Yet another health blogger has been called out for misleading her legions of followers with unfounded facts – this time by a scientist who claims the ‘Food Babe’ is “full of shit”.
This is great.
A US scientist has called out a food blogger with millions of followers who used her website to make dramatic claims about chemicals and toxins in foods.
Scientist-turned-blogger Yvette d’Entremont has unleashed a
little lot of fury at the pseudoscientific claims made by “uncredentialed expert” Vani Hari (aka the Food Babe) in a lengthy Gawker rant called “The ‘Food Babe’ Blogger is Full of Sh*t’.
The former chemistry professor says “it’s rare to come across a single scientific fact” on the Food Babe’s popular website.
Food Babe, who was motivated to change careers after being hospitalised with appendicitis, has almost one million Facebook followers and a bestselling book.
“Hari’s superhero origin story is that she came down with appendicitis and didn’t accept the explanation that appendicitis just happens sometimes,” d’Etremont wrote.
“So she quit her job as a consultant, attended Google University and transformed herself into an uncredentialed expert in everything she admittedly can’t pronounce.”
“Slap the catchy moniker ‘Food Babe’ on top, throw in a couple of trend stories and some appearances on the Dr. Oz show, and we have the new organic media darling,” d’Etremont explained.
Hari – a best-selling author who has more than three million readers per month and recently joined the ranks of Taylor Swift and Barack Obama in Time Magazine’s 30 Most Influential People on the Internet – has previously been labelled “the Jenny McCarthy of Food” for her alarmist campaigns.
Scientists are frustrated at the “paranoia and fear she whips up” and her tendency to label any chemical or toxin as harmful, ignoring those that are naturally occurring, the New York Times reports.
Hari has claimed, amongst other things, that pilots control the air in the plane (so you should sit at the front for a better experience) and that a non-organic apple is worse for you than a sundae.
In her post, d’Entremont blasts the Food Babe’s tactics, saying she encourages fear of harmless ingredients by pulling them completely out of context.
“Hari’s rule? ‘If a third grader can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.’,” she said.
“My rule? Don’t base your diet on the pronunciation skills of an eight-year-old,” d’Entremont argued.
The Californian scientist, who has a background in forensics and toxicology, says she launched her own site, Science Babe, last year after Hari’s misguided crusade against the “toxic” Starbucks’ pumpkin-spice latte.
In response to the Food Babe’s claim there is no acceptable level of any chemical to ingest, ever, d’Entrermont wrote:
“I wonder if anybody’s warned her about good old dihydrogen monoxide? (AKA water.)”
But 35-year-old Hari has hit back at her critics, labelling d’Entremont’s post an “unprofessional” attempt to stop “the food movement”.
“In that very unprofessional and overly profane Gawker blog post, the author says I’m full of $hit, but I’m full of heart, love and hope for a better future, and I know you are too,” Hari wrote.
“I want a safer and healthier food system, and some people want to keep the food system just like it is today – broken, corrupt and full of unregulated food additives and chemicals that only improve the bottom line of food and biotech companies and not our health,” Hari wrote.
“This is a desperate attempt to stop the food movement.”