I’m reposting this after learning that the “Food Babe” is once again abusing important open records laws to punish people who disagree with her. She is going after a scientist at the University of Florida and his private email account (not just his university email) and has asked for all of the emails containing the names of people who have been critics of her weak grasp of science and the way she uses fear to drive people to buy the products on her website. Evidently, her behavior is legal but it’s abuse of an important tool to promote public transparency. Using these laws for personal vendettas is unethical, childish, and potentially damaging to future transparency.
So, I have to cast her in a play about green beans and the dumb corporation who still thinks she’s relevant.
Another day, another big corporation groveling to fit in with the cool kids of the Bleached-Teeth, Spray-Tanned, Clean-Eating Crowd whose supreme leader has created a brilliant business model of finding hard-for-her-to-pronounce food ingredients and harassing the companies who use them. All this so she can sell books, get website hits, and kickbacks from affiliate partners. It’s so smart!
This brilliant fear-marketeer, Vani Hari, goes by the name of The Food Babe – and the supply of icky ingredients and of corporations willing to prostrate themselves in front of her is endless. It’s like being in high school again and watching the sad kid who is willing to shoplift just to impress the prom queen. (By the way, kids, the prom queen will laugh and play along but the prom queen will never date the person who shoplifts lipstick for her.)
The latest company to humiliate themselves is one of several companies with the name, Del Monte. Apparently, there are several Del Montes and they’re all unrelated, even if they sell the same stuff and use the same label. It’s too boring to explain and with the way Big Food works, there’s a good chance one of the divisions will be sold or bought by ConAgra or Nabisco and this will all be old news anyway.
This particular Del Monte, Del Monte Foods, sells canned fruits and vegetables like peas, green beans, tomatoes, peaches, etc. Most of those fruits and vegetables don’t have a GMO version available but that hasn’t stopped Del Monte (no, not that Del Monte, this Del Monte) from slapping a pretty “non-GMO” label on the can that implies they’re doing us a big, fucking favor. Thank you for putting sucrose from Mexico in my canned peas! It’s so much healthier than sucrose from Minnesota in my canned peas!
It appears that this is how it all came about:
The Food Babe Hosts A Very Important Meeting of All Companies Named Del Monte
The Food Babe: *glances up from mirror* Welcome, Del Monte! Thank you for coming all the way to Charlotte just to see me!
Del Monte Asia: I am not Del Monte. I am Del Monte Asia.
Del Monte Canada: I am not Del Monte. I am Del Monte Canada.
Fresh Del Monte: Who are you calling Del Monte, lady? I am Fresh Del Monte.
Del Monte Foods: I am Del Monte Foods. But you can call me Del Monte. Or Del. Or Monty. Whatever you want! May I please sit by you?
The Food Babe: *glares at secretary* I don’t understand. I need to meet with Del Monte. Which of you is the Real Del Monte?
Entire Room: We are!
Secretary: *shakes* I’m sorry! I thought they were all the same company.
The Food Babe: Shut up, Secretary. Bring me a smoothie and a hairbrush. I need to think!
Del Monte Asia: Who are you? Why have I come all the way from Asia?
The Food Babe: *thunders* I am The Food Babe!
Del Monte Canada: Oh my god! You’re that person who blackmails big companies! *runs*
Fresh Del Monte: I am Fresh Del Monte. Nobody blackmails Fresh Del Monte.
Del Monte Foods: *raises hand* Pick me! You can blackmail me! You’re so pretty.
The Food Babe: *sips smoothie* I will blackmail all of you but you can go first, Foods. What do you sell?
Del Monte Foods: *hangs head* Canned stuff, ma’am. I like your outfit.
The Food Babe: *smirks* Cans? Bless your heart.
Del Monte Foods: *seal claps* I cannot wait for you to blackmail me!
The Food Babe: *brushes hair slowly* Hmmm…let’s see. Remove the GMOs, of course.
Del Monte Foods: *gazes wistfully* You have such shiny teeth. Yes! GMOs. Most of what we sell doesn’t have a GMO version so we can, um, print new labels?
The Food Babe: Whatever. Just give me credit.
Del Monte Foods: Naturally! You are The Food Babe! Do you want a foot massage?
The Food Babe: You’re disgusting.
Del Monte Foods: I know.
The Food Babe: *glances back at mirror* I need more.
Del Monte Foods: I will join your army! I will harass scientists and blackmail big companies with you! It will be fun! Can I smell the top of your head?
The Food Babe: Get away from me.
Del Monte Foods: *sniffs stolen hairbrush* Will you be my friend now? Will you buy my green beans?
Entire Room: *hysterical laughter*
The Food Babe: Yuck. Cans are tacky and you are gross.
Del Monte Foods: Okay. Thank you for letting me be in your army. I love you.
The Food Babe: Whatever. Get out.
So, the poor little 1.8 billion dollar canned fruit and veggie company (no, not that one – this one) is doing what many other giant food companies are doing – scrambling to keep market share and appeal to finicky consumers who think GMOs are the reason they’re fat/depressed/divorced/in debt, which is completely fine. Do what you’ve got to do there, Big Food Company, but please don’t embarrass yourself with this bullshit:
Joining The Food Babe Army is a slap in the face to scientists, farmers, and the people who find it distasteful to use trumped-up fear just to sell juicers and coconut oil. You’re better than that, Del Monte. Or at least some of the Del Montes are. Besides, have some pride. The Food Babe isn’t going to eat your canned maraschino cherries just because you join her dumb army any more than the prom queen will date you for stealing mascara for her.