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Fast Food Plant-Based What's New

Fast Food’s Iconic Folded Egg Just Got A Plant-Based Version In Grocery Stores

When you go to fast food chains like McDonald’s or Sonic for a breakfast sandwich, you can usually tell it apart by the distinct folded shape of the egg. A feat hard to pull off in the kitchen, it acts as a signature for these fast food morning meals.

Folded eggs have never been something you could just buy somewhere, since pre-cooking eggs into that shape and freezing them isn’t the most ideal way to store it. However, plant-based egg maker JUST came out with a form that is ready to reheat and stick into any breakfast sandwich.

The new plant-based folded eggs were just announced in a press release, providing a convenient folded egg-like product that can be used at home for breakfast. JUST’s vegan egg is made predominantly from mung bean protein, and the company claims to use 98% water, 83% less land, and 93% less carbon dioxide emissions than conventional egg production.

Each box of the folded plant eggs comes with a pack of four, and will be sold in the freezer section. While the folded egg is obviously meant for those wanting to put it into a sandwich, another usage for it could be to reheat the vegan egg, cut it up, and put it into a fried rice or other dish that calls for scrambled egg.

Photo courtesy of JUST

JUST also announced a drastic price slash on its refrigerated liquid egg product, cutting the cost down by a whopping 35 percent, according to VegNews. This makes a bottle of JUST egg on par with the cost of a dozen organic eggs, approximately $4.99. While it’s still on the pricier end of eggs in general, flexitarians and plant eaters alike have a more accessible and affordable animal-free alternative as a result.

The folded eggs will be available in 5,000 stores at its launch in April, with stores like Whole Foods, Albertsons Safeway, Gelson’s, Kings Food Markets, and Giant Martin’s getting a first crack at it. As for JUST’s standard product, the price drop will occur some time in the second quarter of 2020.

Categories
Animals Science Technology

Real Wagyu Beef Made Without Killing Cows Is Officially In The Works

Wagyu beef, in all of its forms, is considered to be one of the highest-quality steaks you can find on the planet. For the first time ever, a wagyu farm is looking into putting their luxurious beef into a cruelty-free format.

Photo courtesy of JUST

Toriyama, a Japanese wagyu producer whose beef is served around the world, is teaming up with futuristic protein company JUST to create a cultured, or “lab-grown,” version of the coveted cow. A recently signed agreement between JUST (formerly Hampton Creek), Toriyama, and Awano Food Group aims to develop, commercialize, and sell the cuts of wagyu around the world.

Photo courtesy of JUST

For Toriyama, it means they gain an expanded market as they’re able to produce more beef than the heads of cattle available on their farm at the same quality and a potentially lower price in years to come. JUST, meanwhile, is looking to expand their “clean protein” program. They already produced plant-based scrambled eggs and have lab-grown chicken meat in the works. Going for wagyu beef is a bold move, but if successful, would increase its sustainability and accessibility around the world.

It’ll be interesting to see exactly how JUST aims to replicate the marbling a piece of wagyu steak has from using cellular agriculture techniques. The contract was just recently signed, so development is still in the early stages for this novel form of one of the world’s most prized beef types.

JUST anticipates that the first product made with Toriyama’s cattle will be ground or minced wagyu, but hopes to offer prime cuts afterward.

Photo courtesy of JUST

There’s no current timetable on when the public will be able to try some of this cultured wagyu, but when it does become available, it will certainly be a game-changer for not just the wagyu industry, but for all beef in general.

Categories
Restaurants Science Technology What's New

Chicken Nuggets Made Without Harming A Single Bird Will Hit Restaurants This Year

JUST, who used to be known as Hampton Creek, just shocked the world by announcing that they intend to get cultured chicken nuggets into restaurants by the end of 2018.

That means that JUST can take something like a chicken feather and turn it into nuggets. They’re not actually adding the feather into anything, but are instead using it as a tissue sample from which meat can be cultivated.

chicken nuggets

Photo courtesy of JUST

JUST’s head of communications, Andrew Noyes, described it as a “small, harmless biopsy” that inflicts no pain on the animal.

From there, the best cells are grown from that sample, and production afterward is quick, taking just a few weeks. In the largest commercial scale JUST hopes to reach, it would take two days to produce enough meat to make a chicken nugget.

Their team is working on improving that production efficiency, including the creation of a serum-free media that’s one of the bigger challenges to scaling and commercializing that process. However, JUST does have enough production capacity at this point where they’re ready to unleash cultured chicken nuggets to the world.

 

Product concept illustration courtesy of JUST. Not an actual product or something being created in the near term.

 

 

Pending regulatory approval, JUST aims to complete their first sale of the nuggets (or another chicken product) by the end of the year. This will likely not happen in the United States, where the USDA and FDA are still hashing out regulations, however, small-scale restaurants in other parts of the world may be able to incorporate them soon.

Just last year, food technology company Memphis Meats announced it was working on lab-grown fried chicken, and it came with a notice that they were planning to have the “cultured meat” in grocery stores by 2021. It seemed like a far time away, and looked like nobody else was as close to a commercial product as they were, but JUST undercut that time frame with this announcement.

The end of year launch would be far faster than anyone anticipated, and accelerates the “clean meat” movement into the present day, rather than as a part of the future.