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Dangers of Dumbassery: Scientists challenge Food Babe Vani Hari as ‘fearmonger’

| | December 5, 2014

One of the highest-profile of these new food crusaders is Vani Hari, better known by her online moniker, Food Babe. Among her victories: a petition that nudged Kraft to drop the artificial orange color from its mac and cheese, and another one that helped get Subway to do away with the common bread additive azodicarbonamide — which Hari noted was also used in making yoga mats.

To followers on her website and on social media, who are known as the Food Babe Army, Hari is a hero. And with a book and TV development deal in the works, her platform is about to get a lot bigger.

But as her profile grows, so too do the criticisms of her approach. Detractors, many of them academics, say she stokes unfounded fears about what’s in our food to garner publicity. Steve Novella, a Yale neuroscientist and prominent pseudoscience warrior, among others, has dubbed Hari the “Jenny McCarthy of food” after the celebrity known for championing thoroughly debunked claims that vaccines cause autism.

Related article:  Orthorexia: Food Babe's eating disorder

The message of Hari’s campaigns boils down to “this toxic secret thing they are putting in my food is making me [sick],” says John Coupland, a food scientist at Penn State.

“I personally think this is largely a distraction from more real concerns” about the food system, says Coupland. Problems, he says, like advertising aimed at kids, the environmental impacts of food production, food waste and hunger.

Read full, original articleIs The Food Babe A Fearmonger? Scientists Are Speaking Out

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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