Monday, May 5, 2014

Stop Believing Bull****; Follow This Guide! (Bonus "Food Babe" debunking)

The following guide was found on io9 via The Last Word on Nothing.

It is easy to stop believing in bull****. After all, bull**** doesn't spread by itself. Someone have to believe the bull**** to pass it on. I've slightly reworded the original

0. Assuming anything any one told you is bull**** unless disproven (by following)
1. Who is telling me "this"?
2. How does s/he know "this"?
3. Given #1 and #2, could s/he be wrong?
4. If yes, maybe, or "I dunno", find UNRELATED source that says the same thing, then apply the SAME TEST  (Go to 1)
5. If you got here, answer to 3 must be "pretty f***ing unlikely". 

Congratulations. You now have something that may not be bull****.


Remember: just because someone says something that "makes sense" doesn't mean it's true.

Let us take a recent example... Vani Hari, i.e. "Food Babe" rant about some chemical that she claims was used to make yoga mats. That's NOT TRUE. The chemical, which makes harmless bubbles, *can also be used* to make yoga matts, which is bubble foam. She knows nothing about science or food safety. She's selling her looks (calling herself "Food Babe", eh) and trying to parlay her followers into spreading misinformation. That is just plain STUPID.

Let's apply the test... Should you believe Food Babe's warning about azodicarbonimide in Subway's sandwich bread?

1) Who is tell you this? "Food babe", who knows something about organic food, but not science.

2) How does she know that? And want you to stop eating the bread? No idea.

3) Oh, yes, she certainly could be wrong

4) Any research would have shown you that her two claims, that a) the chemical is used to make yoga mats, and b) the chemical is harmful to humans are both actually IRRELEVANT. The chemical has multiple uses, and the chemical is all used up during baking leaving nothing to be ingested. The alleged harm is for breathing in the raw chemical, which is NOT present in bread.

The only sources that cite Food Babe are either repeating her claim, citing Subway (we don't know what's the big deal but we're removing it), or finding other bread makers who also use this chemical, or finding yet MORE scary chemicals (most of which are just as badly researched as this one).

Thus, Food Babe's rant about azodicarbonimide is bull****.

If you check out Food Babe a bit more, you'll find that she also believes a lot of other kooky stuff like "microwave poisons your food" and "don't vaccinate your children".

What's even funnier, in April, "Food Babe" managed to screw up another "outrage" by claiming free cookies at the Marriott contains "anti-freeze" ingredient. Sounds scary... until you actually Google the ingredient. The ingredient in the cookie is propylene glycol. What's in common green anti-freeze is ETHYLENE glycol.

Now it's clear that "Food Babe" basically looks for "scary looking ingredients" in common food items and then manufactures an OUTRAGE! That's one reason I call her a meme terrorist (aka fear monger).

So stop spreading bull****, even if it's spread by beautiful people like Food Babe.

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  1. ok, so who the f wants to consume chemicals in your food anyway? It doesn't matter if it gets supposedly cooked off or not. The point is there shouldn't be any chemicals or preservatives added into our food for any reason, especially without letting the public know. I wouldn't eat that crap. And do you even know what propylene glycol is? Its a chemical that is used as a food preservative. It's your business if you want to eat chemicals. For those of us who don't, we appreciate being informed about companies, restaurants, and products that have chemicals of any kind added to them. As they are not "natural" and "from nature". As for the yoga mats, again I don't want to lay on or breathe any chemical that may off-gas while I'm doing yoga. That is just silly. We appreciate the information. I'm guessing you don't do yoga anyway, or you might understand this. Give the Food Babe a break... and the rest of us too!

    1. She said antifreeze, I call bull****.

      You clearly lack the actual "logic". The "chemical" makes harmless carbon dioxide bubbles, the same stuff that makes bubble in BREAD, the whole "gist" of the complaint. You're exhaling carbon dioxide every second. You're not breathing in any chemicals from yoga mats except in your direst imaginations.

      You appreciate being informed about HYSTERIA such as how a plane can fall from the sky onto your house and such improbably threats laced with scary sounding chemical named, delivered by someone called "food babe". That's your right, but don't try to claim it's NORMAL or even SANE.

    2. Ok genius. Guess you don't research much. Funny that you rant so much to de-bunk information and then I look up propylene glycol on wikipedia and can clearly see what she was saying. Specifically, Water-propylene glycol mixtures dyed pink to indicate the mixture is relatively nontoxic are sold under the name of RV or marine antifreeze. Propylene glycol is frequently used as a substitute for ethylene glycol in low toxicity, environmentally friendly automotive antifreeze (such as Sierra, Prestone Low Tox, and Texaco PG). It is also used to winterize the plumbing systems in vacant structures. Propylene glycol and ethylene glycol are very closely related. Although propylene glycol is classified as somewhat safe in very small amounts, in large amounts it is completely toxic. I guess for you, that's fine to consume and add to foods or whatever you are ingesting. For many people paying attention to how our bodies re-act to any chemical in food, it's not ok. That's why we read labels and ask to be informed of things that are added to foods, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, sunscreen, bug sprays, etc. Chemicals are chemicals. No getting around that. Again, with the yoga mats. There are some yoga mats that I've been around that do off-gas from the chemicals used to make them. You can't get around that one... Do you do yoga? Have you ever smelled different yoga mats? Some are natural latex and some use chemicals to make them, bind them together or what have you. Some of them off-gas and are toxic to breathe. No matter what you may think you know, until you go around testing out your theory, you really can't know it all. And just so you know, I have no idea about what you say about planes falling from the sky onto my house? And don't buy into HYSTERIA information. If I hear something that is interesting to me, ie about food additives in something that I may have eaten at one point in my life, I'm gonna research it to figure out if it is a legitimate concern. For these you've tried to "de-bunk" I researched and have legitimate concerns. Glad you feel you can "categorize" anyone with an opinion differing from yours, but maybe next time do a little more research yourself before jumping on the anti-"food babe" wagon or whatever it may be. And as for the food babe. She is only human after all. People are not perfect. Sometimes someone might make a mistake in something they are talking about, that's ok. Hopefully that person can realize and correct it. As for chemicals of any kind in foods, I know I want to know about them and so many people my family knows do as well. Information is power. Peace and healthiness to you.

    3. Maybe you need to ask the real question: how many of those Marriott cookies would you have to eat to get to the point of "concerned"?

      You kept on harping about "potential effects" without consideration of dosage. That's hysteria.

      Partial Information without understanding is merely rumor mongering, not power. It's like those fake memes and those fake viral photos being passed around. You call it "interesting", I call it "bull****".