Hurricane Florence Blows Mind of Conservative Talk Show Host

Hurricane Florence image

Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast of the USA.  Image by the author, produced via RadarScope software.

Longtime readers of this blog know the practice here is to avoid politics and religion unless members of those institutions cross the line by bringing science into the fray. At that point the gloves come off.  Listening to a few hours of conservative radio talk show coverage of Hurricane Florence yesterday on the Sirius XM Radio “Patriot” channel, climate science was discussed with all the accuracy of two auto mechanics preparing for delicate brain surgery on a newborn infant.  I feel compelled to respond.

The Wilkow Majority
Let’s look at a quote from Andrew Wilkow of the Wilkow Majority, “explaining” why climate change doesn’t exist:1

“[…] weather patterns are cyclical. […] our earth rotation is not perfectly circular, […] we come and go from different distances in relationship to the to the sun. […] tides, everything is affected by that.” 1

There’s a lot to unpack here.

Wilkow confused rotation with orbit, but I’ll cut him some slack.  Rotation occurs in place (think of a spinning top that doesn’t travel), which doesn’t alter our distance from the sun.  He’s clearly talking about our orbit, so that’s what we’ll concentrate on.  Out of kindness, I can say that this is by far the least of his mistakes.

The Earth does indeed orbit the sun in an elliptical, not circular, orbit.  Unfortunately, that’s the only thing Wilkow got right.  The implication that our distance from the sun affects our weather, our climate, and, risibly, our tides, is so wrong a that fifth grader could debunk it.  Not having a fifth grader on hand, I’ll do it myself, and start with the low hanging fruit: tides.

The Moon is responsible for our tides.2  As it orbits the planet, its gravitational tug on our home–and its oceans–causes a bulge that results in tides. Remember being taught this in grade school? Apparently Andrew Wilkow doesn’t.

andrew wilkow climate change

Andrew Wilkow. See Image Credits for photo copyright/use information

But the most scientifically inaccurate claim in Wilkow’s polemic is that the distance of our planet from the sun has anything to do with weather and climate.  In fact, the separation of Earth and our host star has nothing at all to do with  climate, weather, or even our seasons.

For starters, the seasons are caused by the Earth being tilted 23½ degrees on its axis with respect to the plane in which it orbits the Sun.  During the Northern Hemisphere winter, it’s colder because that part of the planet is tilted away from the Sun, receiving less direct sunlight.  A fun science fact is that during this time of year, the Earth is actually closer to the Sun than in the northern summer. Yes, we’re closer to the Sun in January than in June.  Distance doesn’t matter.  Conversely, it’s summer in the Southern Hemisphere in January because that part of the planet is tilted more directly toward the Sun, receiving more direct sunlight.

In Phil Plait’s excellent book, Bad Astronomy,5 Mr. Plait points out that very simple math shows that our non-circular orbit counts for at most a 7°F (4°C) difference, summer or winter. That’s right: statistically, the elliptical shape of our orbit contributes nothing to weather or climate change.  Every year, we swing through a cycle where distance contributes no more than 7°F (4°C), plus or minus, and, a reminder to Mr. Wilkow… we’re  talking weather, not climate.

earth orbit illustration

The Earth’s orbit is indeed elliptical, but it has nothing to do with climate. NASA/NOAA image. (click/enlarge)

This is a perfect segue into Andrew Wilkow’s cringe-worthy statement, “weather patterns are cyclical.”  As all who paid attention in science class know, weather isn’t climate.3   Weather concerns itself with immediate, short-term conditions; climate is the measure and average of weather over long periods of time.  For an example of someone who doesn’t understand the difference between weather and climate, look no further than a senator who brings a snowball (a weather event) to the floor of the senate to “prove” climate change doesn’t exist.4  Ach du lieber gott in himmel.

Full disclosure:  there are some possible considerations due to a phenomenon called precession (the Earth’s wobble on its axis), our orbit of the Sun, and the fact that the tilt of our axis will cause seasons in the hemispheres to eventually reverse.  But this happens on scales of tens of thousands of years.  You could start making climate change arguments for Sarasota and Sydney if you stuck around for 20,000 years, but that’s outside Wilkow’s bailiwick and lifespan.

Wilkow’s broadcast eventually segues from demonstrable scientific illiteracy to hurricane and other emergency preparedness and, wait for it: shilling for emergency food supplies. Yes, the conservative broadcaster just so happens to run an online emergency food store, and there’s nothing like a good natural disaster to drum up business.6

wilkow uses natural disaster to sell overpriced goods

Why stop at using bad science to refute a natural disaster when you can make a little money at the same time? Fear sells, and Wilkow is a master of the art. (click/enlarge)

It has become all too typical in today’ environment to deny science and back up rhetoric with nonsense such as Wilkow’s (e.g., the oceans aren’t really warming, providing more fuel to make hurricanes more devastating.)  Unfortunately, listeners calling into his show readily agreed with him, despite the annoying reality that the facts don’t.  For example, as we’ve circled the sun time again, century after century, our planet has been warming by 1.3° to 1.6° Fahrenheit, on average, but with the rate nearly doubling since 1975.7,8

Here’s what the climate has been doing as we elliptically orbit the sun these last few hundred years:

global temperatures chart

History of global surface temperatures since 1880, courtesy NOAA.8 (click/enlarge)

There you have it graphically:  climate change is a long-term affair.  After listening to conservative talk radio for several hours on Wednesday, I hope that the love affair with scientific illiteracy, as demonstrated by Andrew Wilkow and those calling into his show, doesn’t also prove to be a long term affair.

The planet just can’t afford it.

Authors note (16 Sep 2018):  this article originally reversed units of temperature regarding the earth-sun distance effect.  The correct values are 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit).  Thanks to astute readers for pointing out the error.

(1) The Wilkow Majority (Sirius XM Radio, Patriot Channel)
Excerpt beginning at 6:24 mark, climate change denial
Live Broadcast, 12 Sep 2018, also available via Sirius XM replay

(2) NOAA SciJLinks: What Causes Tides
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018

(3) NASA: What’s the Difference Between Weather and Climate?
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018

(4) Senator James Inhofe (Republican) Brings Snowball to Floor (YouTube)
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018

(5) Bad Astronomy, by Phil Plait
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018
Disclaimer:  I am not an Amazon affiliate marketer.  I receive no proceeds from the sales of Amazon products and have no association with the author of the linked book.

(6) Prepare With Wilkow (
Warning: Not a reputable/scientifically accurate site
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018

(7) NOAA:  Climate Change: Global Temperature
Authors: Rebecca Lindsey and LuAnn Dahlman
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018

(8) American Meteorological Society, State of the Climate Report
Retrieved 12


Image Credits
Hurricane Florence cover image ©2018 Mark Alsip, all rights reserved.
Produced with the RadarScope app.

