March 22, 1979
- Known For:
Founder of Food Babe
About Vani Hari
Vani Hari was born on March 22, 1979, in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is of Indian descent and her parents emigrated from India to the United States. She was raised in a traditional Indian household in Charlotte. As a child, she was exposed to both Indian and American foods, which later influenced her perspective on food and health.
Hari earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. After her graduation, she began a career in management consulting and later pivoted toward food activism after experiencing health issues, including appendicitis, that she attributed to her diet.
Hari began blogging about harmful food ingredients found in commonly consumed products and in 2011, established Food Babe LLC. In 2012, she left her management consultant job to focus on Food Babe full-time.
While she is a prominent figure in the food activism space, Hari does not have formal education in nutrition, food science, or related fields. This has been a point of contention among some critics, who argue that her campaigns and assertions about certain food ingredients might lack a solid scientific foundation.
Hari is married to Finley Clarke and the couple has two children together, Harley and Finley.
The Food Babe
Under her moniker “The Food Babe,” Hari is a food activist, author, and blogger who has become widely recognized for her campaigns to highlight and remove certain ingredients from food and beverage products.
Here’s a description of her work:
- Exposure of Ingredients: Through her blog and social media platforms, Hari investigates ingredients used in popular processed foods, often emphasizing those she deems questionable or harmful. She provides detailed breakdowns of these ingredients, explaining their origins, uses, and potential health concerns.
- Campaigns and Petitions: Leveraging the power of her substantial online following, dubbed the “Food Babe Army,” Hari initiates petitions and campaigns targeting food manufacturers to remove specific ingredients or to be more transparent in their labeling.
- Product Changes: Several of her campaigns have been successful, leading major companies to change their recipes or formulations. Some of these changes have been in response to public pressure orchestrated by Hari and her followers. Hani was able to change multi-billion dollar companies including Kraft, Chick-fil-A, Stabucks, General Mills, Subway, and Chipotle. With Kraft, for example, Hari discovered that they used petroleum-based food dyes in the United States, while using natural dyes like paprika overseas. She started a petition and received over 350,000 signatures, leading to a seven-month campaign that ended with Kraft announcing they would remove all artificial food dyes from some Mac & Cheese varieties that are marketed to children.
Hari launched Truvani, a health and wellness brand, in 2017. Truvani was established in response to Hari’s advocacy for cleaner ingredients in the food and supplement industry.
The brand offers a range of products, including dietary supplements, protein powders, and other wellness products, with a commitment to using minimal ingredients, avoiding controversial additives, and providing transparency about their sourcing and production. Truvani emphasizes organic, non-GMO, and naturally derived ingredients.
The Food Babe Way: Break Free from the Hidden Toxins in Your Food and Lose Weight, Look Years Younger, and Get Healthy in Just 21 Days! (2015): In this book, Hari shares her journey of investigating the food industry, revealing surprising facts about how certain foods are made and processed. She provides a 21-day plan designed to help readers eliminate toxins from their diet, lose weight, and improve overall health. The book provides insights into common additives and preservatives and offers healthier alternatives and recommendations.
Feeding You Lies: How to Unravel the Food Industry’s Playbook and Reclaim Your Health (2019): This book delves into the ways Hari believes the food industry manipulates science, masks unhealthy products, and confuses consumers. She explores marketing techniques, industry-funded research, and other tactics she claims big food corporations use to prioritize profits over health. Hari also offers guidance on how to navigate these challenges, read labels correctly, and make healthier food choices.
Food Babe Kitchen: More Than 100 Delicious, Real Food Recipes to Change Your Body and Your Life (2020): In this cookbook, Vani Hari shares a collection of over 100 recipes focusing on clean, organic, and unprocessed ingredients. It’s a continuation of her advocacy for transparent and healthy food choices, providing readers with practical tools and knowledge to prepare meals that align with a cleaner, toxin-free lifestyle.
Food Babe Family: More Than 100 Recipes and Foolproof Strategies to Help Your Kids Fall in Love with Real Food (2023): This is a cookbook for families that’s meant to foster a love for real foods. Hari also uses the book to dispel popular myths about feeding children and why preparing healthy and simple meals doesn’t have to be hard for parents.
“When you find out what’s hiding in your food, you’ll be shocked.”
“We deserve to know what we are eating.”
“If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.”
“We must always question the status quo.”
“There’s a direct correlation between our food and our health.”
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- Subway agrees to end use of controversial chemical after food blogger Vani Hari’s protest. (2014, February 6). CBC. https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/subway-agrees-to-end-use-of-controversial-chemical-after-food-blogger-vani-hari-s-protest-1.2525447
- Food bloggers Vani Hari & Lisa Leake take on Kraft to remove yellow color dye from its Mac and Cheese. (2013, March). CNN. Retrieved September 6, 2023, from https://www.cnn.com/2013/03/15/tv/food-bloggers-vani-hari-lisa-leake-take-on-kraft-to-remove-yellow-color-dye-from-its-mac-and-cheese-citing-health-concerns/index.html
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- Truvani. (n.d.). Truvani.com. https://www.truvani.com/
- Truvani | about. (n.d.). Truvani.com. https://www.truvani.com/about
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- Goodreads. (n.d.-k). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53713968-food-babe-kitchen
- Food Babe Family: more than 100 recipes and foolproof s. . . (n.d.). Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/83822489-food-babe-family
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