It’s much easier to eat whatever you’re craving without thinking much about it.
It takes energy and intention to figure out what’s actually in our food.
But making the effort to understand the ingredients we put in our body will help us take our life to the next level.
So why is it so hard?
The food industry is doing everything they can to keep chemicals in their food in order to increase shelf-life and keep you wanting more.
Unless you’re making the effort to eat well, you’ll be convinced by their marketing lies.
On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk with an amazing woman who has bravely taken the giants of the food industry: Vani Hari.
Vani Hari aka “The Food Babe” is a New York Times best-selling author, blogger, and activist. She investigates what is really in our food, how is it grown and what chemicals are used in its production. Companies such as Chick-fil-A and Kraft have changed their ingredients based on her campaigns.
Vani says that we need to know all the ingredients in our food, we need to know if they’re nutritious, and we need to know where they come from.
So get ready to learn about the lies the food industry tells us on Episode 757.
Lewis: This is episode 757 with New York Times best-selling author Vani Hari. Welcome to the school of greatness my name is Lewis Howes a former athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today, now let the class begin.
Winston Churchill said “Courage is what it takes to standup and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Today we have Vani Hari on who is a revolutionary food activist, New York Times best-selling author and was name one of the most influential people on the internet by time magazine in 2015. She started the food babe blog in 2011 and now is the founder of true Vani, a startup offering real food without added chemicals and products without toxins and labels without lies.
In this interview we talked about how Vani deals with the negative backlash of creating this massive global food campaigns. Also how to determine what’s real and what’s fake when credible sources post false facts about your food. This is something that’s really scary especially in America, because there’s a lot of credible sources out there that shares false facts about your food that could be really harming you and your family and friends.
We also cover how to know if you’re food is truly organic because sometimes when it says organic it’s not and that’s scary also. And then the 3 simple questions to ask yourself when you want to eat better. We cover a lot of these different strategies and tools and reveal a lot about the food industry you probably didn’t know. So get ready to have your mind blown in this interview. Make sure to share with your friends’ lewishowes.com/757 and tag myself @lewishowes and Vani over on Instagram as well.
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Welcome everyone to the school of greatness podcast we have our good friend Vani Hari in the house.
Vani: What’s up?
Lewis: I’m excited you are here, you are back on 3 or 4 years ago I think for the last book.
Vani: Yeah, 4 years ago.
Lewis: 4 years ago that long?
Lewis: A lot happened since then you’re a New York Times best-seller, you got a 2 year old baby now. You launched a new business called Trivani which is incredible and you got a new book out called ‘Feeding you lies’ which I think is the most brilliant book title ever. How to unravel the food industry playbook and reclaim your health. This thing is out right now and you uncover all the lies about food right?
Vani: That’s right.
Lewis: All the lies the food industry feed us and tell us which is actually healthy for us but when it’s actually really bad.
Vani: That’s right. My mission has always been about educating the public about the chemicals in the American food supply. In my first book was all about chemicals: How do we get the chemicals out of our diet and this book actually takes it a step further and goes behind the scenes and shows you exactly the playbook that the food industry uses to continue selling us this chemical, to continue to confuse us about what’s truly healthy so that we continue to buy their products.
Lewis: Really? So it’s like false marketing?
Lewis: The packaging the marketing.
Vani: The things you read on social media, the things you see on the media.
Lewis: To have a fit life like healthy looking women or men on their packaging just to say that this is how you’re gonna look even though it’s not good for you, whatever it may be right?
Vani: That’s right.
Lewis: It’s all marketing?
Vani: A lot of it is.
Lewis: Even if they have the ingredients that shows the chemicals and bad stuff in it, they’re saying the things on the front? The face it looks nice but on the back it’s like all dirty.
Vani: Yeah, a perfect example of this is diet coke. Diet coke diet is part of the name, it makes you think that you’re gonna stay lean and trim and that you can get away with eating, zero calories and still enjoying this buzz and caffeine and the sweetness from this drink. But what’s really happening behind the scenes in your body is you’re consuming artificial sweetners that trick your brain into thinking “Hey, I’m receiving some nourishment because this thing is sweet and it taste like it has calories nutrition” But in actuality you’re not getting any of those calories. And so your body continuously craves additional food and so you end up eating more than otherwise do and so you end up in this yoyo cycle of dieting and never be able to break free.
Lewis: How many ingredients is in a diet coke?
