One of the stupidest things I have ever seen…

June 24th, 2013

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While I am not one to pull punches, I have to admit there is something a bit unsavory about simply calling someone an idiot.   It’s a bit of an ad hominem kind of attack. It’s personal, a little immature and comes across as name calling. It does not really have the kind of logical basis or sophisticated analysis that one wants on a science blog. Yes, I have a lot of fun and joke around here quite a bit, but when it comes down to it, I prefer to at least ground things in something more sophisticated than just pointing at someone and calling them stupid.

Sadly, I can’t really come up with any other way of summing up this news story about none other than Jessica Ainscough. This is certainly a little sensitive as well, given that her extreme stupidity is literally killing her, and clueless though she may be, it’s a shame that it would be a capital crime.

Via News.com.au

Jess Ainscough claims ‘organic’ cafe misled with veggie burger

‘Wellness warrior’ Jessica Ainscough vented on her blog after eating a burger she believed was 100 per cent organic, only to later discover it was ‘not totally’ chemical-free.

Well, no, it’s full of glucose, dihydrogen monoxide, sodium chloride, polysaccharide and all kinds of other chemicals. I’m not sure what she would expect to eat that is not chemical free. Perhaps she could eat free electrons? That might be difficult.

The holistic health coach, who was in Byron Bay last week, follows a strict organic diet after overcoming cancer without using modern medicine.

In a June 18 post titled ‘BEWARE OF ORGANIC CAFES THAT LIE TO US’, Ms Ainscough said she was ‘pissed off’ that Manna Haven Cafe falsely claimed to be ‘vegan, raw and organic’.

The 26-year-old said she had initially been excited to find somewhere ‘safe’ for lunch and ordered the veggie Burger thinking it was organic.

The not-for-profit cafe’s menu describes its Big Burger as being ‘cancer fighting rather than cancer causing’ and vegan, low glycaemic index and a superfood.

Well, okay, so the cafe did make some dubious claims right there, but apparently those aren’t the ones she is bothered by.

After posting a picture on Instagram of herself tucking into the burger, a follower tipped her off that the ingredients may not have been completely organic.

Ms Ainscough called the cafe and was told that ‘not all of it’ was.

“I felt dirty. I felt like I needed to give my insides about 10 showers. I was so shocked that I just hung up the phone, but I wish I’d told her that since her ‘cancer fighting’ burger contains pesticides it is actually cancer causing,” she wrote.

I hate to tell her this, but the “organic” label does not assure that there are no pesticides. They are permitted, although with restrictions. That said, since she has no gumption what she is even talking about. There is no evidence that the pesticide residue in foods puts one at risk for cancer. In fact, a study found the cancer rate in those exposed to modern pesticides through work is actually lower than the general population. In any case, the levels in the end product, after it has been washed and otherwise processed is miniscule.

As for feeling dirty, I shudder to think how much coffee this poor woman will need to put into her butt to clean things out.

“If a cafe claims to be organic and charge prices that reflect this, we should be able to trust that what they’re serving us is just that. Otherwise, it’s false advertising and on par with green washing.”

I am sure she has no real concept of what the term even means, and, to be sure, it is a very nebulous one in this context. I assume it would mean that the ingredients were all certified as being “organic” although that does not always mean they are even grown differently than those which are not. Clearly the woman just doesn’t quite grasp the concept and likely simply believes it means absent of horrible toxic chemicals.

In comments posted on Ms Ainscough’s blog, her followers overwhelmingly supported her stance but some urged her to be a `wellness warrior’ not a ‘wellness worrier’.

“The amount of stress this situation has caused you (worrying) is likely to cause more havoc on your body than the fact that your lettuce on the bun was not 100% organic,” posted Tess.

Manna Haven, which is managed by volunteers and donates its profit to charity, responded to the online criticism with one of the cafe’s founders Anita Carvill saying she was shocked by the backlash.

“There was nowhere that said the burger was 100 per cent organic so I’m not sure how she got that impression,” Ms Carvill said.

“The options on the sign are just options, there is no false advertising.

“I think it is important before people get too upset to ensure they have not made a mistake in assuming or misunderstanding things. At Manna menu options are dependent on produced sourced and cooked on the day. For any inconvenience we may have caused we apologise.”

