Just Mayo is often referred to as “the joy on your sandwich” but this innovative and delicious new mayo is also a technological breakthrough product likely to become the mayo of the 21st century because instead of eggs, Just Mayo relies on pea protein from a plant. Made by Hampton Creek Foods of San Francisco with the financial backing of some heavy hitters including Bill Gates and Peter Thiel, Just Mayo has four major attributes: taste, nutrition, sustainability, and affordability.
Of primary importance is taste and Just Mayo is a home run. Creamy and delicious, Just Mayo tastes better than any commercially prepared mayonnaise and I’m not a big fan of mayonnaise but I do use it with a light hand to make cole slaw and other salad dressings. Just Mayo makes a creamier, better tasting dressing and actually tastes great on a sandwich.
Mayonnaise by definition is a thick, creamy spreadable sauce made primarily from whole eggs and egg yolks, oil, vinegar or lemon juice although most commercially produced mayonnaise has other additives to make it shelf stable. The key here is the egg, because mayonnaise is American’s most popular condiment (ahead of ketchup) which means we need billions of eggs and millions of chickens to make those eggs. Even if you discount the cramped and inhumane conditions of most egg farms, there is the environmental impact of what it takes to produce all those eggs (many of which are used to make mayonnaise which is then used to make prepared foods) each year in the US.
Hampton Creek Foods found that pea protein – from a plant – has many of the same attributes of an egg in recipes and is better for us nutritionally (no cholesterol), the environment (sustainable and less pollution), and the hens (better lives). Just Mayo is not a low-calorie or a low-fat food but instead a better choice to consider when mayonnaise is called for. Sounds like a winner, which seems to be why Gates and Thiel got behind the company and why Just Mayo is in every Whole Foods.
The pea protein is also cheaper than producing eggs which makes products made with pea protein more affordable meaning Just Mayo is not a specialty gourmet mayo for the foodie but, in fact destined to be a mayo for everyone. The price of commercially prepared mayonnaise varies greatly depending on the brand, size, and type of container with a 16-ounce jar generally costing $3-$4. Just Mayo is currently sold in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods nationwide and at Costco (in Colorado) for about $4.49 for a 16-ounce jar – not less expensive but also not much of a price difference especially if the nutritional aspects of Just Mayo are considered (although the company has announced the price will be coming down):
- Nothing Artificial
Update: October, 2014: Shelf-stable 30 ounce jars of Just Mayo are available at Walmart stores nationwide for $3.78 per jar.