Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) is upset about being called out over her blatant profiting from fear mongering regarding carrageenan,1 a safe food and beauty product additive derived from seaweed. While of course Hari does have a financial interest (she uses fear to drive readers to carrageenan-free products and recipes that she happens to sell2), there’s a larger problem: Food Babe sells products that contain carrageenan.
It’s been a while since we last put on our Food Babe Investigator HatsTM and visited Vani Hari’s online store, doing a product investigation according to Hari’s own rules. Do you remember where you left your hat? Now would be a great time to fetch it. Let’s go shopping!
Anyone in the mood for some Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo?3
You just know what’s coming, don’t you? I confess, I’m not a very good poker player. I gave it away somewhere, didn’t I? Perhaps in the title of this article? Alright then, off to the shampoo’s ingredients:4
Did you catch it?
Vani Hari fans who are still in denial, allow me to zoom in:
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph: Food Babe is selling carrageenan!
Yes, carrageenan. When I wrote about Ms. “All Natural Ingredients” selling this shampoo back in December, 2014, it was to point out that although she raved about the fresh honeysuckle in the product she hawked, there wasn’t actually any honeysuckle in it–Aubrey Organics faked it. Oops. Since then, they’ve added honeysuckle oil, but also tossed in one of Food Babe’s favorite ingredients: carrageenan.
Thirty-six times and counting, Vani. You keep selling the very things you tell your followers are dangerous.
For the #FoodBabeArmy members who would stubbornly insist that The Babe says carrageen is only carcinogenic if you eat it, not when you get it on your hair or skin, I’d point you to her seminal work “So Fresh and So Clean–Skin Care Tips”,5 where your Dear Leader solemnly warns against putting toxic substances on your body, not just in your body:
“Your skin is your largest organ! What you put on your skin, is absorbed into your blood.”–Vani Hari5
Food Babe very clearly (though disingenuously) tags carrageenan as a carcinogen.2 So what happens if her shampoo dribbles onto your skin while showering? Let’s ask her:6
” I also don’t like the idea that something I wash my face with can potentially cause cancer over time.”–Vani Hari6
In the battle over toxins, Vani Hari stumbles around like a punch-drunk boxer, swinging wildly, essentially punching herself in the face by claiming her own products can cause cancer. Fortunately, there’s nothing dangerous about carrageenan, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo, or anything Food Babe disparages. Buy Aubrey Organics products with confidence, just don’t buy them from Food Babe.
(Updated 11 August 2016: For even more carrageenan from Food Babe, see this new story.)
(1) Food Babe Facebook Post
Food Babe Store (Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo)
(2) Food Babe: Watch Out For This Carcinogen [Carrageenan] In Your Organic Food
(3) Food Babe Shopping
(4) Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo (Amazon.com)
(5) So Fresh And So Clean–Skin Care Tips
(6) Be A Drug Store Beauty Drop Out
Food Babe screen captures and Aubrey Organics/Amazon.com product images 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.
“Food Babe Eats Words” parody by Mark Alsip/Bad Science Debunked. Vani Hari video capture and ABC logo used under parody provisions of 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.