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Don’t let internet trolls stop you from sharing the truth about our food!

I’m coming out bold in 2021. 

This isn’t the year to back down and I am going to be fearless in everything I share with you. 

I’m going to continue telling you the truth about your food, while also exposing those who are working to destroy our movement. 

And this year is already shaping up to be pivotal. 

Let me tell you a quick story…

I recently had the amazing opportunity to hang out with Shaun T and be on his podcast, Trust and Believe. I’ve been doing his workout videos for 10 years and am a huge fan, so even though I was 9 months pregnant I jumped at the chance. We chatted about the campaigns that the Food Babe Army has done that inspired changes at billion-dollar food corporations. We also talked about how to be your own food detective and why the BIG FOOD industry is not looking out for our best interests.

When our episode aired this week, Shaun posted a clip of my interview on his Instagram page (with currently 175k thousand views!), and TROLLS were directed by a paid spokesperson by the food chemical industry to go into comment section and go WILD!

I was called “a danger” who was using “dangerous pseudoscience”. People accused Shaun T of “promoting anti-science propaganda” and “fear mongering” just for having me on his show. 

Witness it for yourself here:

Helping you become more aware about the ingredients in your food and encouraging you to eat real food is not “dangerous pseudoscience”.

So what’s the deal with these comments?

If you’ve read my 2nd book, Feeding You Lies, you know all about trolls and astroturfing–and how the food industry uses this tactic to discredit the good food movement.

If this is news to you, here’s a recap because you NEED to know about this…

Processed food and chemical corporations (the ones who make food additives and pesticides) hire people to leave comments online in an effort to appear as though they are part of a grassroots movement that stands firmly against a person or an issue. This is called “Astroturfing”.

For example: The chemical company Monsanto had a program called “Let Nothing Go” which was designed to leave no critical comment about them unanswered. As noted in court documents, Monsanto “through a series of third parties, employs individuals who appear to have no connection to the industry, who in turn post positive comments on news articles and Facebook posts, defending Monsanto, its chemicals, and GMOs.”

That’s textbook astroturfing! 

Knowing this has made me extremely wary of comment sections. When you see dozens or hundreds of comments that make similar statements, go on the attack, and all appear at once (like a mob), there’s a good chance you’re looking at an example of astroturfing.

This isn’t to say that everyone commenting negatively on Shaun T’s post was part of a paid campaign, but they were surely influenced by certain others who are paid by the industry to attack food activists like myself. 

“These campaigns are designed to make it appear that an issue has widespread public support (or public opposition) even if it doesn’t. If a campaign sows enough doubt, excitement, or skepticism about a contentious issue or individual, it can shape the opinions of real people. And that’s the primary goal.

We’re social animals, and the theory of groupthink suggests that perceived community support for a patently false “fact” is often all it takes to win over real supporters. Public ridicule and censure also works to cow, silence, or discredit critics who offer dissenting views.

As a result, astroturf efforts can have a profound influence on how we understand and advocate for many critical health-related issues. This is why it’s so important to understand how it works”.

Turf Wars, Experience Life Magazine

Don’t let trolls stop you from sharing what you believe.

Astroturfing is used to create shame in sharing content online (so we will stop) and to create the illusion that there are negativity and ignorance around the good-food movement. They want to create confusion so you never know who to trust or what to believe. Use your common sense and don’t let anyone silence you. 

Having food that’s safe and free of risky ingredients is not very controversial—the vast majority of Americans want exactly that.

You also don’t need to be a food scientist or a doctor to learn about ingredients and take control of your food. That is the GIANT LIE that the processed food industry wants you to believe. 

Here’s a reminder for 2021, and what to do when you encounter astroturfing online:

  1. Call it out for what it is. Use this as an opportunity to educate others about astroturfing. Making people aware of this tactic takes away its effectiveness.
  2. Share a positive result to counter negative comments. For example, you could say how awesome you feel giving up processed foods and how paying attention to what’s in your food has helped you and your family.
  3. There is no reason to engage with astroturfers online. You can block or ban them from your social media accounts if necessary. Bless them and move on.

(See the video clip that Shaun T posted on Instagram and feel free to leave a comment!) 

And without further ado…it’s time to watch my incredible chat with Shaun T that caused such a stir:

You can also listen to the podcast here:

And one final thing before we go…for all the industry-funded trolls who are reading this blog right now:

I’m so looking forward to the BIG things in store for 2021.

