When Vani Hari, known on her well-read blog as the Food Babe, took a bite out of a yoga mat as a way to point out that some ingredients in exercise equipment also are found in bread, consumers took notice in a big way. Outcry spread through other blogs and social media and into traditional media.
But some of Ms. Hari’s claims — like “there is just no acceptable level of any chemical to ingest, ever” — have been met with much criticism from the science and baking communities.
It’s an easy lesson in not believing everything that can be found on the vast waves of the Internet, especially when it comes to food labels.
“There is a lot of information, bloggers, the Food Babe … where they don’t have their facts straight,” said Lee Sanders, senior vice-president, government relations and public affairs, American Bakers Association. “That can be a driving force, right or wrong. The best thing consumers can do is go to the web sites of their trusted brands and look at information.”
That provides an opportunity for the company to talk about the wholesomeness and nutrition found in their products. A chance to be proactive against bad research, let’s say.
“Bloggers definitely have a great following and can provide some great information,” said Marty Neumann, director of sales for Gaslamp Popcorn division of Rudolph Foods. “On the flip side, hopefully they’re doing their due diligence. We have science checking the clean label aspect of our business, and hopefully bloggers are doing the same thing. Some of them are doing that, and they have a lot of good information about what is clean label.”