The other day as I was going to deliver some light mayo packets to a patient because they didn’t trust the kitchen to send them up, a different patient who calls me Blondie started singing “Heart of Glass” down the hall. Now that I’m in the very last days of my “old” job, I’m acutely aware of the things I will and will not miss about the place. I’ve also started noticing little things that never struck me as funny or weird before. For example: Cage-free mayo is a thing?

img 4742 - Late to the Cage-Free Party

Apparently it’s been a thing since 2008 in Europe, and since 2010 in the States. Unilever, which owns Hellman’s aims to go totally cage-free by 2020 in their products. According to the press release on the company’s website, creating the formula for the 30 million jars of Hellmann’s Light® Mayonnaise, this involves sourcing ~3.5 million pounds of eggs from an estimated 125,000 hens. That’s a lot of mayonnaise. And a lot of loose hens. There’s probably a joke there.

On the one hand, cool. On the other, cage-free, doesn’t automatically mean the hens are raised more humanely or without antibiotics and hormones. In some ways, it seems like a gimmick to distract consumers from the fact that they’re eating whitish paste in a tube that has a lot of other crap in the mix. This is to say nothing of what they’re putting the mayonnaise on. Adding health-halo cage-free mayo to your s*** sandwich isn’t actively making you any healthier.

Anyway. I’ve never been a mayonnaise fan—it’s the flavor and the mouthfeel that just don’t do it for me, even when we made it from scratch back in the food lab in grad school. I’d rather spread hummus or avocado on my sandwich or use Greek yogurt to make a dip. However, I suspect I’m in the minority. For those of you mayo-lovers out there, here’s a recipe for a homemade version.

Do you like mayonnaise? What are your favorite sandwich ingredients? 

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