Author and popular Instagram personality, Vani Hari, has been investigating the “food industry’s playbook” for years now — diving deep into the chemicals and additives found in common pantry items and debunking myths about what is and isn’t “good” for us. Now, she’s got a brand spankin’ new book out, Feeding You Lies, that offers readers tools for, well, mentally digesting what it is we put into our bodies every day.
Join Hari at Blue Bicycle Books this Sat. Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. for a free talk and book signing of Feeding You Lies.
If you don’t follow Hari on Instagram, you may be familiar with some of her campaigns, like the one she launched to investigate Subway’s use of the chemical Azodicarbonamide, used to make yoga mats and shoe rubber. You can find the full list of Hari’s investigations online, where she looks at everything from potentially carcinogenic toothpaste to the concept of detoxing.
“The reason I wrote Feeding You Lies is so that we can become aware as normal citizens of the tactics the food industry uses to sell their products,” says Hari. “Their number one goal is profit. Additives were invented to improve the bottom line of the food industry.”
Hari tackles trendy diets — from the keto diet to living “gluten free” — and warns against buying into the hype around new products that seem healthy. “The food industry is always looking for those trends. There’s a whole billion dollar industry of gluten free products, but they’re made with the same processed ingredients and really aren’t healthy,” says Hari.
So who can we trust? Hari has what she calls her “food advisory council,” made up of nonprofit organizations like the Center for Food Safety, Friends of the Earth, Consumers Union, and more.
And when it comes down to it, you can be your own food investigator when you ask three simple questions during meal time. Hari says these questions will help us become more intuitive eaters. Next time you’re about to dig into your sad desk lunch, ask yourself:
1. What are the ingredients? “You have to know every single ingredient you’re eating to take back control of your health,” says Hari. “If you don’t understand an ingredient it, research it.”
2. Are these ingredients nutritious? “If you’re making a salad that has kale, spinach, apples, beans, chicken — you can use common sense, every one is healthy, comes from nature. If you’re eating an Oreo, the majority of the ingredients are refined flour and sugar and those things don’t have nutrition.”
3. Where did these ingredients come from? “We are what we eat,” says Hari. “It’s important to know where we are getting our food from.”
Learn more about The Food Babe online at foodbabe.com.