- CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods John Mackey believes that plant-based meat products are positive for the environment, but not so much for your health.
- "If you look at the ingredients, they are superb, highly processed foods," Mackey told CNBC in an interview. "I don't think it's healthy to eat highly processed foods."
- Beyond Meat, one of the largest players in the plant-based meat market, has seen the stock price explode this year in line with demand for the products.
- Visit the Markets Insider homepage for more stories.
The CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods has some concerns about the plant-based "meat" white.
John Mackey told CNBC on Wednesday that plant-based meat substitutes are good for the environment, but not for your health. This reiterates concerns raised by dietary experts and nutritionists over the past few weeks.
"If you look at ingredients, they are super, highly processed foods," Mackey told CNBC. "I don't think it is healthy to eat highly processed foods. I think people enjoy eating whole foods.
He continued: "When it comes to health, I will not support it, and that's about as much criticism as I want to make public."
Mackey also said that plant-based meat is better for the environment. than traditional meat, which usually uses large quantities of water for production.
Markets Insider is looking for a panel of millennial investors. If you are active in the markets, CLICK HERE to register.
One of the most dominant companies in the plant-based meat market ̵[ads1]1; Beyond Meat – got its start at Whole Foods in 2013 with vegan "chicken" strips. Mackey says Whole Foods has been a launch pad for almost all Beyond Meat products.
Beyond Meat's stock price has risen more than 500% since the company's first IPO in May. These gains have come as the demand for plant-based products has exploded. The company now has partnerships with nearly a dozen food retailers including Dunkin, Subway, and most recently KFC.
As plant-based meat alternatives have become more widely available in recent months, critics have begun to question the health benefits of these products. Many of the plant-based meat alternatives are highly processed and include coconut oil, an ingredient known to have lots of saturated fat.