The Food Quack

The food grifter, Vani Hari, has a new grift working. According to her website she targeted Chick -fil-A for her latest shake down. Chick-fil-A is a private company so we’ll never know how much money changed hands. The company may have been willing to give her a press release she can post on her website. This is the sort of thing that gets the suckers buying her crap and reading her website.

Vani is mostly an attention whore hoping to parlay her quackery and exotic looks into TV gigs. She certainly knows nothing about food science, based on the nonsense she posts on her site. But, almost everything to do with diet is nonsense, so she is unremarkable in that regard. The Standard America Diet, as promoted by the government, is quackery. This from her latest post on bread:

Bread is a really hot topic and is targeted as the root of many health problems. Overall, bread gets a bad reputation because grains are not easy for your body to digest, can overwork your pancreatic enzymes, contain the anti-nutrient phytic acid and an abundance of dreaded gluten. Also, our wheat crops in this country have been through some serious genetic manipulation to make them profitable for the food industry and less healthy for us.

First off, grains are no more or less easy to digest than anything else. There are things in food our body does not break down. These are passed our system. Second, there is no such thing as “overwork your pancreatic enzymes.” She just made that up or thought it sounded scary and decided to borrow it. The real knee slapper is “contain the anti-nutrient phytic acid and an abundance of dreaded gluten.”

Every food huckster latches onto scare words and throws them around to sound sincere. Anti-nutrients are in all of our food. Cooking breaks them down, making it easier for us to absorb nutrients from food. I bet she thinks “anti-nutrient” means it actually takes away nutrients from our system. More precisely, she probably thinks the gullible fools she targets will fall for it.

Taking advantage of people’s fears is a staple of the snake oil salesman, whether it involves, snakes, oil or a combination of the two. The person peddling compliments or some magic health formula is subtly playing on the natural fears people have for disease or aging. Most of it is hamless, but a pest like Vani, however, can cause real damage. Her shakedown of Chik-fil-A is a good example.

During my meeting with them back in October 2012, we discussed a laundry list of concerns I had with their menu items – everything from MSG in their famous sandwich, to artificial food dyes, to TBHQ, and GMOs. During our discussion in their boardroom, they asked me to prioritize the list of requests. I told them eliminating artificial food dyes would be a quick change to implement, but my number one request on the list was to provide safer and more sustainable chicken that is raised without antibiotics and GMO feed.

Even though they are not going fully organic or non-GMO, this commitment is significant. This will help to reduce the common practice of using antibiotics to quickly fatten chickens and keep them “healthy” in unsafe conditions. This is important because the more we use antibiotics in our environment, the less impact they will have on us when it comes to treating certain superbugs. The widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed is responsible for creating new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, that could, frankly, wipe out the human race if we don’t start doing something about it now.

It’s rather obvious that the Chick-fil-A executives have learned a lesson from dealing with the Gay Liberation Army.  The simple answer is to just buy off these people, which is how people like Jesse Jackson got rich. That’s what Chick-fil-A is doing here. They are buying her off with some cheap publicity, that they can then use to promote themselves as the good guys. It’s just another scam in this low-trust society.

3 thoughts on “The Food Quack

  1. Enjoy your stuff. Question about this bit:

    “Antibiotics keep millions of Americans alive. Instead of getting wiped out by the flu ever decade, we get the runs for a few days or an excuse to stay home and make a long winter weekend.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the flu a virus towards which antibiotics are ineffectual?

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