The following article was taken from Bad Science Debunked.
~“Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme”~–Simon & Garfunkel lyrics
Woot! My calendar says it’s Friday, which means it’s time for yet another shopping trip to the FoodBabe.com online store! These little shopping expeditions have become quite the tradition here at Bad Science Debunked, and I’m pleased as organic fruit punch to be pumping sales commissions into the pockets of Vani Hari. Ms. Hari donates a percentage of each and every purchase to help glyphosate-damaged Galapagos Cormorants who, as a result of their Roundup injuries, can no longer fly. These poor birds must stand in the sun for hours waiting on boats to ferry them from island to island. Their suffering is heartbreaking. Won’t you come shopping with me and help these flightless wonders?
Regular readers will forgive me if I remind newcomers of the rules here: when shopping on Food Babe’s web site, we are very careful to follow Vani Hari’s own safety criteria. Reminiscent of a carcinogenic episode of Sesame Street, today’s research is brought to you by the letters I-A-R-C, as in the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This is Food Babe’s “go to” resource when defaming foods that compete with her own products. For example, Hari lambastes Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte because it contains an IARC Group 2B carcinogen:
… and she swings the ban hammer on the additive carrageenan because it’s also on the IARC Group 2B list:
For those of you who like pictures, here’s what “4-Mel” looks like on the IARC list:
OK, enough of the boring science stuff. Let’s go shopping! How about some nice spices? I’ve been in the mood do do some cooking lately. Thankfully, Vani sells several brands of herbs and spices. I can salt my bread and help those flightless cormorants at the same time. But I need some education first… go all “Spice Girl” on me Vani!
Well there we go! Simply Organic and Frontier spices are rated safe by Food Babe, so I know I can buy them with confidence–and my purchases pepper her pockets with cash (spice pun intended).
There’s only one thing that bothers me: According to food scientists, quite a few spices contain a compound known as caffeic acid. Why is that important? Well, let’s look back at that IARC list of “known carcinogens” touted by Vani Hari:
Well drop my drawers and call me spanky! Caffeic acid is a Group 2B carcinogen! Now, to be fair, not all spices and herbs contain caffeic acid. Unless we catch Food Babe selling a spice such as marjoram, oregano, Ceylan cinnamon, sage,rosemary, and/or thyme, which we know contain caffeic acid, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Well, here’s a Food Babe spice:
Oh dear. Organic Herbes de Provence contains thyme, rosemary, oregano, and marjoram. That’s a grand slam of caffeic acid. Now I’m confused. Why is Vani Hari telling us to avoid Group 2B carcinogens when they appear in the products she’s selling?
Maybe she just made a mistake with the Simply Organic brand? Let’s have a look at the other brand she’s selling: Frontier Organic.16 Yum. I love cinnamon… how about you?
Damn my eyes! 24.20mg/100g of caffeic acid in this Food Babe offering. Is nothing sacred?
Before you rush off and dump your spice collection in the garbage, you should know that caffeic acid has been studied for use as an antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory agent, and myriad other beneficial uses. Keep in mind that throughout this article, we’ve been looking at these products from a Food Babe perspective. It’s easy to misrepresent science to make safe products look scary. You can actually make quite a good living doing so–it’s the #FoodBabeWay.
In summary, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy Simply Organic or Frontier spices (if not for their inflated prices)… I just wouldn’t be caught dead buying them from Food Babe.