Nobbs is CEO and (co?)founder of https://www.zeroacre.com
They launched their first product today, called Cultured Oil. (Previously I had basically no idea what sort of thing were working on – just something anti vegetable oil.)
They don’t say what it’s made out of, and also refuse to admit that they’re hiding the ingredients and the manufacturing process.
They talk about vegetable oils having a bad manufacturing process, but then they hide theirs and just ask you to trust them with no transparency!? Except they don’t even openly ask for your trust or admit to any lack of transparency. They don’t e.g. claim that their process would be easy to copy by big food companies if it wasn’t secret, so they have to hide a lot of information until they’re a big company.
Zero Acre FAQ:
What is fermented to make Cultured Oil?
Those plant sugars can come from a variety of sources, including sugar beet, sugarcane, cassava, and other plant sources.
That’s the closest you get to an answer, which doesn’t answer. They also don’t even try to give some health information, which a lot of anti-vegetable-oil people might care about, such as whether it contains any seeds and what sort of lectins it has. Instead they give biased information claiming e.g. that it’s sorta, kinda paleo in spirit. They also don’t say how much omega-3 it has, what the omega 3 to 6 ratio is, or how it’s different/better than the high-omega-9 vegetable oils that are already being manufactured.
They try to say it’s healthy because it contains the same fats as people ate in the past, but you could say that about vegetable oil. That’s a biased argument.
They have $40,000,000+ funding:
Zero Acre Farms puts microbes (and $37M) to work on a better alternative to vegetable oil – TechCrunch
It appears to be funded primarily by environmentalists not health people.
Crunchbase says it was founded Jan 1, 2020, meaning Nobbs started the company before using his blog for marketing with an undisclosed conflict of interest. And he already knew he had a founder/CEO job to keep him busy when he promised a part 5 “coming soon” in his vegetable oil series, and then never delivered. Nobb’s first blog post was Jan 16, 2020, and he appears to have had multiple posts pre-written in order to get a lot of posts out quickly.
I’m uncertain if that date is accurate though – it seems like a somewhat generic date because the exact start date is hidden. The seed funding round of 3.6 million dollars was announced Nov 4, 2020 which, due to the size, probably means the company had been doing stuff for a while before that. Nobbs, Zero Acre, etc., are vague (seemingly on purpose) about stuff like who the executive team of the company is, when it was founded, how much money they have, what kind of pitch got them that money, etc. Anyway my best current guess is that Nobbs was fully biased by a predetermined conclusion he was betting his career on while writing every one of those blog posts.
Nobbs seems to aspire to run a mega food corp doing some industrial process on a huge scale with no transparency, not to e.g. run some small, open company. He’s trying to be like the people he attacked. He attacked them because he wants to take their jobs and marketshare, not to rid the world of stuff like them. His attacks gave many readers the other impression though (wanting to rid the world of that stuff). He wants his ideas about health – which have no Paths Forward, no openness to debate, no better error correction – to determine people’s diets. He wants to be the new ruler instead of setting up a better system. He doesn’t understand issues like “Who should rule?”, error correction, or how there’s systemic corruption in the industry affecting all large players and he’s, if successful, just going to end up corrupt (if he wasn’t already). There are mechanisms (like interaction with government and many others) which cause this corruption, which he has written nothing about (he has no plan to defend himself or avoid corruption) and he isn’t open to discussion about this.
Another thing about Nobbs, which I’ve seen with a lot of people, is he gives the impression he’s more of a maverick or original thinker than he is. He doesn’t cite sources enough and wants you to think that he figured this stuff out himself. (He cites academic papers and facts/stats but not other thinkers and writers who he got explanations and arguments from.) But TechCrunch says another recent but older startup was already trying to make oil by fermentation. And paleo diet people, among others (like the book Grain Brain), were already saying vegetable oil is bad before Nobbs.
His seed funding comes from a VC using “Outliers welcome.” as a slogan. I think they’re just liars. I see nothing on their website to persuade me the slogan is true, and no acknowledgment that it’s a claim that reasonable people would meet with heavy skepticism. And the website has indicators that they’re social-climbing conformists who like trendy iconoclast-style marketing.
How do you welcome outliers? A reasonable way to try is to become a serious intellectual who can write and has a lot of philosophical knowledge including about topics like fallibilism. If that was your method, you’d write some stuff and explain it. Is there any other method that would work well? Nothing immediately comes to mind and they don’t suggest anything or acknowledge that welcoming outliers is actually a hard problem (while fooling yourself is easy). I don’t think the tolerance tradition is good enough for this because tolerating something is like putting up with it, not minding it or being willing to leave it alone, rather than welcoming it, liking it and actually funding it.
Everyone sucks. They’re all a bunch of biased tribalists.
PS: It’s still my best current guess that vegetable oil is bad. The above is just about side issues.