Some media observers raised their eyebrows just a tad when they heard that OSI Group, the No. 1 supplier of those famous all-beef patties to McDonalds, has just made a deal with Impossible Foods to manufacture the all-vegetarian Impossible Burger.
In a sense, Impossible Foods is kind of like the anti-McDonalds. The entire reason the company’s founder, Dr. Patrick Brown, created the Impossible Burger was to encourage more people to switch from eating meat to all-plant based products. Dr. Brown had long been concerned about the costly environmental impact of a meat-centric diet for billions of people on the planet.
Producing the Impossible Burger has an overall 86% smaller carbon footprint than producing a burger from animal products. It’s also easier on land, water and trees.
The problem for Impossible Foods, however, has become production. The popularity of the meat-free Impossible Burger is so enormous, it can’t keep up with demand. That’s why the company opted to partner with meat-processing giant OSI Group, headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Aurora.
But a closer look at OSI Group McDonalds makes the partnership an excellent match. First, OSI Group has gained world renown over the past decade for its extremely aggressive efforts to operate in a sustainable fashion. The Chicago company is rapidly headed toward a zero-waste profile. It is also aggressively lowering its use of fossil fuel energy in its production processes – its goal is to become a carbon-neutral entity in just a few years.
OSI Group has won an array of prestigious environmental awards from both governmental regulatory agencies and NGO groups alike. It’s not uncommon to see massive rows of solar panels gracing an OSI plant in locations around the world. OSI has 65 processing facilities in 17 nations.
Furthermore, some speculate that McDonalds may soon start offering more vegan burgers on its American menu now that its top supplier is getting more heavily involved in this sector. Environmental groups believe more veggie burgers sold by the world’s largest restaurant chain is moving the ball in the right direction in terms of sustainability.
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