Up Close and Personal with the ‘Food Babe’ Vani Hari

This interview with “Food Babe” Vani Hari took place shortly before she went on stage at the 2015 Longevity Now® Conference and delivered an inspiring lecture.  If you’re interested in seeing Vani’s full lecture from the Longevity Now® Conference check out the webcast here.  Vani will also be included in another amazing line up of speakers at the upcoming Women’s Wellness Conference™ in Costa Mesa, California.   Below is a transcription of the interview:

David “Avocado” Wolfe (DW):  Greetings everybody this is David “Avocado” Wolfe, and I’m here with Vani Hari, “the Food Babe”.  You may know her from Facebook or from her activism across the internet.  How you doing Vani?


“Food Babe” Vani Hari (VH): Hi! How are you?


DW: Best ever!  We’re here at the Longevity Conference®. We’re about to put her on stage.  She has been an incredible light with her new book, The Food Babe Way, she’s gonna tell us a little bit about that and a lot of other things that she’s up to.  Take us in, what’s going on in the life of the Food Babe?


VH:  Yea you know, things are changing faster than ever.  We are winning a food revolution that’s happening out there.  We’ve got McDonald’s going antibiotic-free with their chicken.  We’ve got Kraft mac ‘n cheese removing all the artificial food dyes out of the million boxes a day that they sell.


DW: Wow!


VH: Chemicals that don’t belong in our food that are regulated differently in other countries are finally being removed from our American food supply.  Things are becoming more transparent, we’re getting information about food that we never had before because of people like you, people like the “Food Babe Army”, people out there that care about their health and are fighting everyday to get this information to different people.


DW: Awesome!  You are doing such a great job. Now tell us about The Food Babe Way, what’s in there?  Are you teaching us about the chemicals in food?  Teaching us about how to read labels? Is that what going on with that book?


VH: Yea, I mean, the Food Babe Way is all about taking back control of your health and saying “You know what, I don’t need to be an nutritionist or a scientist, or a chemist, to learn about my body, or learn how to eat, or learn what these ingredients mean”. And, it’s really about looking at the back of packages and understanding what you are putting in your body.  If you don’t understand it you need to either go learn it or not eat it, and that’s my philosophy in the book.  It take you through the fifteen sickening ingredients in food.  The ones the you absolutely, critically have to get out of your food.  Then I show you what to do instead.  How to add superfoods to your diet. I mean, a whole chapter is dedicated to superfoods.


DW: Thank you so much!


VH:  Your eyes are lighting up.


DW: Thank you so much!  Vani Hari is into raw chocolate by the way.  We found out that we had actually met about four years ago maybe at the Anaheim Natural Products Expo, that was interesting.


VH: Yea when I saw you, it was like – and I couldn’t believe it – I stopped you and it was so funny I was like, ” Hey I am Vani and started the blog the Food Babe” and you were probably like “who the hell is she?” You know, and you gave me the best hug and we took a picture and it was so awesome. I got to share it yesterday on Instagram.


DW: Wow, cool!


VH: This is so cool to be able to reconnect with you and just be in this movement with you.  Who would have ever thought that I would have gone from this everyday person to this person who’s now changing billion dollar companies overnight with this army of concerned citizens and it’s just so inspiring to watch what can start happening when you start to voice the truth.


DW:  Basically as the wheel of time turns, the truth shall be revealed.  These food companies were getting away with some pretty toxic ingredients for a long time and no one was blowing the whistle and now their day has come.  Suddenly they’re in the spotlight and they’re like scurrying for the corners.


VH: That’s right.  I mean we’re getting organic shelf space in places like Kroger, and Costco, and Target.  This is stuff that has never happened before.  These conventional products, the ones that are made Monsanto seeds (GMO’s) they’re freaking out, they are totally in this panic right now.  You see all these attacks online on food activists like myself, you see stuff on Dr. Oz, you see stuff on you all the time and it’s because we’re winning!  We’re actually changing the marketplace! Not these out dated ideas and other things about health that has made our nation more sick as a result.


DW:  It seems to me that the pink elephant in the room is all the chemicals that have been dumped into the environment and my friends Dr. Sara Gottfried, Paul Hawken, they call us … you know, they say we’re basically crash test dummies for the chemical industry.


VH: Yea, absolutely.


DW: Not anymore! The game is over!  That’s it.


VH:  We’re learning about the chemicals.  When they say “What? Vani you’re not a nutritionist, you’re not a scientist, you need to shut up, and you need to go back and get a science degree before you can talk about this”…  I feel like that’s taking the power away from us and that is basically an insult to every single person out there, because we all can empower ourselves and learn about these chemical and know how to protect ourselves with real nutrition, real antioxidants, real superfoods, that actually produce longevity in our body rather than keep us dead as with the processed foods.


DW:  You came from a background where you basically had eczema, allergies.. you had asthma I think as well.  You just thought that was normal.


VH: Yea! It thought it was genetic.  I thought I was born with it, because my brother had it too.  But you know what?  We were both eating the exact same diet of McDonald’s every day, and Burger King, and the processed Salisbury steak that you put in the microwave.  I grew up in a very interesting situation because I grew up with two immigrant parents that came here really trusting of the American food supply; really trusting.  They wanted us to fit in.  They didn’t want us to be eating all the Indian curries, because the kids around the block weren’t eating them and they didn’t want us to feel ostracized and so they let us eat the food, and that’s what happened, all of those ailments.  Thank goodness I broke free from that!  I realized that I didn’t need to be on any of those prescription drugs anymore.  I was on eight prescription drugs for most of my life.


DW: Eight?!


VH: That’s insane.  I mean, do you know how much money I gave to the pharmaceutical industry when I could have been spending that on organic food?


DW:  I wanna mention this because, you know, where does that money go?  It goes to the pharmaceutical interest and it goes to these big banking interests and basically they use that money to corrode the institutions of freedom.  If you ultimately follow the money, it’s going to corrode the institutions of freedom!  So we have to be very careful how we vote with our dollar for that reason and there are millions of us who are becoming more aware of this all the time.

Now I wanna go to the Harvard debate team.  You were a member of the Harvard debate team if I remember correctly, right?


VH:  I actually debated at the Harvard debate tournament.  But I was recruited to college, to all different debate teams actually, and ultimately picked University of Georgia.


DW:  Ok, so you stayed down south.  You’re from Charlotte, as I recall.


VH: Yea.


DW:  Great city, Charlotte! Fantastic!  So here is our true southern bell going food conscious; very cool.  Let get into debating, because you have an incredible ability to bring out pertinent information that is so devastating to these giant corporate interests that they are freaking out. They are using dirty tactics on you.  They’re doing all kinds of crazy like, spamming, scamming, they are doing anything they can to try to bring you down.  I have been through all this over and over by the way – my whole career. What’s happening on that side?  Tells us a little bit about what you’ve learned about debating that kept you sharp and kept you right in front of them.


VH: Well, actually is been kinda of a down side and a good side.  The down side is that I want to debate every single one of their points, right?  I wanna get into it, right?  But then I realize that if I get into then I lose the focus on what I really should be focusing my energy on.  Which is, I need to focus on the willing. I need to focus on the people that have woken up, and want to wake up, because that is what is going to heal our world.  It’s not going to be these people who you’re never going to be able to change their mind.  Their money is tied to these chemicals, or tied to this ideology that “science is absolute” and “you must prove everything” and you know what?  God isn’t proven by science, but a lot of people believe in that.


DW: Most people do.


VH: Many things aren’t proven by science!  But we believe in things and I tell you, when I removed the processed foods from my diet and I remove these chemical additives that have no business being in my body – they are just there to improve the bottom line of the food industry – my body did a 180!  I went from someone who didn’t look like this (she looks good!) to this.  And I mean I had a puffy face; the shape of my face changed!  I lost weight, got off all my prescription drugs, all my ailments that I had as a child vanished!  Gone.

