Education

Paleo Pete: Modern Day Hero or Snake Oil Charlatan

The tanned, trim, and incredibly sparkly toothed Pete Evans is copping a lot of criticism for his Paleo Diet, and we are going to examine if his media baptism of fire is warranted, or if we should all be bowing down to Mr Evans and hailing his as the new cure for cancer.

Wait what? Did I just say cure for cancer? Let’s debunk that one right there – there can be no cure for cancer, cancer is the collective term for hundreds of different diseases. Anyone who claims that a certain ingredient is a cure for cancer is most definitely a snake oil selling charlatan. But, I digress.

Back to Paleo Pete. Let’s look at a few of his claims:

Bone Broth is an adequate whole food for infants – Nope!

Hold the phone…. let’s not throw the baby out with the bone broth, but this is a ridiculous and quite a dangerous recommendation.

Firstly the World Health Organisation recommends human milk as the optimum source of nutrition for infants exclusively for at least the first 6 months of an infant’s life.

That alone means that bone broth is definitely a no no…

We are incredibly lucky to live in a world where we have good substitutes for baby feeding, and while I could argue that formula companies could act in more ethical (I’m looking at you Nestle) and healthy ways, with access to clean water babies will thrive on formula when breast-milk isn’t available.

Bone Broth has been slammed by doctors as having a dangerously high level of vitamin A – meaning that without medical supervision, babies could die.

Professor Heather Yeatman from the Public Health Association said some of the recipes were potentially dangerous for infants.

“There appears to be recommendations not to use either breast milk or an approved infant formula, but to provide other foods to infants under six months of age and that really is a big health risk,” Professor Yeatman said.

“There’s been discussion about a beef broth with mashed up liver as part of a recipe. Now something like that might be appropriate for an older child, but under six months of age, really the best option [is] breast milk.”

“There appears to be recommendations not to use either breast milk or an approved infant formula, but to provide other foods to infants under six months of age and that really is a big health risk,” Professor Yeatman said.

There you have it… the experts are OUT on feeding an infant bone broth (Which as a side note, is a fancy word for stock) 

Paleo Cures Disease – Or Not…

Pete’s page is filled with “testimonials” of people claiming to have ‘cured’ so many of their ailments. The Chef himself seems to be quite happy to allow them to spruik their vitriol on his page, but is clever enough to never actually say in writing that his diet cures disease.

However, by letting and encouraging his readership to post about their miracle cures, he is essentially endorsing their statements, and that is misleading and charlatan in it’s own way.

The science is out on this one we’re afraid Pete… you’re not a doctor.

 Polkadotsi Says:

Any diet model that has you eating less sugar, salt and processed  foods, and more  fruit and vegetables is GREAT in our books.

However the BIG issues we take with Paleo Pete and his merry crew are:

  1. They aren’t doctors – and they are promoting a diet model without the guidance of registered dieticians or GPs,
  2. They allow their followers to indirectly imply that Paleo cures disease. This is irresponsible and dangerous,
  3. They advocate cutting out entire food groups…. NOT something recommended by doctors,

So conclusively – our  take on the issue is: eat in moderation. Mostly plants. Enjoy  your food without guilt.

Photo Credit: Ahmed Rabea

 

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