MONEY Food & Drink

Uber Will Deliver Food in 10 Minutes in NYC. Seriously.

Uber will begin offering food fast food delivery in New York City by partnering with local restaurants.

MONEY video

Tyson Faces Criticism Over Move to Antibiotic-Free Chickens

The company says it will stop giving human antibiotics to its chickens, but critics say Tyson isn't going far enough.

TIME viral

Watch This Fox Actually Make His Own Sandwich

Who needs opposable thumbs when you have teeth?

Foxes are known for being clever mammals, but this fox in Chernobyl, Ukraine can assemble his own lunch.

Watch as the animal adroitly stacks bread and deli meats atop one another in a five-layered epic sandwich worthy of a professional kitchen. Aside from the food-hygiene aspect, of course.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

‘Food Babe’ Blogger Vani Hari Takes Heat Over Health Science

This image released by Vani Hari shows the food blogger among boxes of cereal in Charlotte, N.C. The former management consultant turned healthy-living activist has a best-selling book and an army of supporters. She deploys them regularly to move giants in the food industry via online petitions that, among other things, helped get Kraft Foods to give up artificial dyes in its macaroni and cheese
Courtesy Vani Hari—AP This image released by Vani Hari shows the food blogger among boxes of cereal in Charlotte, N.C.

She has 5 million readers but is accused of overstating health risks

(NEW YORK) — As truth wars go, Vani Hari of the Food Babe blog has produced a doozy.

The former management consultant turned healthy-living activist has a best-selling book and an army of supporters. And with the help of her fans, she’s led numerous successful online petitions to persuade food industry giants to rid their products of ingredients she deems unacceptable.

What Hari doesn’t have, critics argue, is a background in related sciences or nutrition. And since starting her Food Babe blog in 2011, she’s made mistakes that have landed her in a feeding frenzy.

“I think she means well, but I wish she would pick more important issues and pay closer attention to the science,” said Marion Nestle, a nutrition, food studies and public health professor at New York University.

Hari certainly isn’t the first food activist without a science background. So why has she become the food revolution figure that so many love to hate?

“Because we’re winning,” Hari said in a recent interview, citing numerous commitments by companies to provide more “clean” and “simple” ingredients, often in response to her campaigns.

The answer from Dr. Steven Novella, a clinical neurologist and assistant professor at Yale University’s school of medicine, is more complicated. The working skeptic — he has a podcast and blogs — is one of Hari’s most vocal foes. “It’s almost like she’s a food terrorist,” he said. “She will target some benign ingredient that has a scary sounding name. Her criteria is if she can’t pronounce it then it’s scary.”

You bet, said Hari, who thinks a host of chemicals and additives used in the U.S. have no business being consumed, and notes that many are not allowed or are strictly limited in Europe and elsewhere.

The heat for Hari, who grew up on processed food, is fairly recent as her presence has grown. She gets nearly 5 million blog readers a month. She also gets death threats. And she’s banned so many people from her streams that they now have their own page on Facebook.

“I really do believe the attacks on me and this movement is a distraction from the need to reform the food system,” Hari said by phone from Charlotte, North Carolina, where she lives. “My sole purpose is to get people healthier. Unfortunately, many of the critics out there, their sole purpose is only to criticize.”

Much of the bashing, she said, amounts to “needles in haystacks.” Among errors often cited by detractors are a couple that occurred in her early days. She deleted the posts and later acknowledged the mistakes.

One, from August 2011, had her taking issue with the air on planes being mixed with up to 50 percent nitrogen. She failed to consider that the atmosphere is comprised of 78 percent of the latter.

Another, from July 2012, trashed microwaves as destroying nutrients in food and producing malformed water crystals. The second notion is based on a bizarre theory by a controversial Japanese researcher who maintains that water crystals turn ugly when exposed to foul language.

“These were before I decided to make this my career. It’s like saying that the New York Times or whoever aren’t allowed to make mistakes. Back then I was blogging as a hobby,” said Hari, who supports some alternative approaches to health and healing.

But even beyond these more egregious examples, Hari’s mainstay tactics include overstating health risks and linking artificial ingredients with their non-edible uses, the latter a particularly effective way of rallying support. Last summer, for example, she took issue with Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors over a foam stabilizer and several other ingredients.

In that post, she referred to propylene glycol, also found in airplane deicing liquid. Other bloggers claimed she meant propylene glycol alginate, an unrelated substance that comes from kelp. Neither were among ingredients in Budweiser and Miller Lite (which the companies posted in response to Hari), though both are allowed by U.S. regulators.

“What she does over and over again is target a chemical and try to provoke a disgust reflex by talking about what other purposes a chemical is used for or where it’s derived from,” Novella said.

