Category Archive: Food Babe
Would You Pass High School Health Class?
Today the Center for Accountability in Science (CAS) released the results of a new survey showing most Americans couldn’t pass a high school health class. The national survey, conducted by ORC International, asked 1,024 adults ten questions covering food and nutrition. Overall it showed that we all could be a little smarter about nutrition. Dr. Joseph Perrone, chief science officer of CAS chalked up the poor performance to misinformation spread by pseudoscientists and TV doctors, arguing junk science has serious consequences. “When celebrities such as Dr. Oz say ‘superfoods’ are better or cast doubts on GMOs, they’re doing the public a...Read More
“Natural” Doesn’t Mean Food is Safer or Healthier
In an opinion piece for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Dr. Joseph Perrone explains just because companies are touting decisions to phase out artificial ingredients, genetically modified foods, and meat from animals treated with antibiotics doesn't mean their menus are getting a "healthy" makeover. Below is an excerpt of his piece. To read the full op-ed, visit the Review-Journal's website here. Would you feed your kids a snack that includes ethyl ethanoate, 3-methylbutyraldehyde, butylated hydroxytoluene and linoleic acid? While many Americans would probably balk at loading up lunchboxes with these scary sounding chemicals, they're actually common compounds found in blueberries. Listing off hard-to-pronounce chemicals as...Read More
Activists Shouldn’t Dictate Science Policy
Today, the Dayton Daily News ran an opinion piece from Dr. Joseph Perrone, the Chief Science Office at the Center for Accountability in Science, that explains why fringe activists shouldn’t dictate science policy. Americans aren’t that great at science. Our recent survey found that most Americans can’t even answer basic 5th grade-level science questions. Making matters worse, activists are exploiting Americans’ lack of basic scientific knowledge to needlessly scare the public and push for misguided policy changes. These activists are waging an outrageous war of misinformation. For instance, activist blogger Vani Hari, better known as the “Food Babe,” falsely claims that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been...Read More
SciBabe Explains How the Food Babe is Full of It
We’re always happy to see other scientists take on Vani Hari, the “Food Babe,” and her lack of any factual basis for her ridiculous advice. This week, Yvette d’Entremont—analytical chemist and SciBabe blogger—penned a piece for Gawker explaining: Reading Hari's site, it's rare to come across a single scientific fact. Between her egregious abuse of the word ‘toxin’ anytime there's a chemical she can't pronounce and asserting that everyone who disagrees with her is a paid shill, it's hard to pinpoint her biggest sin….Maybe Hari's crusades would be OK if she had the facts to back them up. But she doesn't,...Read More
NY Times Highlights Food Babe’s Lack of Scientific Literacy
Over the weekend, the New York Times style section published a profile of Vani Hari, the “Food Babe.” As we’ve blogged time and time again, Hari’s blog is riddled with scientific inaccuracies and alarmist rhetoric. The Times profile points out: “her statements — often incorrect — and faulty reasoning have produced numerous memes and parodies, not to mention aggressive reactions from doctors and scientists, who call her scientifically illiterate.” The profile does an excellent job of boiling down Hari’s strategy: Ms. Hari’s posts follow one of a handful of simple but effective formulas. Sometimes she finds an ingredient, often an ugly-sounding chemical...Read More
Bill Nye Sides with Science on GMOs
It’s always heartening to see a public figure willing to change his or her mind after examining scientific evidence. Last week, Bill Nye (Yes, the “Science Guy”) announced he was joining the 88 percent of scientists who believe genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are safe. After spending time with scientists at Monsanto, Nye visited Bill Maher’s show and revealed he is revising the chapter in his 2014 book, Undeniable, in which he questioned the environmental risks posed by GMOs. The peer-reviewed studies supporting the safety of GMOs for both humans and the environment are piling up. There’s no evidence GMOs pose any more...Read More
Is Vani Hari the next Jenny McCarthy or Dr. Oz?
She’s been christened the “Jenny McCarthy of food” by Yale neuroscientist and pseudoscience warrior Steve Novella. Now, Vani Hari, “The Food Babe,” is promoting her new book, The Food Babe Way. As part of her promotion tour, Hari sat down with Atlantic author James Hamblin. In his article, Hamblin points out that academic scientists and doctors have heavily criticized Hari for raising alarm about perfectly safe chemicals and foods and failing to recognize that “the dose does make the poison.” Hamblin writes: Her work has drawn ardent criticism, primarily from a vocal contingent of academic researchers and doctors, who accuse her, in...Read More
GMO vs. Non-GMO Oils: Is there a difference?
According to blogger Vani Hari aka the “Food Babe,” one of the 10 items you should NEVER purchase in a grocery store is GMO oils. In fact, she says “It’s super easy to whip up a vinaigrette at home to avoid dumping GMO soybean oils all over your healthy salad.” Homemade salad dressings are great, but Hari neglects to tell her readers a key fact: oils made from genetically modified ingredients aren’t actually any different from non-GMO oils. Most cooking oils—think canola, olive, soybean, corn etc.—are processed and refined to such a degree that all plant DNA and protein is destroyed. Genetically...Read More
Sporting Sweaty Armpits Won’t Reduce Your Cancer Risk
One of the most popular posts on the “Food Babe’s” blog is titled “Throw This Out Of Your Bathroom Cabinet Immediately.” So what does our resident food non-expert want to warn you about this time? Your antiperspirant! According to the blogger, aluminum zirconium—a common ingredient in many antiperspirants—could cause breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. Unsurprisingly, she doesn’t give a single study to back up these radical claims. So we looked to actual experts and scientific research for answers. The Director of Medical Content for the American Cancer Society, Ted. S. Gansler, MD, MBA, sums it up: “There is no convincing evidence that antiperspirant...Read More
Be Wary of New Year’s Resolution Health Traps
Nearly half of Americans will try to keep New Year’s resolutions in 2015, and losing weight and eating healthier are always among the most popular goals. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet and TV about ways to lose weight and eat more nutritiously. Here are three “experts” to avoid if you’re planning on shedding a few pounds this year: The Food Babe: Vani Hari is a blogger and public speaker, but she’s not a nutritionist. Instead, she relies on scaring the public about ingredients in their food with information that’s frequently blatantly wrong. One of the top posts...Read More