Mercy Health Love County - News

Beyond Meat Does Amazing Good in Marietta

Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

By Barbara W. Sessions
Hospital Communications Consultant


Ethan Brown, president and owner of Beyond Meat, with Marietta Mayor Kermit Washington at the "Serve Love Beyond Sausage" free meal at The Taste Restaurant in Marietta on June 17, 2024.

Rodney Washington of The Taste Restaurant, served "Beyond Sausage" at Lions' Park on June 17. The plant-based hotdogs drew rave reviews from game fans.


Amazing company of the week has to go to Beyond Meat. This California-based food manufacturer spent six weeks handing out free samples to tornado-stricken families and displaced workers in Marietta recently.

According to Marietta Mayor Kermit McKinney, the company's owner and president Ethan Brown read in the newspaper about the EF4 tornado that swept through the western edge of Marietta on April 27.

Brown was moved by the tragedy and wanted to help the community.

“He called to say that anyplace called 'Love County' deserves to have love brought to them,” McKinney said.

With that, Brown and several staff members made repeated visits.

They stopped at the county's Tornado Resource Center at the Fair Building weekly. 

Brown sought out the Hospital Food Pantry's temporary distribution center at the Fair Building and added samples of their meat products to the packages going to pantry clients.

Then, on June 17, Beyond Meat teamed up with the popular The Taste by Chef Rodney restaurant on W. Main for a free evening of company fare.

After serving "Beyond Sausage" sandwiches at the restaurant, the group headed to the Lions' Club baseball park where three games were in action on various diamonds.

They circled the park handing out hot dogs of their special manufacture.

Most people sampling the products likely had never tasted plant-based meat before.

But here's the deal: it was delicious. And healthy. And made from all-natural ingredients.

And sold locally at Walmart Grocery.

Shira Zackai, a communications specialist for 10 years at Beyond Meat explained what is in the "Beyond Sausage."

"It is made of brown rice, yellow peas, and avocado oil," she said. Spices and toppings like red pepper add flavor.

Brown explained the production process. 

"Everything is grown by farmers. We buy crops such as red lentils, fava beans, brown rice, and yellow peas. We are extracting protein from these plants."

The extruded protein flow is passed through a die or plate to give it a specific shape, often mimicking meat patties, bacon, chicken, or seafood.

The consumer is gaining all the protein benefit of animal meat, but without the fat and other aspects of a heavy meat diet that are known to lead to heart disease.

"We work to make our recipes meet the standards of the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association," Brown said.

Since 2009, the company has developed a manufacturing plant in Missouri and added an impressive list of clients and sales outlets. 

Among them are Whole Foods and McDonald's Restaurants in Europe.

Why spend time in Oklahoma?

"This state leads the nation in heart disease," Brown said.