If she wants to be literal about this, then I should warn her that almost none of her food is 100% organic. It’s full of H2O and NaCl and all kinds of other compounds that are not organic at all.

The popular cafe, which is Ranked #2 of 96 restaurants in Byron Bay, also apologised to Ms Aincough personally for the ‘silly misunderstand’ and is spending thousands of dollars on rebranding as a result.

Oh, well there’s money well spent…

Sunshine Coast writer Ms Ainscough is a cancer success story after being told four years ago that her entire left arm was riddled with a rare form of cancer, epithelioid sarcoma, and that it had to be amputated.

Instead of accepting her doctor’s solution she radicalized her diet and ‘systematically detoxified my body’.

“I’m living proof that doctors aren’t always right, that wellness starts in your mind, and that YOU are the most important authority on your own health &body,” her blog says.

The news is seriously reporting her as a “success story?” She has a form of cancer that is very slow moving and normally takes at least a few years to kill and sometimes up to a decade. She is not dead yet. That is not itself an amazing thing or a success story.

Ms Ainscough has also since apologised, saying her original “rant” was “a bit harsh”.

“I want to publicly apologise for any harm that my blog may have caused your business. Although I still believe that the loose use of the word “organic” is a massive issue in the health world, I can see with hindsight that my rant could have been handled better,” she wrote yesterday.

If chemists were half as bothered as she is over incidents where the word “organic” is used incorrectly, they would never stop crying.

She says she has learnt from her burger experience and will now always ask more questions when ordering meals.

“I feel like it’s my responsibility to share the mistake I made with those who may make the same one,” she said.

As far as mistakes she has made and which she should be cautioning others about, this one ranks very low.

“I know that not everyone cares whether they eat organic food 100% of the time, but for some of us we don’t have the luxury of being complacent. Organic food is our medicine, and if we can’t eat organic we go without.

“The word ‘organic’ is the green light that tells us it’s safe to eat. It doesn’t matter if some of the ingredients are organic – if they’re mixed with conventional ingredients the whole dish is rendered poisonous to those of us who have to be so pedantic for the sake of our health and lives.”

Yeah. Cry me a river.


This entry was posted on Monday, June 24th, 2013 at 5:05 pm and is filed under Agriculture, Bad Science, Just LAME, Not Even Wrong, Quackery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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27 Responses to “One of the stupidest things I have ever seen…”

  1. 1
    DV82XL Says:

    “Idiot” doesn’t cover it, maybe “ignoramus” or “simpleton” but then again “deluded” is probably the most appropriate. Deluded because Ms. Ainscough apparently believes that reality is anything she wishes it to be without reference to any facts whatsoever.

    Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away – Philip K Dick


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  2. 2
    BMS Says:

    And I thought that those who fussed over which end to crack open a soft-boiled egg were little people. This takes petty and stupid to a whole new level.

    Somewhere, there’s a great satire waiting to come out of all of this.


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  3. 3
    Chris Says:

    Bull**** from one end to the other.


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  4. 4
    Gordon Says:

            DV82XL said:

    “Idiot” doesn’t cover it, maybe “ignoramus” or “simpleton” but then again “deluded” is probably the most appropriate. Deluded because Ms. Ainscough apparently believes that reality is anything she wishes it to be without reference to any facts whatsoever.

    Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away – Philip K Dick

    There is probably some delusion, but at the same time, for her to not realize some of these things, she just can’t be the sharpest knife in the drawer. I mean, I don’t see how someone could not realize that everything is a chemical, including water.

    I wonder about women like this. Maybe I am starting to sound like a bleeding heart here, but I sometimes think that their own stupidity is much the fault of how our world functions than their own lack of brains. She is a beautiful young blond model from a privileged background. She has been told she is a princess her whole life and men have drilled into her head that she can do no wrong. She says that she can cure her own cancer and gets a pat on the back and told she is wonderful. She is surely discouraged from ever using her brain. They say smile, be pretty, go to parties, don’t think to hard and go to bed with me.

    Sad really. Maybe if she was short and brunet, she would have not been so discouraged to think.


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  5. 5
    drbuzz0 Says:

    Well, everyone is, to some extent, a product of their environment, and being treated like a special princess and an told she is an interesting person doing the right thing sure does not help.

