Whole Foods CEO John Mackey told CNBC that plant-based “meat” products are “super, highly-processed foods,” adding, “as for health, I will not endorse that.” Mackey himself is vegan.
The [brands] who are capturing the imagination of people — and I’m not going to name these brands because I’m afraid I will be associated with the critique of it, but some of these that are extremely popular now that are taking the world by storm, 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. As for health, I will not endorse that, and that is about as big of criticism that I will do in public.
Plant-based meat substitutes, added Mackey, may be valuable as a “transition food” for people to reduce and cease their consumption of animal products: “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.” CNBC highlighted brands Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, both of which sell plant-based burger patties.
CNBC claimed that “research” supports the assertions that “plant-based meats” are “a more ethical choice and are better for the environment than regular meat.”
Plants-based “meat” products are now being sold across various restaurants and fast food chains, with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods securing partnerships with Burger King, Carl’s Jr., the Cheesecake Factory, Del Taco, Dunkin’, Far Burger, Hard Rock Cafe, Little Caesar’s, McDonald’s, Qdoba, Red Robin, Shake Shake, and White Castle.
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