Andrew Wilkow image may be subject to copyright.  Used here in strict accordance with provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (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.

Earth/Sun orbit image courtesy NASA/NOAA. Used with kind permission and under provisions that image is in public domain because it was produced by a government agency.

NOAA climate change courtesy NASA/NOOA.  Used with kind permission and under provisions that image is in public domain because it was produced by a government agency.


Food Babe Slams Kraft Over Three Dyes but Sells Same

Note: In December 2015, after two years of selling this product, Vani Hari quietly pulled it from her shopping page without any explanation.  She had previously refused to remove the lip stains described here despite numerous (very public) warnings that it contained the same ingredients she claimed were dangerous.  

Despite a very vocal campaign against Kraft over the use of the dyes Blue #1, Yellow #5, and Yellow #6 in their products,1,2 Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) sells items containing a form of these same dyes via her shopping page, and has apparently been doing so since December, 2013.

The items sold by Kraft are food products, while those sold by Hari are cosmetics intended for use on the lips.

The only difference in the dyes is the addition of a metallic salt in the cosmetics to prevent the dyes from becoming water soluble.  Unfortunately for Hari, the metal in question is aluminum, which she falsely links to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer.3,14  It must be pointed out that experts in food/product safety strongly disagree with Hari over her claims about the dyes in question–and the aluminum.

Not only did Food Babe miss the presence of the dyes in an item that she claims to use personally–also escaping her attention were 4 compounds she specifically warns should be avoided in beauty products because of alleged endocrine system disruption,4 saccharine (which she says is toxic),5 and retinyl palmitate (which she falsely links to skin cancer when used in the presence of the sun).6

I am not writing as an expert in food and product safety–only to point out Food Babe’s double standards.  The products being discussed in this article all have a solid safety record.  Please keep that in mind as you read.

Hari earns an sales commission via click-throughs on a Tarte Cosmetics link on her shopping page, where she features that company’s Lipsurgence Lip Stain:7


Screen capture of shopping page. Note the highlighted Amazon affiliate ID. (click/enlarge).


There are several color options available.  Let’s have a look at the full list of ingredients, according to the Tarte web site.8  Please click to the image to enlarge in a new window.

Tarte Lipsurgence dyes

Ingredients for the full color array of Tarte Lipsurgence lip stains. (click/enlarge)


A bit of explanation is in order here.  You’ll notice the word “lake” after each of the dyes.  According to the FDA, approved dyes become lakes when a “salt” is added to make them non-water soluble.9  Simply put, in some products (such as cosmetics or potato chips) you don’t want the colors to run.  According to both the FDA and the manufacturer, the salt in this case is an aluminum compound (e.g., aluminum hydroxide).

Does making the dyes into lakes change their toxicology?  That is, would you expect them to behave in a different manner than Hari’s gloom and doom cherry picked “research” would indicate?  I’m not a chemistry expert, but I found 3 scholarly resources who all cite the FDA.  These sources state that for toxicological purposes, the dyes and their lake forms are identical.10,11,12

Of course, if Food Babe wants to argue this point, she’s left in the awkward position of explaining how the addition of an element she claims to be toxic (aluminum) to a dye she claims is toxic suddenly makes both safe.



The FDA says lakes are used when you don’t want colors to run–like in this bag of potato chips.    (click/enlarge)

So how long has Food Babe been selling Blue #1 lake, Yellow #5 lake, and Yellow #6 lake? A quick look at the source code of her shopping page at FoodBabe.com7 suggests that she’s been doing this since December, 2013.  By convention, uploaded content (such as product images) is stored in folders tagged with the month and year the content was stored on the web site.  Looking at the screen snapshot below, the association is readily apparent:


Food Babe appears to have uploaded her Tarte Cosmetics content in December, 2013. (click/enlarge).


But, as I said in the introduction, the food coloring is only the tip of the iceberg.  In “Be a Drug Store Beauty Dropout”, Hari warns her readers to avoid the following in all beauty products:

“Siloxanes. Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.” 4  (emphasis mine)

Yet the product she sells and claims to personally use includes:

  1. Cyclopentasiloxane
  2. Phenyl Trimethicone
  3. Dimethicone
  4. Castor Oil Bis-hydroxypropyl dimethicone esters

For someone who previously tried to blame a manufacturer’s web site when caught red-handed, the following online ingredient list isn’t good news: (click to enlarge):

methicones and siloxanes

“methicones” and “siloxanes”–Food Babe somehow missed all of these. (click/enlarge)


I’d like to pause here and remind the reader that all of these ingredients have been studied by experts who, unlike Hari and myself, are qualified to pass judgement on them.  Tarte is a reputable company with a superb safety record and I hope that Ms. Hari’s lack of research doesn’t reflect negatively on them.  When caught in this situation before, Food Babe’s response has been to blame the manufacturer for her own mistakes.

I’ve contacted Tarte customer service several times with questions about their ingredients and have always received swift replies with references to scientific literature and government safety regulations.  Just like Kraft, Tarte is selling products that experts overwhelmingly say are safe.  Please do not punish an honest company for Vani Hari’s mistakes.

Having said that:  Food Babe’s lip stain also contains saccharin, which she links to unspecified diseases,5 retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), which she falsely links to cancer,6 and even an IARC group 2B carcinogen (titanium dioxide)–significant because it’s on the very same list as “4-Mel”, a compound found in the caramel coloring over which she previously lambasted Starbucks.13

Of course all of these additives are recognized as safe–it’s just that Food Babe cherry picks literature to make them sound dangerous.  Rather than debate the safety issue with her, however, why not just ask her: if these additive are so dangerous, why does she sell so many products that contain them?  It’s hard to find an item on the Food Babe shopping page that doesn’t contain something she says is harmful.  And yet she accuses other companies of hypocrisy and double standards?

there's more

Food Babe says all these additives are dangerous.  They’re not.  But why is she selling products that contain them?  (click/enlarge).


[edited for clarity: statement on aluminum hydroxide clarified 17 Feb 2015]

Image Credits, Tarte, 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.

Edit History
16 Feb 2015–Added additional reference for Food Babe aluminum toxicity claim

(1) Food Babe Kraft Complaint

(2) Food Babe Kraft/Jello Complaint

(3) Food Babe “Throw This Out Of Your Bathroom Cabinet Immediately”

(4) Be a Drug Store Beauty Dropout

(5) Habits for the New Year and Beyond – #2 Develop a Distaste for Refined Sugar

(6) The Ingredients in Sunscreen Destroying Your Health

(7) Shopping at Food

(8) Tarte Lipsurgence Full Ingredients (official site)

(9) FDA Color Additive Status List

(10) Food Additive Toxicology
Maga, CRC Press, Sep 13, 1994. p. 185.

