Beerbecue Exposé: Food Babe advocates tetrafluoroethane in food

The Food Babe is in the news again. About a year ago she made some outlandish claims about beer ingredients and why you should be afraid to drink the stuff.heston

She is back in the limelight again, demanding that big brewers disclose the ingredients in their beer (which they really already do). You can find an excellent rundown of her hackery at Brookston Beer Bulletin.

Suffice to say, she is clearly more interested in self-promotion and click-baiting than truth. Interestingly, she appears not to know (or care) what high fructose corn syrup is. Perhaps worse, she is unable to differentiate between what is IN beer and what is merely used in the process of making beer (never touching it). One such highly irresponsible claim is that beer contains propylene glycol.


OK, Food Babe Army, put down your organic pitchforks and gluten-free torches. There is no anti-freeze/airplane de-icer in beer. Apart from the fact that it is generally considered safe anyway, propylene glycol never touches the damn beer!

To control the temperature of fermenting beer, fermentation tanks have a cooling jacket (especially for lagers, which generally ferment at lower temperatures than ales and have to chill out in a second conditioning phase). This self-contained jacket encircles a fermentation tank and cycles a food-grade glycol and water mixture through to maintain the temperature of the beer inside the tank. BEER INSIDE THE TANK. GLYCOL OUTSIDE THE TANK.

Sorry, I only do magnifying glass research.

Oops. Sorry, I only do magnifying glass research.

Interestingly, Food Babe has never corrected this glaring oversight. So, I can only assume that she knows something I don’t. There must be propylene glycol in beer. And it must follow that fridges impart refrigerant (tetrafluoroethane) on food. Hold up. Tetrafluoroethane can cause asphyxiation when inhaled, blindness with eye contact, and frostbite with skin contact. Food Babe wouldn’t advocate something that dangerous, would she?

Wait for it, Charlton.

Wait for it, Charlton.

Holy shyte! Her 4.6-out-of-5 star rated Food Babe’s Parfait Porridge recipe has been a little slice of oat groat, muesli, and chia seed heaven for the Food Babe Army since August 2011. But the instructions state, “Let mixture sit in fridge overnight or up to three days in fridge.” Human sacrifice! Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria! Who can I trust anymore!!??

No, Charlton. I'm employing reduction ad...oh, nevermind.

No, Charlton. I’m employing reductio ad…oh, nevermind.

Tell Food Babe on Facebook and Twitter to stop advocating the ingestion of tetrafluoroethane. Think of the children!


13 thoughts on “Beerbecue Exposé: Food Babe advocates tetrafluoroethane in food

  1. I like how she’s now harping on Sam Adams now. On their website, they list their ingredients on every beer they make. Except water. That one is not listed, but I assume its involved.

  2. Ug. Between you and me, I don’t think she’s real. PGA (propylene glycol alginate) is an approved food and beverage additive with hundreds of commercial uses. A common reported example of its use is head retention in beer, so I suppose at one time someone was using it. It’s the only reason I can think of that someone would say there’s PG in beer (although it is used for a bunch of other stuff).

    The thing is, PGA is a an acid that is esterified with propylene glycol which changes the chemical structure which takes it far away from saying there is PG in people’s beer. That would be like saying there’s Carbon Monoxide in your beer because Carbon Dioxide is Carbon Monoxide changed by adding only one more oxygen to it. Cue Charlton…

    • Listen, TDoB. I am not interested in your so-called facts and science. Clearly there is propylene glycol in beer. She wouldn’t have said it otherwise.

      (BTW, thanks for dropping mad science up in here. You’re intelligent.)

      • Yeah, keep that to yourself. I have a reputation to keep down. The woman is the shock jock of bloggers. Getting likes and clicks by putting out controversial stuff with little fact or research behind it. What do they say about “a little knowledge?”

  3. Nice article Beerbecue! I wrote something about her hucksterism in April at (Pseudoscience and Clickbaiting Results in Beer Fear). With regards to the propylene glycol it *could* be used in beer to add sweetness –because glycol is sweet and PG won’t ferment the sweetness will remain without increasing alcohol content. Of course, I doubt any brewers are actually doing this–in fact, the one case I’ve heard about is *wine makers* who added it to sweeten their wine (read that in Maureen Ogle’s rebuttal to the food babe).

    While it’s total cool for consumers to demand to know what’s in their food it’s an entirely different thing when the person starts spreading lies and fear because they are speculating wildly, especially if they didn’t do the smallest amount of research. Everyone needs to calling out the Food Babe and other “advocates” who try to pull this kind of thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s