Vani: It’s not a ton of ingredients but the ingredients are awful.
Lewis: They’re bad I get you.
Vani: I mean one of the ingredients is caramel coloring right. Caramel coloring is not the one you make where you burn sugar, but it’s made in laboratory and there’s been studies that shows that it’s linked to cancer.
Lewis: Have you been seeing the commercials for diet coke? There’s this amazing commercial I was watching a couple of months ago that was like. It was like this cool casual girl whose like life is short have a diet coke, like have 1 cause you can.
Vani: I mean they’re losing the battle right now, I mean in terms of.
Lewis: But I am not trying to say this isn’t good for you anymore.
Vani: Yeah, well they’ve gotten away with a lot of different things and there’s many different stories that I share in the book that shows how the coke industry, the soda industry whether it’s Coca-Cola or Pepsi they have tried to changed our perspective about health and diet in this country and said. You know what it’s not about sugar or carbohydrates which our food is mainly made up of. It’s actually about fat you should eliminate fat in your diet or “Hey why don’t you exercise more.” And there’s been evidence where you know not only have they colluded with the CDC and other government officials, they’ve colluded with professors at some of the highest degree universities in our country to try to persuade the public that we have a problem the fact that we don’t exercise enough when really we’re consuming too much sugar and too many empty calories which is their products.
Lewis: So how many of these companies are actually kind of feeding you lies mentality?
Vani: That’s a good question you know the majority of companies that are you know the legacy big food companies. Those are the ones that have really gotten away with and I don’t want to say murder but they really have because what has happened is that they’re using the same playbook as the tobacco industry when it comes to determining what people crave, what makes them addicted to food and what makes them continuously buy them. The majority of chemicals have been invented in the last 50 years or so have been invented for one reason, to improve the bottom line of the food industry. Not to improve our health not for nutrition, they’ve only been there to improve the bottom line of the food industry. So when you look at an ingredients list and you see different chemicals in there, they’re not serving a purpose for your nutrition or your body or to make you feel really great. They’re just serving the interest of the food industry and this example can be shown in a really unethical way when you look at our food vs other food in other countries. For example McDonald’s franchise here in the United States they are made with a slew of different chemicals, one of the chemicals is dimethylpolysiloxane the same ingredient in [?]. It is also an ingredient to preserve formaldehyde and an ingredient that the FDA has not truly even studied or proved to be in our food system.
Lewis: Why in McDonalds if not FDA approved?
Vani: Well it’s a gross it’s generally regarded as safe but the ingredient itself is actually deem safe by the food industry themselves not the FDA. So there’s this underlying assumption that are ingredients are being like manage and tested and safety tested by the government right? But the FDA doesn’t have any of the mechanisms to do that so they rely on the food industry themselves. Now, in Europe they have different standards they approve the stuff safe before you put it in your food. So, in Europe when you look at McDonalds French fries they use 3 basic ingredients: Potatoes, oil, and dextrose which is just sugar and then you can add the salt after you fry it. But here in the United States totally different scenario and I think one of the most unethical behaviors is when big food manufacture especially American food manufacturers start to change their product overseas to meet the regulations and not change them there. So an example of it is with the.
Lewis: So, American food companies change stuff overseas because they have to, here they’ll cut corner to save money.
Vani: Yeah and a great example of this was the craft petition that I started to remove artificial food from mac and cheese. In Europe if you use yellow 5 and yellow 6 in a product or any of these artificial food dyes you have to put a warning label that says ‘May cause adverse effects on activity and [?] in children.” Now this warning label is mandatory by the government.
Lewis: If you use these ingredients?
Vani: Right. But here in the United States you can get away with using them. So instead of putting the warning label on craft mac and cheese in Europe, craft said “You know what we’re gonna change the ingredients. But we’re not going to change them in the United States.” So they know that their product could cause hyperactivity in children but they choose not to change it because our government allows them to get away with it and I feel like that’s the most unethical food practice ever. As a company if someone is serving food to you as 2 people, I think that ethical obligation to say that you know what I should serve it the least harmful as possible people, I should know this information about different regulations and just ignore it for different populations because I can get away with it.
Lewis: Wow crazy. Now you did a campaign against craft a while ago right?
Vani: That’s right. It received over 300,000 signatures. Craft change craft has now remove artificial food dyes from their mac and cheese as well.
Lewis: So 300,000 names they remove one or two ingredients or?
