March 19, 2019

When Medical Doctors Turn Into Successful Kosher Food Entrepreneurs

New York…Dr. Peter Praeger was a heart surgeon who saved a man’s life and as a result wound up owning a gefilte fish company and proceeded to build a successful natural-foods company.

When he died at the age of 65, he was president and chief executive of Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, a maker of frozen natural foods, including veggie burgers and meatless chicken, sold in supermarkets and health-food stores in the United States and abroad. Fast forward to 2011 when Dr. Patrick O. Brown, formerly a biochemistry professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Stanford University School of Medicine, founded Impossible Foods with the now notorious Impossible Burger. Brown decided that the world’s largest environmental problem, and the problem where he could have the most impact, was animal farming. More than half of the ice-free land on Earth and more than one-quarter of Earth’s freshwater is used to raise livestock and their food, making animal farming a leading cause of species extinction and global warming. Reducing the use of animals for food, Dr. Brown figured, would liberate land and water, mitigate climate change and make people healthier. The result: Impossible Foods which makes meat, dairy, and fish products directly from plants to create a more sustainable global food system. Its first product was the Impossible Burger – a burger for meat-lovers that sizzles, smells and cooks up just like beef – but is made directly from plant ingredients. Impossible Foods received kosher pareve certification from the Orthodox Union last May.