I’m not a fan of The Food Babe (you can read my pieces on her here and here). She’s a health hobbyist with a computer science degree who profits from spreading fear and bad information about affordable and easily accessible food, chemicals used to make products and food safer, GMOs, farming, and general progress. As for how she makes a living, well, as Advertising Age reports, its called promoting certain products (the ones she approves of) on her webpage and selling her own “I’m not a nutritionist, but I play one on my Facebook page” diet plan:
“… the Babe is positioned to capitalize on her growing fame with a burgeoning business model that includes making money by referring her loyal readers to several organic and GMO-free food brands via her website.
Under the program, known as affiliate marketing, she often posts editorial content praising these small brands, including links to their sites where readers can purchase the goods. She gets a cut of some of the transactions, according to the rules explained on some of her partners' websites. Ms. Hari also sells "eating guides" for $17.99 a month and charges for speaking appearances.”
And I get called a shill…
There’s no denying The Food Babe’s popularity. As much as that drives me bonkers, she has a loyal fan base and works extremely hard at controlling her image by, for instance, doing things like erasing all critical comments on her Facebook Page (to the point that there’s a group called Banned By The Food Babe) and never taking questions at her public speeches. Smart tactic since she’s absolutely clueless on most of the topics she discusses.
So, for those who follow the Food Babe, I think it’s important one realizes the company she keeps.
Take a look at this recent post at Mercola.com—a well-known conspiracy site (similar to infowars.com) that promotes junk science and spreads false information about health and wellness issues. The site, and its writers, also promote “alternative,” unproven, and sometimes dangerous medical practices. In this latest piece, Mercola.com writer Barbara Loe Fisher says that the recent Measles outbreak is a hoax and she provides a handy how-to guide on avoiding the Measles vaccine for your kids. Isn’t that nice.
Well, guess who likes to hang with the Mercola gang? That’s right, The Food Babe herself. On the Food Babe’s own website (I refuse to provide links to her site but you can find it there quite easily), The Food Babe has a cozy interview with King Alarmist himself, Joseph Mercola, who also profits quite well by freaking out moms about harmless and affordable products. It’s a love match, for sure. The Food Babe even writes of the meeting: “I pretty much squealed in excitement like a little girl.”
Not surprisingly, the Food Babe’s already anti-vax but her endorsement and promotion of Joseph Mercola and his dangerous website is truly irresponsible and puts her firmly in the anti-vax camp.
So, as I’ve said many times before on this site, it’s important to know your sources. Who do you rely on for information on food and health? Do you rely on The Food Babe—a women who supports an anti-vaccine, alarmist website? Or do you choose to rely on the many website and sources that offer serious scientific studies and legitimate medical experts.