an open letter to michelle bridges

an open letter to michelle bridges

Michelle Bridges

Dear Michelle,

Wow, what an unexpected week you’ve had. I understand you were just trying to have a little fun with your new advertisement, and that your comments were meant to make people feel better about being too time poor to cook, (with the hope they’d purchase your microwave TV dinners). I admit, I found your antics kinda cute and funny.

But you insulted a vast number of folks with your attempt at tongue in cheek humour. Calling them “freaks” for growing their own veggies was a step too far. Leading health industry peeps, busy mums, professional women, avid gardeners… you name it, they came out of the woodwork. And they’re not happy.

Here’s a couple of quotes I found online (just in case you missed them):

“Just so upset by the Michelle Bridges ad where she insults people who grow their own veggies and thinks ‘health food’ is something that you buy in the freezer aisle of your supermarket with goodness knows what additives and preservatives.

Wake up Michelle Bridges – I think you might be the ‘freaky’ one today….

Real food is not complicated and need not be time consuming. It can certainly be cheaper than frozen meals.

We are a strong and educated and inspired population and we do not need to outsource our health to people wanting to make a buck. 

– Lisa Corduff (Small Steps to Wholefoods)

“There are no short cuts in your exercise program what makes you think we can short cut healthy eating. Each of those meals have yeast extract, a flavour enhancer and disguise for glutamates which excite the taste buds and create a want for more food. Those meals will have little satiety.

Do the work, get back in the kitchen, make time for cooking, just as you expect people to make time for exercise. Because this is how I feel about food. No short cuts. No done-for-you convenience products. We don’t require a time-saving easy meal as the solution. Instead, we need a mindset shift. I assume you’re familiar with those, since you talk about mindset and change a lot on your blog.”

– Cyndi O’Meara (Changing Habits)

Sure Michelle, you’ve reposted some social media posts by a couple of health industry peeps (dieticians and such) who raved about your new products on Facebook. However, after digging a little deeper, I discovered that one of these women had been paid by Woolworths to review your range, and another had been invited to your product launch, was schmoozed and fed, and then got to meet you, her hero, before writing her review. Hmmmm… not exactly unbiased opinions. Not even close.

Meanwhile, I was unable to find a positive review from a qualified health professional who hadn’t attended one of your events or been paid.

But I withheld my opinion. After all, perhaps you really HAD brought out a healthy convenience food to bring change to the over-processed, nutrient-poor, additive filled frozen dinner market. One could only hope. So, I hightailed it to my local Woolies (you know – the “fresh food people” – ironic much?) and I found your product.

I was thoroughly disappointed to learn the following:

  1. There’s an unnecessary amount of sugar in there – waaaaay too much for someone trying to lose weight. One of your meals had a whopping 14.3 grams of sugars. What would you have said to one of your Biggest Loser contestants if they were eating 14.3 grams of sugar at each meal? Again, I know you’re not a nutritionist, but I thought even you would be able to realise this is excessive.
  2. Let’s talk about the packaging. ALL flexible plastics (even ones labelled “food grade”) contain endocrine disrupting chemicals. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a common one you may find, but there are a whole host of others, including Bisphenol-S, Bisphenol-F, and phthalates. Microwaving these containers with food inside can lead to these chemicals leaching into the food. These chemicals have been linked to weight gain (you know, that thing you’re trying to help us avoid?), hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders and even some cancers. Not cool, Michelle, not cool.
  3. Canola oil. Why, why, why, in this day and age, with ALL the research we have into its inflammatory effects on the body, would you resort to using canola oil in your products? There’s NOTHING healthy about this oil at all. It’s a cheap and nasty shortcut used by the food industry when they want to lower costs. So then I guess you needed to take this short cut to achieve your $7 price point, while maintaining a tidy profit for both yourself and Woolies? Disappointing. Some would say a sell out.

Weight loss and good health is about FOOD, first and foremost. Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

In order for true change to occur in this increasingly overweight country, we need to make our meals ourselves. Please don’t teach busy women to outsource their cooking. Please don’t normalise convenience food. And please don’t refer to us as freaks just because we have made the time to create (and grow) our food from scratch. We simply made the time, because we realised it was important for our long term wellbeing, and the wellbeing of those we care for.

And having a veggie patch is a natural next step. We need to become more connected to our food, and growing our own is one of the ways to achieve this. Even if it’s just a few pots on a balcony, it’s a start.

If we teach our kids about veggie gardening, they won’t become freaks. Instead, it will give them an appreciation of where the food comes from. It may inspire them and educate them to make their own healthy meals from scratch, not from a plastic packet. Isn’t this worth fighting for?

As a celebrity and brand, you have a rare opportunity to achieve actual change in this country. People listen to you. They trust and believe you. Please don’t betray that trust for the sake of a product endorsement.

 

Author’s note: The earlier comment around the protein levels in these meals has since been withdrawn. 

83 Comments
  • Linda Caines
    Posted at 08:12h, 09 November Reply

    Hear hear Jules! Very well said x

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 08:38h, 09 November Reply

      Thank you Linda 🙂

    • Robert Caines
      Posted at 15:15h, 10 November Reply

      I really do think everyone is taking Michelle’s comments out of context.

      Yes, she says ‘freaks’ – but she says that immediately after eating DIRT.

      When I first saw the add, I thought she portrayed an over the top freak, not a home veggie gardener – and then when she SAID freak, this further validated my thoughts.

      I have no issue with what she said, and frankly don’t care about what she is selling. Fact is – people have been given sufficient education to read the packets and decide for themselves. if they choose to eat these things despite whats on the label – then they only have themselves to blame.

      • Adelle
        Posted at 14:38h, 31 January Reply

        I agree. First thought was ‘lighten up’
        Mish has rescued me from a lifetime of yoyo dieting.
        I grow my own lots of fresh goodies and never gave a second thought to the freak statement.
        I loved the ad. Love MB

  • Brigitte
    Posted at 08:17h, 09 November Reply

    What a fabulous article…. so articulate and perfectly said!Well done Jules!Keep fighting the good fight….the world depends on people like you for change to happen 🙂

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 08:41h, 09 November Reply

      Thanks so much Brigitte – I will definitely keep fighting!

  • vicki
    Posted at 09:09h, 09 November Reply

    Amen sister!!

  • vicki
    Posted at 09:09h, 09 November Reply

    Amen sister!!

  • Georgia
    Posted at 09:16h, 09 November Reply

    This is brilliant Jules! I had no idea that she had brought out a supposed healthy food range. What a joke!
    Awesome article. Loved all your points. Nailed it!
    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. G x

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 09:19h, 09 November Reply

      Thanks Georgia. Sick of the health-washing. Taking a stand 😉

  • Peta
    Posted at 09:28h, 09 November Reply

    Brilliant Jules! So well written and articulated. Very clear and concise reasoning for each point. Well said re: the trust, she has that trust she needs to use it wisely. In this day and age, despite how busy we are, with all the education out there, it is still possible to create real, healthy food in a short amount of time!

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 09:40h, 09 November Reply

      Thanks Peta! “With great power comes great responsibility…”

  • Hayley
    Posted at 09:48h, 09 November Reply

    Well said.. And just for fun, how about she eat nothing but her “Health branded” proteins, bars, super food mixes and meals and see how healthy she is after it.. I really like Michelle but after this.. Money certainly talks..

  • Monica
    Posted at 09:51h, 09 November Reply

    Very well said, the last line is so powerful. BTW I love our veggie garden.

  • sue
    Posted at 10:08h, 09 November Reply

    thank you, thank you, thank you Jules.
    absolutely SPOT ON!!!!!

  • Kelly Hine
    Posted at 10:32h, 09 November Reply

    Love this article! I agree wholeheartedly and love the way you’ve done your homework and backed up your argument with clear facts…Great work Jules.

  • Jayne
    Posted at 10:44h, 09 November Reply

    Fabulous article Jules. Michelle’s video absolutely shocked me last week and you have provided information that I had suspected without looking at the frozen meal range. We need to all join together and get the correct information out so that we can educate people on the consequences of their diet choices. 🙂

  • Kayleen
    Posted at 10:44h, 09 November Reply

    Bravo Jukes bravo. Well said. Great work there. A lot if time and effort in formulating that post.

