Ask Joyce: How Do I Go Egg-Free?Posted by Joyce Tischler, ALDF Founder and General Counsel on May 18, 2011
ALDF’s "Ask Joyce" column appears in each issue of The Animals’ Advocate, ALDF’s member publication.
The following excerpt comes from a letter that ALDF received in response to our last member newsletter, in which we wrote about the need for labeling eggs due to the terrible conditions that chickens are kept in by the egg industry:
“…The article confirmed the horror of egg production practices – and doubled my own frustration in attempting to respond personally to the issue… It’s easy to say, as your article does, ‘simply avoid eggs altogether.’ My request is that you help ALDF supporters give up eggs or reduce the use of them by writing a piece about how to do that.”
Jim from Michigan
What a great question! You are grappling with a challenge that many of us face: a food that has been a central part of our diet conflicts with our ethical concerns about the industry’s horrific treatment of animals. Happily, cooking without eggs has become remarkably easy and tasty, in addition to being better for your health and far kinder to those beleaguered chickens. All health food stores and an increasing number of mainstream grocery stores carry many products without eggs, including delicious mayonnaise, such as Nayonaise and Vegenaise, eggless breads, pies, cookies, pastas and other products. Plan an exploratory trip to the grocery store when you can take some time to read the labels.
There has been an absolute explosion of cookbooks with eggless recipes. For example, Vegan Planet has 559 pages of recipes, plus a list of resources; Skinny Bitch in the Kitch is on many peoples’ “A” list; and the oddly-titled Veganomicon is the most dog-eared cookbook in my kitchen. The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has seven pages of suggestions for replacing eggs in your homemade baked goods. Among the options are two commercial “egg replacers:” Ener-G and Bob’s Red Mill. Both are made from potato starch; they have a long shelf life and work beautifully. You can also replace eggs with bananas: 1/2 mashed banana equals one egg. Or, try applesauce: ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce equals one egg. Silken tofu whipped in a blender helps make a rich, moist cake (1/4 cup equals one egg). I have tried many of the recipes in this book and I challenge anyone to make better lemon bars or crepes – my daughter and her friends swear by them.
Restaurants pose a challenge to diners with any sort of different diet – ask anyone who is a Weight Watcher, or is allergic to wheat or nuts. Be prepared to ask questions. Remember that, as a paying customer, you have the right to get what you want, and waiting staff are usually eager to please the diner. Plus, try out some of the vegetarian and vegan restaurants in your community. I checked online at www.vegguide.org and www.happycow.net and found several options near you. Get online and find a vegetarian resource group in your state. In Michigan, www.vegmichigan.org has a user friendly website filled with valuable information.
Remember that you aren’t alone; there are many resources on the web and in the stores. I applaud your willingness to consider going eggless and hope you enjoy the process of finding delicious and healthful new foods.
For the animals,