    However, I do not think you can chalk it up to that entirely. I know some very attractive women who don’t just cave to the pressure to be a bimbo and turn off their brains.


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  6. 6
    quokka Says:

    Perhaps even more unbelievably, this was the lead story on news.com.au. Hard to buy publicity like that.

    Call me cynical, but there is no doubt considerable sums of money to be made by “wellness warriors”. Jessica Ainscough may not be entirely stupid.


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  7. 7
    DV82XL Says:

            quokka said:

    Call me cynical, but there is no doubt considerable sums of money to be made by “wellness warriors”. Jessica Ainscough may not be entirely stupid.

    You may have a point – her website certainly has enough for sale.


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  8. 8
    Anon Says:

    Quackery has always been profitable.


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  9. 9
    Jason C Says:

    Science education failed her. For some reason some of the most militant and wacko health food nazis come from Australia. There are quite a few of them promoting themselves on Youtube.

    The sad thing is that many of them may have had a health scare like high blood pressure or diabetes that prompted them to take drastic action. Once they lose 50+ pounds and their illness recedes, it’s like they found a new religion and want to preach it down everyone else’s throat.

    Having lost some weight recently myself through diet and exercise, I can understand the enthusiasm but some people take it too far. Or worse, they take it too far and in the wrong directions such that they devise nearly impossible (and most likely unhealthy) diets thereby setting up people who want to lose weight for failure. There is one Australian woman on youtube advocating that people eat 30 bananas a day with water – that’s all.

    This is also why I’m against food labeling for any food item that might contain a GMO food product. The whole thing is not intended to inform and educate, but rather create more market segments and scare people into paying more money for ‘organic’ food.


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  10. 10
    Shafe Says:

    Try our Organic Veggie Burger!

    Organic ingredients include:

    -Dimethylmercury
    -Hemlock
    -Belladonna
    -Botulinum Toxin
    and
    -Ebola

    The rigor mortis tells you that it’s working!


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  11. 11
    Shafe Says:

    On another note, a Google search for “Jessica Ainscough” returns your prior article in the first page of results.


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  12. 12
    drbuzz0 Says:

            quokka said:

    Call me cynical, but there is no doubt considerable sums of money to be made by “wellness warriors”. Jessica Ainscough may not be entirely stupid.

    It seems highly unlikely to me that she is fully aware of things and doing this all for money. After all, money does not mean much if you are dead. I suppose one possibility is that she does not have the cancer she said she did and made the whole thing up to make money. If that’s the case she is nothing short of evil.

    On the other hand, a plausible explanation is that there are others making money (publishers, agents etc) and they are the ones who are encouraging her and pushing this bull**** in order to make money, fully aware of how stupid it is.

    We certainly know that is the case with those cancer quacks in Mexico. They are using her to promote their scam therapy, which consists of coffee enemas and fresh raw fruit and vegetable juice “detox” programs. It’s a massive and very profitable scam and she’s basically become a spokesperson for it.


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  13. 13
    Shafe Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    We certainly know that is the case with those cancer quacks in Mexico. They are using her to promote their scam therapy, which consists of coffee enemas and fresh raw fruit and vegetable juice “detox” programs. It’s a massive and very profitable scam and she’s basically become a spokesperson for it.

    … and injecting people with ground-up shark embryos. (Well, maybe they don’t put her name on that.)


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  14. 14
    Jeff Walther Says:

            DV82XL said:

    “Idiot” doesn’t cover it, maybe “ignoramus” or “simpleton” but then again “deluded” is probably the most appropriate.

    With a large unhealthy dose of obsessive compulsive disorder.

    “I felt dirty. I felt like I needed to give my insides about 10 showers.”

    This “purity” obsessiveness is not uncommon and never based on anything which makes any objective sense.


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  15. 15
    Sigivald Says:

    It all seems to boil down to the naturalistic fallacy.

    “Chemical” just means “what a chemist calls a chemical, plus scary and synthesized or isolated so it’s poison!”

    “Organic” just means “what a chemist calls a chemical, but it grew and stuff so it’s awesome and healthy!”

    It is natural and unsurprising that this makes exactly no scientific sense and has no correlation at all to anything actual medicine knows about health.