Vani: Yeah, they actually they rechange it and it was really funny because the way they launched it, of course they wouldn’t give the activist credit or you know the people out there that are demanding. Instead they said “Oh new and improved.” So they really just like.
Lewis: They weren’t like we heard your voices.
Vani: It wasn’t you know the customers wanted this.
Lewis: You did this with subway as well, I remember you doing a campaign and had like a video of yoga mat ingredient there or something.
Vani: That’s right example of an ingredient it was called azodicarbonamide, we dubbed it the yoga mat chemical.
Lewis: What does that mean? Like what are these chemicals you know.
Vani: It’s a chemical that’s used as a dough conditioner. So you know when you look at a piece of bread that’s been manufactured and you see all these holes and it’s like in their perfect realm and you bake a bread at home or something has a big hole in the middle. You know it’s not all uniform well azodicarbonamide makes it all uniform. So when you’re a fast food giant and you want your bread to all be the same and made exactly the same so people will know what they’re getting when they get there you know it does cheapen the process in terms of makes faster to produce as well. And this ingredient was not only banned in Europe and other places around the world, you would get fined like several hundred thousand dollars.
In Singapore if you use this chemical because of the interactions it had with not only it being up in the air and you can inhale it but also when it’s broken down it turns into a carcinogen. And so knowing that subway was using this chemical here in the United States and not elsewhere across the globe, because subway was the largest, no longer the largest fast food chain because of this campaign.
Lewis: They were the largest?
Vani: They were the largest yeah.
Lewis: Bigger than McDonalds?
Vani: They were they had more stores than McDonalds at that point. They were worldwide but they were choosing again the service this cheaper more alarming chemicals here in the United States. So, these campaigns weren’t about taking out this chemical or that chemical then suddenly have these products be super healthy. It was about showcasing what is in your food, making people become aware of it and not only have people become aware of it there’s this amazing trend happening in the marketplace where people are wanting organic and natural foods now because people are becoming aware of what these chemicals are and they don’t want to consume then. And it’s just a beautiful thing so we’re in this amazing food movement and in through this change and being a catalyst for this change and being a voice for this change, you know I received enormous pushbacks from several experts. And I received a ton of backlash from these campaigns and it came out of nowhere. And at the time I didn’t really know how to handle and the only way that I knew what to do was just to like sit here and not listen to it. So, I like I cancelled google because not only.
Lewis: So much negativity.
Vani: There was so much negativity and I realized that my mission shouldn’t be driven upon what people say about me whether positive or negative. So when something would happen positive in the press and I’d ask my mother and my team would to send it to me. Also anything negative don’t send it to me because it really, my mission should come within. The reason why I am doing this is not so that I can be popular and be featured in some mainstream magazine, it was so that I can get this message out. I want to talk about the chemicals, I want to talk about the food industry, I want to talk about how people’s lives can change and not feel like a zombie anymore like I used to feel in my early 20’s when I was eating all of these process food. So as a result of me being an activist and me getting into this spotlight environment, I mean right after the book came out after I was in this podcast, my world was just like blew up. You know Time Magazine reached out and that was just like what? Next to Barrack Obama. And I was getting these accolades right but I also at the same time was being pressured and pushed by these agendas, media agenda to paint me as pseudoscientific or someone who does understand chemicals or someone who just is a fear monger trying to make people afraid of these chemicals in this process food. And they wanted to paint as this and so I found myself in this kind of media frenzy of all these people wanting to interview me but for the wrong reasons.
So, I started to just take a look at what was driving these interviews, who are the people behind this request and then who are the antagonist in the story that they were interviewing? And it became very clear that there was a campaign that was being funded by the food and chemical industry, driven by several different PR firms to attack me as messenger of change to do whatever they could do to get me to stop. And not only did they do whatever they want to do to get me to stop, but they also wanted to confuse the public so that when anybody would listen to something that I would say they would try to question it.
Lewis: I remember seeing this like on twitter there was ton of responses and everything you put out and people are just spamming all that stuff.
Vani: And that was actually an astroturf campaign and actually this is a tactic not only used to take down activist but it’s used to take down ideas and the public. So, when the food industry wants you to believe a certain thing or the chemical industry or any type of industry, they will hire not only astroturf like groups of online trolls.
Lewis: Just try to get you to shut up.
