegar in the morning will kill excess yeasts in your digestive (which may be causing your allergies).

    Sugary foods will feed the yeast (perhaps making you tired)

    White vinegar is also great for cleaning stuff.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak