STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Are there "electric" and "magnetic" foods that people should be eating in balance with each other to give their bodies what they need? No, that's not true: Neither term is used to describe food in the disciplines of food science, nutrition or horticulture. A University of Nebraska professor and food scientist called the notion "nonsense."
The claim appeared in a post and video on Instagram on February 6, 2023, under the title "⚡️Do You Eat Electric⚡️🧲 Or Magnetic Foods 🧲." Sandwiched between those two lines, it says, "Balance is Key. You Need Electrical & Magnetic Foods." The description also includes:
Feed Your Body What It Needs ⚡️🧲⚡️ Electric & Magnetic
This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Wed Feb 8 18:41:01 2023 UTC)
The 40-second video features Aris Latham, a raw foods chef and founder of the Sunfired Culinary Institute, which offers vegetarian culinary education and related services. In the video, he says:
There are certain foods that are electrical. There are certain foods that are magnetic. The higher the moisture in the food, the more electrical it is. The higher the food grows, the more electrical it is. The more electrical the food is the more suitable as a cleanser. The deeper the food grows beneath your arm's reach, down into the earth, the less moisture in that food, it is magnetic. Period. Then you have foods that grow within the radius of your arm's reach. These are the electromagnetic foods, 50 percent moisture on average. So, you're talking all the green leaves. But you want the moisture out of that green leaf. You don't want a dry green-leaf tea.
Mariah Jackson, an assistant professor for the medical nutrition program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, offered her take on the clip in a February 9, 2023, email to Lead Stories. She said:
This video shares information about eating 'electric' and 'magnetic' foods for health and cleansing properties. While it may sound promising, unfortunately the science isn't there to support this. Regarding using food for 'cleansing', your kidneys and liver effectively remove toxins from your body. Juice cleanses or other food cleanses will not improve this process or remove additional toxins. We can support our body's natural way of detoxifying themselves through providing a balanced diet pattern, with diverse food sources to encompass the key nutrients we need.
In a February 8, 2023, email to Lead Stories, Larry Stein, a professor and horticulturist at Texas A&M University, said the terms used in the video are new to his ears:
To be honest I have never heard foods being labeled electric and magnetic.
In a February 8, 2023, phone interview with Lead Stories, Robert Hutkins, a professor of food science at the University of Nebraska's Food For Health Center, said there's no such thing as magnetic or electric foods:
The notion that foods are magnetic and that they are electric ... this notion about the distance from your body and the water content, there's just no scientific support for making any of those statements. ... There's no scientific evidence and ... it's just a non-starter to even try to conceive ... what this person's talking about. ... There's no scientific evidence or explanation or plausibility behind anything that's in that ... video.
Asked to assess the video claim in total, Hutkins said:
Well, in a word, nonsense.
2023-02-09T23:00:49Z 2023-02-09T23:00:49ZAdds details and context from Mariah Jackson at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.