  • Leah
    Posted at 10:46h, 09 November Reply

    Great words and hopefully they get lots of attention! We need real food with lots of nutrients to nourish our bodies. I’m glad you did the research – Thank you.

  • Vanessa Vickery
    Posted at 10:49h, 09 November Reply

    Love it Jules!!

  • Lauren
    Posted at 10:51h, 09 November Reply

    Fabulous Jules!! Very impressed!!!

  • Renee
    Posted at 10:55h, 09 November Reply

    Beautifully said! Oh so many great points raised. Spot on! x

  • Marnie Bergan
    Posted at 11:01h, 09 November Reply

    Spot on. Love it!

  • Mina
    Posted at 11:10h, 09 November Reply

    Wow! So well written and researched. I can only hope Michelle actually reads this with an open mind and open heart. As you noted, she is now a celebrity and people listen to her. She has a moral responsibility to promote health. Her weight loss program makes her millions. She is in the perfect position to propel change.

    Michelle has sold her ethics for money. She would not eat the food she endorses. Especially now that she is pregnant. Very disappointing.

    Thank you for taking the time to research her products and product reviews.

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 11:12h, 09 November Reply

      You’re welcome, and thank you for your thoughtful reply xo

  • Maria
    Posted at 11:32h, 09 November Reply

    Hear freaking hear. Well done you. Awesome post. Sharing 🙂

  • Jen
    Posted at 11:52h, 09 November Reply

    What an excellent and un-biased article. Thank you for such a well rounded article pointing out the real facts about Michelle Bridges products. I have done a few rounds of her fitness program which worked for me in the short term but I have since discovered that clean eating and healthy from scratch meals are the best way to go for long term health and weight loss. Shared your article and will be bookmarking your blog for future reading! Thanks again!

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 11:54h, 09 November Reply

      Thank you Jen. Glad to hear that my words resonated with you! 🙂

  • Allison
    Posted at 12:00h, 09 November Reply

    Great post Jules! The first point needs some correction though – the 1-2g of protein per kg of bodyweight is per day, not per meal. So 30g in each of those meals is fine. Also Mark Sisson isn’t really “highly qualified” though I do like much of what he has to say.

    Hopefully Michelle is having a re-think of her approach!

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 21:08h, 09 November Reply

      Thanks for your feedback, Allison. I’ve since retracted that part of the post, and instead I’m planning to put together a separate blog post discussing protein requirements in women.

  • CassieOz
    Posted at 12:40h, 09 November Reply

    I see it this way. Either 1) she really believes what she said, or 2) she’ll say anything for money. Take your pick.

  • PJ
    Posted at 12:49h, 09 November Reply

    Hmmm whilst I’m not a big MB fan I will say posts like this “naturopaths” ones annoy me. Firstly she has included misinformation. The protein recommendation (according to the better health website and a few others) is 0.75g per kilo of body weight for women, 0.84g per kilo for men and 1g per kilo for pregnant or breastfeeding women and men and women over 70. That figure is PER DAY not per meal. So 30g in a meal actually isn’t too bad at all. For a woman weighing 100kg it’s 40% of her daily requirement. IN ONE MEAL. One would assume people are eating more than one meal a day and if they aren’t well there are more problems to deal with than just protein. As for the sugar content it does appear high at first glance but one has to ask the question is it added sugar? (I.e. Is sugar, glucose etc listed on the ingredients list) is it naturally occurring sugars in the 3 serves of vegetables occurring in the meal? The Dieticians Association of Australia recommends 90g of sugars per day for the average adult. So this meal has a bit under 16% of the daily allowance. Really not bad when for most people that’s 20 – 33% of the food they are eating for the day.

    So really are frozen meals ideal? No. Are they handy on occasion? Yes. Are these particular ones healthier than other frozen meals on thaw market? It sure looks that way.

    • Jane
      Posted at 10:36h, 10 November Reply

      Pj the protein level comments have been retracted.

      90g of sugar per day (equivalent of 20 teaspoons per day) is way too much sugar for anyone. The World Health Organisation recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.

      I’m blaming pregnancy brain on this one for Michelle. Particularly the advertisement part.

      It’s not difficult to produce a healthy fresh meal. If your desperate buy a cooked chook & a ready made undressed salad. Frozen meals are never a healthy option.

