Friday, February 13, 2015

It’s Deja Woo All Over Again

Some time back, I signed up for Vani Hari aka The Food Babe’s email list just so I could get a laugh from her daily “thoughts.” At some point, she put out a call to members of the “Food Babe Army” who have blogs to request advance copies of her new book “The Food Babe Way (subtitled” Break Free from the Hidden Toxins in Your Food and Lose Weight, Look Years Younger, and Get Healthy in Just 21 Days!”).” Why? She wanted a bunch of positive reviews to ready to drop on launch day (today).


The part in quotes is an actual quote from the book. Thanks
to Cheri Kent for the meme.
So I requested one. I mean, I have a blog; it hasn’t been updated in two years plus, but, still, I have one. Amazingly and amusingly, though I sent the request with my real name (banned on Facebook from posting on her page and banned from the Food Babe Army group after making zero posts), the blog identifies me as a chemist (we have seen how she deals with science), and my last damned post was about chemophobia, weeks later I got a shipping notice from Hachette Book Group. Holy crap, I was going to be one of the first to get my hands on this steaming pile of woo!

So after just randomly flipping through to LOL at random quotes and such (see meme at right), I started to actually read some of it. The forward, by the quack Dr. Mark Hyman, was ridiculously glowing, comparing Hari to Rachel Carson and MLK(!). The first chapter is just Hari letting us know how awesome she is, how she used to be fat and sick, and how she accomplished soooo much vis a vis Subway, Chick Fil A, etc. She goes on to make some rather outlandish claims about bisphenol A, MSG, and other "chemicals" that may be found in food (the book does have a bibliography, chock full of dubious "articles" and discredited sources).

But as the book rolls on, I notice that everything is starting to sound, well, familiar. Most of the book is literally just better edited versions of her blog posts. Here's an excerpt from the book (in an inset titled "Food Babe Alert: What is Trader Joe's Hiding?"):

For the record, I love shopping at Trader Joe's. It's fun and the employees are super nice and helpful. However, Trader Joe's won't share any information with me, and they are cloaked in secrecy regarding their business practices. Take the company's position on GMOs, for example: "Our approach to Genetically Modified Organisms is simple: we do not allow GMO ingredients in our private label products (anything with Trader Joe's, Trader Jose's, Trader Ming's, etc. on the label)."
Given this policy we should trust them, right? Not necessarily. During my research....
And from a foodbabe.com post titled, familiarly, "What is Trader Joe's Hiding?":

Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE shopping at Trader Joe’s. It’s fun, the employees are super nice and helpful and it’s a pleasant experience. However, they won’t share any information with us and are completely cloaked in secrecy regarding their business practices, which makes my head want to explode. 
Trader Joe’s Official GMO Statement:
Our approach to Genetically Modified Organisms is simple: we do not allow GMO ingredients in our private label products (anything with Trader Joe’s, Trader Jose’s, Trader Ming’s, etc. on the label).

Given what Trader Joe’s tells us about their GMO policy, we should trust them, right? Or are we trusting them just like many consumers trusted Naked Juice, Tostitos, Kashi, Gold Fish, Barbara’s Bakery, etc. who are or have been faced with lawsuits finding suspected GMOs in their so-called “natural” products?
During my research...

So bottom line, not much original material to be had here. I'm sure the recipes are nothing new to army members who subscribe to her eighteen-dollar-a-month eating guide. I'd save the fifteen bucks it's currently going for on Amazon and just read the blog if you really need to induce a headache.


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