Vani: Just try to get people to shut up or to make people who are trying to change the status quo feel stupid about it. So, they’ll do whatever they can to try to get you to stop sharing the truth. And so not only they will bully you online but they’ll go into comment sections of mainstream media articles and try to fight people in there and try to showcase fake comments to take the side of the food industry, to take the side of the corporations. And not only are there this online troll groups but they’re really being driven by this front groups like they look 3rd party independent groups right, they have this long fancy names.
Vani: But really they are just really there being funded by Coke and all of these other giant food and chemical companies that are trying to drive the agenda and one perfect example of this that happened recently is ‘Coconut oil isn’t healthy.’ It was in the front of USA today it was everywhere. And as a person who’s been studying health and nutrition now for over 10 years.
Lewis: How is it not healthy?
Vani: it was I mean it was on everything and it was because the American heart association was the one delivering the message and people believe this association, little do they know that the AHAC used to be on tricks and other serials that are terrible for your health but they’ve had their seals, you can buy their seals basically and put it, I mean it was on subway and a lot of different fast food chains. But not only that is people see this American heart association and they just automatically believe it, they don’t even know that a lot of it is driven by the food and chemical industry and that they’re experts being paid secretly behind the scenes. So the corn and canola industry is driving this message that coconut oil is unhealthy because they see coconut oil sales take over their sales because people are becoming aware of.
So you see that you look something you know you see a headline and automatically believe in, I mean it was so believable that my mom is texting me and she’s like “Vani I told you so.” Like she’s always been like she just like good old fashion butter which is good, but I’ve always told her like “If you fried something in some coconut oil or canola oil or corn oil.” Which is like she is even believing it and meanwhile if you don’t look behind the headline you don’t look into who’s driving this message and the experts who are being paid to promote this agenda you are going to suffer as individual because you’re gonna believe this information, you’re gonna make this choices about your health and what you’re feeding your family and you’re setting them up for failure. And so this is what feeding you lies is about; exposing this tactics, exposing this playbook so that you as a consumer you become a health investigator yourself. You can see beyond the headline now after reading this book, when you see slews of comments believing one thing that just you know your intuition is saying ‘I don’t know about this’ you can kind of dig deeper and say “Woah, is this an astroturf campaign?” And I’ll give you tactics on how to handle that if it happens to you, you know if you’re leaving a comment and people are bullying you about a certain belief or view and not only that but there are specific lies in there that affects us every single day when you’re at a grocery store and you see a label that says gluten free, it doesn’t mean that product is safe.
Lewis: It might be gluten free but it might be filled with all these other chemicals.
Vani: That’s right I mean the food industry loves a good diet, they love anything that they can use to market process food in a different way that is fashionable and trendy. And the trendy thing right now is gluten free, actually the next one is [?] and even see like slimfast getting into kito products and their products are garbage, its absolute garbage through your body I mean they’re full of synthetic chemicals, vitamins and minerals different artificial sweetners that make your metabolism just completely like shut down because it starts to like create. You know you can have all of these chemicals that really shouldn’t be part of your diet when it’s really as simple as the 3 question detox that I talked about in the book.
Lewis: Why doesn’t the food industry just have organic foods? Why do they need so many chemicals? Is it just because it makes it cheaper?
Vani: Yeah. Well, I mean it’s really about shelf life like how long can we keep it on the shelf? And then how addictive can we make it so that people keep buying. And the most addictive ingredient right now in our food supplies is flavors, added flavors because these flavors are not found in nature. Even if they say natural flavor it is not a flavor that is found in nature, because when you eat the best blueberry you found in nature it’s coupled with fiber and micro nutrition and vitamins and minerals and everything for you to have that amazing taste together that sends a signal through your body. Now, if you eat chips that are [?] with these flavors or use extract or some of these other tactics of the food industry uses, you’re gonna eat more and more of those food and those foods are process that garbage that is used to, they are literally using garbage to sell to us so that we just keep eating and it’s really not providing nutrition to the body.
Lewis: That’s why you need more of it because there’s no nutrition. So addictive you just want to fill yourself more up right?
Vani: That and then you’re getting that brain hit from that chemical that’s like, because it wouldn’t you know without this flavors that food wouldn’t taste good.
Lewis: Synthetic it taste good.