      • Jules Galloway
        Posted at 21:49h, 10 November Reply

        Hi PJ, the sugars are carefully hidden in the form of “apple juice concentrate” which is a form of added (and unnecessary) sugar. I personally find the DAA guidelines on sugar to be outdated, but we’re all entitled to our opinion, so it’s up to you who you choose to follow. I’ve personally seen rapid and long lasting improvements in a vast number of my clients after reducing their sugar intake to significantly below the DAA benchmark, so will continue to recommend this course of action.

  • Paul
    Posted at 12:51h, 09 November Reply

    VERY disappointed in Michelle, I had, a lot respect for her, not so much now

  • Wendy
    Posted at 13:09h, 09 November Reply

    Hi Jules – thanks for taking the time to visit ‘The Fresh Food People’ and checking out the new ‘Delicious Nutritious’ range of frozen meals. It’s so reassuring to know the Government (with its healthy star rating) and Michelle have ‘my back’ when it comes to ‘…taking the guesswork out of reading labels…’ and allowing me ‘…to make informed, healthier choices when shopping…’ I was wondering If I could apply for a Health Star rating? I’m quite nutritionally sound, not modified in any way. I do however, grow my own fruit, vegetables and herbs and have learnt from many trusted sources (like yourself) how best to create my own health-filled meals from scratch! I guess that may invalidate my Health Star application.

    Thanks once again Jules for the heart-felt and truth-filled narrative you are sharing with us all.

  • Flip Shelton
    Posted at 13:25h, 09 November Reply

    Great article.
    I hope Michelle and Woolies reads this.

  • Flip Shelton
    Posted at 13:25h, 09 November Reply

    Great article.
    I hope Michelle and Woolies reads this.

  • Pingback:Summer is near. Time to get freaky with it. | Kai Chronicles
    Posted at 13:28h, 09 November Reply

    […] Naturopath Jules Galloway posted a brilliant open letter to Michelle on her blog today. I certainly could not say it better than Jules did. Have a read of Jules’s open letter here. […]

    • Sharlene
      Posted at 06:18h, 11 November Reply

      Thank you for your open letter, you were right on the money here.
      My family of four boys all help in growing our veggie/herb garden and now do so at school
      also.
      Fake foods masquerading as nutrition in a plastic container and cardboard box is really the wrong message.
      I actually felt sick when I saw the ad rather than see the humour in it and thought it so unconsciously
      undermining to the spirit of health and wellbeing.
      All the exercise in the world does not make up for poor nutrition and ignorance.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 13:59h, 09 November Reply

    Really enjoyed your open letter, got to say I was gobsmacked when I saw Michelle’s adv on FB! I actually thought she was taking the piss…so to speak. I did her 12wbt over a year ago and followed her healthy eating and exercise and yes I did lose weight, but rather than calorie count now I eat healthy/paleo/natural foods…..I did do another 12 weeks but found it very boring and same old foods….whereas with sites like yours and other likeminded helpful people, I am really enjoying the food journey and cooking is an adventure. I recently paid out over $500 to have someone build me a closed in garden and I have planted out to be veggie self sufficient (I need to keep my free range chooks and the possums out!) I know I will reap the $$ back in not only savings but in good health and peace of mind. Thanks again for speaking up.

  • emma
    Posted at 14:20h, 09 November Reply

    BRAVO!! Thank you so much for writing this and confronting Michelle. I was absolutely horrified to see that commercial and her message was really misguided in SO MANY WAYS!!
    Women, love your bodies and feed them well. Microwaved food surrounded by nasty plastic is not the answer to good health and weight loss..

    Michelle I hope you get the message and do something about it. I was just about to sign onto one of your challenges but this put me into a grinding halt!

  • Kerry
    Posted at 14:25h, 09 November Reply

    Like you, I did watch the adverts and watched the crazy backlash that followed. I as well as you do label read, I have been shocked to learn that actually 14.3g of sugar in today’s products is actually pretty good. I have read 30g on a small tub of yoghurt for example. If you had taken the time to read everything you would have read that Michelle in her response says she actually does have her own veggie garden. It was a joke, which seemed to have hit a nerve with some people. She was making fun of herself and the ridiculous standards that are set out there to be healthy, which is a barrier for others to lose weight and be healthy that was the intention.We need to be a little less sensitive and easily offended I believe. As a Mum to three gorgeous children who have special needs and I study part time and work part time I am time poor. If it means that I am not buying another meal at Maccas is it so bad? I work hard to eat healthy, it’s easy to judge those when you don’t live their life. Let’s keep it real.

