After writing about the organic food industry for nearly a decade, I have come to learn one thing — there are many powerful corporations that will do whatever it takes to get you to continue eating their unhealthy products.
These products can be easily produced, are highly profitable and provide little to no nutritional value to consumers.
Given the profits at stake and with sales of these unhealthy foods rapidly losing market share to organic ones, these major corporations employ highly sophisticated and often very manipulative tactics that the average consumer is unaware of or cannot identify.
And that is why Vani Hari’s Feeding You Lies: How to Unravel the Food Industry’s Playbook and Reclaim Your Health is such a must-read.
I recently caught up with my good friend to discuss her excellent new book Feeding You Lies.
One of the ways that some big food companies get people to believe that certain foods are healthy is through their deceptive use of front groups. What are these groups and how does it all work?
A front group looks like an independent, third-party grassroots group, but it’s really not. These groups are being funded secretly by the food and chemical industry with deep pockets who have an agenda to promote processed foods, synthetic pesticides, large factory farms, GMO crops, and chemical food additives.
Front groups create websites, blogs, and social media profiles to disseminate industry propaganda. These websites look legitimate and often have millions of dollars at their disposal to fool the public. Sometimes front groups members write regular columns in major newspapers.
How has Coca-Cola used these groups to get consumers to buy their soda?
Coca-Cola uses so much sugar in their products that they are basically the sugar industry, right?
So, they have driven the agenda that eating fat is to blame for obesity and not sugar. They also want people to believe not exercising enough is the reason why our nation suffers from obesity, heart disease and diabetes. In actuality, one of the true culprits is the pure amount of sugar in our diets.
To help shift the blame away from sugar, Coca-Cola has provided funding to several front groups, and a few years ago, the company got caught creating a front group with $1.5M in funding called the Global Energy Balance Network. Its mission was to combat obesity without vilifying soft drinks.
The group disbanded soon after e-mails surfaced that exposed Coke’s efforts, and Coke accepted the retirement of their chief health and science officer. This fiasco is just one example of how far Big Soda will go to protect their profits.
How can consumers identify these groups, so that they won’t believe the biased information they are pushing?
When you see someone in the media who is advocating for big industry products and junk food, it pays to be skeptical.
It does take some research to see who is behind specific groups, as they often do not publicly disclose where their funding comes from. Many of these front groups have been outed by public advocacy groups, and I list several of them in Feeding You Lies.
However, new front groups are being created all the time, so we need to be vigilant.
What are the three questions that can transform a person’s health – and keep them safe from the lies that the food industry is feeding us?
It all begins with knowing what is in your food. You don’t have to make a full-time career of food activism and investigating like I have. You just need to ask, and answer, three simple questions about food:
1. What are the ingredients?
2. Are these ingredients nutritious?
3. Where do these ingredients come from?
I believe that if you can select food based on your answers to these three questions, you’ll put yourself—and your loved ones—on the path to a healthy lifestyle right away.
Plus, you’ll be fighting back against those guilty parties who are trying to contaminate our foods in the name of profits.
Make sure to pick up a copy of Feeding You Lies today.
It is another very important piece of work from Vani Hari and will help keep your family safe. Aren’t they worth it?