A couple claimed they learned to live without food, and news outlets ate it up

The claims, which Ricardo told CNN on Tuesday the couple stands by, obviously defy all known science pertaining to the human body. Snopes, a website that fact checks internet rumors, snarked that it was “unable to find any evidence contradicting the body of science demonstrating humans require water and food to stay alive.” Other people who have claimed to be breatharians in the past have been found to be eating. Jasmuheen, a woman credited as the founder of the breatharian practice, was once seen by reporters with a fully stocked fridge (she said the food belonged to her partner) and was caught ordering an in-flight meal (she said she wouldn’t eat it), according to a profile in The Guardian.

In addition to the health concerns that should have made outlets pause before publishing their story, Ricardo and Castillo also stand to benefit financially from the publicity. The two sell a program that promises for “one payment” it will provide “all the tools you need to become food-free.” (In a statement to The New York Post on Wednesday, the couple appeared to walk back some of their earlier statements, saying, “We do eat, just not with the same frequency or intensity as the average person.”)

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