    • Terence
      Posted at 15:33h, 11 November Reply

      Good, relevant comment, Kerry.
      I notice that Jules hasn’t given you a nice thank you for your contribution.
      I agree: “Let’s keep it real.”

  • Heidi
    Posted at 15:00h, 09 November Reply

    What a brutally truthful rebuttal to this stir…

    Thank you for your voice, time researched & courage to share such words.

    I only wish for Michelle to read this & take an honest reflective look at what actions she is choosing and WHO she is choosing to be for her followers. I like to hold a space for all of humanity – and trust that with big ‘mistakes’ come big lessons. Perhaps this one might be one for her? As a case of, you don’t know, what you don’t know?? Lets hope.

    Heidi x

  • Sharda
    Posted at 15:20h, 09 November Reply

    Great work Jules!! Well written.

  • Kate Barnes
    Posted at 16:35h, 09 November Reply

    Well done and thank you Jules for articulating this so well & the broader issues this advertisement promotes.

  • Colin
    Posted at 19:07h, 09 November Reply

    Have u had any response back from Michelle Bridges??

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 19:26h, 09 November Reply

      Not yet – not expecting to though, Colin. I assume she’s a very busy lady.

  • Amber
    Posted at 20:26h, 09 November Reply

    Bravo Jules! xx

  • Catriona
    Posted at 13:18h, 10 November Reply

    While I am a freak and grow my own veges and wouldn’t buy microwave meals. I have to disagree with your point that there is NOTHING healthy about canola oil. A quick search of the literature shows quite a number of human trails that have shown cardio protective benefits of canola oil. And while there may be inflammatory effects (I have not seen the research so can’t judge) which are health compromising I think you statement can’t be factual but just your personal opinion.

  • Lorien Waldron
    Posted at 14:06h, 10 November Reply

    Awesome letter Jules – I can see why this has gone viral – it’s so important that the community of mums and dad’s out there who are looking to be healthy and do the best for their family are not brainwashed by expensive marketing campaigns and false information – and junk food ingredients! Sheeesh! This is going down in health promotion (marketing campaign gone wrong history) for sure! Thanks for this great reply to the commercial. 🙂 xxx

  • Wade Edwell
    Posted at 15:54h, 10 November Reply

    Brilliant!!! On the money and thoughtfully composed. I’m so dismayed over this, I didn’t think I could be less impressed by her tactics, but I am!

  • J
    Posted at 18:20h, 10 November Reply

    I suppose 56 million dollars isn’t enough. Very sad.

  • Leah
    Posted at 22:37h, 10 November Reply

    Very well written. 🙂

  • Peter Crowe
    Posted at 09:09h, 11 November Reply

    There is nothing better for you and your family’s health than to grow your own vegetables in a garden soil with balanced minerals providing high nutrient density produce. Being able to harvest your next meal minutes before preparation ensures quality. A study conducted by the CSIRO revealed that between the years 1948 to 1991 there was a loss of nutrient value of the vegetables we consume between 30 and over 90%. Call me a :”freak” but I know my family is eating better than those who rely on that sold in the supermarkets that tastes poor, has low nutrient and discounted lasting value.

