Deborah Krueger (Sorry, I mis-spelled it on the video…) is a very interesting lady who has had the distinction of being bullied, harassed, and even sued by Julian Bakery for her part in exposing their fraudulent “low-carb” products.
We covered that story in detail during our interview on the 2015 Low-Carb Cruise.
Howard: Today, I am speaking with Deborah Krueger. You pronounce it “Kroo-ger” right? [nods] Not the German pronunciation.
Howard: Ms. Krueger has the distinction of having been sued by the Julian Bakery who is basically producing a line of various wheat products which is labeled fraudulently as low-carb. I don’t remember all the claims on it but it it’s supposedly doesn’t raise blood sugar and so forth. Jimmy Moore did a couple of tests with them and he found out that their pasta and breads were basically just as bad as plain, old, regular bread from anybody.
Deborah: I think one thing we should probably make clear here is that they are no longer… they were at the time, making 21 breads. They are no longer making those breads. I mean, obviously because of what I did. But they’re not making them any longer.
Howard: Anyway, Jimmy ran the test and then you actually sent some samples out to a lab?
Deborah: I did.
Howard: And what did the lab say about those?
Deborah: They were a joke. I’m diabetic and so I was gonna do I think the same thing that Jimmy did. I was gonna eat 2 pieces of bread and test them. So I’m thinking, 2 grams carbs, that aint gonna do anything to me. So I was gonna repeat it 2 days in a row… and after the first day, it was like, “Oh I’m not doing this again.” My blood sugar went up to 249. And since Jimmy had butter or cheese or whatever he had with his, I just ate mine plain.
Georgene: Now, you might want to clarify that before that your blood sugar was well under control.
Deborah: I think it was 106… was my fasting glucose.
Georgene: So that’s a huge jump.
Howard: You got way over a hundred point-jump out of a couple slices.
Deborah: About 150, yes.
Howard: And then you just ate yours plain, Jimmy had already done that with butter or something, and then he repeated it as well without the butter and it was even worse.
Deborah: It was higher, yes.
Howard: And so then, you ended up going off to a lab to check to see if what was really in it. And what did they say?
Deborah: It had 14 x what it was said to have had.
Howard: I’ve noticed that our wonderful government doesn’t really enforce those nutritional labels, at least not when it comes to carbs.
Deborah: No. The government leaves it up to any particular company to put a truthful label on there. They don’t check anything… nothing.
Howard: So when you find out about this, and when you got back with the results from the lab, you went and publish that information on your blog?
Deborah: You know, I was so mad, I didn’t even know what to do. No, I didn’t have a blog at that time.
Howard: You didn’t?
Deborah: No. I sent all the information to Jimmy ‘cuz I really didn’t know what to do. He did a really good article. This would have been almost 3 years ago. And I sent letters to every government agency, I think about 75 news outlets and I sent all the same information that I sent to them, I sent to Julian Bakery, to Heath Squier and I think I called it, “The jig is up.” And within 10 minutes of my sending that email, telephone rang and it was Heath Squier and he wanted to replace the bread. I said, are you kidding me? I said, “I wouldn’t touch your bread with a ten-foot pole!” I said, “You’re lying.” I followed all of that with my very first FDA complaint against the Julian Bakery.
Georgene: Now, can I interrupt for just a second? You told me, when we were talking the other day, that you have a background in food service or in food?
Deborah: Complete background.
Georgene: So maybe… why don’t you tell us what your background is?
Howard: Yeah, that would be interesting to fill that in. Basically what credentials you have?
Deborah: Well, in my real life, when I was supposed to make money, I was a chef. My parents had a health food store from 1972 until their deaths. And that store is actually still in my family today. There’s a nephew who runs it. My brother and his wife have 2 health food stores. One, just over the North Carolina, bordering Virginia and one in Winston-Salem. I went a different direction and worked in restaurants.