(11) Handbook of Food Toxicology
Deshpande S.S., CRC Press, Aug 29, 2002. ISBN 0-8247-0760-5. p. 228.

(12) Food Safety Handbook
Schmidt R, Roderick G,  Wiley, Mar 10, 2003. ISBN 0-471-21064-1. p. 254

(13) Wake Up And Smell the Chemicals

(14) How to Find the Best Natural Mascara that Actually Works

Why Is Food Babe Selling a Product With BHT?

Author’s note: after this article was written, Vani Hari initially (loudly) denied the BHT sales before quietly removing the featured product from her web site.  She sold a BHT-laden product for nearly 3 years, all the while telling her followers she used it daily (and urging them to read labels). A follow-up article detailing the purchase of the product from her web site is available here.  You can read a debunking of her denials here.


Why is Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) harassing Kellogg’s and General Mills because their cereals contain BHT, when she’s earning a sales commission on a product that contains BHT?  She specifically warns her readers to avoid BHT in beauty products!

I’ve been reporting for several months now on the hypocrisy and double standards of Food Babe, who sells a wide range of products that contain the very same ingredients she says are dangerous.  But this one takes the cake.  In a well-timed publicity stunt in preparation for the release of her new book in 4 days’ time, Hari has rallied her “Food Babe Army” against Kellogg’s and General Mills because their cereal contains Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT),1 a preservative considered safe by the FDA.

Well, guess what else contains BHT?  The Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish sold by Vani Hari on  Here’s a screen snapshot from her web site:2

food babe shopping shopping page featuring the BHT-laden Fresh “Brown Sugar Body Polish”.  Click image to enlarge.

Let’s put on our official Food Babe Investigator HatsTM and go over to and look at the ingredients of this body polish (click image to enlarge):3

brown sugar ingredients

Sugar Bath “Brown Sugar Body Bath” ingredients. Click to enlarge.

We can zoom in for emphasis:

bht zoom

It matters not that you’re putting this on your skin instead of eating it.  Hari specifically says to avoid BHT in all beauty products:4

“Next – do this crucial step to become educated about what is lurking in those beauty products. Check the list below to find out if any of your products contain these dirty dozen chemicals.

1. BHA and BHT. Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives.  Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.”

Hari did finally get something right–depending on the chemical characteristics of a compound, you’d be right to worry about absorption via the skin–but the fact she’s staging a publicity stunt over BHT without ever checking the ingredients of her own products… well… what was it you said, Vani?

“I shake my head in disbelief.”

Yes, that’s it.

After this article was published on February 6, Vani Hari tweeted the following denial.  She directs followers to the website for product information:

food babe tweet

Food Babe directs followers to for authoritative product information. I purchased this exact product and it does contain BHT.  Click image to enlarge.


So on February 7, in the interest of fairness,  I purchased the exact product displayed on, the authoritative source as per Food Babe’s tweet.5  The product is clearly labelled as containing BHT.  Images are below.  Click any photo to enlarge:


Original box.


My receipt


Ingredients. Note the BHT.


Contents. Compare to

upc code

UPC code.


The Forgotten Part of This Discussion
Food Babe has attacked Kellogg’s and General Mills because they are companies selling products that contain BHT.  Yet you can’t swing a dead cat in a room full of “Fresh” products without hitting one that contains the additive.  I picked four items at random and hit three: the Soy Face Cleanser,6 Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream,7 and Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask.8  Alert readers have found at least 9, and I’ll be linking them all with screen snapshots in future updates.

Why is it OK for a self-styled activist to attack companies over a supposedly “dangerous” additive while at the same time openly earning sales commissions from a company selling at least ten products that contain that same additive?

It’s important to stress that is not the villain here, and I strongly urge readers to not behave in the manner of the “Food Babe Army”.  Please–no silly petition drives, spamming of an innocent company’s web site or Facebook page, etc.  We’re better than this.  According to the currently available science, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and Fresh are using a safe ingredient in their products.

Finally, I’d like to mention that I left the following message on Food Babe’s web page with a link to this article, hoping for a clarification and giving her a chance to respond:

“May I respectfully ask why you are selling products that contain BHT when you say it is so dangerous?”

My post was deleted within 3 minutes and I was banned from posting on her page.

I don’t believe in censorship, and welcome debate and dialogue on the subject. Thanks for reading.


Edited for Clarity:
The initial article used Hari’s statements about putting any “toxic” chemical on your skin to assert that she would not support using a beauty product containing BHT.  It has been updated to include a specific statement from Hari stating that beauty products containing BHT should not be used.4


(1) “Kellogg’s & General Mills: Drop the BHT From Your Cereal”

(2) Food Babe Shopping Page (“For Your Beauty”)
NOTE:  Ms. Hari deleted the Brown Sugar Polish from this page on the evening of Feb 7, 2015–Please see screen snapshots in article.

(3) Fresh “Brown Sugar Body Bath” on

(4) Be a Drug Store Beauty Dropout

(5) Fresh BHT-Free Link

(6) Soy Face Cleanser

(7) Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream

(8) Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask

(9) The Web Never Forgets: Sources for BHT in Fresh Brown Sugar


Image Credits, Sugar Bath, 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.


You May Also Be Interested In
Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Tarte Blush

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Dandelions

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Avalon Organics Repair Milk

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Tarte Lights Camera Action Mascara

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Shampoo

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear

The Food Babe Ban List

Vaccination Op-Ed (Lexington Herald Leader 05 Feb 2015)

I’m grateful to the Lexington Herald Leader for publication of an op-ed piece I wrote on Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s uninformed comments on vaccinations.  Both Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have made potentially damaging comments on the topic this week.

In the face of a burgeoning measles outbreak, there are countless Americans who would love to take advantage of vaccines but cannot because of their age or existing medical conditions. They are relying on the rest of us to make unselfish decisions in the interest of public health.  We in turn need to be able to rely on representatives like Senator Paul and Governor Christie, who are in unique positions to shape health policies.  Given the statements they’ve made recently, I’m not so sure that we can.

You can read the op-ed here.


Oh Bloody…

“Blood Moon” over Kentucky. Photo by the author.

As an avid astronomer, it would be nice to have just one celestial event that wasn’t hijacked by an astrologer, new age mystic, cult, or end-of-days preacher.10,11,12  This time it’s the latter — old earth creationist John Hagee popping up with his twisted interpretation of last November’s “blood moon”, a beautiful lunar eclipse visible from much of the world.

Hagee believes that lunar eclipses are tied to major events in the history of Israel and the Jewish calendar.  He couldn’t be more wrong.

Following is a debunking in simple quote/response format using Hagee’s statements as they appeared in an online article published by CBN.Since this is a science blog, I’ll concentrate mainly on the astronomy, but weave in enough history and religion to show just how far the preacher goes in violating his religion’s prohibition against lying.