  • Bill Moore
    Posted at 12:27h, 11 November Reply

    Hi Jules, thanks for your email that you sent us regarding Delicious Nutritious. You raised some points of concern that I have attempted to answer and I’ve posted it on your website for the information of your readers. I have repeated your questions to contextualise the responses.
    “Your products contain an absolute piss poor amount of protein (yes, that’s the technical term). Less than 30g per serve. Are you serious? The industry standard (according to highly qualified professionals like Mark Sisson) is 1-2 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight for active individuals. Your 30 gram serving is therefore grossly inadequate. In an active person it could even cause muscle loss. You know what else a lack of protein causes? Sugar cravings. Carb cravings. Poor quality hair, skin and nails. I don’t think your target market (busy professional women) would like any of these.”
    With respect, this isn’t factually correct Jules. At around 30g of protein per serve the meals provide 30-53% of our average daily intake of protein in one meal alone, and is therefore far from being ‘grossly inadequate,’ In fact they are a ‘good source of protein’ as defined by Australian government guidelines. I think you’ve confused grams of protein per serve as opposed to the recommended daily protein intake.
    “There’s an unnecessary amount of sugar in there – waaaaay too much for someone trying to lose weight. One of your meals had a whopping 14.3 grams of sugars. What would you have said to one of your Biggest Loser contestants if they were eating 14.3 grams of sugar at each meal? Again, I know you’re not a nutritionist, but I thought even you would be able to realise this is excessive.”
    Again, and I do make this point with respect, this doesn’t appear to be accurate Jules. Australian government guidelines recommend that we choose foods that have less than10g per 100g of sugar. All products in the Delicious Nutritious range contain less than 5g per 100g, and most of those are in the vegetables (all meals contain a minimum of three different vegetables). There is a small amount of added sugar in the form of apple and lemon juices, and the Asian chicken contains just 1% honey for flavour. Therefore I question your assertion that there’s ‘way too much sugar’ in the meals when the actual physical quantities mean that they could be more accurately described as ‘low sugar’. Importantly they aren’t designed for people trying to lose weight, but rather to provide a nutritious calorie controlled convenience meal.
    “Let’s talk about the packaging. ALL flexible plastics (even ones labelled “food grade”) contain endocrine disrupting chemicals. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a common one you may find, but there are a whole host of others, including Bisphenol-S, Bisphenol-F, and phthalates. Microwaving these containers with food inside can lead to these chemicals leaching into the food. These chemicals have been linked to weight gain (you know, that thing you’re trying to help us avoid?), hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders and even some cancers. Not cool, Michelle, not cool.”
    The packaging is all recyclable and the containers are indeed BPA free. The plastic used is polypropylene (it has a 5 stamped in the plastic) for which there are no known health hazards as noted on the Choice website.
    “Canola oil. Why, why, why, in this day and age, with ALL the research we have into its inflammatory effects on the body, would you resort to using canola oil in your products? There’s NOTHING healthy about this oil at all. It’s a cheap and nasty shortcut used by the food industry when they want to lower costs. So then I guess you needed to take this short cut to achieve your $7 price point, while maintaining a tidy profit for both yourself and Woolies? Disappointing. Some would say a sell out.”
    We kept the quantity of oil used to a minimum as we were conscious of the overall calorie content. Again, respectfully, I would disagree with your assertion that there is ‘nothing healthy about this oil’. It is actually recommended by the National Heart Foundation as it is high in monounsaturated fats and omega-3s whilst low in saturated fats.
    Jules please take this response to your open letter in the spirit in which it has been written – that of a respectful, measured reply designed to factually inform. The core Michelle Bridges brand values talk about health and wellness for everyone, irrespective of age, gender, size, shape, financial position, whatever. We try very, very hard to be a totally democratic brand that reaches people at all walks of life without judgement.
    Michelle has always championed a home cooked, wholefood diet but we need to acknowledge that we don’t live in a perfect world. The reality is that it doesn’t always work that way for all of us, all of the time. Up until now the choices available when we simply don’t have time have been uninspired and lacking in sound nutrition principles.
    Delicious Nutritious is a convenience meal that is high in protein, either a good source or high in fibre and whole grains, contains three serves of vegetables, RSPCA Approved chicken, hormone free meat, preservative free, non GMO, low sugar and salt, 450 calories or less, inexpensive and has a minimum four and a half star rating.
    And finally, with apologies for my long-winded reply, the ‘Dirt-gate’ ad as it’s now known was of course never intended to label vegetable growers as freaks (Michelle herself grows her own herbs and vegetables), and we unreservedly apologise for any offence caused. As you noted in your open letter, it was intended to poke fun at Michelle herself and our increasingly manic quest for ‘the perfect life’.

    The downside is that in the hysteria the positives have been overlooked, and regrettably, the level of vitriol amped up to an unpleasant personal level at the expense of conscious, rational debate.

