Frequently Asked Questions
How is this site funded?
Everything on NutritionFacts.org is free. There is no members-only area where additional life-saving information is available—for a price. There are no advertisements of any kind allowed. We don’t accept corporate sponsorships. NutritionFacts.org is strictly non-commercial. There’s no line of Dr. Greger’s Brand Snakeoilwondersupplements. We are not selling anything. Dr. Greger simply produces these videos as a public service for those hungry for evidence-based nutrition.
Then how do the bills get paid? The Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation provided the critical start-up seed money and expertise to get us off the ground, but now NutritionFacts.org runs strictly on the Wikipedia model of accepting donations from users who appreciate the content. We reach so many millions of people that if even 1 in 1,000 make a small contribution we will be able to continue to thrive. If you feel like NutritionFacts.org has enriched your life, please consider supporting us by making a tax-deductible one-time or monthly donation.
Do you accept corporate sponsorships?
Does Dr. Greger make any money off of this site?
None whatsoever. NutritionFacts.org is a labor of love. All donations go straight to the 501c3 nonprofit that keeps the site running, from which Dr. Greger draws no salary or compensation. In fact all the proceeds Dr. Greger gets from the sales of his own books, DVDs, and speaking engagements similarly go to support the 501c3 nonprofit that runs NutritionFacts.org. How does he pay his bills? He’s got a day job! Dr. Greger proudly serves as the public health director for the Humane Society of the United States.
10/12/16 UPDATE: Dr. Greger’s public health director position was eliminated, and so while the above answer was accurate for the first 5 years of the existence of the site, Dr. Greger now draws a salary from NutritionFacts.org as research director. All the proceeds he receives from the sales of his books, DVDs, and speaking engagements continue to be donated directly to the 501c3 nonprofit that runs NutritionFacts.org.
How can I donate?
Our second favorite question! You can make a tax-deductible donation to NutritionFacts.org using a credit card, Bitcoin, or by sending a check to “NutritionFacts.org” c/o Michael Greger, P.O. Box 11400., Takoma Park, MD 20913.
Some companies “match” their employees’ charitable contributions. For example, if you donate $50 to NutritionFacts.org, your employer may donate an additional amount—some even double the amount of a personal contribution. Your $50 becomes $150 to support educating millions about eradicating dietary diseases. Some companies provide the guidelines and forms to fill out online, or you can check with your Human Resources office. Some companies even match the contributions of retirees and employees’ spouses. It’s worth checking out!
There are other ways you can support the site. Online retail giant Amazon.com has a program called AmazonSmile, in which they donate a small percent of purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. If you click on http://smile.amazon.com/ch/05-0559626 you can direct their donations to NutritionFacts.org. If you do shop through Amazon, please consider having them support our work by clicking on that link every time you shop. You can also use GoodSearch.com to search the web, which will donate to NutritionFacts.org if you set us up as your charity of choice. And for a more festive way to donate, ECHOage parties help kids support NutritionFacts.org in a fun, meaningful way. Know a child with a birthday coming up? Check out our ECHOage page.
How do I become a volunteer?
Our favorite question! NutritionFacts.org used to be run entirely by volunteers. Thanks to the support of many kind and generous souls, we now have seven full-time staff, but continue to rely heavily on volunteers. If you’d like to help out, please take a look at our current volunteer opportunities.
Are there transcripts available for the videos?
Yes! Just click on the Transcript link next to each video.
Are there closed captions or translations available for the videos?
Yes! Just click on the CC button on the play bar of the video to select closed captioning or translations. More instructions are available here.
Yes! Just click on the Sources Cited link next to each video.
The intention of the comment section under each video and blog post is to allow all members to share their stories, questions, and feedback with others in a welcoming, engaging, and respectful environment. Off-topic comments are permitted, in hopes more experienced users may be able to point them to more relevant videos that may answer their questions. Vigorous debate of science is welcome so long as participants can disagree respectfully. Advertising products or services is not permitted.
To make NutritionFacts.org a place where people feel comfortable posting without feeling attacked, we have no tolerance for ad hominem attacks or comments that are racist, misogynist, homophobic, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate. We’ve gotten more sensitive to this after a physician who graciously donated his time to answer people’s questions stopped contributing because of negative comments. So please, for everyone’s benefit, help us foster a community of mutual respect. Enforcement of these rules is done to the best of our ability on a case-by-case basis.
How do I report a post that I think breaks the rules?
If you notice a post that might break these guidelines, please contact us. Thanks for your help keeping the comments section on NutritionFacts.org an engaging, respectful forum for all.
