The “Food Babe” Strikes Back At Her Critics

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Oh, there's no doubt about it now: It is on. After being criticized both here and on Gawker for pushing seemingly healthy habits with junk science, Vani Hari (a.k.a. the "Food Babe") has now responded on her own site — here and here. "I want a safer and healthier food system," she says, "and some people want to keep the food system just like it is today — broken, corrupt, and full of unregulated food additives and chemicals that only improve the bottom line of food and biotech companies and not our health."  Related: 4 Health Myths You Need To Stop Believing  From there, Hari goes through many of the points made in the Gawker article, attempting to clarify and reinforce her original claims. For instance, she has this to say about her views on chemicals: My statement that 'There is no acceptable level of any chemical to ingest ever' was taken from my book on page 40 from the section regarding ractopamine and growth hormones. My critics took it out of context (after The Atlantic decided to highlight the quote as a side bar). My point was in the context of hormone mimicking chemicals and growth stimulants. Extremely low levels of compounds that mimic hormones work in the body like hormones. That is why I don’t believe there is any acceptable level of these chemicals to ingest, ever. Certainly reducing all synthetic, artificial chemicals is best, but it is difficult to avoid each and every one of them in all amounts. Related: What To Know About How We Deal With Foodborne Illness Outbreaks But, Hari also spent a considerable amount of words taking aim at the Science Babe, Yvette d'Entremont, whom R29 quoted and who authored the aforementioned essay on Gawker. Hari claims to have received an anonymous tip from a former colleague of d'Entremont, alleging that d'Entremont had been fired after starting her blog and that "she's not a scientist, she's a professional button pressor for a scientific company." Related: 5 Stress-Coping Tips That Actually Work Science Babe's tweet in response speaks for itself:
As usual, Hari comes off as mostly well-meaning, but ill-informed. Once called "the Jenny McCarthy of food," her hopes and dreams for a healthier and safer food system are noble. But, the way there still has to be paved with evidence — and we'll leave that to the actual scientists.

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