Plant-based Impossible, Beyond burgers will help wean consumers off meat, Whole Foods CEO says

impossible burger
Image: Lindsay Widdel / Handout

In 2013, Whole Foods gave plant-based meat start-up Beyond Meat its first shot at selling its vegan “chicken” strips at Whole Foods locations across the country. Early believers and investors in the product were billionaires Bill Gates and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

px john mackey of whole foods in
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. Image: Wikipedia

“We launched Beyond Meat. We were their launching pad. In fact, I think all of their new products have been introduced at Whole Foods,” John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods, tells CNBC Make It.

But Mackey, who has been a vegan for more than 20 years, isn’t sold on the health benefits of plant-based meats. “…. if you look at the ingredients, they are super, highly processed foods …. I don’t think eating highly processed foods is healthy. I think people thrive on eating whole foods”

Even given his reservations about the health of the products, Mackey says there is at least one good dietary argument for plant-based meat: “A lot of people say … that [plant-based] meat is a transition food, meaning it’s a way for [people] to begin to reeducate [their] palates”; it’s a good first step in weaning people off of meat products, he says.

Related article:  Skeptical meat eaters and complex regulations could slow Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat expansion into China

Read full, original article: Whole Foods CEO on plant-based meat boom: Good for the environment but not for your health

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