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Which came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, the answer is clear. “Beyond Eggs,” a new egg substitute developed by Hampton Creek Foods, is made without a chicken or any animal products. Starting today, Beyond Eggs is on sale at Whole Foods in California, and the company’s founders say the egg substitute will soon be available worldwide.

We wrote about Beyond Eggs right before the product hit the market in March, but back then we weren’t sure if the idea would really take off. Now the company’s backed by investors including Bill Gates and Peter Thiel (of PayPal) and the founders are in talks with major food manufacturers about using the egg substitute in their products.

Along with lab-grown meat, Beyond Eggs is part of a growing trend of ditching animal products for eco-friendly alternatives. The production of meat — particularly in large industrial farms — is contributing to a ton of environmental issues, such as air pollution and global warming. Other resources cite meat as a factor in cardiovascular disease, though the link between egg consumption and poor heart health has become weak at best. But unlike meat grown in a test tube, this plant-based egg substitute may soon be widely available for use in everyday foods, from baked goods to mayonnaise.

We’re always on the lookout for new, cool food trends, and we can’t wait to try the egg substitute in our favorite cookie recipes. It would be a big relief to eat a (tasty) egg without worrying that any animals were hurt in the process of making it. Let us know in the comments if the availability of these foods would influence your decision to ditch meat permanently — or whether you think it’s just a passing trend.

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