Oliver’s Real Food promotes itself as an organic fast food chain which, in and of itself, is not something we can automatically deride. Fresh food; good stuff.
Claims about increased health benefits of organic food, as opposed to other produce, however, overstep the mark. When people start claiming the tired adage favoured by wellness evangelicals around the world, “let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food”, we can start taking notice of our quivering skeptical antennae. And often this is a well founded quivering.
With a growing list of nineteen franchises now operating, Oliver’s Real Food needs to start being cognisant of the accuracy of the claims it makes, and the activism it undertakes, as well as the consequences of these activities, including regulatory. When you start trading on any particular testable health claim, you’d better be damn sure you can back it up.
Oliver’s Real Food was founded by Jason Gunn, and he appears to be in charge of the online marketing:
Further down in this post there will be a collection from Gunn’s Facebook profile, including his antivax posts and more. But, first, we’ll check out Oliver’s Real Food’s anti-vaccination activism, carried out by the business on its social media and in its premises.
On June 25 2016 – just yesterday – Oliver’s Real Food (ORF) promoted the Andrew Wakefield anti-vaccination documentary, Vaxxed, on its Facebook page. Yes, that’s the same documentary whose producers recently called for support for the Canadian parents who killed their own toddler. One of the parents now sits in prison; the other is in home detention. From the ORF Facebook page:
ORF deleted the post, but, not without some rancour directed towards those who expect an upstanding business to behave in a way which is not a threat to public health. The following is particularly telling, given that it is likely written by Gunn himself:
ORF also attracted some reviews from disgruntled readers:
Again, the page administrator was unapologetic about the business’s anti-vaccinationism:
Unfortunately, this is only the latest in a long history of anti-vaccination activism by this company and its founder.
In 2013, committee member of Australian Skeptics, Jo Benhamu, dropped into the Wyong F3 Freeway ORF outlet for a break and a bite to eat. What Jo saw horrified her.
Among the many books and DVDs for sale in the Wyong outlet were the anti-vaccination documentaries The Greater Good and Doctored, as well as the crank cancer documentary Cut, Poison, Burn:
Image courtesy Jo Benhamu.
Image courtesy Jo Benhamu.
ORF was also promoting Doctored on its social media at the time:
More of ORF’s Twitter activism will be included at the end of this post.
The ORF business page also promotes another crank cancer cure documentary series, called The Truth About Cancer.
The Truth About Cancer is probably notable, right at this moment, for having an actual walking, talking victim of its misinformation right here in Australia. And, as we know from a previous blog post, The Truth About Cancer is also an anti-vaccination documentary, with this review coming straight from an Australian anti-vaccination activist.
ORF doesn’t limit itself to promoting the crank documentary just the once; the business promoted the series three times in April alone:
This is not the only occasion ORF has played the cancer scare-card, either. In 2015 they posted this, sans nuance:
Another one of the business’s and founder’s active interests is anti-GMO misinformation. Only last month this article was posted, which features the retracted lumpy rat as its star image:
And back in 2015 the business was also promoting the consumption of raw milk, despite it killing a toddler only a few months previously:
Sadly, this is the second time we’ve had to mention the deaths of toddlers in this post…
Over on Jason Gunn’s Facebook profile it is apparent that he uses the profile to conduct his business. There’s the banner:
And other posts, among many, in which Gunn uses his profile for the promotion of his business:
It is also obvious that Gunn uses his Facebook profile for his anti-vaccination activism.
On June 15 2016, Gunn was promoting the anti-vaccine documentary, Trace Amounts. He also proves his ignorance of the (former) use of ethylmercury in vaccines:
Throughout April 2016, Gunn was sharing anti-vaccine conspiracy theories from Infowars, as well as promoting the anti-vaccine documentary, Vaxxed, and making outrageous anti-vaccine statements to his friends:
A must watch
We are being lied to people…….
Believe what you like Iain Smale, I think the evidence is overwhelming. I think you are naive to believe that there is no connection. The pharmaceutical industry is and has been lying to us for ages, just like the cigarette industry did. Why you might ask? Think about the $’s that are at stake. Injecting our children with TOXIC chemicals is insanity and barbaric. WAKE UP man x
The fact is that if vaccines really worked, those that believed in them would not need to get so upset when someone says that they do not want to have their children vaccinated. They would simply think “Sweet as Bro, I am vaccinated, do what the hell you like, get sick and die if you like” There is absolutely no need for the whole HERD to get injected with toxic crap that causes many issues in some people 🙂
Gunn also plugged The Truth About Cancer throughout April:
Over on the Oliver’s Real Food Twitter account, Gunn has been promoting pseudoscience for years, and it is just as bad. The following is just a smattering.
This link goes to a video by discredited computer scientist, Stephanie Seneff:
Cancer crank Charlotte Gerson also got a body count for her birthday:
Anti-vaccination misinformation from the king (well, one of them), Joe Mercola:
And the disgraced cancer charlatan, Stanislaw Burzynski:
One of the bonuses of the free market is that, as consumers, we can vote with our feet. And social media has made information like all of the above so readily available that we can make informed choices as ethical consumers.
As can regulatory bodies.
For anyone interested in additional skeptical resources on the film “Doctored” here is a link to the review carried out by the League of Nerds Podcast.
League of Nerds #43: Review – Doctored
Thanks, Graham. I had to rush a bit with this one.
We have two Oliver’s Real Foods near us – on either side of the freeway bear our housing estate in Officer VIC. I’ve eaten their food once – it was VILE!!! What’s more, there was NOTHING fresh about it – I ordered it and a couple of minutes later they heated it in the microwave and voila! Vile food and all! Next time I’ll stick with KFC!!
I’m not concerned about their vax stance or their views on anything really – I give them another couple of years max! If you had s choice between KFC chips, maccas chips or steamed green beans, what would your choice be??
Damn it – I liked their food!!! Never eating there again. Sigh.
My kids snack on raw vegetables and I vaccinate.
I’ve been into the Wyong outlet once and found their food too expensive. Despite passing by their restaurant a hundred times since, I’ve never set foot in there again. Am glad now.
Eating healthily and vaccinating do not need to be mutually exclusive.
Wow… As a worker who has been there for many years I’m JUST finding out about all this :0 I’m shocked and disappointed in Jason 🙁 I don’t follow the FB page (too much crap on there for my liking) or follow anything to do with the place (I just go in, make food, leave).
As a person heavily influenced by science and the wonders that it has for us (and loving it!) this realllly upsets me that I work for a place (or more so, a *man*) like this 🙁
Not all of us workers are like that btw, don’t judge us all 🙂 haha
I took a series of screenshots last year from their Facebook page, and posted them just today on a thread re: Oliver’s Real Food on the FB page Skeptics in Australia. The pseudoscience is limitless. He apparently hassles all of his employers (at least the ones he has direct contact with) to sign up for transcendental meditation courses as well. He’d be such an annoying boss.