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Yet Another Celeb Who Wants In on Food

The Lempert Report: Celebrities have always wanted in on the food business

Dennis Rodman tried to sell lolly pops, Bing Crosby ice cream and even Frank Sinatra had a pasta sauce. None are still around, so we have to wonder about this latest trend of food and celebs and just where it goes. Jennifer Garner is a partner in Once Upon A Farm and is involved way more than just putting her face to the company. Leonardo DiCaprio is heavily invested in food startups that focus on the environment, and Snoop Dogg—what else—is investing in cannabis startups. And in these cases, it seems as if there is a lot more than just the money, and they are doing their homework and getting the facts right.

Forbes reports that in Zooey Deschanel’s third “Your Food’s Roots” video, part of a five-episode educational series presented by media company Attn, the host and her guests aim to set the record straight about organic vs. non-organic foods.

In the video, Deschanel discusses “the difference between organic and not organic,” while Daphne Bradford, a tech educator who teaches local students how to grow organic fruit, makes organic fig jam. Forbes writes that Bradford is a pioneer in tech education, recognized by the Obama White House Champions of Change program, but her food education falls short. “Organic, you know it’s all you, all original, everything with no pesticides and no artificial this, and grown in the soil that’s really been amended and taken care of.”

As we have said many times here before, for years, one big problem is that shoppers and often the industry doesn’t realize that organic farming does use pesticides, in fact around 100 are authorized for use. And the reality is that these substances allowed in organic agriculture aren’t less toxic, nor are they better for the environment or for consumers.

While the feat is certainly impressive, Your Food’s Roots treatment is less than comprehensive. The most obvious flaw is that most people can’t devote the equivalent of several full-time employees to growing their own food. 

Deschanel asks, “what can people who think they maybe can't afford organic, what can they do to eat more organic produce?” The answer given—"Well, you can just eliminate the Dirty Dozen, first of all”—is the wrong answer. The Environment Working Group issues this list every year and is followed by being discredited in the scientific community every year.

I’ve never met Deschanel and never spoken to her. I applaud the fact we have more people paying attention to our food supply, and people with huge impact and followers, but lets get our facts straight.

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