A group of Silicon Valley investors, scientists and chefs are close to debuting a plant-based egg. Omelet-maker extraordinaire Emily Kaiser Thelin investigates.
When I first met my husband, Josh, at a July 4th potluck barbecue in 2009, I had a strict rule against dating vegetarians—too much time spent defending my carnivorous ways. So I was crestfallen when the dashing stranger with whom I had been getting on so well suddenly plopped a veggie dog on the grill. I sighed and pulled out my bone-in rib eye. But as that steak cooked, with smoke swirling and fat spattering, Josh never flinched. When I carved into the medium-rare meat, he even asked how it tasted.
He explained that he’d never renounced meat—he’d just never eaten it. Ever. Since before he was born, his parents have eschewed meat and eggs. His father, Jay Thelin, cofounded the Psychedelic Shop on Haight Street in San Francisco in 1966. Jay was a rigorous idealist (he hoped LSD could expand the collective consciousness and end the war in Vietnam). Later, he discovered a spiritual path that convinced him that meat and eggs (and drugs and alcohol) hindered access to the divine. Out of a mix of habit, loyalty and pride, Josh has remained a vegetarian his entire life. He’s always been curious about omelets and steaks—just not enough to try them.