Sunday, January 10, 2016

Why I Defected from the Food Babe Army...

I was originally going to post this as a comment on Food Babe's Facebook page as a response to an Army Member's long rant about how he doesn't understand why so many people dislike her. Needless to say, it became so long that I decided that if I'm going to put this much work into a comment for it to just be deleted, I might as well earn a little money from it by making it into a blog post on my own site. I can be a bit long winded sometimes.

For those of you that don't know who Food Babe is, she is a popular blogger that used to post about things that are wrong with the food system in the US. I used to follow her until I started to notice things that I didn't like. I'm still one of her million plus numbers on her Facebook page but I watch her, laugh at her tactics because I see right through them and on occasion, I post under another Facebook account about her misinformation. I'm one of those people that she accuses of being a PR troll when in actuality I'm a real person that is really tired of the lack of transparency on both sides of the movement but especially when it comes to corporations that are posing as activists pushing their own agenda at the detriment of the movement and the people that follow them. I think it is shameful for someone to go to her for help and she responds with suggesting they buy her eating guide or her book or one of her affiliate products, but she's not in it for the money. I'm calling her out on her bullshit, encouraging current Food Babe Army members to read this, actually think for themselves and make their own decision based on the evidence that I'm presenting.
The food system in the US IS messed up but there are real activists out there that are willing to help you without taking your money. If you have to buy the information, you are dealing with a corporation, not a true activist. I'll post links at the bottom to some pages that I suggest you really follow because they ARE transparent with their messages and their income. If they are making anything off of what they are presenting to you, you'll know it up front.

On to the post... --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't hate Food Babe. I used to follow her relentlessly until I noticed things that I really don't like. When a follower asks a legitimate question or points out that the information presented is wrong, they are banned and that's not right. Not everyone is a PR troll as she calls them. I'm a real person with real concerns here. The reason why people are trolled whenever they post something from her is because of her well earned reputation. Others involved in this movement (the real activists for food change) are very well aware of who she is. Other actual people seem to have distanced themselves from her. I wonder why? If I were to mention Food Babe to anyone involved in the food movement here locally, they would laugh me out of the building.

In her most recent Facebook video, when she's reading the comments from the Boar's Head Facebook page, someone pointed out that she's an LLC and she said, and I quote, "This is ridiculous. Am I really a corporation? Give me a break." It's right there in the video below, look for yourself. The answer is really yes, Food Babe IS a corporation. Someone posted the paperwork on the Boar's Head Facebook page with the link to the South Carolina office where it is registered. She is a corporation. Corporations are in the business of making money, hence the $17.99 a month for the eating plan and consistent pushing for you to order that plan, the constant mentioning of buying her book and the website full of affiliate links. When was the last 24 hour period that you didn't see a post or comment of her selling something?  

video  


Food Babe, LLC listed as a travel, food, health, wellness author and blogger.


For someone that cares and is presenting themselves as an activist, she sure does give the impression of being a corporation to the core. I have NO issue with someone making money, I like money too. My issue is that her tactics are no different that the companies that are being attacked by you at her bidding. There's no transparency when it comes to her motive to do this, money and a lot of it. Eating guide @ $17.99 a month with over 1 million followers. If only 1,000 people buy into the guide, that's $17,990.00 a MONTH. (No wonder she pushes that one so hard.) Don't deny the blatantly obvious. She's selling you stuff through internet marketing disguised as activism and that's wrong. I used to buy into it too until I started to pay attention to the pattern then started seeing the denials. She should be honest (transparent) with her followers and she's not.  

There's a right way to approach these companies to ask for change and a wrong way and this is the wrong way, but it's the best way for making money for Food Babe LLC. All it does when people do what they are asked to do is prove her clout for her advertisers so she can make more money. Companies will listen to their customers. It happens all the time but terrorizing a Facebook page is not the way to do it. The Boar's Head campaign will get no where because it wasn't handled correctly. Subway was a double "win" because those things were already in the works to begin with. Campbells is up to something, time will tell because they didn't add that small wording to their labels because they are feeling all warm a fuzzy inside. The same people sending cutesy hand written thank you notes because she said to do it (increasing the clout rating for advertisers) are the people that won't be buying their soup so really, what's the purpose of doing that? Clout. Pure and simple. The woman is a marketing genius, not a food movement activist.  

