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Impossible Foods has Big Plans, but are They Sustainable?

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Fake meat maker Impossible Foods wants to change how people eat, but its supply chain could be a problem.

Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown criticized the meat industry during CES 2020 (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas earlier this month by calling it “the most destructive technology on Earth by far,” Yahoo Finance reported. In addition to its beef alternative, the company debuted a ground pork and pork sausage alternative during the event, which gets it one step closer to realizing its goal of completely replacing animals as a form of food by 2035. 

“Again, the thing that you just have to remember to anticipate everything Impossible is going to do is that our intention is to completely replace animals as a food production technology,” Brown told Yahoo Finance. “And that means that any product that we’re currently producing using animals, Impossible Foods is already working on … and will commercialize a plant-based, a better, more delicious, more affordable, vastly more sustainable version of that product.”

Impossible Foods may have brought the heat to the meat industry at CES — and not without cause — but is its supply chain sustainable? In June 2019, Eater reported that diners complained that a Brooklyn Burger King claimed to serve a vegetarian Whopper made with an Impossible Meat patty, but gave them a real meat patty instead. The Impossible Whopper is no longer listed as an option at the location. 

In November, Fast Company reported a vegan in Florida is suing Burger King over its Impossible Whopper because it’s cooked on the same grills as the beef Whoppers. Court documents describe Impossible Whoppers cooked on the regular grills as “contaminated” and say vegans who know this is how they’re prepared wouldn’t buy them, according to reports. 

Impossible Foods’ sausage is offered at 139 Burger King locations in test markets across the United States. The company also told Reuters in early January that it’s no longer seeking a deal to supply McDonald’s with its Impossible burger due to supply constraints, according to reports.

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