Why do companies cave? Subway, for instance, removed azodicarbonamide, a chemical in its bread also found in yoga mats. But it’s also found in plenty of other bread products, and is well-studied and safe, says Novella. He theorizes it’s just easier, to some companies, to make questioned ingredients disappear.

“I think it’s making a return-on-investment kind of evaluation. They figure choice A, explain to the public why this scary sounding chemical is safe or B, just get rid of it,” Novella said.

It was Hari’s railing against “toxic” levels of sugar and a widely used caramel coloring in the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte that helped motivate Yvette d’Entremont in Los Angeles to begin blogging about her at Scibabe.com. Known as Science Babe (Note, there’s another Science Babe out there), d’Entremont is by far Hari’s most entertaining and trash-talkiest critic.

Under the headline, “The ‘Food Babe’ Blogger is Full of (Expletive),” d’Entremont — who once worked as an analytical chemist for a pesticide company — took after Food Babe earlier this month on Gawker over the seasonal latte.

“She took caramel color level IV and said that it was in (the government’s) carcinogen class 2B. It sounds horrible, but there’s another thing in the cup that is carcinogen class 2B: the coffee, because of the acrylomide from the roasting process,” d’Entremont said.

“Between her egregious abuse of the word ‘toxin’ anytime there’s a chemical she can’t pronounce and asserting that everyone who disagrees with her is a paid shill, it’s hard to pinpoint her biggest sin,” d’Entremont said.

As for sugar in the latte, the average adult would need to down 40 to 50 of them in a sitting to have a toxic dose, counters d’Entremont. “And at that point you would also have a toxic dose of water and caffeine.”

TIME Innovation

Save the Planet With More Energy, Not Less

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. What if to save the Earth, we need more energy and development, not less?

By Eric Holthaus in Slate

2. No big deal: Kids can now send their science experiments into space.

By Charley Locke in EdSurge

3. We basically know how to end — or at least stop the growth of — homelessness.

By Tim Henderson in Stateline

4. Soon, you could 3D-print your dinner.

By Heidi Ledford in Nature

5. Is this the technology that will finally give us flying cars?

By David Morris in Fortune

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

MONEY deals

Freebie Frenzy! It’s Peak Season for Free Stuff

Crowds watch the eruption of Castle Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.
Lisa Corson—Gallery Stock Crowds watch the eruption of Castle Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

If you love getting free stuff—ice cream, pretzels, milkshakes, cookies, burgers, coffee, park admissions—you are loving life right about now.

Freebie promotions pop up throughout the year. Donut Day giveaways are always in early June, free Slurpees are slurped up on 7-Eleven Day (held, of course, on July 11), National Coffee Day is in late September, IHOP hosts a free pancake day every March, and so on. The calendar is sprinkled with all manner of fake holidays and their corresponding giveaways and marketing promotions.

But sometimes the deals are clumped together in what amounts to a freebie frenzy. Were are in the midst of just such a period—Peak Freebie if you will.

Freebie momentum began ramping up roughly a month ago, with Dairy Queen and Rita’s dishing out free ice cream and free Italian ices, respectively. Things really picked up steam last week, with back-to-back-to-back giveaways of ice cream (at Ben & Jerry’s), coffee (Wawa), and all manner of foods and services (to soften the blow of Tax Day).

And the fast and furious freebie gravy train isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot. Here are more freebies to take advantage of in the very near future:

• The National Park Service kicks off National Parks Week with free admission for all visitors on Saturday and Sunday, April 18-19.

• In honor of Earth Day (Wednesday, April 22), the giveaways include free organic milkshakes at the chain of Evos cafes and free kids crafts at Anthropologie stores.

• Between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 23, all Jamba Juice customers are welcomed to order their choice of a free classic smoothie or juice.

• National Pretzel Day is Sunday, April 26, with freebies available from Pretzel Maker, Auntie Anne’s, and Wetzel’s Pretzels.

• Tuesday, April 28, is being celebrated as Hero Appreciation Day at Krispy Kreme, and anyone who purchases a dozen original glazed donuts gets a second dozen for free. The Krispy Kreme offer is being promoted as a way to celebrate the heroes in your life. But if you show up at home or the office with two dozen donuts, we all know who will be looked at like the real hero.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: April 16

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Go ahead and start a new career in your fifties. It’s easier than you think.

By Donna Rosato in Money

2. This is what sex-ed would look like if it took place entirely on social media.

By Kate Hakala in Mic

3. Here’s why the FDA doesn’t really know what’s in our food.

By Erin Quinn and Chris Young at the Center for Public Integrity

4. What critical resource helps the sharing economy make billions? People trusting people.

By the editorial board of the Christian Science Monitor

5. Could a continent-wide CDC for Africa stop the next Ebola outbreak?

By Jim Burress at National Public Radio

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Food & Drink

The Funnel Cake Ice Cream Sandwich Is the Dessert Mashup of Your Dreams

Ice Que

Worth every calorie

We’re getting ready for summer a little early around here with the discovery of what might be the new warm-weather it snack: the Funnel Cake Ice Cream Sandwich. It comes to us courtesy of John Park and his new shaved icery, Ice Que, in Alhambra, California. Park puts vanilla-mascarpone ice cream topped with strawberry jam between two funnel cake patties for a result that eager Yelpers already suggest is worth a trip to the LA suburbs.

