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Food Bullying: Excerpts from the book

Food Bullying: How to Avoid Buying B.S. by Michele Payn reveals the $5.75 trillion secret that food marketers and celebrity spokespeople don’t want you to know and provides tools to defend your food choices. More than 40,000 products can be found in a grocery store, making it a playground for food bullying and leading consumers to believe that B.S. (bull speak) food is superior. Positioning one food as superior to another lies at the heart of food bullying and marketing profits. Misleading marketing has made food an unnecessarily emotional topic where each choice is seemingly a moral statement or social movement.

Part 1: Food folklore

Stories seem to turn from reality to folklore the more removed people are from a place, product, or practice. The same is true in food. We live in a time when people are so hungry for the story behind their food that they often fall for folklore. Perhaps it’s because so many feel more removed from how food is raised. Some studies show that 75% of Americans haven’t visited a farm in the last five years. It’s hard to understand or trust what you don’t know, and without trust comes fear, which bullies prey on to change perceptions about food and farming.

Part 2: Bullying motivators

Humans are hardwired for survival. Yet, most messaging we receive around food has little to do with surviving – or even safety. But it is important to remember that nourishment is one of our most basic needs. We make food buying decisions on information we trust, but sometimes our trust is misinformed. Other times, trust is abused by the players on the food bullying playground. We typically trust those with implied power of position, platform, or product.


Michele Payn is the author of Food Bullying, a number-one best seller on Amazon. She loves cows, chocolate, and creating conversations around the plate. Learn more at

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