I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready for another round of prohibition. So, unless you’ve been living under a rock (A shout out to all the rock people) you’ve probably heard something about the recent stink of Food Babe vs the big American beer industry. In case you didn’t know (I didn’t, don’t feel bad) Food Babe is a healthy living blogger on a mission to uncover the ‘truth’ about what’s in our consumables. Sounds reasonable enough. We probably should be more concerned about what we put in our bodies. But if you’re going to call yourself a journalist you should have the decency to at least do your research. And it appears she did just enough research to sound like she researched it…without actually researching it. This resulted in drafting a petition to Miller Coors in which thousands of people signed.
The Treasury Department (TTB) regulates beer – not the FDA – so beer manufacturers like Anheuser-Busch and Miller Coors are not required to put the ingredients on the label – or on their website. After finding out that we know more about what’s in a bottle of Windex and Coca-Cola than we do one of the world’s most popular drinks, beer; I knew I needed to bring this subject to light.
It’s scary because it sounds so reasonable to someone who knows nothing about beer and is too lazy to use this little thing called “google“. Type in “Miller Coors Ingredients” and you will find the ingredients listed right on the miller coors site as well as nutrition facts and an entire run down of how they make beer. Sure, Miller Coors may be the big dogs of beer but there’s never been any big mystery about the beer they make. Jay Brooks of the Boston Beer Bulletin writes:
For just one example, she claimed glycol was in beer. But that’s merely a coolant used to chill beer in the brewing process. It never touches the beer … ever. If it did, it would ruin the beer. But it’s still there in her list, displaying either a comic ignorance or a malicious intent to mislead. But that’s the irony. She’s claiming to be holding brewers’ feet to the fire to be truthful and transparent, while she herself is being completely dishonest.
Everyone who know anything about beer is chiming in. Steve Parkes, owner of the American Brewers Guild and kind of a big deal in the craft brewing scene laid it out straight.
The article is misleading at best. Her main sources other than brewers are organizations that want to ban alcohol. The brewers are naturally a little defensive when questioned about their processes from the public. Presumably those brewery PR departments checked out the Food Babe…perhaps even read her article on microwaves where she claims water exposed to microwaves resembles water that has been exposed to the words “satan” and “Hitler”. So they were understandably reticent to engage her knowing what was coming.
Among brewers, the companies listed are quite open about their ingredients and processes. I’ve read long papers in technical journals describing how Guinness optimize their use of use isinglass. I’ve met with Anheuser Busch and Miller brewers and talked about their processes at length. There’s no scandal there…. The process at Anheuser Busch is quite natural and traditional in fact, and AB have a line of gluten free and organic beers made in the same facilities as their other products.
In fact, you can read more about this in depth there:
So, What’s your take on this? An over sensationalized media stunt to gain attention or is she saving us from our own beer? You can probably tell where I stand on this one.