Fake Eggs

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 4.45.04 PMAdventures in algae processing.

The 2016 annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists was held last month, the chance for companies to show case all manner of new and trendy ingredients and food products.  One of the hot trends: protein.  It’s not enough to eat it in natural food apparently.  It’s being extracted and purified and pumped into everything else we eat, including water. Yes you can buy artificially sweetened and flavored waters with added whey protein isolate.  In other words, milk is processed to remove the whey (liquid), which is then processed to isolate the proteins from the liquid, which are then added back to another liquid — water.  Great.  Compared to milk, almost as much protein as a cup of whole milk, but completely missing calcium, vitamin D and other vitamins.

If you eat VeganEgg, maybe you need that protein water.  VeganEgg is an algae-based fake egg liquid that you can scramble or use to make quiche or omelets.  Yum!  The product line is “Follow Your Heart”, which may be an attempt to position fake eggs as heart healthy.  But that whole anti-egg cholesterol-hysteria ship sailed long ago.  Nevertheless, the fake eggs supposedly have a positive impact on your health.

They’re made with algal flour, algal protein (which would have to be processed and purified from algae, making it a highly processed ingredient) and a bunch of thickeners and texturizers.  Compared to real eggs, almost no protein, very little iron or other vitamins and minerals found in eggs (choline is one key nutrient that’s hard to get anywhere else but real eggs).

Which brings up my main point: if you’re into these non-animal-sourced fake animal-like foods, don’t expect nutritional equivalence.  Soy beans and wheat and algae are not cows or chickens.  And heavily processed purified isolates of soy beans or wheat or algae are different from the original source food.  I personally prefer to eat real foods in their natural form when I’m eating meatless meals.  Just because a processed food is vegan doesn’t give it a health halo.

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