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John Mackey, the CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods Market, says he’s ‘100 percent plant-based’. 

The businessman, who’s also the co-founder of Conscious Capitalism, made the comment on the latest episode of the Joe Rogan Podcast

‘Ethical reasons’

“I was vegetarian in my early twenties and then added fish,” Mackey said. Then back in 2003, I went totally plant-based for ethical reasons.

“There’s been only one diet to reverse heart disease. And that is a whole foods plant-based diet.”

Mackey defended the labeling of dairy-free products as ‘cheese’ and ‘milk’. Moreover, he told Rogan the only supplement vegans need is B12.

When asked about protein supplementation, he said: “Have you ever heard of anyone being protein deficient?”

Mackey gifted Rogan, who regularly argues against veganism, frozen elk. He also gave him a vegan cream cheese made from almonds, which he described as ‘delicious’.

‘Highly processed foods’

Last year, Mackey garnered global media attention after branding plant-based meat as ‘unhealthy’. 

He told CNBC: “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.”

The comment elicited reaction from Impossible Foods’ CEO Pat Brown, who described the critique as  ‘bulls**t’.

“What it replaces is a burger made from a cow, not a kale salad. So, if you’re saying this is not like the ultimate ‘superfood’ – you’re right,” Brown said. 

“But, it’s intended to be a product that is healthier for the consumer than a burger made from a cow [and it’s] better for the planet than a burger made from a cow. And for many consumers, [it’s] more delicious.”

You can watch the full Joe Rogan podcast here

Liam Giliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.