I will probably be banned and this comment deleted because she doesn't take the truth about what she does very well at all when it is pointed out. Or, she'll use this comment as an example of how she's always the "victim" of PR trolls, which I am not and my Facebook page can show you that, but this has been a long time coming and this ridiculous attack on Boar's Head (that's a no-follow link) was the final straw for me. The objective kept changing as the accusations were proven wrong. It's processed meat and anyone that knows anything about a healthy diet knows that processed anything is garbage food that shouldn't be eaten to begin with. The only way for them to clean up the meat is to not sell it at all because cured meats will never be clean, and that's not going to happen. If the Army here were properly educated on the food movement and healthy eating, they would already know that fact and no one would have been buying it to begin with or feeding any kind, organic or not, of processed meat to their children. I was horrified to see the suggestions for "alternatives" to Boar's Head, other processed meat, but those suggestions have affiliate programs. Shameful!!  



(These are affiliate links for Amazon but please do not buy this meat!)


Kol Foods affiliate program information.  They too ship meats for your convenience.

Activism is supposed to be educating people so they can make the right decision, to not buy it. Corporations (including Food Babe, LLC) will only change when the money stops rolling in because people stop buying their products. That's how it works and that's real activism. I shouldn't have to waste my time helping to clean up the credibility of what we are doing because of a corporation posing as an activist. I encourage her to come clean with her followers on her corporation status and the fact that she is making a lucrative income off of the backs of the very people she is claiming to help... by telling them to buy her eating guide and selling them expensive organic products that sometimes contain the very ingredients that she says will make you sick.  

Follow these pages instead. They are 100% transparent on when they are selling you something and will actually give you advice on how to eat healthier instead of using you as a minion to do their bidding to prove their clout to their advertisers. I'm sorry but you've been duped into buying something that you were never really looking for to begin with.






 Nourished Kitchen



You'll see an immediate difference in what you learn because these pages are run by activists and not corporations.


32 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your epiphany! I would copy this to Food Babe's FB page but sadly (?) I have already been added to the enemies list. Actually the fact she has a banned list should have been your first clue as to what she is doing - someone who is campaigning for transparency not to tolerate dissention in her own page is incredibly ironic.

    Ultimately you're right though. It IS all about the money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Banning was one of the first red flags for me. Yes, it sure is all about the money!

      Delete
  2. Cashing in my ban chip to post this to her wall. Well written, glad you've seen through her guise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm sure my banning is coming in the morning.

      Delete
  3. Ugh, somehow she's been able to stop this link from being shared on her blog.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This was a (or would have been of you didn't get a ban)fantastic piece Lanie.That was a real baffling "campaign" in regards to the processed meat thing as i thought majority of FB advocates are vegan?
    I'm vegetarian myself so why would i care about ingredients in food i hate???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The followers are a wide variety of dietary preferences. I've seen vegans and vegetarians on her page. You bring up another excellent point as to why would you care about ingredients in food that you hate, I agree with that. If it is something that you (I don't mean YOU, I mean as in anyone) won't eat anyway, why should you care? My thought has always been that if I don't want to eat it, I just don't, but I would NEVER try to take away something that someone else likes to eat simply because I don't like it or don't agree with it. Unfortunately not everyone sees it that way.

      Thank you for commenting!

      Delete
  5. This was a (or would have been of you didn't get a ban)fantastic piece Lanie.That was a real baffling "campaign" in regards to the processed meat thing as i thought majority of FB advocates are vegan?
    I'm vegetarian myself so why would i care about ingredients in food i hate???

    ReplyDelete
  6. The 100 Days of Real Food blogger and Food Babe used to be BFFs. She posted Food Babe's "investigations" regularly, and pictures of them together. That's one of the reasons I stopped following 100 Days of Real Food. Has she kicked Food Babe to the curb?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know her personally so I have no idea if they still talk but I can say that I looked for a specific comment to use on the write up that was posted on the 100 Days Facebook page that had to do with Food Babe, LLC and it had been deleted. Nothing has been posted on 100 Days of Real Food that mentions Food Babe, LLC since early in 2015. I don't know if the intent was to distance or not but my opinion from what I observed is that it is possible that the intent was to create a distance. I chose to mention her because I like her transparency, the way she presents her info (no fear mongering) and her recipes are for food that a lot of people will actually eat because the ingredients are what I would call normal.