What we’re going to see is that (1) there are no lunar eclipses occurring on most of the dates that Hagee claims, and (2) major events in Israel’s history occurred when there weren’t any eclipses, and (3) events on the Jewish calendar are tied to the lunar cycle because people designed it that way.

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started…


John Hagee

John Hagee.


“A blood moon is when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon,  […] and the sun is shining through the atmosphere of the Earth and casts up on the moon a red shadow.  And so the moon appears to be red.”

Response:  One point to Hagee.  He got something right.  Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from here…



“The sun and the moon and the Earth are controlled by God almighty,” Hagee said. “He is the one that is getting them in a direct alignment on a certain day at a certain time — but each time, it’s a Passover or Sukkot.”

Response:  The paths of the sun and moon are controlled by gravity and inertia, just like all the other bodies in the universe.  But even if you grant Hagee the point and say that God created inertia and gravity, there’s still nothing special about a blood moon occurring on a Jewish holiday.

Jewish holidays are based on a lunar calendar, not a solar calendar.  This means that, from year to year, they don’t  begin on the same day of the solar calendar that Hagee uses (running from January through December).  Stay with me…

Lunar eclipses can only occur during a full moon, when the earth is between the sun and the moon.  It’s important to keep this in mind, so I’ll say it again: lunar eclipses (blood moons) can only occur during a certain phase of the moon (full moon).

It’s not a coincidence that the moon is in a certain phase when a given Jewish holiday begins–and it’s not a miracle–it’s the only time it can happen.  Judaism placed its holidays on a lunar calendar, just as Americans placed the 4th of July holiday on a solar calendar.

Compare a list of Jewish holidays to moon phases during 20142,3 and do the same for 20152,3 and 2016,2,3 and you’ll quickly see the connection.  Keep in mind that the cited tables list solar calendar dates, but the Jewish holidays are based on a lunar calendar.  These different calendars add to the woo factor of Hagee’s miracles.  The Jewish holidays keep popping up on different dates on Hagee’s solar calendar and the moon appears to be “chasing” those holiday dates.  It’s magic!

Well, not really…

Jewish Calendar

24-year Jewish calendar showing the month Adar II (the month of Adar bumped from its normal spot on the calendar by the leap-year addition Adar I). Click image for large version.

There’s a fun twist: it takes the moon a little over 29.5 solar days to orbit the earth, so the Jewish month is about an odd half solar day long.  Over time this “error” accumulates and would force holidays to occur out of season as days shift on the calendar.

To compensate, every few years, an extra month is inserted into the calendar.  The regular month of Adar becomes “Adar II”, and the temporary extra month is named “Adar I”.  This concept should be familiar to many — a solar year is really 365.25 days long, not 365.  Over time, this error would accumulate and the seasons/holidays of the solar calendar would become “off”.  (For Northern Hemisphere Christians, Christmas (December 25) would eventually occur in the summer!)

We know the corrective measure as the leap year.

Why am I banging away at the details like this?  To impress upon the reader just how hard people have worked throughout history to make sure that events such as religious holidays here on earth line up with an event going on up in the sky.

There’s an additional twist: in Judaism, days begin at nightfall, not at midnight as they do on the solar calendar.  For those of you keeping score at home, tying a calendar to both the moon and sun in ways like this technically makes the Jewish calendar a “lunisolar” calendar.  (You’re welcome).

But is there an eclipse every full moon? No.  This is because of yet another twist: with respect to the earth’s orbit around the sun (the “ecliptic”), the moon’s orbit forms an angle of approximately 5 degrees.  Put more simply, if you drew a line between the middle of the earth to the middle of the sun, the moon would appear to swing “above” or “below” the line by 5 degrees as it orbits.  Usually, when the moon is full, it is “above” or “below” our planet’s shadow, and no eclipse occurs.

So, given all of this information on Jewish holidays, full moons, and lunar eclipses, we’re finally ready to look at some actual historical events and Hagee’s claims, and see what, if anything, has been happening on certain Jewish holidays.  Can we make any prophecies of future events based on what we find?



“I believe that in these next two years, we’re going to see something dramatic happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history in the Middle East and impact the whole world.”

Response:  When is something not happening involving Israel that impacts the Middle East and the whole world?13  This is, remember, a country straddling the geographic heart and soul of 3 major world religions.  This kind of prophecy is as easy as predicting an earthquake on the San Andreas fault.  Can you be more specific please?

1948 War map

Israel’s 1948 War.  When is something of importance NOT happening here?  Click image to enlarge.


In the past, the rare appearance of four blood moons on these feast days has coincided with major events for Israel and the Jewish people.

In 1492, Spain expelled the Jews. Columbus also discovered America, which became a safe haven for the Jewish people.

Response:  Columbus didn’t “discover” America.  There were millions of people living there when he arrived.  But the honor of being the first foreigner to discover the continent is seriously in doubt.5  Historians say that serious claimants include John Chabot and the Vikings.  But it doesn’t matter.  There were a lot of people living in America when Columbus arrived… consensus estimates seem to put the total around ten million, though some go higher.4

Unfortunately for Hagee there were no total eclipses of the moon in 1492.  There’s nothing even close.  Had he bothered to check, he would not have found totality before November 27, 1490 and then not again until April 2, 1493.16

Having already missed the mark with no total lunar eclipses in Columbus’ banner year, Hagee will be saddened to learn that not even his 1490 and 1493 eclipses occurred during Passover or Sukkot.16,17,18

As a side-note… America did indeed become a safe haven for the Jewish people, as Hagee states, but sadly it did not remain so for the millions of people already living there when Columbus arrived.15



 “In each of these blood moons, you have something that begins in tragedy and ends in triumph”

Response:  On October 6, 1973,  Arab states launched a surprise attack on Israel during Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism.  Israel was sent reeling by the attack but turned tragedy into triumph, reaching the outskirts of Damascus in Syria and completely encircling the Egyptian army in the Sinai Peninsula.6

There was no set of 4 blood moons.  There wasn’t even a lunar eclipse during the holidays.7

Wait a minute.  I thought events beginning with tragedy and ending in triumph were supposed to be signaled by blood moons?

Israeli tank, Yom Kippur War

Destroyed Israeli tank, 1973 Yom Kippur War. The war began in tragedy and ended in triumph.   There was no “blood moon.”


In all fairness to Hagee, I picked the 1973 date.  So let’s let John pick the date…



“In 1967, Israel won the Six-Day War and recaptured Jerusalem.

“For the first time in 2,000 years, Jerusalem and the State of Israel were together again,” Hagee said.