Vani: And they are using the exact same science that they used with the tobacco industry that makes cigarettes addictive. They are using those same scientist to make food addictive too. So, we have to be aware of this right, if we’re leading a nation that we’re undeniably sick we have skyrocketing disease rates here, we have a problem and we have to pay attention and thank goodness for social media, and thank goodness for activist and people out there. I love people who follow me online because not only do they care about their own health they are willing to like spread this message and that’s how we’ve gotten the food industry to change without them spreading this message and sharing these campaigns and sharing information in this book and sharing what’s happening in the food supply, these changes wouldn’t be happening if people weren’t asking for higher quality food.
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Lewis: The challenge is with fake news you know with USA today and all these other credible news sites you know posting these things, how do you know what’s real or fake when the more credible sites are getting caught up on these headlines also?
Vani: Yeah, I mean it’s really sad because I think a lot of journalist were unaware of what’s happening and you know a really great example is I was interviewed to be in the Atlantic and they did a profile piece on me and Dr. James who I loved his writings. He’s a fantastic writer for them, he’s a doctor went to Harvard and one the antagonist in the story is he interviewed a professor from the University of Florida and when he was asking me for direct comment about this professor, I said “Listen I’m pretty sure he is working with Monsanto and the chemical corporations and you need to look into this.” And he asked him point blank you know “Are you working with the chemical corporations in Monsanto?” And he denied it and then you know 6 months later on the front of the New York Times is revealed that this guy is taking money from Monsanto through the freedom and information request act. And these are stuff that wasn’t disclose and these are experts interviewed that were people who were trying to say that my message is too outlandish, that you know there’s no scientific backing behind anything that I am saying and the worst part about it is they tried to attacked me as an individual vs attacking the actual ideas that I was bringing about because every single campaign there was scientific evidence and non-profit organizations who have signed which is what worked for them, backing up what I said whether it’s the NRDC or consumer union or the center for science and public interest. Every single one of those agreed with the removal of these chemicals that I was proposing, or the transparency that I was asking about companies like Starbucks. One of my big campaigns was at Starbucks.
Vani: Yeah, we ask them.
Lewis: You’re like show me the bottle and you’re looking at all the ingredients.
Vani: Yeah and I loved it we were like on a little hunt it was great. And not only did Starbucks responded to that campaign and remove caramel coloring from the pumpkin spice latte, they finally disclosed the ingredients in all of their drinks for the first time in history as a result, because that was the basis that campaign was the fact that people were buying all of these drinks from Starbucks left and right and they had no idea what was in it. And for years and years Starbucks got away with not just disclosing what was in it and the worst thing about it is not only did they have the same kind of ingredients in diet coke but they were getting away with being like this high living, you know more premier coffee establishment. But they were using the same ingredients as dunkin donuts.
Lewis: Both addictive
Lewis: That’s why I don’t drink them anymore just too good to be true and too much sugar. Now what are the questions you said there were 3 questions we should be asking ourselves about detox?
Vani: So this is a challenge that I propose for anyone that really wants to change the way they eat, don’t worry about going on a new diet, and don’t worry about the latest health trends. Do these 3 simple things just ask yourselves these 3 simple things and see where it leads you after a week. So the first thing I want you to ask yourself, so there’s a plate of food in front of you and you go determining what to eat and the first thing I want you to ask yourself what are the ingredients? And if you can identify all the ingredients in what you’re eating and you know why they’re there and maybe you identify things that aren’t supposed to be there or things that you don’t know what they are, well then I don’t want you to eat those things until you know and you figured it out. And it’s as simple as a google search or coming to foodbabe.com and looking at our additive glossary and determining if this is something that I want to put in my body. What are the ingredients? Then I want you to take a chance and say “All right here are the ingredients that I am eating, are these ingredients nutritious? Are these going to actually serve a beneficial part of my daily life?” Now one of this ingredients maybe like sugar but now you’re like is sugar nutritious? We all know the answer to that, there’s no nutrition in sugar.
Lewis: Just taste good.
Vani: It just taste good. It’s addictive it’s more addictive than cocaine, it causes your immune system to break down, it causes liver disease I mean there’s so many different things. So, you got to make a choice then are these ingredients nutritious? If you just ask yourself that you may eat a little less of that sugar I think. And then the 3rd question that I want you to ask is where do these ingredients come from? And you may still look at that sugar component and be like “Where does this sugar come from?” Or whatever you’re eating. And you might be like how did it get white? First of all because sugar cane out there is like green and brown and how did it get white? Well, they’re bleaching it right. Or maybe it’s a piece of meat that you’re eating and you realized what the ingredients to a piece of beef are? But now you’re asking yourself where does this come from? Is it coming from a feedlot in a factory farm where the animals being pumped full of growth hormone or antibiotics to make it fatter and to grow faster than it should and eat jam of corn and soy.
