Quiet Radicals: Vani Hari
WHAT IS A QUIET RADICAL?
Every single day, there are people all across the globe who inspire and motivate, initiating change through acts, whether big or small, to make the world a better place. Leading by example and going against the status quo by simply asking, “Why not?” With those words, a path of change is created.
These are who we, at Five Dot Botanics, call Quiet Radicals; they need not be loud or even be seen at the forefront to make changes around them, they just need to do, and that is the push required to start radical change.
Who is Vani Hari?
Vani Hari, now better known as “The Food Babe” started her life of like most of us - eating anything she wanted from sweets, fizzy drinks and fast-food meals. Her ‘typical American diet led to her needing medical assistance. On that day in the hospital, Vani Hari vowed to make health her number one priority.
Since that day, Vani Hari used her passion for healthy living as inspiration to investigate what is really in our food, how it’s grown and what chemicals are used. She taught herself everything that she needed to know to realise that large corporations confuse their consumers with untruthful marketing tactics and lengthy food labels. From her research, Vani was able to decipher the truth and live a healthier lifestyle away from over-processed foods; and she wanted to share these learnings. So, in 2011, Vani Hari became the Food Babe when she started her blog to educate and encourage others to live a healthier lifestyle too.
Foodbabes.com became a huge success with thousands educating themselves on what it really means to have a healthy diet and what food to avoid - through her blog, Vani was able to change the lives of many people.
WHAT HAS SHE ACHIEVED?
Through her blog, Vani has created her “Food Babe Army” and encouraged them to vote with their money - choosing to buy products that are sustainably produced. From her impact, companies have had no choice but to respond and change the way they do things. From her following, Vani Hari has created unprecedented change in the food industry, taking on some huge businesses to change their ways. Here are some examples, to name a few:
After writing the piece “Chick-fil-a or Chemical-fil A” in 2011, the Food Babe Army took to facebook, calls to the headquarters, and boycotts of Chick-fil-a products. In 2013, Chick-fil-A responded by announcing they were removing artificial dyes, artificial corn syrup, and TBHQ from their products.
In August 2014, The Food Babe posted the blog post “You’ll Never Guess What’s In A Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (Hint: You Won’t Be Happy)”, which exposed Starbuck’s lack of transparency about ingredients and that the Pumpkin Spice Latte contained no pumpkin and Class IV caramel coloring that is linked to cancer. This blog post went viral, and Starbucks responded that they would phase caramel coloring out of their drinks and would also list their drink ingredients online. One year later on August 17, 2015, Starbucks published the new ingredients in their reformulated Pumpkin Spice Latte, which now includes real pumpkin and no caramel coloring. Starbucks has also officially started listing all ingredients online for all customers to see.
In October 2015, Subway committed to eliminating the use of antibiotics in all of their meat in the U.S. This announcement came following Vani’s major petition in conjunction with other petitions launched by other consumer advocacy groups (U.S. PIRG, NRDC, Center for Food Safety, Friends of the Earth and others).
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Vani Hari continues to grow her audience and “Food Babe Army” through regular blog posts and has amassed almost 1 million followers on Instagram. Vani has written not one but three books including her latest cookery book for transparent recipes that will aid towards a healthy lifestyle. In 2017, Vani also launched her own food brand Truvani to provide real food, with full transparency and without added chemicals or toxins.
Most importantly of all, Vani Hari continues to be a force for change within the food industry, continually challenging huge corporations for greater transparency and authenticity in the USA. Just last year, Vani saw another victory with Quaker Oats who removed their fake strawberries and artificial colours from their ‘Stawberries & Cream’ instant oatmeal in replace of far fewer ingredients and real strawberries - something that Quaker Oats has always done in the UK.
Whatever Vani Hari achieves next, we are sure she will continue her investigations and petitions and act as a powerful change within the US food industry.
You can learn more about the Food Babe and her achievements here.