So I took one look at those smart carb breads that he was putting out and they have a lot of weird things in them. Like teff, quinoa, inulin… which was his claim to fame for his breads. But they’re all very high carb. How can this be? You can’t have a bunch of high-carby stuff in a bread. I don’t care what you call it. Whether it’s wheat or teff, it’s all very high carb. Which was why I got it, to test it. There was a woman in Boulder, Colorado. Her name was… shall I say her name… her name, Shelley Schlender. Just terrific, she has a website called meandmydiabetes and they have a group of people who get together, however often, in fact I think David Mendoza is part of it. They test different things, they have discussions, and there was a fella who is a Type 1 diabetic. He took enough insulin to cover… I don’t know whether he ate 1 or 2 pieces of bread, I’m gonna assume 2 and his blood sugar went over 300.
Georgene: So he took enough insulin to cover the 1 gram…
Deborah: 2. I think 2.
Georgene: 2 grams that was supposed to be in that slice of bread.
Deborah: He actually has a video on Shelley’s website and Heath Squier… he’s everywhere in the internet… that you can’t say anything about the Julian Bakery without his knowing about it. Literally, instantaneously. And he kept trying to put out fires as far as my having have it tested. He talked to [??} and said I didn’t test for the inulin, which I did. I mean, Inulin is not some magic carb. It’s the same… It’s what Metamucil is… it’s inulin. And for each gram of carb there’s an attending gram of fiber. So it zeroes out. Nothing gets rid of the carbs in something. So I don’t know… we’re supposed to be talking about my background… but that’s pretty really much it. I retired from the food business in 2003 I think… 2004… 2003. I took the sedate job of making quilts, which I have sold quilts to people all over the world. Until I got to 2012 when I tested the Julian breads.
Howard: Now, he had called you up and offered to replace the bread, you told him no, no thanks and all that. And then jimmy… was that before or after Jimmy had written it?
Deborah: It was after. Oh no, excuse me.
Howard: Okay so…
Deborah: Jimmy didn’t write the article till after I made an FDA complaint. I sent it all to him. I sent the email to Heath with all the information that I had on it and sent to FDA. I did it all basically simultaneously.
Howard: And then Julian Bakery decided to sue you?
Deborah: That was later. Yes. Boy, I know I wish I could remember this doctor’s name. Ron Rosedale?
Howard: Rosedale. Yeah.
Deborah: Ron Rosedale. Super guy. Apparently made mention of one of the Julian Bakery breads in a book that he put out. And Julian Bakery capitalized on that and put his name on the label of one of the breads.
Howard: Oh boy.
Deborah: Oh yeah. Well I had a total of 4 Julian Bakery breads tested. And every single one of them was just so far off, it was ridiculous.
Howard: How much did you end up spending for that?
Deborah: Oh my God… I’m gonna say on just Julian Bakery, probably about 6… 5 thousand dollars.
Howard: That much? Wow.
Deborah: Some more close to that. Yeah. Good question. I have all the receipts. It was a lot. Each test is not quite 700 dollars.
Deborah: And I live in North East Portland. And unbelievably Exova laboratory is by 12 minutes from where I live. I mean it could be an hour away. But just lucky that it was even there. And then when any item that I’m gonna have tested has some odd… like the isomalto-oligosaccharide which one of his newest products have got or inulin in his bread they then send a portion of it to a testing company. I think they’re in Nebraska called Eurofins. And they do the testing for that. So yeah, I’ve had 5 Julian bakery products… No, I’ve had now 6 Julian bakery products tested. 5 breads and I just tested their new paleo bars which was another… it’s not good, either.
Georgene: So do they make claims on the paleo bars that they’re low carb?
Deborah: Yes. They say they have 2… forget how it’s worded… you could see that on the video that I did. Only count 2 grams carb towards your total carbs for the day. The other carbs are… they don’t use the word negligible… but don’t really… somehow… apparently don’t really count.
Georgene: They should name them magic bars.
Deborah: Yeah, exactly.
Howard: For people who believe in magic.
