I Call It Like I See It

4945236568_530b409476_bI have opinions. And I express them here on Nutrition Unplugged. That’s the “food news and views” part of my blog title. I want you to express your opinions, too. A blog is an ideal forum for these exchange of ideas.

There will be times when we disagree. This has happened quite a bit, actually. But that’s fine. How I see it, you have a right to your own opinion. You don’t have a right to your own facts. And that’s where I draw the line.

I was recently the target of a rather aggressive Twitter challenge by a nutrition colleague. It appears that he disagrees with my list of food trends that I think have jumped the shark (specifically chia seeds), and he feels that I’ve dismissed fermented foods while extolling only certain fermented foods: wine, beer and sausage. Not sure he even read what I wrote very closely. I’m fascinated by fermentation (it’s an amazing ancient technique) and I recognize many of the benefits, but I do think that some of the claims made by fermentation enthusiasts are ahead of the science. And while chia seeds are certainly a healthy ingredient, they’re no miracle food. The claims have simply gone too far. Does it mean not eat chia seeds? Of course not. I never said that. Enjoy chia seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds — whatever seeds you like. Seeds and nuts are great foods to eat more often. I simply feel that the marketing of chia seeds is overblown — to me, it’s jumped the shark.  Regarding fermentation, my critic complained about my mention of sausage because he’s a vegan (can’t we respect each others eating styles?).


If I respect your opinion, why not respect mine. I understand the facts. I’m expressing my opinion — which is a combination of how the facts are being interpreted and how the products are being marketed. I think it’s important to distinguish between facts and opinions. If I get the facts wrong, tell me. If you disagree with my opinion, it’s fine to tell me too, but don’t tell me I got it wrong. That’s my opinion.

One person’s savior is another person’s hype.

photo credit: kerry.com on Flickr

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0 Comments

  • That’s I love ya, Janet!

  • Seems pretty reasonable to me.

  • Your posts are always based on science and not conjecture. I respect your high level of professionalism and knowledge. There’s room for dissent but not unprofessional dissent.

  • I love your blog, love your opinions, and appreciate that all of your posts are based off of fact. The fact that any colleague would attack another rather than cheer them on boggles my mind. Keep doing what you do. Your fans appreciate it and as a colleague its great to read such a strong voice.

  • I suppose it is a form of flattery. He thinks that he will get more exposure by attacking you. I have someone who occasionally does this to me. And I have never met her. Does she think it elevates her to attack my comments? We should have better things to do than go after collegues in public.

  • Janet Helm

    Thanks everyone. Really appreciate your comments. Not sure it’s a form of flattery :), but it’s certainly a way to grab the spotlight. I think there are just better ways to approach dissenting dialogue. There’s got to be a better way to discuss a topic without personal attacks or a mean-spirited attitude. Any way, appreciate your support!

  • Mark Haub

    Janet, Keep up the great writing. The point about accepting others’ preferences, views, etc. is critical in this social media era as information is moving around so much faster now than ever before, and there may be tendencies for people to scan content instead of fully understanding it before responding. I received similar flack from basically every nutrition/diet perspective several months ago, yet their frustration (anger?) was typically misplaced as seems to have happened with this incident.

    Cheers — Mark

  • Of course dietitians have differing views and opinions on things, but the key is to respect that. I love your quote “You have a right to your own opinion. You don’t have a right to your own facts.” Brilliant! Keep up the good work.

  • Well said, Janet. Since the launch of Nutrition Unplugged, I’ve enjoyed reading your views along with the science behind timely nutrition and food topics. Social media outlets like blogs, Twitter, etc. have opened up a venue to have lively discussions and at times have us agree to disgree but like Janice said, respect goes a long way. Thanks for keeping a respectful dialogue going.

  • Joel

    I would add Irene to your list

  • Pingback: 5 Things You Missed At This Year’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) | Healthy & Happy Hour()

  • “It appears that he disagrees with my list of food trends that I think have jumped the shark (specifically chia seeds), and he feels that I’ve dismissed fermented foods while extolling only certain fermented foods: wine, beer and sausage.”

    I just want to ask about fermented foods, is it really healthy or not? Can you explain what are the benefits that we can get in fermented foods? Thanks a lot!

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