Fitness celebrity Jillian Michaels made headlines when she ridiculed the popular keto diet. She urged people to choose a balanced approach instead of cutting entire food groups from their diets.
But then she made a huge blunder:
“…go organic whenever possible so you’re not getting pesticides and all the processed crap.”-Jillian Michaels, People Magazine, January 2019
Michaels’ organic obsession isn’t new. She often told competitors on The Biggest Loser, a weight-loss competition show, to eat organic. And she obviously didn’t learn anything since then.
But Michaels insistence on organic produce is wrong and dangerous.
Eating conventionally-grown foods isn’t the same as eating pesticides. Any pesticide residue found on produce is negligble. And, even if it wasn’t, organic farmers can–and do–use pesticides too. So her comment doesn’t even make sense.
But Michaels’ casual comments turn people away from eating produce entirely. Research shows that consumers hearing these messages will walk away from eating any produce if they can’t afford the higher-priced organic options. That hits low-income families the hardest. And Michaels’ careless comments only make it worse.
I’ll let my Registered-Dietician and other-qualified friends discuss the Keto diet. But based on the comments I’ve seen, Michaels was probably correct. Yet it brings up an important point: Michaels isn’t really qualified to give this type of advice. She has no nutrition or medical training. She’s simply a fitness instructor. And while she was physically blessed, it doesn’t mean she has all the answers.
Michaels needs to stay in her own lane. And her lane isn’t agricultural production, food safety, or chemistry.