[UPDATE 9/17/2014: I can’t believe we’re still discussing this, but Food Babe contacted me again, stating the following:
I never said she was paid by Subway. However, as promised in my last update, I am more than willing to fix it for her. To clarify, the point of my article was not about who was or was not paying Food Babe. Perhaps there was confusion with the “bacon” comment, which I associate with “goods,” but my point really had nothing to do with money. Rather, the article is about how she effectuates “change” by starting a negative public relations campaign against the company until they cave into her demands (“consulting”). My argument is simply that it was foolish for companies to agree to her demands when, just as with Subway, she will turn around and threaten a new negative public relations campaign over and over again. Each time they cave, she walks away looking like the winner/hero/savior. Sorry Vani if I made it sound otherwise. Thanks for letting me know you did not consult with Subway for a fee. However, you did launch a negative public relations campaign against them….twice.]
[UPDATE 9/1/2014: This article is the much talked about article regarding Food Babe. I posted a follow-up here that Food Babe contacted me about this post of being inaccurate and asked me to take it down. I did at first so I could decide how to proceed. After receiving overwhelming support from a variety of sources, I have decided to re-publish this post in its original form. The only difference is a new link which confirms that Vani Hari has, at least once before, been paid for her “consulting” work. You can find the article from the Charlotte Observer here, or within the article. As for the bullying techniques, she also is currently doing the same thing to Starbucks. If she still thinks there is something here that is inaccurate, and demonstrates that to me, I am more than willing to change it and issue an apology. Until then, I’m sure my readers will enjoy.]
…And she’ll take a whole lot more than a mile!
I previously told you about Food Babe here. She’s the computer science major that now blogs and uses talk shows to warn folks about certain brands of food. And while Food Babe’s “army” consists of over half a million people, it turns out that feeding the beast is not all sunshine and lollipops.
It appears this is how Food Babe brings home the bacon (so to speak). Food Babe finds a problem with a company’s product. The company agrees to “consult” with her about the product. Following the “consult,” the company changes their product and Food Babe walks out with a blog post to tell her fans to go ahead and resume consuming. (Vani has admitted that she was paid by Chik-fil-a for her “consulting” work, although she failed to disclose that on her blog posts about the topic. As stated in the update, I do not know if, nor do I claim that, she got paid from any other companies.)
Some call this blackmail or extortion.
Subway fell for the trick the first time Food Babe started calling late last year. She was cranky because Subway was using a chemical called “azodicarbonamide” during the bread-making process. Food Babe called Subway out for it and claimed they were attempting to hide use of the ingredient and pointed out that azodicarbonamide is also used in making yoga mats.
In truth, the chemical is perfectly safe and making bread is a perfectly legitimate use for it. According to Science 2.0:
Azodicarbonamide is a simple cheap chemical, which was first made in 1927. It is used for many things because of exactly one property—when heated it decomposes to a number of gasses, which turn into bubbles and get trapped in the matrix of whatever is being manufactured, giving it a foamy consistency. This is why it is used in bread, yoga mats and hundreds of other things. It is considered to be absolutely safe at low doses.
But science and truth are irrelevant to Food Babe and her “army.” So, Subway caved to Food Babe and agreed to remove the chemical from its bread. Thereby, making Food Babe an advocate and promoter of Subway.
Food Babe has other problems with the chain restaurant. They still sell products made from GMOs and “processed chemicals.” According to Food Babe, that’s a big issue and the reason her followers should continue to avoid eating there.
It seems to me that Subway really got the raw end of the deal here. They gave into Food Babe and she still has problems with the food they serve! Totally not fair.
Here’s the thing: when a company caves to a critic who makes her living inventing food nightmares out of thin air, she isn’t going to be satisfied. Now, she wants more. Changing your recipe was validating her complaint and she’s not about to stop. Sorry Subway, but you haven’t been given the keys to the castle yet. You agreed to change your product based on the absurd fancy of Food Babe and she turned around and slammed the door in your face. Food Babe wants more.
Let this be a lesson to other companies that Food Babe decides to arbitrarily target. Give her an inch, or your prized ingredient, and she’ll keep asking for more.
Sounds like the tactics used by H$U$ and PeTA against agriculture, breeders, pet keeping, zoos, aquariums and marine parks.
Sarah [NurseLovesFar says
Pardon my French, but why can't she just bloody well eat somewhere else? Is she REALLY going to eat at Subway if they go organic and GMO-free? (which they NEVER will). If people want to eat shitty fast food (which I don't think Subway is) then LET THEM. That's why we have choices!
I think what is the biggest concern here is that people are following her in masses with absolutely no proof. It's the blind leading the blind in the worst possible sense and really speaks about our society. It's good that you are calling her out and hopefully it encourages everyone to do their own research and think for themselves.
Do you make money off of those ads in the sidebar? Just wondering 🙂
So, why are they there?
What ads? I don't have any.
Probably to help run the site?Oh… something tells me no one has told you how websites work yet.
I think Subway might be off the hook for the moment, she's currently running a campaign against Starbucks after making a series of really quite bizarre allegations about the contents of one of their beverages.
Yes, and now she's moved on to infant formula….
Actually the infant formula post is a "guest post" written by someone with Masters degrees from Harvard University and Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition. It's also over a year old.
Her name is Charlotte Vallaeys. She has a master degree in THEOLOGICAL STUDIES from Harvard and a master degree in "science" (not sure what that's supposed to mean). According to the biography that Food Babe posted with the article, it appears Ms. Vallaeys makes her living supporting the organic food industry. Maybe if Food Babe is recycling old garbage that means she's running out of material.Nonetheless, "Dr." Oz has a television show and he's still wrong.