      Hopefully that helps answer your question, thank you for commenting!

      Delete
  7. You make some good points here but I would like to point out that just because she's motivated by money or anything else doesn't mean that what she's saying is wrong. Doesn't mean it's all correct either. I've found out a lot of useful information from her and signed many of her petitions and I've never given her a single penny. You don't have to throw out everything she does just because she wants to push her products. Lots of people do that. It's ok to use the good parts and reject the bad. No one is "all bad" or "all good" all the time. So even if her motivations are suspect she has still helped to accomplish some positive changes in the food world so maybe she deserves a little credit and not just criticism. She's no better or no worse than anyone else in this space. We all have an "agenda"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Robert,

      Next time you sign a petition, please take a moment and read the fine print.

      I'm curious about the positive things that you are talking about? What has that company done that is positive? Don't get me wrong, I do try to see the positive in people and companies but I'm really struggling with seeing how this company is having a positive impact on educating people and making a positive difference in the food movement. I see a large group of people where the majority of participants are under educated about the basics like GMO's and chemical use with no effort to educate, scared of things that are really harmless, misinformed and are afraid of their food that are being led by a company that they believe is an activist to do things that are unethical and damaging to the movement. Please help me correct that if it is in fact a misconception.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Delete
  8. Technically, an LLC is a different kind of entity from a corporation, but there's a hell of a lot of overlap.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree with RG - you make some great points. The thing that strikes me from this post is your thoughts on her trying to get revenue from followers. Capitalism isn't a bad thing. Her receiving money for providing auxiliary information isn't criminal. As others have said - I have never paid FB 1 cent, nor do I plan to. (I also don't pay for phone apps or pay full price for shoes.) It doesn't mean other people do. Do I think what FB says is the only reason Kraft Mac&Cheese took Red Food Dye out of their boxes? No, and the same for Campbells. What's making these huge corporations change is the $$$s they are losing from consumers who are now understanding they have the real power. So many people have started this "movement" of food change, it's just a chain reaction. God bless her that she helps a portion of the world that isn't getting the knowledge from anywhere else. What I like about FB is she makes people think of something that IS important - what is in their food. I eat everyday, my kids do, my coworkers do, so eating some of the items on her "I can't believe xxx is putting yyy into zzz" list happen. Does it mean I go burn down my local xyz restaurant...no...but it gives me pause. A helpful pause to reflect that voting with our dollars in important, even if it's just for a sandwich. With regard to being a LLC, my husband is a realtor and is an LLC. It doesn't mean that suddenly you are looking to be Donald Trump, it is just an avenue to pay for company expenses, taxes, and even health care. If FB throws in some revenue from book sales, etc. - then God Bless America. From my knowledge you have to have a much different corporation when you really start generating big income.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that capitalism is not a bad thing, I like money too. I don't like a company that sends people out to attack another company's Facebook page, disrupt that business, accuse them of something that is not true to set themself up for making money. I sincerely doubt that the meat affiliate links will go up now after what happened on the Boar's Head Facebook page but we'll see, only time will tell.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Delete
  10. She has said that before she posts her articles she does go to the company privately and asks them about her concerns and waits for a response. But they ignore her and don't give one. I have tried to contact companies independly myself about concerns Ive had with ingredients in the food and they just ignore me. So I personally don't have any problem with her giving people a voice, especially for companies that will otherwise just ignore you when you ask about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Danielle,

      I've never had any issues with contacting a company and getting the information that I wanted on ingredients unless it is proprietary information. I can't call Kentucky Fried Chicken and expect them to give me the ingredient list of their 11 herbs and spices, as an example.

      My opinion would be that it is possible that reputation and credibility have become factors and that unfortunately harms the movement and is one of the reason why I spoke up. Credibility and reputation carry a lot of weight and when that slips, phone calls aren't always returned. Google the company and it will reveal the reputation and it's not good. I definitely would not tell any company that I was a member of the Food Babe, LLC Army if I called to ask questions or voice my concerns.

