Publishers in Australia are delaying the release of a new Paleo Diet book aimed at new mums over concerns that some of the recipes could be harmful to children. The most alarming recipe? Homemade baby formula made from little more than chicken liver and bone broth.
Doctors claim the mixture contains 10 times more vitamin A than is considered safe for any child and lacks other important nutrients. Repeat after me: Babies should not be on stupid fad diets.
"In my view, there's a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead," Heather Yeatman, the president of the Public Health Association of Australia told the Australian Woman's Weekly. "Especially if [the DIY formula] was the only food a parent was feeding their infant, it's a very real risk."
Needless to say, you should not put your baby on the Paleo Diet. If you do, you're a bad parent. In fact, you should probably be in prison. A prison located inside an Olive Garden that only serves never-ending pasta bowls.
The controversial book, Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way, For New Mums, Babies and Toddlers, is now delayed indefinitely. Which is good because it was co-authored by a trio of misguided idiots that you should not take health advice from: Pete Evans, a celebrity chef in Australia, Helen Padarin, a naturopath, and Charlotte Carr, the wife of an Australian Idol contestant.
But the Paleo Diet being forced on babies isn't an exclusively Australian problem. Just do a quick search for "paleo baby" in Amazon and you'll see that there are plenty of people who think that a romanticised version of "what the cavemen ate" is healthy for a child. It's not. And if you haven't heard already, those Paleo Diet books contain nothing resembling "what the cavemen ate."
Yes, adults should be able to eat whatever the hell they want. But when you start putting babies on a diet that's hurting them, you really need to rethink the science behind your new diet-cum-cult. Why? Because every one of these faddish diets is based on calorie restriction. And babies don't need calorie restriction, they need calories.
We need to stop pretending that something like the Paleo Diet or the Atkins Diet (or most diets, really) are based on anything but calorie restriction. Yes, you can eat a steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And each steak is about 500 calories, putting your daily caloric intake at 1500. But pretty soon you're going to need to eat an orange if you don't want your teeth to fall out.
The bullshit book in question.
Why do I care about the Paleo Diet? I really don't. As I said, adult humans should be able to try whatever dumbass food fads they like. But I've been forced to pay attention to this meat-drenched craze ever since I named my retro-futurism blog Paleofuture back in 2007. I'd never even heard of the Paleo Diet at that point. But apparently it was destined to become the next big thing in pseudo-historical food fads.
Today I even get emails from "experts" on the Paleo Diet who hope I'll comment on weight loss tips and healthy eating strategies. One email I got a couple weeks ago from someone at Paleo Magazine:
I'm putting together an expert roundup on 'Weight Loss on a Paleo Diet' on our site, and naturally wanted to reach out to you.
The question is: What's your best tip(s) to successfully losing weight on the Paleo Diet?
I know you're busy so a lengthy response isn't necessary (100 words is totally fine). I'll include a link to your site and Twitter/Facebook profiles in the post.
Keep in mind that before this blog post I've never written about the Paleo Diet in my life. Unless you count jokes on Twitter. I didn't respond to the email. So, naturally, I was sent a follow-up:
I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Just checking in to see if you're interested in having your answer featured in my expert roundup post this week.
Your response, along with other contributing experts like Mark Sisson, Dr. Loren Cordain, and Robb Wolf is going to make this post one of the biggest of the year.
If not, no worries. But if you do want to participate, here's the question again:
What's your best tip(s) to successfully losing weight on the Paleo Diet?
I know you're busy so I don't need a long response. 100 words is more than enough.
Stop. Just stop. If you bothered to Google my email address, you should bother to read a single post on my site. It's not about the Paleo Diet. Well, not until this post.
I'm no expert on baby health. But I do trust paediatricians (you know, those actual experts on baby health) that are speaking out against this book. Feeding babies bone broth as a substitute for formula is a dumb idea. That shit was debunked as early as the 1930s. So just stop.
If you don't want to eat bread or pasta or any "modern" food inventions, then don't. If it makes you feel great to abstain from beer and pizza and other fantastic calorie-dense innovations, then do that. But don't project your calorie restricted neuroses onto your kids. The Flintstones wasn't a documentary.