Food Babe: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Food Babe Criticism

March 9, 2015   62 Comments

As a food blogger, I have watched Food Babe’s growing influence with awe.

Look at that woman go! She has millions of readers every month and has convinced huge food corporations to listen to her concerns and change things. For example, Subway stopped using Azodicarbonamide (a dough conditioner also found in yoga mats) in their breads because she managed to get thousands of people to sign a petition against it.

I am definitely supportive of less added ingredients and chemicals in our food, but I wonder what else the Food Babe Army could help us change.

For example, the 9-grain bread at Subway is not 100% whole wheat. Everyone thinks it IS whole wheat because Subway calls it 9-grain - but take one look at the ingredients and you will see that they use wheat flour (not 100% whole wheat flour).

Right there is why Food Babe drives me crazy. Azodicarbonamide is a chemical – yes, that is true. But, I would argue that the amount of it used is very small so it is most likely harmless. On the other hand, crappy bread (eaten on a daily basis) is much more harmful to our health.

What about protesting to get Subway to give us healthier bread and stop misleading consumers?

Food Babe makes a mountain out of a mole hill when there is a mountain standing right there. A big one.

Food Babe isn’t a trained scientist and, frankly, it shows. I am a trained scientist – I don’t flash my Ph.D. in science very often – but I believe that most of the people who think Food Babe is completely wrong are scientists. Her interpretation of scientific work is too simplistic and frequently shows she doesn’t understand scientific methods or how scientists interpret data.

She is the queen of fear mongering about food additives and GMOs and she has used her absolutist stance to build a huge audience.

But her work does some good! I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that her stand against antibiotics in chicken (and her Food Babe Army) helped Chick-Fil-A decide to end its use. McDonald’s just decided to do the same. The CDC has been warning about the growing antibiotic resistance of superbugs and has found that antibiotic use in animals in one of the causes.

Thank you, Food Babe and Food Babe Army!

Many consumers are concerned about potentially harmful chemicals in their food and Food Babe helps them unify their voice into a scream.

I am certainly supportive of changing our food system to get healthier, safer food for generations to come. But, I want those changes grounded in fact and reasonable debate.

She has just been named one of the 50 most influential people on the internet. I would love for her to use that influence to reduce the amount of added sugar in our food, stop marketing junk food to children, stop misleading food marketing, end Lunchables, get more fruits and vegetables to neighborhoods that need them, etc. etc.

What do you think of Food Babe? Please keep it calm on here today.

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First 20 Comments: [ see all 62 ]

And this is exactly why I love YOU, Snack Girl!

on March 9, 2015

I think she has done some good but I agree on the fear mongering. I don't like that she points out ingredients that aren't clear and automatically says they're artificial or GMO. (she also doesn't corroborate a lot of her info and that drives me crazy).

on March 9, 2015

I believe you have some credibility Snack Girl! I think you should have a conversation with her about just the issues you have talked about. There is a lot of work to be done. Congrats to her and to you as well. Keep up the good work.

on March 9, 2015

Lighten up! She's on our side.

on March 9, 2015

Huh. Never heard of her. Seriously.
I follow you... I bought your book... Who is Food Babe? And who cares? You Rock Lisa.

on March 9, 2015

Please do not!!! be modest about your credentials. If I had known about your PhD previously, your words would have had 900% more credibility. Put that PhD on everything associated with what you say, and you will bypass the nonscientists by a mile.

I spent over a decade getting educated and licensed as a psychotherapist. I make sure that people know that they are not dealing with an uneducated quack by adding my credentials to my name as much as possible. I am not bragging, I am clarifying and marketing and justifying my opinions.

Congratulations on your PhD!

on March 9, 2015

I was a part of the Food Babe army until she started getting personal and radical with her adversaries. I got scared and left.

on March 9, 2015

Very well said!

on March 9, 2015

I'm with Pam... never heard of her.

on March 9, 2015

I don't know what Jan is talking about, you are in no need of "lightening up." The tone of this post is completely even-keeled. I completely agree with you and think Dianne had a great idea - reach out to Food Babe and have a conversation.

on March 9, 2015

@Sue I thank you for your comment. My thinking re: Ph.D. that since it is not in nutrition or food science - that it would be misleading to feature it. On the other hand, my degree has taught me how to interpret scientific studies from most specialties especially in the life sciences.
I am not hiding it - but a bit leery of giving the wrong impression.

on March 9, 2015

Thank you Snack Girl!

on March 9, 2015

I sure do appreciate Food Babe trying to get caramel color taken out of all products at supermarket. I get deathly sick from caramel color. I really do not feel safe eating away from my kitchen. Every turkey has caramel color unless I go to health food grocery store for organic fresh. I definitely read information from both of you every day and use information that applies to me.

on March 9, 2015

Add me to the list of "never heard of her," Snack Girl. You food bloggers run in rarified circles, I guess. I love the points you brought up, and hope (along with you) that the biggest issues will receive the spotlight.

on March 9, 2015

Is she ultimately simply another Jenny McCarthy?

on March 9, 2015

I love food Babe's blog. If you are not afraid of what she is saying you should be. It's sad what they are putting in our food and if we all don't fight to make changes we are all going to be sick!

on March 9, 2015

Thank you thank you thank you. From one Massachusetts gal to another!! We are number 1 in Community Supported Agriculture for a reason. Keep up the good work, Snack Girl. This post was thoughtful and well written and just what I've been saying all the while about...this topic. #science

on March 9, 2015

I recently caught her on an episode of the Hallmark Channel Home & Family. She definitely peaked my interest so I took a peek at her website and decided her advice is just too darn hard to follow. I just don't have enough minutes in a day to break down nutrition labels. I think in order for her to approve what you eat, you'd have to grow or raise it yourself without any pesticides, hormones, etc., etc.

on March 9, 2015

I've been a follower of Food Babe. Personally, I'm glad to hear you have legitimate credentials, because I will take the things you post more seriously than I had before. Just one opinion.

on March 9, 2015

Agree with you that some of our bigger and biggest nutritional issues seem to go unnoticed and should be addressed first! then we can deal with the other ingredients that comprise less than 1% of what were eating. Less sugars is ideal starting point.

on March 9, 2015

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