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Message from DawnWatch

December 19, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Previously covered the wonderful company Hampton Creek, which is bringing plant-based eggs to the masses. It is backed by folks such as Bill Gates, and has had extraordinary success getting out its plant based product, “Just Mayo,” via Safeway, Walmart and the food service giant Compass Foods, which signed a deal this year to ditch Hellman’s and use “Just Mayo” exclusively. Looking back, I am surprised to see I haven’t covered, on DawnWatch, the many battles along the way (though I did on Facebook). They include a lawsuit from Unilever (the makers of Hellman’s mayonnaise), and what seemed to amount to a government conspiracy to interfere with Just Mayo’s success (at the request of the egg lobby) including a demand that the name of the product be changed.

The Washington Post website carries a fascinating and relatively even-handed look at that history today, in an article by Sarah Kaplan titled, “How little ‘Just Mayo’ took on Big Egg and won.” You’ll find it at http://tinyurl.com/qg2oo72

The site takes comments and the article includes the following:
“It’s true that not all of Tetrick’s claims about the benefits of Just Mayo pan out. Even though the product contains no cholesterol from eggs, it is not exactly ‘health food’ — mayonnaise of any variety is more than 50 percent oil. The company’s website also doesn’t offer anything to back up the claim the Just Mayo production process is more environmentally-friendly than that of traditional mayonnaise.”

Some comments that discuss the effect of animal products on our health and/or what animal agriculture is doing to our environment, including our climate, would be helpful. So would any other comments supportive of the growth of Just Mayo.

The story of Hampton Creek’s win is in the December 18 New York Times, page B2, under the headline, “F.D.A. Allows Maker of Just Mayo to Keep Product’s Name.” The article explains that the deal allowing Just Mayo to keep its name involves some changes being made to the label. The tweaked label will make clear that the product is eggless. And the word “just” is to be defined on the label as meaning “guided by reason, justice and fairness.”

You can read the New York Times article and see the old and new (very similar) labels at http://tinyurl.com/j285y7r

The coverage opens the door for letters to the editor about the benefits of plant-based foods, or about the effect of government subsidies for meat and dairy, or about the treatment of animals on factory farms — whatever you are moved to write about and can express in just a line or two; brief letters are far more likely to be published.

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