An Open Letter to Food Babe

Posted 03/10/14 in [Stop the Nutrition Insanity!] | 6 Comments

Dear Food Babe,

{SIGH} It’s happened again. Someone is scaring the pants off of people regarding food, and it’s you.

One of my friends recently posted a link to your bread page on your Food Babe site on their Facebook page. As a diplomaed Nutrition Professional with a concentration on alternative therapies, I actually agree with a lot of what your points are about food. However, something got my proverbial goat and my “Nutrition Nazi” radar started beeping.

In this blog, you have boxes that show certain brands of bread with their ingredients. At the top of these Screenshot taken from the site on 3/8/2014.  All rights for this image belong to is the title, Avoid This Bread At All Costs. (emphasis mine)

Now remember, I agree with many of the things you are citing in these boxes and for the reasons you offered. But here’s the problem: language like that equates these ingredients to immediate, life-threatening danger. And while there is vast justification about working to get these additives out of foods for the general population’s welfare, eating that specific ingredient actually will not make you die in that moment. Sorry. It won’t. It might cause terrible health issues in the future; it might perpetuate a chronic condition. But I take issue with the importance you have placed on these ingredients as a grave, immediately-lethal threat.

In other words, do I want to avoid azodicarbonamide, a preservative that has recently been paired with the yoga mat in the media? Absolutely. Do I think that it should be removed from food? You bet. But a hierarchy exists in life, and EVERYTHING can’t take first priority. This is why I wrote the Patty Perfecteater analogy blog post.

I can actually think of quite a few things everyday I am going to “Avoid at All Costs,” over azodicarbonamide:

  • Hating someone
  • Yelling at my children
  • Bubonic Plague
  • Ebola
  • Getting in a car accident
  • Lying to a loved one
  • Any other sort of intentional deception
  • Intentionally offending someone
  • Getting stabbed, shot, or hung
  • Hedgehogs (long story…)

See, life isn’t about keeping a million plates of “dos” and “don’ts” spinning. Life is equally about wisely enjoying the ride in the body that carries us around and also keeping healthy in our relationships and inner self.

With great respect, Food Babe, here’s the deal: how about you dial down the language so people start listening to your really important words? As you continue to brand yourself, and get your wise words (I mean that sincerely) out about voting with your dollars and becoming active in causes that represent really bad stewardship of the earth, how about you remember that most people will hear you because you have successfully branded yourself and trust you? (Read your subscriber’s comments…you will see “I trust Food Babe” repeatedly.) These people deserve to be respected as the earnest, hard-working, making-ends-meet-as-best-they-can-and-will-spend-that-money-however-you-say friends they are. And–as far as I know–I have never scared the pants off of any of my acquaintances or friends to make my point.


A Fellow Lover of Nutrition


  • Kathleen Kern says:

    Do not fear the hedgehogs. Just keep them off your yoga mat. And out of your bread.

  • Carolyn says:

    The hedgehogs might eat the yoga mat, thus perpetuating the problem with the preservative! Thanks for the comment, Kathleen!

  • Richard Kern says:

    Carolyn: A nice, judicious and well-balanced position.

    • Carolyn says:

      Why, thank you! High praise coming from you!

  • Caitlin says:

    Love the comment about the “Nutrition Nazi” radar! Ha! But in all seriousness, I agree that you really have to be careful with your language when it comes to talking nutrition and particular foods. Being to extreme with your words just creates fear rather giving people new, helpful knowledge.

    • Carolyn says:

      That is a great observation, Caitlin. Thanks for your thoughts. Don’t want to get in the way of the message, right?

Verified by MonsterInsights