‘Burger King Says It Never Promised Impossible Whoppers Were Vegan’

Burger King, saying it never billed its “Impossible Whoppers” as vegan or promised to cook them a particular way, said a proposed class action by a vegan customer over the plant-based patties being cooked on the same grills as meat burgers should be thrown out.

In a court filing on Thursday, Burger King said plaintiff Phillip Williams should have asked how Impossible Whoppers were cooked before ordering one that he said was “coated in meat by-products” at an Atlanta drive-through.

Burger King said reasonable customers would ask about its cooking methods, and Williams would have known he could request an alternative method had he done even “the smallest amount of investigation” on its website or by reading media reports.

I wondered what BK’s angle would be, and I think this how most restaurants will handle vegan products moving forward. No one will call dishes that have vegan ingredients “vegan” anymore. They’ll either call items “plant-based” or they actually won’t say either. By not using both, they’re free to avoid this hub-bub — but it means it’ll be harder for all vegans to actually spot the vegan items. Bummer. I hope that’s not the case.

‘Tim Hortons Customers Didn’t Warm Up to Plant-Based Meat’

Rich Duprey for the Motley Fool:

Restaurant Brands International may be losing its appetite for plant-based meat, recently confirming it had pulled the last of Beyond Meat’s faux-meat products from its Tim Hortons chain.

Only months after rolling out the faux-meat breakfast sausage and then burger patties to the coffee shop’s 4,000 restaurants, it pulled the items from all of its restaurants except those in British Columbia and Ontario in September, and now says it’s yanking them from those locations as well.

It’ll be interesting to see where plant-based meat products work. I had assumed these would be welcomed wherever they went, but for certain markets maybe it doesn’t make sense. I wonder what went wrong here.

‘Panera plans to slash meat from half of its menu as customers seek vegetarian options and fear of climate change heats up’

Kate Taylor for Insider:

CEO Niren Chaudhary told Business Insider that, over the next several years, Panera plans to have at least 50% of its menu be made up of plant-based offerings. Chaudhary said the company plans to have plant-based innovation in every category in 2021. 

I think this is a smart move by Panera. They always seemed like a place that would have lots of vegan options, and now they will. I love love love me some soup and bread bowl — so I’ll be knee-tapping with excitement for when these start to hit the menus.

‘Is it time to retire the term “food desert?”’

Jessica Fu for New Food Economy:

What they found was that the biggest beneficiary of new supermarkets were supermarkets themselves, which enjoyed an increased share of consumer spending.

The overall nutritional quality of a household’s grocery purchases, however, was not heavily impacted by a new store’s presence in the area. Nor was the proportion of a household’s budget spent on groceries. This was the case across the entire study and—most importantly—among “food deserts,” which the study defined as zip codes lacking a supermarket.

“Total expenditure shares across grocery stores, supercenters, and club stores [increased] by only a fraction of a percentage point in the full sample, with no statistically detectable effect in the food desert subsample,” the study reads. “Thus, the primary effect of supermarket entry is to divert sales from other supermarkets.”


“The deeper issue is really poverty,” Mitchell says. “Local grocery stores and other kinds of retail can help alleviate that, but they’re obviously only one part of the broader problem. While thinking about grocery store development, favoring the local grocer, and being very wary of a company like […] Dollar General as a solution to that problem makes a lot of sense, [it’s] not going to solve the whole thing. We need other kinds of economic development.”

In other words, there are no easy villains in a systemic issue like food access. While there is plenty of anti-dollar-store sentiment in that ongoing conversation, some researchers argue that dollar stores are often the only food option available to many communities that would otherwise have none.

Like I’ve said before on here, this issue is actually many issues coming together. Poverty, lack of knowledge about cooking, lack of time, cost of fresh produce, and the list goes on. This won’t be solved simply.

‘PETA bought stock in Starbucks to help vegans save 80 cents on nondairy milk’

Lydia Dishman of Fast Company:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) just announced that it has become a shareholder of Starbucks Corporation in an effort to be heard at the coffee giant’s annual meetings. The animal-rights group, known for its embrace of theatrics, is planning to protest Starbucks’s upcharge of 80 cents on nondairy milk options for its drinks.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and hopefully free oat milk too.