Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Chickpea Juice as Egg Substitute???

Trigger warning: I'm a little peevish in this post.
When I opened the FOOD section of the New York Times May 11, was I the only person who hadn't heard of this new trick of using chickpea juice as an egg?
This new trick-- made into an industry by its discoverer or inventor, whichever you choose to call him, Goose Wohlt-- and others working in the vegan marketplace.  Sounds great.
 AcquaFaba   Named from the Latin meaning water +bean.

So it whips into meringues, it thickens and binds in baking, it works well in a whiskey sour, and it can leap off tall buildings at a single bound. No, wait-- that's Superman.

However, never once, not even in passing, was food allergy mentioned.  Veganism, yes. The mixtures we have all tried for egg substitutes: baking powder and vinegar;egg replacers ( my favorite is EnerG) were all noted.  But this discovery grew out of a man looking for a good substitute for eggs because he is a vegan-- and a "tinkerer." Obviously veganism is bigger news-- possibly bigger business?-- than food allergy. I'm happy, maybe I can try this in my recipes.  Maybe the food allergy community at large did know about this innovation-- IF IF IF you're not allergic to chickpeas, which many folks are.

But, I think what really surprised me, and then annoyed me, was that nowhere in this article were the 15 million of us who have food allergies mentioned.  That's a lot of folks-- probably more folks than the current total of vegans in the U.S. -- at least according to a 2014 poll which noted that 16 million Americans were vegetarian, about half that group-- 8 million-- were vegan.

 (Other articles--. total the number at 7.3 million vegeatrians with no disctinctions.)

Is food allergy not mentioned here-- rarely, if ever, mentioned in food sections-- because people don't believe it's real? Are we "too niche" to be included? What is going on here-- not even a throwaway  mention?

So, I will write to the NYTimes FOOD editor and note that there are 15 million of us eager consumers out there who could have at least been mentioned when egg substitutes are touted and revealed.  And, I will mention that we food allergy folks have experts in the field who could have given opinions or commentary. And, the story could have been broadened by out  many "war stories"of substitution and triumph with egg.

"That," as my mother used to say, 'and a nickel will get you on the subway." Warned you I was peevish.

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