      When a company sends individuals to disrupt a business page on Facebook, it is not giving people a voice. It is giving a group of individuals a reputation for being bullies and disruptive. The end result is that the company will ignore their concerns. I for one do not want to carry that reputation because it could be damaging to my work. Example: remember Land O' Lakes? Still not organic. Still using conventionally sourced milk. Still selling butter. Boar's Head will be no different because of the way it was handled and the inaccurate accusations that were made.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, I really do appreciate it!

      Delete
    2. Hello Danielle,

      I've never had any issues with contacting a company and getting the information that I wanted on ingredients unless it is proprietary information. I can't call Kentucky Fried Chicken and expect them to give me the ingredient list of their 11 herbs and spices, as an example.

      My opinion would be that it is possible that reputation and credibility have become factors and that unfortunately harms the movement and is one of the reason why I spoke up. Credibility and reputation carry a lot of weight and when that slips, phone calls aren't always returned. Google the company and it will reveal the reputation and it's not good. I definitely would not tell any company that I was a member of the Food Babe, LLC Army if I called to ask questions or voice my concerns.

      When a company sends individuals to disrupt a business page on Facebook, it is not giving people a voice. It is giving a group of individuals a reputation for being bullies and disruptive. The end result is that the company will ignore their concerns. I for one do not want to carry that reputation because it could be damaging to my work. Example: remember Land O' Lakes? Still not organic. Still using conventionally sourced milk. Still selling butter. Boar's Head will be no different because of the way it was handled and the inaccurate accusations that were made.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, I really do appreciate it!

      Delete
  11. Helena, well done on working this out for yourself. There are lots of us who were just banned for pointing out errors, inaccuracies, or lies. I am currently a biology student at university, and posted a polite rebuttal to an 'attack dog' call out of hers... banned!

    I must also point out to you that 'all processed meat is junk' is just not correct. Much or what Boar's Head and others do, such as hams, salamis etc, have been made and consumed for centuries, with no ill effects. Cooking and spicing is often all that has occurred (often just with salts). It is about the quantities that are eaten in the US, as some of the longest-living, healthiest individuals are Greeks and Italians who have eaten cooked/spiced (naturally preserved) meats for millennia (in moderation!!)...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Terry,

      Thank you. The banning is one of the first things that I noticed that I didn't like. PLEASE post your link to that article, I'd really love to read it.

      I do eat processed lunch meat in moderation and I mean a few times a year only. Bacon on the other hand is a weakness but who doesn't like bacon? :) We actually cured our own ham this past summer for Christmas using salt, brown sugar and paprika and it turned out lovely. I'm currently looking into just how bad it really is and if I should amend my thought on that after a few people have brought a few things to my attention that I didn't know. That's the beauty of an open dialog and discussion. You never know what you might learn!

      Thank you for reading and commenting! I do appreciate it.

      Delete
  12. Ugg. You were so on point but had to end with cured meats are so unhealthy. Basically, Food Babe without the profit motive. Tell a starving person they can't have a sandwich because it's unhealthy. Cured meats have nutrients. No particular food item should be a base for a diet. Have some deli meat. Have some veggies. Have a taco. Have some fruit. But as long as you label Boar's Head as toxins like Vani does, you are barely different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with the person that posted the comment about how you chose to comment that cured meats and deli meats are not healthy. You have only your opinion here and that opinion is not accurate!

      Delete
    2. So if a starving child ate cured meats, he'd die?

      Delete
    3. Anon- Only an evil Nazi would deny a starving person food of any kind, I really hope you know that. I am far from an evil person. If all I had available was processed meat, that's what they would get, but they always get something. You obviously don't know this, unless you know me, but I do give away a LOT of food every year to people that need it. I'm not talking about donating to a pantry either.

      I do agree with the everything in moderation. The part in the write up about processed meat being unhealthy was to show the hypocrisy. If you are going to sell food guides that push an organic/non-GMO diet then where does processed meat fit into that equation? It doesn't unless you can vilify a company and then sell the competition for a kick back. The diet that is promoted over there is supposed to steer people away from food like that.

      Bacon- So you are saying that a processed, cured meat is healthy? Do you mean like fresh veggie healthy or one step up above dog food healthy? On a side note, I do love you and do still eat you in moderation.

