A home kitchen mainstay, Joy of Cooking has been in print nonstop since 1936. Claiming to have been the victim of “shoddy” food science, the beloved cookbook brand Food and Brand Lab. “We have the dubious honour of being a victim of @BrianWansink and Collin R. Payne’s early work,” the culinary institution tweeted, kicking off the thread.
Wansink and his colleagues took aim at the tome in a 2009 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Bearing the title, The joy of cooking too much, the lab suggested that Joy of Cooking had ballooned calorie counts and serving sizes in subsequent publications following Irma S. Rombauer’s original, self-published 1931 collection of classic recipes.
However, according to a Buzzfeed exposé published in February, Wansink and his colleagues at the lab have historically “hacked and massaged low-quality data into headline-friendly studies to ‘go virally big time.’”
The veracity of Wansink’s work was first called into question last year, when researchers began picking apart studies based on data collected from an all-you-can-eat Italian restaurant buffet. Critics have since discovered inconsistencies, self-plagiarism and “cherry-picked data” in several other published pieces. According to Grubstreet, science journals have retracted four of Wansink’s studies thus far and amended eight others.
After its initial thread received a large reaction online, Joy of Cooking followed up by tweeting, “Wow, ok. So we broke Twitter (our first time–don’t know how some of you deal with this kind of response on the reg). People keep saying things like ‘don’t f–k with the Joy of Cooking’ which makes us chuckle, but really all we want is to not be misrepresented.”