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Plant-based startup Impossible Foods has scooped the 2019 United Nations Global Climate Action Award for its meat-free products – as it ‘works to boost awareness of food’s environmental impact’. 

The brand, who was recently named Company of the Year by Inc Magazine, accepted the award at the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Madrid.

Impossible Foods states its meatless burger uses 96 percent less land, 87 percent less water, and 89 percent fewer green house gas emissions compared to a standard beef burger, 

‘Cut emissions’

According to Fox Business, Jessica Appelgren, Vice President of Communications for Impossible Foods, said: “Impossible Foods is honored to receive the UNFCCC’s Planetary Health award to showcase plant-based meat as a true pathway to cut emissions and decarbonize the atmosphere.

“With solutions like the Impossible Burger, consumers can drive the movement to create a food system consistent with the urgent goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Vegan controversy

Impossible Foods itself consider its meatless patty to be plant-based rather than vegan.

This is because in 2017 a key ingredient – soy leghemoglobin (heme) – from the brand’s flagship item the Impossible Burger was fed to rats to test its safety. An excess of 180 rats were killed as a result of the testing.

CEO Pat Brown reacted to the controversy, publishing a statement titled The Agonizing Dilemma of Animal Testing.