Response:  It kills me when authors don’t take time to do their own research.  Notice that in the previous response, I picked the war, and could be accused of cheating.  This time, Hagee picked the war.  Let’s look at 1967:

In 1967 PLO attacks on Israel, Syrian attacks on Israeli civilian settlements, and massing of Egyptian troops on the Israeli border resulted in Israel launching an attack on Jordan, Egypt, and Syria.  The three main Arab belligerents were supported by 11 additional Arab countries and/or political factions.  In just 6 days, Israel won large swathes of new territory, turning tragedy into what some consider miraculous victory.8

There was no set of 4 blood moons.  There wasn’t even a lunar eclipse during the holidays.9

Israeli soldiers, 6 Day War

Israeli soldiers, 1967 “6 Day War”.  The war began in tragedy and ended in triumph.  There was no “blood moon.”



“He said it’s still unclear what the coming blood moons will bring, but he is certain of one thing.”

Response:  Given Hagee’s horrendous track record in history and predictions, I don’t even want to know what that one thing is.


Eclipse over home

Totality is ending. So is this article.   Image by the author.

Image Credits

All lunar eclipse photography by the author.  Copyright (c) 2014 Mark Aaron Alsip.  All rights reserved.

“John Hagee at Podium” from Wiki Commons, by owner Christians United for Israel.  Released into public domain by owner.    Image owner does not necessarily agree with or endorse the views expressed by the author.

“24 year Jewish Calendar for Adar II” from Wiki Commons.  This work is in the public domain of the United States because copyright has expired due to publication date prior to January 1, 1923.

“Israeli Soldiers in 6 Day War” from Wiki Commons.  Released into public domain for all use by owner “ROSENMAN424“.  Image owner does not necessarily agree with or endorse the views expressed by the author.

“Destroyed Israeli Tank” from Wiki Commons.  Image is in public domain as a work of the Egyptian government.

“Israel 1948 War map” from Wiki Commons.  Image released into public domain by Mr. Edward J. Krasnoborski and Mr. Frank Martini, Department of History, U.S. Military Academy.   Map authors do not necessarily agree with or endorse the views expressed by the author.



Note: To avoid increasing search engine exposure for quack web sites while still providing a link to all my references (like a good scientist should), I use the DoNotLink URL obfuscator to alter links to those sites.  I promise you I’m not redirecting you to porn 🙂

(1) Divine Sign for Israel? Hagee Explains Blood Moons (CBN article being debunked)

(2) Jewish Holidays and Festivals for 2014, 2015, 2016 (

(3) Full Moon Calendar – dates and times for 2014, 2015, 2016

(4) Alan Taylor (2002). American colonies; Vol 1, Penguin History of the United States, p. 40. ISBN 9780142002100

(5) So, Who Did Discover America?

(6) Jewish Virtual Library, Chapter 8: The 1973 Yom Kippur War

(7) Lunar Eclipses: 1971 – 1980

(8) The Six-Day War: Background & Overview

(9) Catalog of Lunar Eclipses: 1901 to 2000

(10) New Age followers still waiting for aliens to beam them up 15 years after Heaven’s Gate cult suicides left 39 people dead

(11) Alignment 2012 by John Major Jenkins

(12) Major Planetary Configurations (“Astrology- Find Your Fate”)

(13) Key Dates in Israel’s History

(14)  Jewish Calendar

(15) Wounded Knee

(16) NASA Five Millennium Catalog of Lunar Eclipses (1401 to 1500)

(17) Hebrew Calendar 2271 – 2272 (Roman year 1940 B.C.)

(18) Hebrew Calendar 2268 – 2269 (Roman year 1943 B.C.)

A Great Vaccine Debate On CNN

In case you missed it, CNN hosted a fun debate last night (Thursday, January 29).1

Dr. Armand Dorian gets my vote for Man of the Year for calling out “Dr.” Jack Wolfson over his unscientific positions on vaccines and the current measles outbreak in California and 13 other states.  I’ve linked the video below.  Even though CNN sneaks in a 30 second commercial at the beginning, it’s well worth sitting through just to hear Dorian deliver the truth: it’s hard to believe that Wolfson has a medical license.  The man is literally doing harm to his patients.

cnn debate capture

Dorian and Wolfson debate. Click to launch video.

Dorian is a doctor and debunks Wolfson far better than I ever could, so please watch the video, linked here.  But I can’t resist commenting.  Some of Wolfson’s more ridiculous statements are that:

(1) We’re injecting chemicals in our children’s bodies (when we vaccinate).
Well, duh.  Our bodies are made up of chemicals.  Everything we eat and drink is a chemical.  Everything we see, touch, taste, and feel is a chemical.  Dr. Wolfson, here’s a beautiful online version of the periodic table of the elements.2  You should have studied this in grade school.  Chemicals!  Oh my God, they’re everywhere!

According to the CDC, measles is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in children.3  Doctors agree that’s a really good reason to inject those chemicals.  They’re saving lives.

(2) Measles results in “typically benign childhood conditions”
Death is not a benign condition.  The CDC says for every 1000 children who get measles, 1 or 2 will die.4  One out of every four who contract the disease will be hospitalized. There is no cure for measles. Getting the vaccine is safer than coming down with the disease. Measles can lead to swelling of the brain and severe respiratory problems.5  And, oh yeah… did I mention death?

(3) “Our children have the right to get infections”
The “right” to get infections?

Sometimes you encounter a statement that’s so utterly stupid there’s just no response.  I suppose our children have the right to die in car crashes, but I’d like to prevent that.

Speaking of car crashes…

(4) “Bad things can happen to anybody.  We can be in a car accident.”
When host Erin Burnett points out to Wolfson that unvaccinated people are in fact dying from measles, he responds with “Bad things can happen to anybody.  We can be in a car accident.”

Yes doctor.  And that’s why we wear seat belts.  There’s some good science behind the seat belt concept, just as there is behind the measles vaccine.  Before the vaccine was invented in the 1960s, there were up to four million cases of the disease in the USA each year, with an average of 48,000 hospitalizations.5  Thanks to the vaccine, measles was eliminated in this country by the year 2000.6  Now, thanks to anti-vaccination campaigns and quack doctors, measles is making a comeback.

(5) “They [our children] need to get appropriate chiropractic care.  Actual healthy doctors […]”
Chiropractors are not doctors.  They have no medical training.  There’s nothing about chiropractic training or care that remotely begins to address handling a virus, which is what causes the measles.

For this statement alone, I agree with Dorian: Wolfson should not be practicing medicine.  He’s violating the Hippocratic oath.


Image Credits
CNN screen snapshot is 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.

(1) Watch Doctors Have Heated Debate Over Vaccination

(2) Periodic Table of the Elements

(3) CDC Global Health – Measles, Rubella, and CRS

(4) CDC: Measles: Make Sure Your Child Is Fully Immunized

(5) CDC/American Academy of Pediatrics Bulletin

(6) CDC: Frequently Asked Questions about Measles in the U.S.

