Modern Alternative Mama’s Skin Cancer Extravaganza

Kate Tietje (“Modern Alternative Mama”) is a scientifically illiterate mommy blogger who routinely hands out some of the most dangerous advice on the internet. I’ve previously covered her shameful “vaccine injury awareness month” (meant to counter Breast Cancer Awareness Month–yeah, figure that one out) and the endangerment of her children through neglect. Today I’d like to go back to basics and concentrate on points that even her 57,000+ pseudoscience-loving followers will be able to grasp: hypocrisy and lies.

There will be no squirming out of this one, Kate.

In a recent article, “Have You Gotten Your Sunscreen Yet This Summer?”,1,2 Tietje has this to say about sunscreen ingredients:

“I’m not really comfortable with the physical blockers, like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. I know they are common in “natural” sunscreens and probably fine, but I just do not want to rub that on my children’s skin. I don’t know, I worry. Maybe that’s crazy.” (emphasis mine)

Whoa! Crazy, indeed! Sherman, set the wayback machine7 to a month earlier and let’s peek at another Modern Alternative Mama (MAM) post:3

“It’s been awhile since I’ve done a giveaway here. But, I know that you will truly love this company [BanjOrganics] and I wanted to share it with you.”

Yes, it’s MAMs huge “BanjOrganics Giveaway” contest! The lucky winner takes home a gift basket chock full of natural products, including a jar of sunscreen. Let’s have a look at the ingredients in that sunscreen, shall we?4

banjorganics modern alternative mama sunscreen

BanjOrganics sunscreen ingredients. Note the zinc oxide

Oh dear.  See the highlighted ingredient?  Zinc oxide? What was it that Kate said about zinc oxide? Oh yes… she’s not comfortable with it and just doesn’t want to rub it on her children’s skin.

I suppose one way to avoid exposing your children to “toxic” ingredients is to pawn them off on unsuspecting readers.

So, what does Tietje use on her children? Well, sadly, she freely confesses she’d rather let them run around in the sun unprotected and burn. But when she does apply a sunscreen to her endangered kiddos, she makes her own.

Unfortunately, by her own admission (she doesn’t know it yet–hint hint), she’s using an ingredient that she claims will give the kids skin cancer.

Let’s walk through this. First, here’s her homemade sunscreen recipe.  Take note of the highlighted ingredient.  It will be important later.

Mama's sunscreen ingredients.  Note the raspberries.

Mama’s sunscreen ingredients.  Note the raspberries.

 

Next, we have to remind ourselves of a sunscreen additive that Modern Alternative Mama told us that we must avoid.  She lays this out clearly in her article “What to Look For in Non-Toxic Sunscreen”:5

vita

Hmmm… avoid vitamin A in sunscreens because, according to intrepid scientist Kate Tietje, it can speed development of tumors when applied to skin in the presence of sunlight.  Really?

I think you can see where this is heading.  Remember those raspberries in Mama’s homemade sunscreen?

According to the USDA, raspberries are a rich source of vitamin A:6

usda raspberry

USDA raspberry nutritional information. (click/enlarge)

 

So… vitamin A in sunscreen leads to the possibility of tumors, and Modern Alternative Mama is pushing a sunscreen recipe rich in vitamin A.  Or were we supposed to go back to the zinc oxide solution she’s giving away to readers, but is afraid to use on her own children?

Needless to say, none of the products or ingredients mentioned in this article are actually dangerous.  I’d be happy to debate the issues with Tietje, but like everyone else who questioned her bad science, I was banned from her Facebook page.

 

Image Credits
Modern Alternative Mama, Facebook, and BanjOrganics screen snapshots are used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

References
(1) Have you gotten your Sunscreen yet this summer? (Facebook Intro)
https://www.facebook.com/ModernAlternativeMama/posts/10152975556317913

(2) Have you gotten your Sunscreen yet this summer? (Facebook-Linked Blog Post)
http://www.modernalternativemama.com/2015/05/11/natural-gentle-sunscreen-salve/

(3) Modern Alternative Mama BanjOrganics Giveaway
http://www.modernalternativemama.com/2015/04/28/banjorganics-giveaway/

(4) BanjOrganics Sunscreen Ingredients
http://www.banjorganics.com/#!product/prd1/1903932945/sunscreen

(5) What to Look For in Non-Toxic Sunscreen
http://www.modernalternativemama.com/2014/07/03/look-non-toxic-sunscreen/

(6) USDA Raspberry Nutrient Profile
http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2419

(7) The WayBack Machine
http://www.moonmoth.net/paelks/history/wayback.htm

Food Babe: Tell Us When You’re Going To Drop The BHT

Vani Hari, the world’s greatest hypocrite, made an ironic post to Facebook today,1 reminding Kellogg’s and General Mills that it’s been four months since she petitioned them to remove the preservative BHT from their products:

” It’s now been 4 MONTHS since we launched this petition, and we still have no timeline from either of these companies.”–Food Babe Facebook post

The irony stems from the fact that it’s been four months since I caught Food Babe selling a BHT-laden product2–a body scrub she claimed to use daily.  And, despite a poorly constructed excuse3 and a promise to remove the item from her web site, she’s still pushing it via Pinterest4… four months later.

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks”–Hamlet, Act III, Scene II

Food Babe sold the product in question for nearly three years and says she personally uses every item she sells.  How did she miss the BHT on the label?  Inquiring minds want to know.  We’d also like to know why most of the products sold by Vani Hari contain the same ingredients she says are dangerous.  Of course, we can’t ask her, because commentary on her Facebook page and web site is heavily censored.  Anyone pointing out her double standards is immediately banned.

But, anyway… tell us, Food Babe: when are you going to drop the BHT?  It has, as you say, been four months.

 

food babe facebook

Food Babe’s rather hypocritical Facebook post. (click/enlarge)

 

food babe pinterest bht

Screen capture of Food Babe’s Pinterest page on June 5, 2015.  Note the BHT-laden Fresh Brown Body Polish.  (click/enlarge)

 

ingredients

Purchased from FoodBabe.com in February, 2015, Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish clearly contains BHT. (click/enlarge)

 

References
(1) Food Babe Facebook Post (June 6, 2015)
Food Babe Facebook Post (June 6, 2015)

(2) Manufacturer Confirms Hari Wrong About Ingredients; BHT Product Purchased from FoodBabe.com
Manufacturer Confirms Hari Wrong About Ingredients; BHT Product Purchased from FoodBabe.com

(3) Food Babe’s BHT Denial Doesn’t Hold Water
Food Babe’s BHT Denial Doesn’t Hold Water

(4) Food Babe Pinterest Beauty Page
Food Babe Pinterest Beauty Page

Image Credits
Fresh and Food Babe screen snapshots are used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.