    Thank you for your attention, and congratulations on your books and website.

    Bill Moore
    CEO Michelle Bridges Team

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 11:36h, 12 November Reply

      Hi Bill,

      Thank you so much for taking time out (from what must have been a very busy week) to reply to my blog post.

      In reference to point number 1, you’ll notice that the comments about protein have been retracted, and were actually withdrawn over 24 hours before you wrote to me. But thank you for clarifying your standpoint.

      In reference to the sugar, I believe wholeheartedly that the Australian guidelines are outdated and need to be revised. With the World Health Organisation recently lowering their cap on sugars and with the news that the FDA has proposed to lower theirs also, I think you’ll find that Australia is starting to lag behind. I agree that the naturally occurring sugars in your veggies are totally fine, however, I don’t agree on using apple juice concentrate (which is much higher in sugars than plain apple juice per gram) and think that perhaps you could have done a little better on this front.

      You mentioned that your containers are BPA free. Fantastic! Can you also please confirm whether they are free from the two most common replacements, which are BP-S and BP-F? Both of these compounds are now thought to be as damaging to the body as BP-A. Also, I’ve read that polypropylene commonly contains two other chemicals which may be linked to cancer – BHA and BHT. These have been proven to be released upon heat. Can you please confirm that your plastic packaging is free from these also?

      I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the canola oil. I’m glad to hear you only use a small amount, however I don’t believe it’s healthy, and I think there’s always better (albeit slightly more expensive) alternatives to use in cooking, like olive and coconut oils.

      I’m sad to hear about the level of vitriol that has come your way, and I hope you haven’t found my comments to be in that vein. Instead, I look forward to keeping the lines of communication going with an open and informed discussion about how we, with our customers’ best interests at heart, can improve both products and marketing to make for healthier and happier outcomes.

      I look forward to your reply.

      With Thanks,

      Jules

      • Chloe
        Posted at 17:46h, 30 November Reply

        You may be surprised to learn that olive oil is in fact an inferior oil to cook with when compared canola oil as olive oil has a much lower smoke point (i.e. the point where it literally starts to smoke and the oil itself starts to degrade, additionally harmful compounds are formed). It is well established that canola oil is a far safer choice to cook with.
        Olive oil is best added to foods not requiring cooking. Additionally the most recent body of evidence shows the canola oil does not initiate an inflammatory response. It can be hard to keep up to date as evidence is always being updated, but if you are making a stance to a wide audience … it’s probably best to fact check.

  • Deborah
    Posted at 13:24h, 11 November Reply

    Well said. I was insulted to say the least by the “freaks” comment. I have struggled with depression and obesity all my life and am only now finding that getting back to the basics such as homed cooked meals, exercise and gardening are very beneficial. Due to my mental and physical health issues, joining a gym or jogging aren’t an option. So I choose to walk in nature and garden. This has been good for my soul and I love cooking what I grow. If that is the definition of a freak, then the world is becoming a freaky place! Michelle Bridges appears to have lost focus on what may have been her original goal to help people.

  • Rick vandriel
    Posted at 13:29h, 11 November Reply

    I think we all agree that her comments first of all would not be her own, secondly whilst contrived, were very much. Tongue in cheek, there was a time in Australia when comments. Such as these would have been seen for what they were and got a laugh, but the social media soapbox that we all now live in, along with an age of political correctness too far has made wit and sarcasm a thing of the past as we instead all pandour to far too many constructed sensitivities.

    But this post isn’t about that in reality, it’s first and foremost about The food. Having spent a good portion of my life both overweight and time poor I looked with interest when MB released her range, without much doubt I would say it’s the best healthy eating microwave range out there.

    Your comment regarding the sugar in one meal, really as a nutritionist is somewhat off balance, what Michelle’s range is trying to do is help people eat healthier, as a former very fat and current fat person getting thin, I can tell you variety is the key. I am sure that when you break down many meals the sugar content is quite interesting, heck if you eat two bananas in a daily you are already at your daily intake pretty much.

    So it’s about balance, as I am sure you have told. All of your clients/patients.