One of the stories that I tell is old skittles is being fed to cattle and it’s completely true.
Vani: Yeah, old candy is fed to animals in this country to fatten them up. I’m not saying every single farm does that but I am saying that there are some. And so you really need to know where your meat comes from and if you’re, you know you are what your food eats too. So find out where your meat is coming from, find out where your food is coming from and how it’s produced before you eat it, and if you ask yourself those 3 simple questions every single time you eat you will not only learn so much about how you are eating and what you are eating, you’ll start to really question your own diet into I think I hope into a way that provides you the avenue to research and learn more about what you want to eat in this world. And I think that is the ultimate key to feeling great is to know what you’re eating.
Lewis: That’s it. Yeah, I’m very picky with what I eat and I eat like the same 3 places every week and it’s just like salad, veggies and a little bit of meat. I try to take the Mark Hyman approach where it’s like mostly vegetables, some fruits, seeds, nuts and some meat every now and then. I’d even live by those simple principles and you make sure to know where it’s coming from and that there’s no added chemicals in there, they do it pretty well.
Vani: Yeah, that’s how I feed my daughter that’s exactly how I feed my daughter. I start with vegetables and then we go with a little bit of meat maybe some like seeds and nuts and then fruits.
Lewis: Although I realized I was eating so many almonds and having so much almond milk, almond butter and snacking all day that I started to feel like [?] breakouts.
Lewis: Yeah, I think it was from almonds because I was eating so much of it. I was having like 2 smoothies a day with almond milk, eating almonds: almond butter, apples and bananas just like all almond all the time. Because I heard peanuts were bad for you right? So I was like let me do this almond thing for a while it is like just have some other nuts. Some of these things are healthy you got to be aware that they might also affect you in some ways if you overdose in them.
Vani: Yeah and that’s one of the reasons why you’ll never see me prescribed a certain diet.
Lewis: Everyone is different.
Vani: Everybody is different. But the principles of the 3 question detox rain true no matter who you are.
Lewis: And what’s the 48 hour toxic breakdown.
Vani: Yeah, so the toxin takedown is all about in 48 hours you know you read this book you’re like “Oh crap my pantry is full of these stuff.” So that’s the 48 hour toxin takedown at the end of the book. I break it down for you in 48 hours here’s what you’re going to eat, here’s what you’re gonna do and then that will just boom get you set up. So then you can start the 3 question detox from scratch and say “All right, here’s how I’m gonna live my life from now on when I decide what I’m gonna eat.”
Lewis: What about organic food is all organic food good or some of these organic companies now using the organic name but also having other ingredients at the back that are chemicals as well? Can you get away with that if you say organic it has to be fully organic?
Vani: Yeah there’s different levels of organic. So, there’s a 100% organic which you’ll see the USDA certify seal on as well.
Lewis: That’s something you can trust right? 100% organic should be okay.
Vani: Yes. And then to use the USDA certified organic seal only 95% of your ingredients have to be organic. And so the other 5% can be other non-organic approved items on the list. So there’s a long list of other approved non-organic items that are allowed in organic foods.
One of those ingredients by the way is [?] which is being questioned right now, and they are proposing to take that off that list, which is great because that’s one of the ingredients that you’ll find in one of the nutmilks that can actually disrupt the gut and affect your metabolism and it is also linked to cancer too. So the other piece that could be 70% organic, so to use to word organic you only have to use 70% organic ingredients, so the other 30% can be anything under the sun. So that’s one I am most concerned about is when you see organic on the label with no USDA seal you really got to turn it over and look at the ingredients and make sure all the ingredients are good.
I fall victim to this all the time because I see the word organic sometimes and I just grab and go sometimes, even me I’m the best label reader in the world, I feel like I know a lot about labels.
Lewis: You studied this for years.
Vani: Yeah, right. So you really have to pay attention to that because the other thing that happens too is that big companies like to buy up a lot of smaller organic companies and when they buy this organic companies they change the ingredients a lot of times. This is actually one of the reasons why I started my own food company trivani because of this reason. I was tired of it happening and it happened with my turmeric supplement that I was taking.
Lewis: So you were taking a supplement and other company bought it and change the ingredients?