    (When people start talking about “wellness”, that’s a clue, like “toxins”, that they have no idea what the hell they’re talking about.)


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  16. 16
    drbuzz0 Says:

    Yeah. A lot of these things make no sense to me.

    There was a campaign for “additive free food.” Note that they did not qualify what an additive is. I believe it is anything added to the food.. So…. um?

    Not even sure what is considered the item added to the other. I guess it’s a philosophical thing? If you mix two items together, is the smaller one “added” to the larger one? or is it what bowl you use. Like the second one put into the container is “added” to the other? What if they are both poured into a container? Are they both additives?

    One definition I was able to find was “Food additive: substances added to food to preserve flavor or enhance its taste and appearance”

    Again… kinda broad? I mean… is the food itself an additive? Salt, sugar, spices, herbs, sauces etc would certainly all be additives by this definition.


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  17. 17
    Jeff Walther Says:

    You can take my chocolate chip “additives” when you pry them from my cold dead cookies.

    Eh, okay, that doesn’t really make sense, but that means it fits well into the context. :-)


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  18. 18
    I'mnotreallyhere Says:

            Shafe said:

    Try our Organic Veggie Burger!

    Organic ingredients include:

    -Dimethylmercury
    -Hemlock
    -Belladonna
    -Botulinum Toxin
    and
    -Ebola

    The rigor mortis tells you that it’s working!

    Is it made from freshly squeezed vegetarians’ organs?


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  19. 19
    PsihoKekec Says:

    If she want’s to eat organic, then she can grow organic. You can never be sure that the food that was sold to you doesn’t include evil chemicals, but the you can be always sure about the vegetables grown by you and the animals you raised (and slaughtered) yourself.


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  20. 20
    Sigivald Says:

    One definition I was able to find was “Food additive: substances added to food to preserve flavor or enhance its taste and appearance”

    Yup!

    Like when the organic chef hits the apples or potatoes with lemon juice to prevent them browning… additives!


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  21. 21
    Q Says:

            PsihoKekec said:

    If she want’s to eat organic, then she can grow organic. You can never be sure that the food that was sold to you doesn’t include evil chemicals, but the you can be always sure about the vegetables grown by you and the animals you raised (and slaughtered) yourself.

    Sadly, from what I hear, you can’t even do that these days. With all the fluoride in the irrigation water, the chemtrails dumped in the atmosphere, the evil radiation coming from mind control towers etc etc, it’s all but impossible to not be poisoned.

    At this rate, we’ll be lucky if we live to see 90.


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  22. 22
    Ryan Says:

    I just can not express how dangerous Jessica ainscough is to public health. Her media
    Savvy her attractiveness all make her far more dangerous than most other peddlers of woo.
    As horrible as it sounds I really hope she does have cancer and that it takes her life soon so that
    Her tens of thousands of followers can learn the danger of ignoring sound medical advice.


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  23. 23
    achaios Says:

            Shafe said:

    On another note, a Google search for “Jessica Ainscough” returns your prior article in the first page of results.

    That’s because Google tracks you…
    http://donttrack.us/
    and creates a filter bubble around you
    http://dontbubble.us/


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  24. 24
    Matte Says:

    I had a similar experience when my somewhat eco-warrior wife was talking to the manager of a home decoration firm. My wife asked if their paints were environmentally friendly and the manager replied with a straight face that all their solvents where organic…

    Thinking about it, I would say that most medicines are ‘organic’ substances as well, no?


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  25. 25
    Shafe Says:

            Matte said:

    My wife asked if their paints were environmentally friendly and the manager replied with a straight face that all their solvents where organic…

    Like Benzene?


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  26. 26
    Matte Says:

            Shafe said:

    Like Benzene?

    I was actually thinking about cyclohexane or toluene at the time but I guess benzene fits the bill just as well…
    Unfortunatley I was to busy laughing to exploit the situation to it’s full potential, dang shame to be honest.


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  27. 27
    George Carty Says:

            Matte said:

    I was actually thinking about cyclohexane or toluene at the time but I guess benzene fits the bill just as well…

    Benzene would be a better example, as it’s an extremely dangerous carcinogen. Toluene is much less hazardous.


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