SotF – Rebecca O’Neill – Confessions of a Former Health Food Shop Worker

Monday 4 August 2014, 7:50 pm - 8:50 pm
At: Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry Street, EH1 1LG

Rebecca O'Neill

Rebecca O’Neill

Three and a half years behind the counter in a health food shop can be a learning experience in more ways than one.

From vitamins and minerals to the latest celebrity-endorsed wonder supplement, no main street or shopping centre is complete without a purveyor of alternative therapies. Likewise, there are very few people who don’t associate vitamin C or echinacea with the treatment of colds or flu.

If these ideas are so pervasive, one question is why? What is it about the sellers of these therapies that make them seem so valid or trustworthy?

Well, take it from a former believer: the answer is definitely not black and white.

Rebecca O’Neill is the founder of the Dublin Skeptics in the Pub group that looks to promote rational, critical thinking and examines extraordinary claims whilst having a quiet pint (or beverage of choice). She is also co-host and producer one of the few all-female skeptical podcasts: The Skeprechauns.

During her undergraduate, the necessary evil of a part time job led her to work in retail, spending three and a half years behind the tills in a well known health food shop. As a coping mechanism, and perhaps to make amends for her time selling goji berries and aloe vera juice, she now gives talks about her experiences and about the health food industry in general.

A designer by training she fell rather serendipitously into museum work, working the in the Natural History Museum in Dublin for five years. She is now studying for her PhD, interested in all things curatorial in the real and digital world.


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