      Anon- No, if a starving child ate cured meats, the cured meats would not cause the child to die unless the meat was contaminated to cause some sort of food poisoning.

      BTW- I'm nothing like Food Babe, LLC. If I were, the first thing I would have done was delete your comments then I'd accuse you of being paid shills or corporate PR employees because you have a different opinion than I do on the healthiness of processed meat. :)

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Delete
  13. I'd love to read this, but it's too damn hard to read. Can you please just make it black letters on a white background?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rebecca-

    I just changed it for you. I do like that much better! Hopefully you'll be able to read it now. Please let me know, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your next step Lanie, is to read The Fear Babe and see just how deep the lies go. Most armchair activists are being manipulated by canny businesses like Food Babe and anywhere that sells "organic" or "GM free" products. This has come about because food is so easy to obtain and yet so easy to surround with a climate of fear.

    Sure, there ARE things out there that are bad for us. Sugar and salt are two things that are used widely in in junk food. Beyond those, most things are completely safe in moderation. MSG and aspartame and many times safer for our health that sugar and salt but because they're "new" they are easily demonised.

    Congratulations on staring to see the light but this is only the start!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've REALLY been wanting to read that. I read the first chapter the day it was made available online and it really caught my attention. It's funny you mention it because I bought it last night and am just waiting for it to arrive.

      I've been looking at both sides of the debate for quite a while now. I also follow Chow Babe and have for over a year. I don't remember how I found that page but I'm glad I did. I shared her page with some of my friends (I recognize your name and want to say it's from that page?) I've learned more about food, food safety and fear mongering from that page than I'd sometimes like to admit. That's how I knew so quickly that this had been shared there, I saw it when I went to the page. I don't usually comment, I just read.

      I'm learning. My views are a lot different now than they were even this time last year. I was literally becoming afraid of food and it was because of pages like Food Babe, LLC. No one should ever be afraid of food! That's another reason why I wrote this. I know that if it did that to me, it has done it to others and if I can stop the fear based brain washing of just one person then it was worth it.

      I completely agree. Moderation. Even things that are seen as unhealthy are ok in moderation. Heck, I had Long John Silvers for dinner last night and that only happens a few times a year because it's not healthy but since I don't eat it all the time, it's not going to kill me either.

      Thank you so much for commenting and reading!

      Delete
  16. Thank you for writing and posting this.

    I became aware of her during her campaign against cellulose. She called for a ban of cellulose from food. This is absolutely ridiculous considering plants are made up of cellulose. Then she went after beer manufacturers for supposedly not posting ingredients on their websites, when in fact they do and always have. Her attack on Subway was textbook fear-mongering and chemphobia. And the absolute piece de resistance for me was her stating that the dose does not make the poison. She claims that the entire field of toxicology (in which she has no training) is wrong.

    She is willfully and proudly ignorant of the very subject she cashes in on. She deliberately misleads people so that they'll click on her links and buy her food guide, book, and affiliate-linked products. This isn't activism. From my own experience in blogging I can see that there is a ton of money to be made with affiliate links and a specific message promoting organic and anti-GMO. Aside from cash and a boatload of free samples what would that get me? A huge conflict of interest. No thanks. In the end that would be far more trouble than it's worth. In fact my blogs are completely ad-free to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

    Food Babe will continue to mislead people in search of the almighty dollar. Keep on calling out her errors and conflicts of interest. Even though she's gaining followers every day, hopefully messages like yours will get through to some. People need to stop wasting hard-earned money on the food equivalent of an 80's era televangelist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should add that, yes, she banned me on facebook and twitter some time ago. On facebook it was because I corrected her chemistry with regards to 4-Mel and pointed out that the Mayard reaction is what makes "golden brown and delicious" golden brown and delicious. She replied something about it causing cancer (you'd have to consume basically your body weight of it for some time for that) and banned me.

      On twitter she banned me because I joined with the Kansas Farm Bureau in demanding she visit a production scale farm in the US with the hashtag #VisitAFarmFoodBabe. Naturally, she refused, banned everyone (including the Kansas Farm Bureau) and has only blogged about visiting small subsistence-scale organic farms (including Vandana Shiva's) overseas.

      Delete

Say want you want but be nice or be gone. :)