Are you a fan of the “Food Babe”? Did you know she’s an utter moron?

For three years, neither the Food Babe herself or anyone she cared to listen to noticed that a post on air travel was a treasure trove of absolutely spectacularly stupid misinformation, some of it easily identifiable to a moderately scientifically literate high schooler. Then this week it was picked up and ridiculed by someone not a mindless sponge for misinformation and started on a path to going viral and all of a sudden it was gone. Unfortunately for the sneaky liars of the net, such as the Food Babe, there exists time machines such as Google cache which allows us to see that as late as yesterday there was an August 2011 post called Food Babe Travel Essentials – No Reason to Panic on the Plane! (revision: the page is no longer in Google cache, but it can be found elsewhere) with pearls of wisdom such as these:

When your body is in the air, at a seriously high altitude, your body under goes some serious pressure. Just think about it – Airplanes thrive in places we don’t. You are traveling in a pressurized cabin, and when your body is pressurized, it gets really compressed!

Yeah, except the pressurized cabin has a lot less pressure than regular old sea level atmosphere.

Remember your body is made up of 50% water

Okay, that could be an honest mistake, but the company it keeps makes one wonder.

The air that is pumped in isn’t pure oxygen either, it’s mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%. To pump a greater amount of oxygen in costs money in terms of fuel and the airlines know this! The nitrogen may affect the times and dosages of medications, make you feel bloated and cause your ankles and joints swell.

Read that twice. This is a person a lot of people listen to, and she’s advising them their medication may be off during airplane travel because airlines aren’t supplying them with pure oxygen. Newsflash, plain old air is 78% nitrogen. Enough oxygen at a high enough pressure is toxic.

Would you take advise from a person such as this? Oblivious to the facts, without a support network able to point out basic mistakes (the post was up for three years) and ready to hide her stupidity when it finally penetrates her finely crafted defence against knowledge? How do your various sources stack up in comparison?

Posted on November 11, 2014, in Science. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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