Charlotte’s Food Babe brings change to food industry - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Charlotte’s Food Babe brings change to food industry

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Call it a modern David versus Goliath food fight. Vani Hari calls herself the "Food Babe" and she is a blogger with a bite.
 
Hari quit her banking job to take on crusades against corporate giants in the food industry. She's built her own brand by bringing change to food icons like Subway and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
 
Hari prides herself on investigating the ingredients in popular food brands, raising public awareness about processed ingredients, and pushing for non-GMO and organic food options.
 
"The fact that we know more about what's in Coca Cola and what's in Windex more than beer, I felt needed to change," she said.
 
Hari started an online petition asking Miller-Coors and Anheuser-Busch to disclose their ingredients. She got 50,000 signatures and suddenly she had a meeting with Anheuser-Busch last week.
 
"Watching Anheuser-Busch and Miller-Coors respond so quickly after just one day of petition is just really a testament to what consumer demand means in the market and what consumer awareness does," she said.
 
Hari says they're starting to disclose their ingredients and were receptive to her idea about offering organic and non-GMO beers.
 
Hari does not consider herself much of a beer drinker, the campaign is more about someone she loves. "My husband loves beer and I really care about him so I wanted to make sure I knew what was in the beer we were buying," she said.
 
She also went up against Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Subway, Chipotle and Chick-fil-A.
Each one responded with some positive change.
 
She says all of us can make better food choices by starting small. She recommends consumers change where they grocery shop, if possible to find more organic and non-GMO options. Try a farmer's market or non-conventional grocery store.
 
She says it helps to cook more. Start by picking five easy organic recipes to learn and repeat. Organic doesn't have to be expensive. One of her favorite and cheap meals is organic pinto beans with organic sour cream and chives.
 
She also suggests planning ahead to make a menu, pack a lunch, and have time to selectively shop.
 
Not bad for a South Mecklenburg High School graduate and former banker who followed her curiosity.
 
It's been such a ride," she said.  "I know this was why I was put on this earth to do this work for people and dedicate my life to investigate what's in food."
 
To visit Hari's website, click on Food Babe. You'll find more on her investigations and useful recipes.

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