Deborah: Well, there was a lawsuit I believe brought by someone… and I have no clue… I’ve never seen any of the court papers… against Quest bars… because they use that same stuff.
Georgene: I’ve seen that in several foods.
Deborah: I don’t believe it. I just simply don’t believe it because when I had the paleo bars tested, they came back way high… and again it was a product that had to be sent to Nebraska or Iowa, I’m not really sure which state it’s in… to test for that particular sweetener. And his paleo bars are much higher and that’s the sweetener that he uses. It’s like the first ingredient, I think. So I actually filed another FDA complaint just about a month or 5 weeks ago.
Georgene: I suppose it takes a while for that to…?
Deborah: It does. You know there’s a saying, the wheels of the government grind exceedingly slow and exceedingly fine. And so it does take a while. I have a terrific FDA coordinator in Seattle, Washington. And then when I make a complaint, it gets sent to wherever the offending company is so my report gets sent to the FDA coordinator in California, or in one case, New York…
Georgene: Depending on where it’s being produced.
Deborah: Right. Exactly.
Howard: I understand that Julian Bakery was actually fined for fraudulent advertising.
Deborah: I don’t know.
Georgene: I don’t know about that.
Howard: I thought they were and that Jimmy reported that.
Georgene: Jimmy might have but I don’t know.
Howard: I remember reading the actual papers that they have been cited for fraudulent advertising.
Deborah: That’s you know, I believe that would be the FTC, ‘cuz they are the ones who are supposedly patrolling the internet for false advertising. That’s not the FDA. FDA is just food.
Howard: I’ll go research that before I publish this.
Deborah: Yeah ‘cuz I would actually like to see that if that’s true.
Georgene: So what I would like to hear now is the result of this lawsuit that they filed against you. Or any other comments that you have to make about that lawsuit because that’s pretty interesting.
Deborah: Well it was really quite interesting. His attorney sent a threat letter to me which I actually posted on my website. And then I got another letter to take it off the website you’re using the logo of the law firm illegally. Yes, so you know… even though Julian Bakery’s pictures are all over… everybody’s got them on their websites… everybody… I had to take them down. So okay, big deal, I did, no problem.
Georgene: I wonder if you could’ve just blocked out the logo and left the letter.
Deborah: Oh, I probably could have…
Georgene: Well okay…
Deborah: Yeah, I could have.
Georgene: It doesn’t matter… I just…
Deborah: Yeah, it doesn’t matter. So this was about… I’m thinking a year and a half ago.
Howard: That sounds about right… a year and half…
Deborah: A year and a half ago, I got the letter and then not long afterwards, on a Friday night, at 7:30 in the evening, where you can’t do to over the weekend, some process server knocked on the door and handed me the papers. It scared me.
Georgene: It is scary. It is very scary.
Deborah: It did. And it’s like what am I gonna do? So my first thoughts literally were I’m gonna get a free legal aid. And I had to wait to over the weekend to do anything. And I tried to talk to a free legal aid but they said I had too much money to be able to do that. It just wasn’t gonna work. And so, by now, I had I think a couple of weeks or something to respond to this or show up. I have to be in court in California. So the one really cool thing about all of these in my website is I have talked, emailed and talked on the phone to people from all over the country. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! And so I was talking with a fella in Tennessee about this and he said, “Oh, I know an attorney and he is right down there in California.” I didn’t know this fella was some kind of a big wig attorney but it turns out, he was. And so he went into court and this all only took 5 or 6 weeks. It was so fast. It was scary. And California has the strongest anti-SLAPP suits in the country. Heath sued me for slander and defamation. And it’s not slander or defamation if you have proof. Well I don’t put anything on the internet that I don’t have proof for.
Deborah: So my attorney went to court and the judge said well, I imagine you’ll probably want 30 days to file an anti-SLAPP suit. And Bill said, no like about 3 hours ‘cuz we were already ready. And the following day, I got an email from Heath Squier saying he was withdrawing the case. So that was it and that was a year and a half ago.
