Anyone in the mood for scrambled mung beans this morning? No? How about scrambled plant-based egg substitute? Is that a little better? Well, buckle up. Just, a San Francisco–based start-up that makes plant-based egg substitutes, has just partnered with Sodexo, a massive international food service. That means you might be eating mung bean “eggs” sooner than you think.
Just Egg apparently scrambles, foams, and cooks just like chicken eggs do. (The promo video on Just’s website is mesmerizing, but maybe I’ve just never watched eggs scrambled in real time before.) The product isn’t just a promotion for Big Mung Bean—it’s meant to put a dent in our chicken egg consumption. According to Vox, egg agriculture (ahem, eggriculture) is as problematic as the meat industry is, even if those issues are less reported. To save the planet and the chickens, Just has developed an egg substitution they claim “[uses] 98% less water, has a 93% smaller carbon footprint, and uses 86% less land than conventional animal sources.”
The average individual consumer needs their eggs to be versatile. We poach ’em, bake ’em, fry ’em, whisk ’em into all kinds of breads and goods. But companies like Sodexo buy eggs en masse: the company serves some 75 million meals a day at schools, offices, and hospitals worldwide. So even if Sodexo only uses Just Eggs for certain meals (say, scrambles), it can make a huge difference.
Impossible Burgers and other plant-based meat substitutes have been getting a whole lot of attention lately, but it’s unclear how much of a difference such products have made in our eating habits. I eat eggs at home way more than I do beef. Maybe Just can actually pull this thing off?