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It takes about 90 seconds of flipping and stirring for Josh Hyman to whip up a skillet of fluffy, pale yellow scrambled eggs. He's in an industrial kitchen in San Francisco, and I'm 3,000 miles away on my farm in rural Tennessee, watching Hyman cook via Skype. He tips the craggy yellow mounds out of the pan and onto the plate, the eggs jiggling as they slide.
Except: These aren't eggs. They're proteins from mung beans, manipulated—thanks to some proprietary science—to act, look, and taste like the real thing. Even from the vantage point of my computer screen, they look and cook just like the eggs that my chickens lay. If Hyman hadn't told me this breakfast's origin story, I never would have guessed.
Hyman - Lead - Project - Manager - Product
Hyman works as the lead project manager for product development at JUST, a San Francisco–based startup that's experimenting with plant-based alternatives to meat. JUST is spinning yellow peas into vegan mayo and mung beans into eggs, which means in addition to Michelin star–rated chefs, the company has computational biologists and scientists of cellular agriculture in their test kitchen.
JUST, which was founded in 2011, is one of several new global companies banking on the future of alternative protein. Humans have been manipulating plants into meatlike approximations for centuries—think tofu and tempeh—and today you can get hemp milk foam for your latté, order a barbecue sandwich made of jackfruit, or scoop a ladleful of protein-packed cricket powder into a bulk bag at your organic grocery store. Companies like JUST also hope to take it a step further by not only manipulating plants and insects but also using the cells of animals to produce cell-cultured meat. Imagine your kid's chicken nuggets or your next filet mignon coming courtesy of a bioreactor in a lab.
Numbers - Alternative - Protein
According to numbers compiled by the Alternative Protein...
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