Georgene: He probably just wanted to scare you.
Howard: He wanted to intimidate you.
Deborah: Well it cost me tens of thousands of dollars.
Deborah: Oh yeah.
Howard: Did you go through the anti-SLAPP suit?
Deborah: No, once he dropped the suit we couldn’t do anything.
Howard: You cannot sue him for harassment or intimidation? Or even the cost that involved…
Deborah: That would have been taken care of in the anti-SLAPP suit. But once he has withdrawn his… complaint.
Georgene: Initial complaint.
Howard: So he chickened out.
Georgene: Well, he knew what he was doing. He ended up costing her money; he ended up scaring her half to death.
Deborah: Well I wouldn’t say scaring half to death. By the time I’ve gone through the first year and a half with him, I wasn’t really also scared.
Howard: You have continued to publish stuff on them. You now have a blog, right?
Deborah: I do.
Howard: What is the blog’s name?
Deborah: It’s called low carb scams.
Howard: Excellent name. I assume that Julian Bakery isn’t the only…
Deborah: They are not the only ones. They’re just the biggest. Actually there was another company called Carb Krunchers which was all over the country; being sold by all of the low carb internet stores. And that’s actually the interview I ended up doing with FOX news. And that company is out of business. And there was another company. Oh this was pretty famous too. Golly, now I can’t even think of the name of it.
Georgene: How about the ones that do the pizzas? Those little individual pizzas. I don’t remember the name of the company but… but that’s where everybody just love them to death and I took one bite…
Deborah: Oh they had so many products, it was incredible.
Deborah: And they are out of the business as of about 4… maybe 3 or 4 months ago…. Something like that.
Georgene: And then the tortillas?
Georgene: There was somebody that made supposedly low carb tortillas.
Deborah: I don’t think any of those… remember how expensive it is to have each product tested?
Deborah: Well I don’t have the money to have it tested.
Georgene: No… I know that.
Deborah: But I certainly… I don’t think Mama Lupe… unless they’ve changed ‘cuz I have ordered some from Netrition. And they shot my blood sugar up like crazy. And oh, Sami’s bakery. There’s a goodie.
Georgene: I don’t know about them. So tell us about them.
Deborah: They’re in Tampa, Florida. Sami was in partners with a fella doing the Carb Krunchers and for whatever reason, I don’t know, they split up, and so Carb Krunchers was being made by a bakery in New York City. And Sami’s had enlarged his bakery facility in Tampa. And so he just went into business making his own low carb products and I can’t remember how many of them I have had tested. 2 or 3 at least. And they are not low carb. Are you kidding me?
Howard: Sounds to me like you need to form some kind of foundation to do some fund raising so you can do some more of this.
Deborah: You know one of the things that I would pride on myself on is not taking money from anything. I don’t sell anything on my website. It’s just all informational. Somehow it seems like it would just taint it if I took money.
Georgene: Well, but if it were from people who had diabetes and would have an interest in knowing the results of these tests, they might be willing to help you come up with the funds to have the tests.
Deborah: Yeah, ‘cuz here’s the thing, I get an awful lot of ‘ataboys’ and I actually, I have no idea who this person was, who put 10 dollars in some PayPal account. I don’t ever…
Georgene: You never ask for money. I understand that.
Deborah: I didn’t take that 10 dollars. Yeah. So I don’t know. I just always thought what seem like the right thing to do just to…
Howard: I don’t see anything wrong with that at all.
Deborah: Nobody could accuse me of taking money from anybody. You know, just like Dr. Eendfelt. You know, he has been, people didn’t want to give him any money ‘cuz he’d always done it for free. And they wanna make sure he wasn’t gonna take… you know, start promoting, blah blah blah.
Howard: Well his venture is very successful right now.
Georgene: I mean I know he has been always successful… this is a new venture.
Howard: Right, we’ve talked about it. And he has like 10,000 subscribers.
Georgene: Oh! Okay. I did not know that.
