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Whole Foods CEO says plant-based meat alternatives for ethical and environmental reasons, not health


The CEO of Whole Foods says he won't endorse fake meat alternatives as they aren't healthy, but does support the ethical and environmental benefits.


John Mackey spoke to CNBC Make It following the success of brands such as Beyond Meat.


He didn't specifically mention brands but said he couldn't support processed foods.


Mackey said:

"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."

But the Whole Foods' co-founder did say he believes they are an effective way to move people away from meat consumption.


Mackey continued:

"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.
"So the reason why these plant-based meats have taken the world by storm is that they taste very similar to regular meats."

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