    Is Michelle profiteering from her current profile, of course. But if she is helping people does that matter, I don’t think so, my wife. Has paid for 3x MB 12 week eating program’s, we got some great recipes from that, we eat very healthy and have a greater awareness of total meal composition.

    I don’t eat Frozen meals, we no longer subscribe to her meal plans, and we don’t watch biggest loser, so I have nothing invested in replying except that as someone who is overweight, and may one day from time to time need to grab a quick meal from the freezer, the MB range would be what I reach for.

    It’s easy to criticise an entire range, but unless you have been through the process of mass manufacturing food products and making the meals sustainable etc, picking on one meal due to its sugar content is somewhat unjustified.

  • Libby
    Posted at 17:54h, 11 November Reply

    Well said.

  • Melissa
    Posted at 07:36h, 12 November Reply

    i don’t know anyone that goes to the effort of growing fresh vegetables, and then eats the dirt! who does that ? The whole ad is just weird and wrong on so many levels.

    I did like the comment in the article, that ‘abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym’ .
    In my attempts to lose weight, i’ve spent time in the gym and i’ve tried better eating choices, and I have to say that i saw the best results when I replaced processed foods with fresh food. In fact, when i worked out regularly, i found that it had minimal effect on my weight .

    The Biggest Loser should be called the Biggest Con, because the focus is 90% on gym sessions and 10% on food choices. It should be the reverse. You don’t need to push a tyre through mud whilst being humiliated and yelled at by a personal trainer. You just need the skills and knowledge to cook, and appreciate healthy food. Learn about your body and lifestyle and adopt eating habits for a healthy living.

    Michelle Bridges should be promoting urban farming, and encouraging people away from processed foods, not the opposite. I really hope she re-thinks her business choices next time someone waves a cheque in front of her face.

  • Donna
    Posted at 17:20h, 12 November Reply

    Hi, I have been doing the 12WBT by Michelle bridges and in that time the program has actually made me grow my own veggies and herbs and make amazing delicious, nutritious meals. Maybe you should have a better look at the program. I haven’t seen the add and I haven’t tried any of the meals. I think she is trying to help the people who really struggle with losing weight. I have learnt so much from the program and I think you need to look a little deeper into what the program offers. Our family is healthier and happier because of Michelle Briidges.

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 19:26h, 12 November Reply

      Hi Donna, I agree with you and thank you for pointing it out – there are aspects to the Michelle Bridges’ empire that are good and helpful and have changed lives, and I believe her course has been created from a place of authenticity and with the intention to help others. This blog post was never about her 12WBT program (which I have a lot of respect for). However, I encourage you to have a look at the advertisement in question and her meals and then make up your mind about what I’ve written.

      • Donna
        Posted at 11:08h, 13 November Reply

        Thanks Jules, for your reply. I will have a look. I must say that I don’t think I would buy the meals but the program has taught me to have a big cook up and have our own nutritious meals in the freezer, so we always have great food. I now really don’t buy any processed food. Donna

  • Sita
    Posted at 08:40h, 14 November Reply

    Stumbled onto this site by accident and can I say wow! Great article and nicely said! Just saw the ad for the first time and I believe ‘freaks’ was a wrong choice of words. Surely someone in the editing of this piece would have corrected her?! Had the ad go in a different direction I feel the ad would have gone unnoticed. As we become a smarter and somewhat healthier nation this ad hit in all the wrong places. Still s fan of MB as her program helped me lose weight but it’s a shame she’s taken this route however this article certainly opened my eyes to be more wary in how I shop / eat.

  • Sarah O
    Posted at 10:06h, 29 November Reply

    I have a genuine fear for the health of her unborn child. Then that fears is larger when I realise how many people worship her and will follow her choices once the child enters the world – bottle or breast? If her meals are the ideal food and pregnant women eat them… I am shuddering… so many lives will be starting off on the wrong path before they have taken their first breath, if they even get that far. The health implications later on in life, there’s another shudder…
    Your reply to a comment of ‘With power comes great responsibility’ really struck a chord with me, as did the line of how much sugar was in one of her meals.
    Education is wasted on those who don’t want to learn. It’s a pity she can’t use her power for good, it’s just being used for evil.
    I’m off to plant some seedlings and raid the farmers market for more locally raised produce to grow myself.

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