Science Babe takes down Food Babe




Some people should not be eating guacamole and drinking espresso, then.

An aside: Even chemists can’t agree how to pronounce things sometimes. Don’t believe me? Ask any two how to pronounce amide or amine. That’s a function of organic chemistry’s strong German roots (hence insanely long chemical compound names) and the way science generally likes to take the two great ancient cultures of Rome and Greece and then smush them together like a child making dolls kiss.


Hari’s rule? “If a third grader can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.”

Quick, let’s test how many can pronounce “dihydrogen monoxide”. Follow that up with “phenylalanine”, “tryptophan”, “methionine”…

If we send a large enough list of exclusions to her, maybe the problem will take care of itself!


Food Babe is totally full of shit. But lets understand, not just critique. The fundamentals of her philosophy are grounded in a well-founded fear and skepticism of the things that we eat that make us fat/sick/unhealthy/etc. - of food over-processed, of science harnessed for artificial tastes and preservation techniques.

So what we have here is a symptom of a deeper illness – that illness being the mistrust of science-y stuf born out of science being harnessed toward ends that don’t help people, but hurt people (and enrich agricultural and food conglomerates that synthesize this).

Food Babe needs to adjust her tactics if she wants to support that goal better, but science communication needs to get better, too - more relevant to people like her, more relevant to people who have some good reasons to be suspicious of “chemicals.”


I’ll bet most people have no idea how to pronounce “wort” either. (Hint, it is more like the wooden leg in Diablo).

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Or pasghettii. . . I mean spaghetti. I always screw that one up.


Food Babe needs to adjust her tactics if she wants to support that goal better

“Food Babe”'s gimmick is entirely rooted in ignorance. There’s no way for her to continue on without losing the carefully cultivated saps she’s accumulated throughout the years.

She has no credentials, no knowledge, she’d have to start over from scratch versus the facebook/snopes forwards she puts forth as fact.


Unfortunately, as per the various links in the article, this is hardly the first such attempt at a “take down” and doesn’t even seem to bring much new to the subject. (I’ll admit that some of her responses suggest that it could be reasonably entertaining to see her attempt to publicly “debate” a proper scientist – far more so than hoary old pieces on evolution or climate change – but it looks like she’s just savvy enough to avoid falling for that trap, at least for now.)

[quote=“ActionAbe, post:3, topic:55063”]Ask any two how to pronounce amide or amine.[/quote]Or unionized!


What do you want, bringing up some arrest record or proof of fraud?

Her proudly-ignorant gimmick doesn’t change, the “teardowns” won’t either, nor will her flock really appreciate them anyway.


No, Food Babe needs to stop profiting off people’s stupidity and change professions, she’s defrauding and harming people with her ‘advice’.

Also the notion that the modern world is fundamentally broken and making everyone sick is complete nonsense, we in the western world are the healthiest humans ever to have lived. Nothing is perfect of course, and there are plenty of things we can do to improve our diets and general health outcomes even more. But this fear mongering conspiracy theory stuff is nonsense.


This is the worst part of what she does. I essentially agree with a lot of what she is attempting to do, however, she is going about it through lies, deception and ignorance. My fears of GMO aren’t that they will give me cancer, but that they will be so strong an organism that we get rid of lesser organisms of the same class to the point we have one tomato, one orange, one whatever. I think the food we have is pretty bland as it is because we have moved to a monocrop culture. And now, we are moving to a monocrop culture held by a single business.

Things like chemicals in food? I know most of this means nothing, but what is so hard with making food from natural crap that doesn’t need these chemicals? Same goes with pestacides…I’ve never used any of this on my gardens, but I’m also not trying to feed a population. I’d be happy if we treated farmers with respect and paid them so they didn’t have to sell their farms to corporations that need to maximize profit.

The food babe has the right idea, but no fucking clue about how to go about it and doesn’t even know how fucking stupid she is, nor is she introspective enough to ever care to find out.


I wonder what she thinks of echinacea.

Or hors d’oeuvres.


Did anyone see the counter-takedown?

Quite calculated, that. The rest of her critics are much less impeachable, but this was a very smart move to help keep her audience.

Herein lies the problem: “Natural” is an artificial construct. Cooking food is a chemical process. Grilling foods generates creosotes that give your food that smoky flavor we tend to crave. I had a professor refer to them as flavor molecules. Creosotes are also carcinogens. Not maybe carcinogens. They are definitely carcinogens. But they’re unavoidable if you cook organic substances to anything approaching doneness.

The issue is never absolute risk. Life is risky. Relative risk is the only responsible paradigm by which to understand these issues.


Do you realise that more pesticides are needed for organic farming than GM farming? Though there’s little-to-no evidence that pesticides are actually damaging anyway, except maybe for bees (which is serious in itself obviously), but the jury is still out on that one too (and the solution to that one if true would simply be ‘use different pesticide’).

Separating “Natural” and “Chemical” is meaningless, asbestos is natural, and one of the most toxic substances known to man. A substance, whether produced by some natural or man-made process is either toxic to people at some given level or it isn’t, how it was produced has no bearing on anything.


Tell you what, I’ll stick with the water, flour and yeast variety and leave the chemical variety to BoingBoing. This is after all the site that famously trumpeted/shilled/reduced-itself-to-advertising-as-news-hack the merits of Starbucks instant coffee…me thinks your tastebuds may be faulty.

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Hope you aren’t using any of the yeasts that are stabilized with chemicals so they don’t die in transit. Or use flour that hasn’t been on a diesel truck to get to you, or drink water that hasn’t been treated with chlorine to keep you from dying from an infection.

Also, freeze drying coffee is a physical process. Not a chemical one. Just sayin’.


Is that a counter-takedown, or doxxing?

Jesus, that’s personal. Holy fuck.


I agree with you. Science is a process. It’s inherently amoral. We’re right to be skeptical of food ingredients, but that skepticism should lead to further investigation, not a shrill public advisory laced with misinformation and supposition.

Someone should tell Food Babe that potassium, used widely in gunpowder and explosives, can also be found in bananas. Or that almonds contain cyanide.