Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Neither.
An artificial egg product approved by Bill Gates and Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel is made entirely from plants, thanks to food scientists at San Francisco-startup Hampton Creek Foods. The company has created faux mayonnaise and a variety of baked goods using their plant egg substitute, which is coming soon to a Whole Foods near you.
The products are made from a "simple, but awesome species of peas," sorghum and "11 plants (in total) that are particularly awesome," CEO Josh Tetrick told FoxNews.com.
Tetrick came up with the idea for Just Mayo and Beyond Eggs products, after returning to the United States after 7 years of living in Sub-Saharan Africa working with impoverished communities.
"When I got back, I wanted to see how I could use business to make a difference," Tetrick who holds a Juris Doctor from Michigan Law School, told FoxNews.com. "After reading a lot about our food system, I began to see how crazy it was."
Tetrick says that there are 1.8 trillion eggs laid every year, nearly all of which come from “places that normal people do not what their food to come from."
"Ninety-nine percent of our eggs come from dimly-lit, feces- and urine-smelling industrial warehouses," Tetrick said. "Putting aside animal-cruelty, it's just gross." It's also a food safety issue, Tetrick explained, such as the spread of avian flu.
Tetrick is the first to admit that he's no scientist, or chef for that matter. He's just really good at finding very smart people. Tetrick enlisted the help of Chris Jones, a contestant on the TV show "Top Chef," and biochemist Joshua Klein to help him create what they call the most realistic egg-free egg product yet.
Kramer uses a variety of foods to help replace eggs in her dishes, such as flax and chia seeds, chickpea flour and even vinegar. While most of these products work well to create the "lift" eggs give in baked goods, Kramer explains the hard part is recreating the binding agent of eggs.
"There is this product out there that's used in molecular gastronomy, but it's very expensive," she said. "But there are so many things you can make just using plants."
Hampton Creek Foods' website claims its product is healthier for you and cost 19 percent less than eggs which as of July cost an average of $1.833 per dozen according to the U.S. Department of Labor.