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At Engine 2® – we are changing the American diet for good

Our Engine 2® Plant-Strong® products are a Whole Foods Market® exclusive brand and are created to help you eat plant-strong, all day long – even when you’re short on time.

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We strive to produce products that adhere to these healthy guidelines:

  • ZERO animal products
  • ZERO added oils… ever!
  • 100% whole grains
  • Minimal added sugar, if at all
  • Less than 25% total calories from fat
  • Less than 1:1 ratio of milligrams of sodium to calories (exception: condiments)

An interview with Rip Esselstyn

What’s the story between Whole Foods & Engine 2?

In 2009, I left my job as a firefighter to team up with Whole Foods Market as one of their Healthy Eating Partners to raise awareness for team members, customers, and communities about the benefits of eating a plant-strong diet. The invitation came personally from John Mackey as part of his vision to create an exclusive brand focused on the principles of plant-based nutrition. At the time, it was a huge risk. He took the leap and trusted the net would appear. As a result of his courage and vision, Engine 2 is an exclusive brand licensed by Whole Foods Market. It’s been an amazing partnership!

What are the similarities between your philosophy and Whole Foods Market that work well together?

I am privileged to inspire and motivate people to eat healthier every day. I devote my energy while working at Whole Foods to developing The Engine 2® Plant-Strong® food line and meeting the needs of our customers. Right now we have over 32 products across 12 different categories. We have everything from cereal to almond milks to tortillas to hummus to burgers, to pasta sauce, to granola and more. It’s a pretty impressive list of products and we’re just getting started!

What criteria do you apply when creating a new product?

Everything has to be 100% plant based. Everything has to be 100% whole grain (no refined grains). Everything has to be lower in fat (no more than 25% of calories from fat). Everything has to contain no added oils (all fats must be naturally occurring…no processed or refined weak oils). Everything in our product line strives to meet a 1:1 ratio of sodium mgs to calories.

For example, there is no oil in our 5 varieties of hummus. Our hummus is about 18% fat instead of 50-60% like other hummus. Most pasta sauces have added sugars. Ours have ZERO! Instead we opt to use the naturally occurring sugars in ingredients such as sweet potatoes, carrots and onions. Our products are lower in sodium. Most pasta sauces are over 420 mg per 1/2 cup serving – Engine 2 has 140 mg per serving, which is 60-80% less than most brands.

We have 4 varieties of plant-strong burgers made with whole food ingredients like rice, oats, and beans as the foundation instead of isolated soy proteins or concentrates.

Some new products we’ll be rolling out in the next twelve months include a Firehouse Chili, a Moroccan Stew, two hot cereals, whole grain cheese-less pizzas, plant-strong raviolis, burritos, and baked tortilla chips. So fasten your seat belt!

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