So it’s so important for people to realize that when you are attacked for your ideas, or you’re attacked for bringing a healthy message to the world that’s saying, “You know what? We don’t need to necessarily have all these pharmaceuticals.  We don’t necessarily need to eat this processed food.  We don’t necessarily need this stuff.” And we start saying “No” to these giant corporations that own so much of our world, then people are going to start to become upset and they are going to start to get very emotional, and they are going to get very crazy, you know, and I have dealt with that.


DW:  And you’re dealing also with a toxicity issue, because to basically fall into that world of those big corporations, to be involved in those big corporations, and to be really corroding the institutions of freedom, you have to be pretty darn toxic and in a lot of pain within yourself.  So that basically where I go with this, when people lash out at you they are actually in a lot of pain themselves and so they are externalizing an internal crisis.


VH: And they feel very threatened.  I see that from them and what I do is bless them and move on, and that’s the best way to kind of handle it for me is, you know, bless them and move on.  Focus on the willing; focus on my next investigation.  What else am I going to teach the public about what I’m discovering and what I’m investigating?  What can I do to help someone make a better decision?  Does my picture that I take on the airplane of my little lentil raw salad help someone come up with an idea so that the next time they’re going through an airport they don’t stop at, you know, Aunty Annie’s and Cinnabon?  You know, that’s what I’m thinking of, you know, how can I help people live this way so that they can realize this true health that they maybe never even thought was possible.


DW:  Exactly, and that’s an important point.  If you don’t think it’s possible for you, there could be a dramatic turn of events.

I’m David “Avocado” Wolfe this is the Food Babe Vani Hari and we are here at the Longevity Conference®, and we are wishing you the best day ever!


Are you ready to join hundreds of health enthusiasts from all four corners of the globe at THIS year’s 4th annual Women’s Wellness Conference™ October 9th – 11th, 2015? Early bird tickets are available for a limited time for only $147! (Regular price is $397) Reserve your spot today!




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1 comment

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  1. John

    I have been studying nutrition for over 45 years and have several degrees and can tell you that a lot of what David Wolf is promoting is not good. He reminds me a lot of Adelle Davis that wrote many books, lectured and was one of the most respected people in nutrition years ago. She died of Cancer at 72. She was constantly being sued for her misinformation found in her books and was essentially not grounded in her understanding of nutrition. She got most of her information from others and not from her own experiences.

    “What is the REASON” behind the criticism of “Nature’s First Law, The Raw Food Diet”? The book was blatantly plagiarized (we’re talking mostly word for word) from the writings of an Armenian man living in Iran, Arshavir Ter Hovannessian, two of whose children had died from tragic illness.He sought out the cause of true health and raised his third child totally raw vegan and cured himself of many ailments. He lived a very simple life and devoted all of his time to spreading the message of raw foods. He gave away his books for free, and refused to accept money for them. Living in Iran, which was not exactly the land of opportunity at that time, he did not have the means and possibilities that exist in America. David Wolfe, Stephen Arlin, and R.C. Dini chose to completely plagiarize his masterpiece without giving a shred of acknowledgement. They could have reprinted his book, giving full credit, they could have concerned themselves with the idea that perhaps the man had family or friends, or children, in Iran who could have benefited from the proceeds of the book, they could have at least acknowledged their source. Instead, they passed off as their own creativity and thought some of the most compelling, forceful words ever written on the subject of raw veganism. When confronted with the fact that it was known that they did this, they at first fiercely denied it, then invented stories about the man being a relative of theirs, then finally realizing that they had better include an acknowlegement of thanks to Hovanessian, which was not included in the first few editions of their book. They still continue to give themselves authorship on the cover of the book, with no credit given to Hovanessian, when in fact the huge bulk of the book is due to his time, his effort, and his creativity.

    I fully expect Wolf to remove this from his site, but he has placed himself on a pulpit that lacks much understanding of what he is talking about. As with Adelle Davis, who had a background in nutrition based on commercial studies being done with very little understanding of how the body works, just as Wolf who promotes himself as a guru of nutrition that he certainly is not.

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