Howard: He’s actually raising enough money to make this venture work pretty well.
Deborah: Which I think is really cool. I mean as far as I’m concerned, it’s just donation. I signed up in the first day or so.
Howard: He’s taking money from you. I don’t see anything wrong with saying if you can donate money it’s gonna go to testing products and help with the process of finding…
Deborah: Okay so let me ask you this then, Howard. If I took money from somebody, or a group of people, and I have something tested and it didn’t come out well, then those people are gonna be mad. ‘cuz I’ve had that happened a couple of times where I had a couple products had tested and they were okay.
Georgene: I would think that people would want the truth.
Deborah: I mean my first line of defense of course is do my own glucose testing. In fact, I have 4 of these. I write down every single thing that I eat every day and I take 3 readings every day since the day I was diagnosed as diabetic.
Howard: Looks like those numbers are pretty good.
Deborah: Oh here, in fact, right here is a page… this is Saturday, January 24th was the day I tested the paleo bars… the Julian Bakery paleo bars. And so you can see, I went from 104 up to a 168. And so yeah, every day, I keep track of it every day. Now do I probably need to at this point? No.
Georgene: Right. It doesn’t hurt anything and it also gives you a baseline for anything you wanna test going forward. So if you don’t test today, or say this week, then how do we know that your numbers haven’t changed or that your average hasn’t changed? The only way we know that is if you provide those numbers for every day…
Deborah: I have them for every day.
Georgene: And then tomorrow when you try something new and different then that number is valid because you can compare them against the numbers that were recent. That’s why you probably need to continue.
Deborah: I mean my blood sugar is squirrely. I mean I’m sure probably lots of other people’s are too. Just squirrely. Most days it’s the lowest after dinner. But some days, not. Like this morning it was 88. Yesterday morning, it was 105.
Howard: Do you have any problems of the Dawn effect?
Deborah: That’s usually. Not always. ‘cuz this morning it was 88. But that’s usually when it’s the highest. There was 86… yeah, here we go… so who knows, last night, or not last night… the night before, at 5:15, so that would be an hour and half after I’d eaten, I was at 83… pretty good.
Georgene: It’s good.
Deborah: Following morning, I’m not so assiduous about washing my hands but I was a 129. So I would call that dawn effect. If you look mostly, not always, but mostly, it’s the highest in the morning. It’s usually between a hundred and a hundred and ten.
Howard: And that’s sort of typical?
Deborah: Here was a hundred and fourteen… next day, 92… next day, 87… 89… 100… 111… Yeah, I mean, it gets very squirrely. But I started this the day I was diagnosed as diabetic. It was just like oh boy, ‘cuz at first I wanted to see what’s going on. Certainly, I’m old enough… my parents had a health food store and I read the first Robert Atkins book… and I weighed probably about a hundred and thirty at that time, I was… how old was I in 1972… 24.. 25, something like that, I don’t remember. But at any rate, I thought I’ll just try this. Man, I went down to a 118 so fast to make your head spin. It’s like – wow! Plus I was eating all the chicken and bacon I wanted to! But you know, as many people have said, there was no after… what do you do after you’ve lost the weight? There was no… not much in the way of… and so I don’t look at low carb as a diet. For me it’s a way of life. And so I went back up to a hundred and thirty and I stayed there most of my life.
Howard: That’s a good weight.
Georgene: That’s a perfectly reasonable weight.
Deborah: Well actually I think now I weigh about… between 135… 138.
Georgene: Still a perfectly reasonable weight.
Howard: Yeah, I’ve been pretty much weight-stable for over 10 years now but about 50 lbs. over than what I should be. And that’s even on low carb. I stay low carb simply because when I eat something like wheat, my hands hurt.
Deborah: Oh they do?
Howard: Yeah. So that’s a pretty strong motivator.
Deborah: So are you gluten sensitive?
Howard: I suspect that I am sensitive to something in wheat, and gluten is the prime suspect.