Parks sells the funnel cakewiches for $6.50 every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. If demand takes off (and honestly, how could it not), they’ll become available more regularly.

We fully expect that by June, half the ice cream shops in the country will be trying to duplicate this, so stop by and get the original. If we’ve learned anything from the countless Cronut imitators, it’s that the knockoffs never beat the real thing.

This article originally appeared on Food and Wine.

TIME food and drink

Listeria Trace Prompts Recall of Sabra Hummus

30,000 cases have been recalled

About 30,000 cases of a popular brand of hummus are being voluntarily recalled due to possible Listeria contamination.

The Sabra Dipping Company is recalling several versions of its Classic Hummus out of fear that it may contain traces of the organism, which can cause high fever, headaches, and nausea to healthy individuals and kill the very young and very old. Pregnant women infected with Listeria are especially at risk as it can lead to miscarriage and stillbirth.

A random sample collected from a retail location in late March tested positive for Listeria, according to a press release posted on FDA.gov. No illnesses have been reported, but the company is urging customers to dispose of or return the products for a full refund.

More information on the hummus recall is available at FDA.gov.

Read next: Blue Bell Expands Ice Cream Recall

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

Easter Egg Cookies and 8 Other Food Recalls This Week

healthiest foods, health food, diet, nutrition, time.com stock, almonds, nuts
Danny Kim for TIME

There were a total of 11 recalls

Every week lots of foods are pulled from grocery shelves for contamination. There were several recalls this week, but since not every recall reported by the Food and Drug Administration makes headlines, we’ve listed them for you. Here’s all the recalls that have happened over the last week.

Easter egg cookies
Brand: Silver Lake
Contaminated with: Undeclared egg
Silver Lake Cookie Company Inc. recalled its name-brand easter egg cookies sold in supermarkets in nine states due to undeclared egg allergen, which is a risk for people who are allergic to eggs.

Mixed Nuts
Brands: Nature’s Place, Ernest Klein and Aurora, and Belmont Market, Boiceville Market, Gaul’s Market, Green Hills Market, Harvest Co-Op Market, Hurley Ridge, Lees, Miles Market, Palmers Market, Union Market, Walter Stewart, Windfall Market and Wild Acorns
Contaminated with: Salmonella
Several companies recalled a variety of nuts due to potential contamination with the bacteria salmonella. Hannaford Supermarkets recalled Nature’s Place brand Roasted Unsalted Mixed Nuts and Nature’s Place Cranberry Mix after discovering walnuts included in the mixes could be contaminated with salmonella. Aurora Products, Inc. recalled products also containing potentially contaminated walnuts, many of which used store-branded labeling.

Cumin
Brand: Maya
Contaminated with: Undeclared peanuts
Maya Overseas Food Inc. recalled seven ounce packages of its cumin powder due to undeclared peanut allergen, which puts people with peanut allergies at risk.

Bran muffins
Brand: Whole Foods Market, southwest
Contaminated with: Undeclared milk and egg
Whole Foods Market is recalling its bran muffin six packs produced and sold in Southwest Region stores due to having undeclared milk and egg allergen, which was discovered during a routine product check. The allergens can cause health problems for people sensitive to milk and eggs.

Dip
Brand: La Terra Fina
Contaminated with: Listeria
La Terra Fina, which had previous spinach-related recalls expanded it’s recall this week to include its Chunky Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan Dip & Spread due to possible listeria contamination.

Sub sandwiches
Brand: GetGo
Contaminated with: Undeclared egg allergen
Select GetGo from Giant Eagle brand individually wrapped Grab-and-Go subs have been recalled due to having undeclared egg allergen, a problem for people allergic to eggs.

Kale pesto hummus
Brand: Hope
Contaminated with: Undeclared walnuts
Hope Foods recalled some of its kale pesto hummus due to having declared walnuts, which can be problematic for people with walnut allergies.

Golden Raisins
Brand: Deer Brand
Contaminated with: Undeclared sulfites
Best Foods Inc. recalled seven ounce packages of its Deer Brand Raisin Golden due to undeclared sulfites. The discovery is problematic for people who are sensitive to the sulfur-based compounds.

Danish pastry, rolls, cheese, pie and fried fish
Brand: Giant Eagle
Contaminated with: Undeclared egg and/or milk allergens
Giant Eagle recalled multiple food items due to undeclared egg and milk allergens, which can put people who are sensitive at risk.

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