Why are some of the things crossed out? Like, "paid her cash to make it all go away" is crossed out?
I suppose some of them don't make sense now that I have an article stating she got paid for "consulting" with Chik-fil-a. Edited. 🙂
Did she get paid to consult for Subway?
She has been paid in the past for her "consulting" work with Chik-fil-a. As stated in the article, we know that she "consulted" with Subway and she is still attacking them.
Oh okay. Your post confused me a bit and made it sound like she was paid by Subway.
Not sure why you got that impression, but I tried to clean up a few sentences, so hopefully it won't sound that way.
Did she consult with Subway? I'm trying to find confirmation of that online and I don't see anything that says she actually consulted with them on anything. Let me know where you got that info pretty please. Thank you!! 🙂
"Consult" was used very loosely and perhaps the subtle double meanings behind it were lost to you. I'm positive you have also missed the point of the article. No worries, I clarified: Subway gave into Food Babe's demands.
Thank you, Farmers Daughter, for your work in helping to keep some sanity in the riga-ma-roll of nonsense that attacks conventional farmers who are just trying to feed the world, earn a living from the land as entrepreneurs in this great country, and keep values of hard work and ingenuity in the forefront of daily living.
I read the Starbucks post where she Saul I'd cattle were fed cheap grai: corn, cotton, alfalfa and soy. Well, corn is a grain, bit the rest are not. And she obviously has no clue what alfalfa is.
Charles McCarville says
I had taken some issue with your use of the word "consultant", but that was because I hadn't read the 5th from last paragraph in the Charlotte ObserverHari has confirmed that she was paid by Chick-fil-A for her work as a consultant on their ingredients after criticizing their recipes as unhealthy. Her Chick-fil-A blogposts do not disclose she was paid. However, she did post a video from a television interview in which she said she had been hired by the company.
Kevin Fields / KAM says
Wait – is Food Babe responsible for Chick-Fil-A recently changing their grilled chicken recipe so that instead of the best grilled chicken sandwich EVER it's now coated with that gross, slimy mesquite BBQ flavoring?? If so I swear I will shut her down!!!!
Thanks for posting!
I sent an e-mail to channel 9, KUSA in Denver asking if they'd like to do an OBJECTIVE review of Vani Hari (Food Babe). I'll let you know if they decide to do so. You can initially post comments on her Facebook page, but if you disagree with her or question her methods, your comments go away and you can no longer post there. She makes it appear she only has supporters of her convoluted, dangerous ideas. Thanks for holding her feet to the fire. I don't usually like lawyers, but I'm with you on this. 🙂
Kelly Tourdot says
I can't take Vani Hari seriously. Her campaign against Starbucks with the Pumpkin Spice Latte and switching to all organic milk options is ridiculous. Anyone with a brain should know that there isn't real pumpkin in the PSL, because real pumpkin isn't edible without adding sugar and other ingredients. Its basis is the Pumpkin Spice flavor, same as what most people use to make their pumpkin pies, if they do it from scratch. As someone who is lactose intolerant, I do appreciate that Starbucks offers soy milk as a substitute at an extra cost. Starbucks could do the same with organic milk – offer it as a substitute for those who want that instead of the standard option.
Laura M says
Real pumpkin isn't edible without sugar? Since when? I use pumpkin and winter squash (same thing) all the time without added sugar. I agree it's not great to use in a beverage, and the drink is called "pumpkin SPICE" which means it has the same spices you'd use in pumpkin pie, and never claims to have pumpkin in it. It does have sugar, so your argument about having a brain to see that there wouldn't be pumpkin without sugar doesn't make any sense at all.
Any individual who maintains an "army" should be viewed with suspicion. I try to stay positive and tell myself that humanity is ever so slowly moving away from such idolatry and will eventually laugh people like Vani out of the room when they start whinging on about their latest "crusade". We're not there yet, but maybe in a generation or two… for the sake of my daughter I sure hope so!
I think the fraud broad suffers from the Dunning–Kruger effect.
100% agree with the "Dunning-Kruger effect in her case. Arrogance is also a distinct possibility.
I posted previously about "Food Babes" propensity for removing comments from her site that she doesn't like. Here are a few I copied to a Word file BEFORE she deleted them. "Have you ever studied science or do you just rely on word of mouth?""Demand full disclosure.how much cash is food babe raking in with every endorsement?"Posted on Food Babe 9/5/14 about 4:45 pm mdt by Jeffrey Daniel Mathany• Chemicals are not in everything. Such a defeated attitude. Common now, if you're living right then everything you do cures cancer." 9/6/2014 1045a mdt Jeff DuhonThey disappeared in less than two hours. She does NOT tolerate ANY questioning of her philosophy or actions. You disagree..you ARE gone. Only "rah! rah" comments are left untouched. My critical comments were also obliterated.
Well, I'll admit that I don't necessarily blame her for this. I also do not allow comments that violate my Comment Policy either on the blog or on Facebook. I refuse to create a platform for anti's to use. However, I am more than welcome to having a discussion about the things I post and don't mind some friendly disagreement.
Green Girls Don' says
I agree with Sara. I mean, people don't get thin and healthy from eating bread and lunch meat, regardless of GMOs or the yoga mat chemical. Also, she had an affiliate link on her blog for a company that sold products with the very chemicals she is against! If you are going to make a company change their way, then support that company. If not, leave it alone and suggest that others just don't eat that kind of food anyway!