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Tarte Lights Camera Action Mascara


Cyclopentasiloxane is an ingredient Food Babe says is toxic and cancerous.  But it’s found in the Tarte Lights Camera Action mascara she’s selling.

Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) heavily censors all commentary on her web and social media sites.1,9  On Facebook those who legitimately question her statements are banned, with their commentary deleted.  On her web site no comments can be posted without their first being approved by Hari or a moderator.  Criticism–no matter how factual and polite–is not allowed.

With this in mind, I think it’s only fair that we hold Vani responsible for the content of commentary that she does approve.

Let’s look at this example from “Amber”, a regular contributor on

food babe cyclopentasiloxane

Commentary on the article “Throw this out of your bathroom cabinet immediately.”


The topic being discussed is cosmetics. (So that I’m not accused of taking a quote out of context, you can read the entire Food Babe article here.)

The dire warnings from on cyclopentasiloxane are interesting because of a guest piece Vani Hari wrote for the online magazine Well+Good.  In “My Five Beauty Obsessions”,3,4 Vani recommends Tarte Lights Camera Action Mascara:

tarte lights


Let’s have a look at the ingredients in this mascara, courtesy Vani’s encrypted affiliate link:5  (click image to enlarge)

tarte ingredients

Tarte Cosmetics Lights ingredients. (Click to enlarge.)


You can click that ingredient list to enlarge it.  Or, let me zoom in for you:

ingredients closeup


Now back to Vani’s web site:

food babe cyclopentasiloxane


Wait!  Let me get this straight: has a moderated post that says cyclopentasiloxane is “toxic, persistent” and has “the potential to bio-accumulate”… but Food Babe recommends Tarte Cosmetics Lights (which contains cyclopentasiloxane), and earns a sales commission when you buy it?6

food babe tarte lights

Food Babe’s encrypted affiliate ID. You buy the mascara with “dangerous” cyclopentasiloxane, and she cashes in. (Click image to enlarge.)


I can hear the Food Babe Army (FBA) protesting already–“Vani didn’t say this! It was one of her commentators!”

On a heavily censored, moderated web site, I would strongly disagree.  But to be honest, I just like yanking the Food Babe Army’s chain.

You see, Vani said it too (click image to enlarge):11

food babe "siloxanes"

Food Babe warns us to avoid any cosmetic with an ingredient ending in “-siloxane”.  Vani, please look at this ingredient in the mascara you’re selling and tell me what it ends in: cyclopentasiloxane.  (Click image to enlarge.)


Where does this wild claim come from?  It’s always interesting to see where Vani does her so-called research:7

vani hari choosing mascara


She uses a database produced by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).  I wonder what EWG has to say about cyclopentasiloxane?  Well, it’s not good:8

cyclopentasiloxane EWG

EWG data on cyclopentasiloxane.


Mon Dieu!  The mascara from which Food Babe earns a sales commission contains an ingredient that, according to the source she recommends, is “classified as expected to be toxic or harmful,” “persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife,” and <GASP!> “one or more animal studies show tumor formation at moderate doses.”

I just… I mean… I… I…
As the Facebook group “Banned By Food Babe” has so thoroughly documented,1,9  Food Babe and her moderators heavily censor all posts on her web and social media sites, so it is more than reasonable to hold Vani Hari responsible for statements that she does approve–including those about cyclopentasiloxane.

But her “army” is really only echoing her ignorance–Food Babe makes the original statement about the compound.  Her followers only expand upon it.  That’s why I led off with a quote from a minion rather than the Babe herself in this article.  Disinformation is dangerous.  It snowballs–as you can see from the additional “dangers” Vani’s commentator heaped upon cyclopentasiloxane.2

So Vani Hari earns a sales commission from a cosmetic that contains this compound, says it’s dangerous, and urges her “army” to use a database that links it to tumors in animals.Brilliant.

But… is Tarte Lights Mascara really dangerous?

I don’t think so.

I am not a professional chemist.  But, like you, I can use my university education as a foundation,  read and evaluate information (from experts) on cyclopentasiloxane,10 and make an informed decision.  Spend some time reading the scientific references in the “Toxicity” section of the PubChem writeup on cyclopentasiloxane,10 and I predict you’ll be unafraid. Very unafraid.

There’s just nothing there.

Vani seems to have once again cherry picked scary looking quotes to terrify you about other products–in order to sell you her own.

So, please buy Tarte Lights Mascara.  Just don’t buy it via a affiliate link.


Image Credits
Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (cyclopentasiloxane–compound ID 10913) courtesy PubChem (compound ID 10913) and Tarte product, 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.

Well+Good and other web site 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.

Facepalm montage created from WikiCommons images by the following authors, used in accordance with the licensing specified by their names.  Image owners do not necessarily agree with or endorse the views presented in this article:

–Vesa Linja-aho, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license
— i_hate_sult, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license
–daveoratox, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
–Joe Loong, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license
–Joachim S. Müller, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license
–Alex E. Proimos, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license


You May Also Be Interested In
Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Tarte Blush

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Shampoo

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear

The Food Babe Ban List


Please note: To prevent increasing search engine exposure for objectionable web sites, I use the DoNotLink service to obfuscate their URLs. I promise you are not being redirected to porn.
(1) Banned By Food Babe (Facebook)

(2) Food Babe commentary on cyclopentasiloxane

(3) Food Babe: “My Five Beauty Obsessions”

(4) Well+Good: My Five Beauty Obsessions


(6) Food Babe: “How To Find The Best Natural Mascara That Actually Works”

(7) Vani on the EWG

(8) EWG on Cyclopentasiloxane

(9) Cyclopentasiloxane (compound ID 10913) on PubChem

(10) Banned by Food Babe (with examples of censorship, banning, preemptive banning)

(11) Food Babe: Be A Beauty Store Dropout

Food Babe Selling “Dangerous” Items: Tarte Blush

(Updated 22 Oct 2015 10:30pm)  When caught in the act, Vani Hari occasionally quietly pulls a product from her lineup without explanation.  She appears to have done that with the Tarte Blush described in this article.  Below is a screen snapshot of her shopping page, taken today, with a big red “X” marking the spot where the Tarte Blush was removed.

Compare it to the shopping page snapshot in the article, below, and ask yourself what happened to Food Babe’s new policy on transparency?  Where’s her retraction?  She’s been selling this product for years… 😦    (click photo to enlarge)

now you see it no you don't

Food Babe quietly deleted this product from her lineup sometime after being called out on its sale in my . She continues to sell other items mentioned in that article. (click/enlarge)


Begin original article:

We’ve already once caught Vani Hari (the Food Babe) falsely claiming that vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) causes cancer while at the same time earning a sales commission on a skin care product that contains vitamin A.1

Would she make the same mistake twice?

