About this project
Wouldn't that grass-fed, organic, lettuce-for-a-bun burger be 100x better with some oh-so-delicious Paleo mayonnaise?
Payo is a healthy brand of mayonnaise that fits within a number of modern nutritional plans, including the paleolithic diet. People are starting to find out that fat itself isn't actually bad for them. And recent studies show that saturated fat doesn't contribute to heart disease. But there are fats that many modern dieters believe are not good for you – soybean oil and canola (rapeseed) oil – and that's what almost all commercial mayonnaise is made out of today.
If you go to the mayo section of the grocery store and check out the ingredient lists, you'll usually see soybean oil at the head. Even the jars of "olive oil mayo" at health food stores won't be 100% olive oil – they'll have unhealthy oils mixed in. Payo is 100% healthy oils. Here is the recipe base:
- Organic virgin macadamia oil
- Organic virgin coconut oil
- Organic extra virgin olive oil
- Organic free-range eggs
- Organic lemon juice
- Organic ground mustard seed
See the "Current Status" section for possible additions to the recipe.
After spending years devouring books on diet and nutrition, I decided that Paleo was the best bet for optimal health. But after I took the leap, I discovered I missed that most rich, creamy and delicious of condiments, mayo. My tale follows a road that many Paleo devotees have shared: you check out your favorite recipe book or blog for instructions on making mayo, separate the egg whites from the yolks, wait for the ingredients to come to room temperature, painstakingly drizzle olive oil over a blender (with droplets flying out every which way), and somehow, after investing all that effort, are left with something that has the consistency of a thin salad dressing rather than a good firm mayonnaise.
The main problem with all currently available brands of mayo is the types of oil they use. Invariably, whether you find them at the grocery or online, they will have oils that have far too much omega-6 fatty acid: soybean (58% omega-6), canola (28%), and sesame (42%), to name a few. And even though the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in canola oil is relatively low (2:1), followers of the Paleo diet believe in limiting your total PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are mainly omega-6 and omega-3) to a small portion (I usually see people saying 4% or less) of your daily caloric intake. This is one of the reasons why canola is not a good option for the Paleo diet.
Further problems with typical mayonnaise include chemical preservatives, sugar or corn syrup, xanthan gum produced from corn, factory-farmed eggs, vinegar, and all the problems that come with non-organic ingredients (pesticides, GMO, etc).
I will be giving full transparency, not only into the ingredients and where they're from, but also into the finances. I don't know yet exactly what the per-jar cost or sum of one-time and yearly costs will be. After the initial batch, I will publish on the website the financial spreadsheet, with all expenses listed. I hope this will help people who are considering creating food startups to form a better idea of initial capital required. Your funds will go toward:
- Premium organic ingredients
- Hiring our excellent manufacturer, Freedom Foods, for putting the ingredients together and jarring it all up
- Printing labels
- Glass jars with metal lids (there won't be any plastic chemicals seeping into Payo)
- Shipping (glass jars are a tad heavy)
- Custom branded single and 2-pack boxes (I need boxes because Amazon will not directly handle glass jars over 4 oz.)
- Nutrition-facts and shelf-life analysis and FDA registration
- GS1 registration and UPC code purchase
- Hiring chefs on oDesk, Elance, and Guru to vet the recipe
To get a sense of the popularity of the Paleo diet, consider this:
- Since 2012, the search term that is most often entered on Google with diet is . . . plan. Not that interesting. But the second-most popular search term seen with diet is paleo. That's huge. (See the "Related searches" section of this page.) Also, searches for mayonnaise were static from 2004-2009 but have doubled since 2009.
- Out of the seven most popular cooking supplies on Amazon, five fit the Paleo diet: coconut oil (three different versions), almond flour, and grass-fed ghee.
While Payo will cost more than the average costumed water-and-soybean-oil mayo that you'll find at your grocer (organic free-range egg yolks don't come cheap), it won't be as expensive as $19/jar (backer level "Paleo Patron"). Right now you're contributing a bit extra for early access and to help finally make healthy commercial mayo a reality. After the initial Kickstarter batch is produced and shipped, I will make modifications based on your feedback. Then later in 2014 I'll make a production run and offer it on the http://payo.us website (not set up yet). I'll also stock some with Amazon so that it will be Prime-eligible for all you free two-day shipping junkies (cardboard problem, anyone?). And I'll be putting significant effort into convincing brick and mortar grocery stores across the country to carry it. (And perhaps non-US stores as well? We'll see.)
The basic recipe and process is solid. It's consistently firm, has a low enough pH, and tastes good (not enough EVOO to taste like olive, and not too much coconut either). I'm considering adding a little spice and will test out variations on friends. I would appreciate any suggestions you have on ingredients or any other aspect of the project. Just click the comments link at the top of the page. Possible additions:
- Sea salt: Our ancestors had very low amounts of salt compared to common modern levels. While some people recommend against adding salt to anything you eat, most followers of the Paleo diet are fine with having a little unprocessed sea salt. Mayo you find in the store usually has between 70 and 120mg sodium per Tablespoon. If sea salt becomes part of Payo, it will be in a small amount – less than 70mg / T.
- Spices: Candidates include onion, garlic, paprika, cayenne, and white pepper. Cayenne is probably too distinctive and will be left to future flavored versions of Payo. The first three, however, are common in small amounts in basic mayonnaise recipes.
Current version of the label, 2.5 x 8.75". Payo has prompted me to learn Adobe Illustrator, which is a great tool.
A couple of options from SKS. While it's easier to get the mayo out of the shorter jar, the taller one isn't as wide, so it takes up less surface area, and people will identify its shape on a store shelf as a mayo container. What do you think? At this point I'm leaning toward the taller one with a silver lid. A few more samples from Andler haven't arrived yet.
The custom Amazon box will be modeled after the Pure Indian Foods grass-fed ghee boxes.
Testing the taste of Payo versus a few current options. Yes, that means I've been ingesting soybean oil and other nasty things. Taking a hit for the health of humanity.
I must admit that I'm getting a bit sick of eating so much straight mayo. Taste test results, in descending order of preference: Wilderness Family Naturals plain (not pictured, interesting tangy flavor, could enjoy eating it straight), Trader Joe's organic, Earth Balance with olive oil (not pictured), Spectrum organic canola, Hellmann's canola (surprise, perhaps my starch-deprived taste buds like the potato and corn starch in Hellman's), Kraft (kind of sweet, comparatively). I wanted to like The Ojai Cook organic mayonnaise and lemonaise, but they both tasted bad. Hain and Duke were revolting. Wilderness Family Naturals' lemon dill had de-emulsified to liquid form.
My organic herb supplier is Mountain Rose Herbs. Their mustard powder tastes better than the others.
Lemon juice with pH tester. Lakewood and Santa Cruz, the two main US suppliers of 100% Organic Lemon Juice, have similar taste and pH, so the decision will come down to cost.
I also have suppliers for the oils, and while I've found a supplier for cage-free eggs, I'm still looking for a supplier of free-range or pastured eggs that delivers to VT (where the manufacturer is located).
Risks and challenges
While I've never made a commercial food product, I'm good at getting things done. And fortunately I won't be doing the cooking! My manufacturing partner, Freedom Foods, will be making Payo, and many of the domain-specific challenges, such as state licensing and safety inspections, FDA registration, and analyzing nutrition facts and shelf life, are coordinated through them. Some Kickstarter projects have been notorious for shipping months after expected or not at all. I've added a good amount of extra time into the schedule in case of unforeseen delays, so if things go smoothly, rewards will ship out before May.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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