Vani: Yeah. So, I said no longer this is, I’m gonna make it my mission to make that I create my own products that I truly believed in and that’s what I did with trivani and it’s been an amazing ride, we have 5 products now so fun to see everything come to life. We have literally I feel like the cleanest protein powder on the market, I mean it has 5 ingredients and that is incredible.
Lewis: It’s funny because Derek Halpren is a good friend of mine as well who is working with you on trivani. He was saying to me one day he was like “It’s almost so hard to create a product because Vani is so particular on what is allowed and we can only allow certain amount of ingredients that you can’t find some of this stuff that you need to make these products. So it’s the top of the line and some of the best qualities and we could put out so many other things quicker but we’re not allowed to because of the standard Vani has.” So you have this high standard trustworthy products, it’s amazing. Our friend Mark Sison just sold his company primal kitchen to I think Heinz is that right?
Lewis: For a couple of hundred million dollars and I think that was one of his concerns like are they gonna try and take the ingredients and change them? And he told everyone I think in a press release that they aren’t and that he’s going to be on the team long time, and I think that’s a concern a lot of people have is this companies that we love, these foods that we love get bought up and then we don’t know what’s gonna happen to them.
Vani: Right and it all depends on who is in charge of the ingredients. If Mark stays in charge with the ingredients I have really good faith that that’s gonna stay clean because I love Mark and I love what he is doing. His ketchup is amazing it’s the only ketchup I let my daughter eat.
Vani: I mean it’s no sugar in it it’s incredible.
Lewis: Heinz is probably like all sugar right?
Vani: Yeah it’s all sugar, it’d be great to see primal kitchen in every burger bar across America like everyone dipping their French fries and that would be incredible.
Lewis: It’d be amazing.
Vani: But really that’s what I am really soaked about that because I have better ketchup available.
Lewis: You guys are on a mission now to build trivina and what’s the standard for ingredients for you guys?
Vani: So, it’s got to be things that we don’t use any unnecessary additives.
Lewis: What’s that mean?
Vani: So a lot of companies will use additives so that their product has a certain appearance or the product flows better and the machine because it is being mass produced or use for a shelf extender so that they can keep it on the shelf longer and they can make more money. That’s been one of the battles going back and forth with different manufactures it’s like “Hey, we’re not gonna use this preservative. No, sorry we’re not going to use vegetables glycerin.” Even though it’s kind of an okay ingredient it’s not something that I would cook with in my kitchen. We’re not going to be using natural flavors that are there to trick the person to believing that real vanilla is in there protein powder, no we’re just going to use real vanilla bean. It cost a lot to have organic vanilla bean powder in our product but I want people to have the real thing, I want people to eat real food so our mission is real food without added chemicals, products without toxins, labels without lies and that’s what is all about. And you know what’s interesting is when bigger companies do buy up smaller companies a lot of this products do change but one of the biggest trends that’s happening right now is the non-GMO label. You see non-GMO product everywhere right, you see the butterfly label or other non-GMO signal and this was as a result of a campaign to get the federal government to label our products whether they are genetically engineered or not, and what’s really sad to say is that people are really sad to see this label and say “Hey, it’s non-GMO it’s safe to eat.” But what they don’t realize is that yes it doesn’t have food that’s made from seeds that are created to withstand heavy doses of these chemicals like roundup, but it also still has roundup or other pesticides because there are a ton of conventional crops that still use roundup and this other pesticides. So, one of the reasons why I wanted GMO labels was not so much that genetically modified seed that’s being patented, I wasn’t really concern about the seeds I was concern by the fact that it was created to withstand those heavy doses of chemicals, I didn’t want the chemical load in my body, I didn’t want the constant expose of my body to glyphosate which is the main ingredient in roundup in my body like because it’s link to cancer.
So, I am kind of sadden the fact that there’s this huge industry of non-GMO food but people don’t recognize that it also needs to be organic in order to safe guard yourself from this synthetic pesticides.
Lewis: So you should be looking for organic and non-GMO together?
Lewis: And then you know it’s safe?
Vani: That’s right. And is the information that I detail out in this book, you know I had to go through some serious lawyer reviews to get this information out and you know you will see everything footnoted and noted to the end of day.
Lewis: It’s amazing everything you need is in this book make sure you guys check it out ‘Feeding you lies’ ‘How to unravel the food industries playbook’ and ‘Reclaim your heath’.