Yes.  And this one is mind boggling.

First, let’s refresh our memories on Hari’s vitamin A claims.  Here’s a telling Facebook post:2

food babe facebook vitamin a


And from her web site, we have this:3

food babe web site vitamin a


With that out of the way, it’ time to go shopping at Food Babe’s online store.

Oh, that Tarte Blush looks nice!4

tarte blush on

Tarte Blush on Note the encrypted affiliate link. Click image to enlarge.


You can see from the encrypted affiliate link that she earns a sales commission if you buy this item.

But… I wonder what’s in the blush?

The answer isn’t on  Tarte doesn’t list the ingredients there.5  But some digging on the company web site eventually provided an answer:

My apologies, but Tarte goes at this a little awkwardly.  They’re so proud of their ingredients that they list them first.  You must choose an ingredient from a list to see all the products that contain it.  In other words, you can’t just click a product to see what it’s made of.  You must scan a web page for “vitamin A”, then click “vitamin A” to learn where Tarte uses it.  Geez!

Anyway, sure enough, Tarte has products that contain vitamin A.  Unlike Food Babe, they LOVE this ingredient…6

tarte cosmetics vitamin a

The official Tarte Cosmetics web site sings the praises of vitamin A (retinyl palmitate).  Tarte is so proud of their ingredients that you START with an ingredient, then drill-down to a list of products that contain it.  (Click to enlarge.)


… but how about the specific product recommended by Food Babe–the Tarte Blush?

One more mouse click gives us a list of the company’s cosmetics that contain vitamin A–the ingredient that Vani Hari falsely claims causes cancer.  And sure enough:7

tarte blush contains vitamin A

Tarte Cosmetics products containing vitamin A.  Yes, there’s the blush Food Babe recommends. (Click image to enlarge.)


Only $26 for a product that Food Babe repeatedly says will give you cancer.

What percentage of that $26 goes to Vani Hari when you purchase via her web site?

food babe seeing green

Vani Hari falsely says that retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) will give you cancer if you apply it to your skin and go out in the sun.2,3  But she’s earning a sales commission on a cosmetic that contains vitamin A.

So Hari is hypocritical.  If you buy this blush from her web page and wear it in the sun, she, by her own standards, is making you cancer-prone.

But are you really?


In a previous article on Food Babe’s vitamin A hypocrisy, I pointed what experts say about the safety of vitamin A.1  A 2010 study published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology concluded that there was absolutely no evidence that retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) was implicated in cancer.8

Experts say there’s no proof whatsoever that Tarte Cosmetics Blush–or any other product containing retinyl palmitate–will give you cancer.  Buy from Tarte with wild abandon, and feel safe in doing so.

But please don’t buy via affiliate links on Food Babe’s web page.


You May Also Be Interested In
Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Shampoo

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear

The Food Babe Ban List


Image Credits and Tarte product, 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.


Please note: To prevent increasing search engine exposure for objectionable web sites, I use the DoNotLink service to obfuscate their URLs. I promise you are not being redirected to porn.

(1) Food Babe Selling “Dangerous” Items: Kiss My Face Moisture Shave

(2) Food Babe Facebook Post on Vitamin A

(3) Food Babe web site vitamin A

(4) Food Babe Online Shop: “For Your Beauty” (Tarte Blush)

(5) Tarte Blush on

(6) Tarte Cosmetics: Benefits of Vitamin A

(7) Tarte Cosmetics: Products Containing Vitamin A

(8) Safety of retinyl palmitate in sunscreens: A critical analysis



Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear

In “How To Find The Best Natural Mascara That Actually Works,”1 Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) serves up her usual plate of scare tactics, smearing market leaders in the cosmetics industry while offering up a buffet of “safe” alternative mascaras.

Of course, with all of these alternatives, she earns a sales commission.  Take, for example, Physician’s Formula Organic Wear mascara:

physicians formula link
You click, and Vani cashes in — Physician’s Formula Mascara and Food Babe’s encrypted affiliate ID (click to enlarge).


But how safe is this mascara?  As in the other articles in this series, we’re going to make that judgement according to Food Babe rules: we’ll scan the list of ingredients2 (click the image below to enlarge), and if anything looks dangerous we’re going to cry “foul!”

mascara ingredients
–Physician’s Formula mascara ingredients (click to enlarge).


"foul"No… “Foul”, not “Fowl”.


Did you see the titanium dioxide?

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine3 for August 25, 2014, and let’s look at this Food Babe post about Caramel IV coloring4 in Starbucks’ Pumpkin Latte:

food babe caramel IV snippet

So… “4-Mel” might possibly cause cancer in humans and is known to cause cancer in lab animals.  Scientists call these type of chemicals “group 2B carcinogens.”  Please keep that term in mind.  It will be important later.

Food Babe wants us to avoid group 2B carcinogens.  Do you know what else is in this group?

Drum-roll please…

titanium dioxide


Yes, titanium dioxide!  (Agents Classified by the IARC Monographs, Volumes 1–111.9)

Remember Vani told you 4-Mel (in Starbucks’ latte) caused cancer in lab animals and possibly caused cancer in humans?  Here’s a quote on titanium dioxide from the U.S. National Library of Medicine Toxicology Data Network’s database.5   Food Babe appears to do a lot of quote mining of this very database, so I think it’s rather striking:

US lib titanium dioxide


Read it with me, Food Babe:  “Titanium dioxide is possibly carcinogenic to humans.”  And “there is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of titanium dioxide.”  Didn’t you just say the same thing about Starbucks?

It gets worse: in an article on sunscreens, Hari strongly recommends seeking out and buying products that contain titanium dioxide.11  You probably won’t be surprised to learn she’s more than happy to sell you titanium dioxide-laden products via her web site.

If you’re a Food Babe Army member thinking “wait a minute, I’m drinking the Starbucks but only putting the titanium dioxide in my eyes and on my skin,” I’m afraid you’re out of luck.  In upcoming article, we’ll be looking at how Food Babe disparages a group of chemicals known as parabens, commonly used in cosmetics.  She says such cosmetics are dangerous to use on your skin, but she recommends eating parabens.  Seriously.

So, a question: why is it wrong to buy a group 2B carcinogen from Starbucks but OK to buy it from a link on Food Babe’s web page?  I’d invite you to ask Vani Hari that, but she deletes such questions from social media and bans the people who ask them.

Before you panic, please read the exciting (?) conclusion.  There’s something about “group 2B carcinogens” you really need to know.


physician's formula organic

How dangerous is titanium dioxide–really?  Consider this: other group 2B carcinogens include coffee, pickled vegetables, nickel, talc body powder, and the professions of carpentry and firefighting.11

Yes, really.

