For my last few blogs, I wrote about my encounter with the Food Babe at the BlogHer Food convention in Miami, Florida in late May. Since I discussed Food Babe’s theories on GMOs, food production and animal agriculture, it seems she’s been the subject of increased scrutiny and media coverage (finally!), so I thought I’d provide an update.
In early June, 2014, Vani Hari (AKA the Food Babe) launched a comprehensive attack on “big beer,” writing in her blog:
“I have to confess, my husband loves beer. So I had to figure out the truth. There is a long list of ingredients allowed in beer – like high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, stabilizers that are linked to intestinal inflammation, artificial colors, ingredients found in airplane de-icing liquid, genetically modified ingredients, even fish swim bladders.
But, why are the ingredients not listed on the label? What’s really in beer? Which brands can we trust to avoid these additives?”
Just days later, Anheuser Busch InBev, and close running rival SabMiller, were clamoring to appease this Food Bully, by posting their ingredients on several websites and tweeting out summaries of their actions.
Perhaps what was more interesting to watch—since my up-close-and-personal interaction with the Food Babe herself, was how some in the mainstream media finally called her bluff on the whole thing (and thankfully so).
In an opinion piece, titled: “Quackmail, Why You Shouldn’t Fall for the Internet’s Newest Fool, Food Babe,” Forbes Magazine contributor Trevor Butterworth questions not only Ms. Hari’s legitimacy, but the reluctance of the mainstream media to fact check her most basic claims.
Wrote Butterworth: “That the media should give The Food Babe a free pass as an expert or as a credible consumer watchdog is especially troubling when you look at some of her other claims, as recorded by the doctors at Science-Based Medicine. As infectious disease specialist Mark Crislip MD noted, Hari out goops Gwyneth Paltrow on the feelings of water by claiming that if you expose water to the words “Hitler” and “Satan” it will change its physical structure in exactly the same way as if you microwaved it. She believes getting the flu shot will give you cancer from all the “chemicals.” She is, naturally, against GMOs.”
And Butterworth wasn’t the only one—in the span of several days, dozens of blogs and opinion pieces showed up on the interwebs, heralding Food Babe as everything from a