Who are the people in the comments section listed as the “NF Volunteer”?
You may notice that next to some of the commenters’ names there is an “NF Volunteer” designation. These are folks who have graciously volunteered to assist in answering questions and being generally helpful on the site. Their opinions may not reflect the views of Dr. Greger or the best available science and should not be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical or nutrition background and would like to join the team to enrich the experience of NutritionFacts.org users, please apply for our moderator volunteer position here.
What are Dr. Greger’s overall nutrition recommendations?
The best available balance of evidence strongly suggests that a diet centered around whole plant foods is the healthiest. For specifics, please see Dr. Greger’s blog post Optimum Nutrition Recommendations.
How can I get Dr. Greger to answer my question or submit an idea for future video coverage?
Leave a comment under any of the videos or blog posts or post on our Facebook page or tweet us. Our (largely volunteer) social media team keeps an eye out for such requests and passes them along. You can also contact us directly. If enough people raise the same question, Dr. Greger will address it here in the FAQ, answer it in the “Ask The Doctor” section, or make a new video about it. He used to personally respond to every single comment and question raised on the site, but that’s just no longer possible.
Can I share your videos?
We’d be honored! Please feel free to share our materials as it is all creative commons licensed with appropriate credit to NutritionFacts.org, and as long as you are not using the material for commercial purposes. Our original images on the website and social media are also creative commons licensed, but we do not allow alterations of them or for them to be used for commercial purposes. Feel free to share, as long as full attribution is given back to NutritionFacts.org. You can read more about creative commons licensing here: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Is Dr. Greger ever coming to my hometown?
As you can see on his speaking schedule, he used to do up to 40 talks a month (!) but has since significantly cut back so he can focus on research. With NutritionFacts.org he can now reach more people in his jammies than traveling around the world, but he misses the one-on-one interactions, so make sure to try to catch him if he comes to a city near you!
What criteria does Dr. Greger use to pick studies to highlight?
More than 10,000 articles are published in English-language medical journals every year on the subject of human nutrition. To choose which ones to make videos about he uses three main principles: novelty, practicality, and engagement. The first question he asks: Is it groundbreaking? If it’s just yet another study showing broccoli is good for you, unless there’s some new unique insight it probably won’t make the cut. The second question: Is it practical? Can the information be used to make real-world kitchen or grocery store decisions? Who cares if there’s some new whortleberry with medicinal properties if it can only be foraged wild in the tundra somewhere. Finally, is there a way to make it interesting? That’s probably the greatest limiting factor. There’s lots of trailblazing new science with hands-on implications, but unless Dr. Greger can find a way to make it captivating, to add humor or intrigue, or solve some mystery, the paper may sadly end up in the recycling bin.
Why does the site seem biased against certain foods?
For the same reason that the website of the American Lung Association probably seems biased against tobacco. The Philip Morris Corporation has come up with more than a hundred studies showing the health benefits of smoking. For example, the nicotine may help schizophrenics with psychotic symptoms and smoking may affect immune function sufficient to benefit ulcerative colitis. The tobacco industry used these studies to accuse former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop of “selective reporting” when he argued that smoking caused cancer.
The reason Dr. Koop chose to focus on anti-tobacco studies is presumably because he was trying to accurately reflect what was in the scientific literature. The best available balance of evidence strongly suggests smoking is bad for most people’s health, and the same could be said for many foods. So when the tobacco industry dismisses public health professionals as being biased against tobacco–of course they’re biased against tobacco. To be biased against smoking is to be biased against death and disease. That’s kinda their job.
No one has to smoke, but everyone has to eat. So there’s an additional opportunity cost to eating unhealthy foods beyond just how bad they themselves may be for our health. Every Twinkie we put in our mouth is a missed opportunity to eat something healthier.
Why was study X highlighted but not study Y that contradicts X?
Dr. Greger only started his comprehensive annual reviews of the nutrition literature in 2007, so though he does do limited iterative citation searches and explores older works to provide background and put new studies in historical context, in the last 50 years alone more than a quarter million papers have been published on nutrition in English-language medical journals. So he may have never come across study Y. If you think Dr. Greger may have missed an important study, please contact us — he would be very appreciative. And if you find an error, even better! Dr. Greger has already re-recorded dozens of videos because astute readers found egregious mistakes (like the chlorella debacle). Please help us make the site as robust as possible by leaving comments or sending us a note if you have any questions anytime about anything.
Last Modified: April 4th 2017