Impossible Foods CEO on processed food, selling heme to other brands, and reaching price parity

Speaking during a fireside chat with musician Questlove, an investor in Impossible Foods, Brown said: “Thesekinds of pejorative labels … need to be recognized as meat industry propaganda ​[although plant-based rival Lightlife also used similar tactics in a 2020 PR campaign presenting Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat as ultra-processed], and I think consumers, in general, can see through them.

“When you use the term ‘processed foods’ ​[a term also deployed by Dr Robert Lustig​, who says many plants have been so heavily refined or processed that fiber and other nutrients that make them healthy have been removed or damaged], it’s intended to portray plant-based products as in the same category as Twinkies.

“The difference here is that Twinkies are unhealthy not because they’re processed, but because they’re almost devoid of valuable nutrients, and instead they’re just packed with sugar and fat and junk, that’s the problem. It has nothing to do with processing.”

‘There are some crops and proteins out there that are much better than the ones we’re using right now’

Impossible Foods – which adds a string of vitamins and minerals to its burgers, which have 130% of the daily value for vitamin B12, 25% of the DV for iron, 15% of the DV for calcium, and 3g fiber – has been thoughtful about ingredient choices, he added: “What’s important for consumers from a health and nutrition standpoint, is whether the ingredients are chosen conscientiously, with a real commitment to the health and nutrition of the consumer, as opposed to, we’re just going to make some cheap crap that that is sweet and salty.

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