Howard: But there is no test or anything that was ever done by the so-called medical establishment that established that. I’ve gotten essentially less than no help at all from the medical establishment regarding that. It’s always low fat, low fat… grams fat, grams fat… and that was from a fat doctor.
Deborah: You really need to be on statins.
Howard: Oh yeah, I have barked at my general practitioner in the VA enough times that they don’t say statins in my presence anymore. I told them that statins is the cure for which there is no disease.
Deborah: That’s right. Exactly.
Howard: I used to think that statistics were okay for people with familial hypercholesterolemia and for… what was the other group… oh, men under 65 who had a heart attack. What turns out that more recent studies have shown that there were enough confounders that you can’t make that conclusion either. So basically, statins are no good, for anybody.
Deborah: I don’t believe they are any good for anybody. Anyone.
Georgene: And how they keep increasing the number of people that quote need to be taking them is just crazy. You know, they keep saying… even if you thought you didn’t need them before, the new information is everybody needs them.
Howard: Everybody needs them, yeah.
Deborah: Hey, you know if I were gonna invest in a stock market, I’d invest in a drug company. I don’t, but that’ the people I’d invest with ‘cuz they’re the ones making money, hand over fist.
Georgene: They are.
Howard: And well, you know it’s a built in conflict of interest. Because if you are healthy and you’re not taking any medications, you’re worthless.
Deborah: Right. Exactly.
Howard: But if you’re diabetic, or you had heart disease, or congestive heart failure, or high blood pressure or whatever, and you’re taking 10-15 medications, you’re gold mine.
Deborah: I know. It’s very sad to me. Very sad.
Howard: And the only real challenge in the pharmaceutical industry is how to prolong & intensify the misery without actually killing the host where the money comes from.
Deborah: Right. Exactly.
Howard: Anyway, we basically went over the 20 minutes I promised.
Deborah: Oh, I don’t remember that you told me that there was a time. I could talk for hours probably.
Howard: I usually try to keep this below 30 minutes. Between 20-30 minutes. And we actually busted 30 minutes now. So, I really appreciate you taking the time to come see us and talk with us about that and say again the URLs. You have low-carb-scams?
Deborah: Low-carb-scams. I also have, and I’ve owned this for quite a long time, another website called julianbakeryinfo.
Georgene: Are these dot com or dot org?
Deborah: They’re dot coms. Both of them. What happened was, I had Julian Bakery info for a long time, and then when I realized there were so many other scams, I just started a whole another one and I wanted to do my recipes on there too. So I have lots and lots of… they’re kinda chefy, low carb recipes. The ingredients list can sometimes look pretty daunting but I use a lot of herbs and spices. So I wanted a place where I could put those and I have to tell you that a lot of people come to my website because of the recipes. Now if they happen to click on Julian Bakery, but you know, Julian Bakery is… they’re just… I think they’re not toast because they have made so many millions of dollars since 2009 selling bogus low carb products. Now they got moldy paleo bars.
Georgene: That’s hilarious.
Howard: So you got low-carb-scams.com and julianbakeryinfo.com.
Deborah: Low carb scams is actually low-carb-scams.
Howard: I’ll put that in the notes.
Deborah: My question continues to be just paleo money trump paleo ethics?
Howard: In research studies in nutrition, money trumps everything. That’s the only significant variable I have found.
Deborah: Do you know that Julian Bakery products are advertised or pushed by Loren Cordain on his website?
Deborah: Oh yes.
Howard: I’m sorry to hear that.
Deborah: If you look under the food, on the Paleo diet or website, Julian Bakery is listed there.
Howard: Have you complained to Loren Cordain?
Deborah: Are you kidding me? People think he’s some kinda God. He’s not. He’s human being. And he makes money. Julian Bakery pays him to be on his website. They pay paleo magazines to be in as a centerfold of the magazine. I think it’s obscene. That’s my opinion but…
Howard: I think your opinion is quite valid. And like I said, I really appreciate you coming by and talking to us about it.