We need to rise up. We need to stick together. We need to stand up for what we know is right.

Xo, 

Vani

P.S. Make sure to SHARE THIS BLOG POST with your friends. Everyone needs to know what to do when they are attacked online and how to spot food industry trolls! 

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12 responses to “Don’t let internet trolls stop you from sharing the truth about our food!

  1. Keep doing what you’re doing, girl! I love what you stand for and have learned SOOOOO much from you. Love your books, blog and passion. Thank you for what you’ve done and let the haters do their thing…it only brings more attention to your cause.

  2. There are so many trolls, this is the new normal that we should be addressing. Vani, you are a frigging legend. I love your boldness and hard work as do so many others, SO many others. Please continue to be part of the 2%! I don’t want to follow the 98% who are aimlessly following after whatever they read in the news, not critically thinking for themselves. I want to follow a true leader like you. No one is perfect, and information will change over time, but you’re authentic and living on purpose. If someone wants to hate on you, let’s see them jump into the ring and try and effect positive change in this world to the degree that you are sacrificing yourself to do so. KEEP GOING. I appreciate you.

    1. I second your great post Jen! I suggest you *please* look at this interview on YT and make the same comment … it is needed due to the “trolls”.

  3. I am so grateful for the information you share on making healthy food choices by providing the truth behind ingredient labels. There is no science necessary when evaluating toxic ingredients. Your contribution to wellness is practical and helpful to the people who WANT help. I have learned so much and am making better choices at the grocery store thanks to your exceptional work. I love the Truvani products as well! Carry on Foodbabe!!

  4. So thankful for you and the work you do. Some people and these trolls are ignorant. They don’t realize that chemical companies DO NOT have any onus on them. They do not have to provide information showing that their chemicals are safe. It is up to us as the consumer to prove that something is safe or not. How does this make sense?? The chemical coalition protects these companies and of course, they try to silence people like you and us, your supporters, and people whose eyes have been opened. We are not blind sheep. And if they tell us they don’t have to prove anything is safe, that we have to prove that it’s not safe, then what do you think we are going to do?Just that! I value you and your courage and bravery to speak out and shine a light when so many are trying to keep us in the dark. Thank you! Keep on keepin’ on. #foodbabyarmy all the way!

  5. Thank you FoodBabe for making big change in the food world. I am supremely grateful for this awesome web site and all the hard work you do every day. I cannot tell you how many people I tell about your website – giving them a place to learn and make positive diet changes for themselves. THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!

  6. Great interview with ShaunT Vani! Although I have heard most of the information from you before on different interviews, it doesn’t hurt to hear it again – AND I always learn something new I did not pick up before. Thank you for your relentless work on our broken food system … it seems these ‘trolls” will pay at some point with ill health. Sad.

  7. Awesome interview with Shaun T! Love this guy and love you too! I was blown away at the negative comments posted by the “trolls”. However I am grateful for this information on your website and blog. I was touched by how receptive Shaun was to your information. As a newly Certified Health Coach, I will be referring my clients to your website with the wealth of information to help educate them about what is really in our food. I also have your book, Feeding You Lies, and your awesome cookbook, The Food Babe Way. Love the cookbook because I am always looking to try new, healthy recipes for me and my husband. We are both in our 60’s, and have come to realize how important it is to put REAL food in our bodies. Thank you once again, Vani!

  8. Years ago anyone with an opposing opinion to food babe was discounted as a troll, someone paid by Monsanto usually. I’m no troll and not paid by Monsanto, I farm for a living, but just greatly alarmed at her description of conventional farming which is not accurate at all. I was discounted because I made a living from farming. Now food babe sells her own products, endorses those of others, writes books, etc. She makes a lot of money selling you her version of the truth. This all seems very hypocritical to me.

  9. You are my Daughters age and finally they both are coming around to realizing food in grocery stores are not what they should be. I gardened and raised them on good nutritous food. But now away cooking for self or family are realizing some bad health problems. Yes, food the answer, but the right kind and way it is grown even meats from organically fed animals. Chemicals are not needed to mask poor tasting food if grown organic and naturally will taste better anyhow! I grew up as a missionary kid on Indian food. TUMERIC ETC…… stirfried and rice mostly veggies, little meat, poultry mostly. Raised own chickens. Life time of health until working forced eating out I got sick. Fastfood, even though I thought careful, was not good. FDA is not overseeing this food industry for public good! Everything from processed food to giant farms. It is changing with People like you. I say ATTA girl!

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