According to experts,7 group 2B carcinogens are:

“[…] agents for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.  [the term] may also be used when there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. ” —International Agency for Research on Cancer  7

Emphasis in the above quote is mine.  “Limited evidence”…  I’m not an expert in the field, but I’m not really too worried about titanium dioxide.  Or Starbucks’ latte.  And Vani Hari is a hypocrite.  If she’s going to wage war against Starbucks, she needs to toss the mascara in the garbage can.

And while we’re at it… there are also “group 1” carcinogens.  Far more dangerous than group 2B (4-Mel, titanium dioxide, etc.), group 1 members are known to cause cancer.  Why do I mention this?

Alcoholic beverages are group 1 carcinogens.9,10

I’ll just leave you with some screen captures of Food Babe enjoying and/or raving about this group 1 cancer-causer:

Food Babe loves Group 1 carcinogens

Food Babe and Group 1 carcinogen alcohol (click to enlarge).



Image Credits and Food Babe screen snapshots 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.

Fowls from WikiCommons user “Rex“, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Image owner does not necessarily agree with or support the views expressed by the author.


You May Also Be Interested In
Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items:  Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Shampoo


Please note: To prevent increasing search engine exposure for objectionable web sites, I use the DoNotLink service to obfuscate their URLs.  I promise you are not being redirected to porn.

(1) Food Babe: How To Find The Best Natural Mascara That Actually Works

(2) Physicians Formula Organic Wear on

(3) Wayback Machine

(4) Food Babe Caramel IV Archives

(5) U.S. National Library of Medicine Toxicology Data Network

(6) PubChem Compound Summary for CID 26042 (Titanium Dioxide)

(7) IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans

(8) FDA UCM215717.pdf (contains Group 2B summary)

(9) Agents Classified by the IARC Monographs, Volumes 1–111

(10) National Cancer Institute: Alcohol and Cancer Risk

(11) Food Babe: The Ingredients in Sunscreen Destroying Your Health





Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant

naturally free thumb

Naturally Fresh

In her article “Throw This Out of Your Bathroom Cabinet Immediately”,1 Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) slams modern deodorants because they contain aluminum.

In “Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining“,2 I talked a lot about how aluminum (the most common metal in the earth’s crust) is an unavoidable part of our diets and is processed normally by the bodies of healthy people, so I won’t go into that again.  Please see the references in that article if you’d like more information on the safety of aluminum.  I’d like to concentrate on deodorants here.

One of the alternative products Hari recommends is Naturally Fresh Crystal Roll-On Deodorant (Fragrance Free).  She says this is the best deodorant she’s tried.  Vani likes it so much she’s encoded her affiliate ID in a link so that when you buy a bottle, she earns a commission:

naturally fresh thumb

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of Naturally Fresh, according to the manufacturer’s page on

naturally fresh ingredientsHmm… Ammonium alum and potassium alum.  Keeping in mind Vani’s hatred of all leading deodorants because they contain aluminum, let’s look more closely these two ingredients:

“Ammonium alum”, (NH4)Al(SO4)2·12H2O,4  is better known as Aluminum ammonium disulfate dodecahydrate, and looks like this:

Ammonium alum

“Ammonium alum”–Aluminum ammonium disulfate dodecahydrate.  (Click to enlarge.)

Do you see the enormous hypocrisy in Food Babe’s article?  I highlighted it for you in yellow.

“Al” is the symbol for aluminum.

Let that sink in for a moment.  Vani Hari has written an article telling you to throw out all the deodorants in your bathroom because they contain supposed Alzheimer’s-inducing aluminum, and then she’s turned around and referred you to a web site that sells you aluminum-containing deodorant.  And she earns a commission when you buy it.

The only significant difference between the aluminum in the deodorants that Food Babe hates and the aluminum in Naturally Fresh is that Vani Hari earns a commission when you buy the latter.  (We could get into a discussion on how the aluminum is bound, but that’s out of scope.  Remember, Hari’s flawed argument is that the mere presence of aluminum means you’re in danger of cancer and Alzheimer’s.  Read her article if you don’t believe me.)

The other ingredient in Naturally Fresh, “Potassium alum”, is better known as “Aluminum potassium sulfate,” KAl(SO4)2.5   Yes, you guessed it, there’s that pesky aluminum again:

potassium aluminum sulfate

“Potassium alum” — Potassium aluminum sulfate.  (Click to enlarge.)

Ironically, one of Food Babe’s fellow pseudoscientists, Dr. Mercola, warns against using natural deodorants that contain alum.6   Food Babe often quotes Dr. Mercola, so to see her peddling Naturally Fresh while he’s warning it can kill you is amusing.

So Vani Hari…

  1. Scares you to death with false information about aluminum
  2. Tells you your deodorants contain aluminum (throw’em out!)
  3. Points you to an alternative deodorant that contains aluminum
  4. Earns a sales commission on the alternative deodorant


As I pointed out in the introduction, what Hari doesn’t tell you is that the bodies of healthy humans process aluminum without any problems.  It’s the most common metal in the earth’s crust and an unavoidable part of our diets.  Foods near and dear to The Babe’s heart–such as spinach7,8–are rich in aluminum.  If you’re interested in details, with references, you might want to check out my article “Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining.2

It’s no wonder that out of all the alternative deodorants Vani’s tried, Naturally Fresh works the best.  It’s the only one that definitely contains aluminum!  Buyers should be wary of the other three deodorants she recommends, because of a cryptic legal disclaimer to the effect that the materials you receive may be different than the packaging.

But, unless you’re suffering from a problem such as kidney disease where aluminum can’t be removed from your body efficiently, there’s really nothing wrong with Naturally Fresh deodorant.  I encourage you to buy it–or any other leading brand containing aluminum.  Just please don’t buy by clicking on a link from a Food Babe web page.

You May Also Be Interested In
Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Ava Anderson Mascara

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Tarte Blush

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Shampoo

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear

The Food Babe Ban List

Please note: To prevent increasing search engine exposure for objectionable web sites, I use the DoNotLink service to obfuscate their URLs.  I promise you are not being redirected to porn.

(1) Food Babe: Throw this out of your bathroom cabinet immediately

(2) Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining

(3) Naturally Fresh on

(4) PubChem: Compound Summary CID 62668: Aluminum ammonium disulfate dodecahydrate (Ammonium Alum)

(5) PubChem: Compound Summary CID 24856: Aluminum potassium sulfate (Potassium Alum)

(6) Mercola: Stop Using “Natural” Deodorants Until You Read This

(7) Food Babe: Spinach Recipe

(8) World Health Organization: Aluminum in Drinking Water

Image Credits
Ammonium Alum from PubChem,  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.

Potassium Alum from PubChem,  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. product 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.