I got a couple of final questions for you, I don’t think I asked you this last time it’s called the 3 truths. So, imagine it’s your last day on earth as many years as you want it to be but you have to pick a day and it’s your last day. You’ve done everything you wanted to do, you’ve accomplished everything, you’ve taken down every food company that tries to poison people and you’ve done it all. And you get to leave 3 lessons behind for the world, 3 truths that the world will remember you by, but you got to take all other information with you. No one has access to your work or books anymore but they have these 3 truths, what would you say are yours?
Vani: Eat from the earth, find out why you are here and go do it.
Lewis: Lesson lately right?
Lewis: Being a mom what does that tell about?
Vani: Wow, I mean it’s everything. It is absolutely everything. There is nothing more important to my daughter and for her well-being that for me to be present.
Lewis: That’s powerful. How long have I known you now Vani?
Vani: 6 years.
Vani: I think its 6 years.
Lewis: Remember when we met originally?
Vani: I think it was at [?].
Lewis: Was it here? 6 years ago? Who we met with do you remember?
Vani: We were with Ryan and Samantha.
Lewis: I thought we met down at some like hotel lobby like maybe there’s another time but I can’t remember. 6 years ago huh? Crazy. Maybe it’s true I’ve been in L.A I just move to L.A.
Vani: You just moved here. You walked up and down and went to Starbucks.
Lewis: Was that the first time we hang out?
Vani: I think so, maybe we had talked on the phone before that. I just remember us like we were best buds.
Lewis: We were it was great and you took down an investigation and hunt all these things. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you over the last 5 or 6 years and I want to acknowledge you Vani for constantly showing up and doing this work because I know what it’s like to get attacked and get like people trying to take you down, it’s not fun. And the fact that you continue to show up and create work like this and spend years of time researching and studying and applying facts and data to back your information is really challenging and you’re helping a lot of parents and a lot of kids and human beings who might be suffering from misinformation. So, I acknowledge you for all the work you continue to do and that you are a great mom and a process of living your dreams. So, I acknowledge you for all of it.
Final question for you people can find you on foodbabe.com.
Vani: Just foodbabe.com
Lewis: Is it @thefoodbabe on Instagram?
Lewis: Feeding you lies go pick up the book right now it’s on amazon and bookstores you can get it. Final question for you is what’s your definition of greatness?
Vani: I would love to go back to my original interview with you and see what I said. I don’t know I wonder if it’s change.
Lewis: It probably has.
Vani: It has definitely changed. Live every day like it’s your last, I mean really the definition of greatness is like living every day like it’s your last because you’ll have no regrets and you will love and be present and do what you need to do and you’ll I think live with the most integrity.
Lewis: Appreciate it.
There you have it my friends I hope you enjoyed this interview Vani Hari the food babe. Make sure to tag me @lewishowes and tag Vani Hari as well let her know what you thought about this over on Instagram and share this with your friends’ lewishowes.com/757. We also just hit 400,000 subscribers over on YouTube so thank you to all our subscribers over there. If you haven’t subscribe yet to the YouTube channel this is where we release all of our videos every single week and other things that aren’t on the podcast: Inspirational videos, motivational videos and resources. Go to Youtube.com/lewishowes subscribe today or you can go to show notes right here lewishowes.com/757 and you’ll see the video with me and Vani and you can subscribe right there and let’s get it to 500,000 soon. I appreciate all your support.
Again, big thank you to netsuite.com go to netsuite.com/greatness right now and get their free guide ‘Crushing the 5 barriers to growth’ when you check it out. You’re gonna learn how to acquire new customers, increase profits and finally get real visibility into your cash flow. Go to netsuite.com/greatness now to get that free guide.
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Big thank you again to Vani for coming on, for me food has become [?] part of my life as I continue to get older my body changes and evolves and I need to make sure that I am optimizing my health to the best of my ability and that’s why we need to know what’s in our food and what we are intaking in our body because what we intake we output with our energy. So make sure that you guys consume this information, share this with a friend who you think it might be helpful, share it with a mom who’s got kids and cares about their kid’s health and their family health, we want to get this out there in a big way.
Again as Winston Churchill said “Courage is what it takes to standup and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” If you see something wrong in the world make sure to standup and speak out about it, make sure you use your life to impact other people around you who might be struggling with something whether it’s their food or something else. This is your opportunity to make an impact. I love you all so very much and as always you know what time it is, it’s time to go out there and do something great.