FIGHT IS ON FOOD
My Kitchen Rules judge Pete Evans has copped a lot of flak over his “caveman” dietary ideas but he has had a dig at other claims made over food
Ever since being widely pilloried for sharing a daily diet plan featuring activated almonds, My Kitchen Rules judge Pete Evans has been forthright about his food choices.
He sings the praises of the paleo diet, sticks to his guns on his anti-fluoride stance, and has publicly fought it out with everyone from the Heart Foundation (he questions its healthy heart tick program) to the Dietitians Association of Australia.
So when he confirms with a laugh: “Yes, I swallow,” you had better believe it.
The question has been posed to Evans before the new season of MKR, which Evans has co-hosted and judged alongside fellow chef Manu Feildel since 2010.
How can he fairly and honestly taste and judge the dishes of contestants containing ingredients excluded by his paleo diet – and how can he reconcile breaking the diet for the show?
The paleo – or caveman – diet essentially promotes poultry, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables and meat, and avoids legumes, grains and dairy.
So, when he tastes the contestants’ dishes – does he swallow?
“Yes,” Evans says, before bursting into laughter.
“Yes, of course I do. I don’t spit it out.”
Evans may have shed a few foods from his diet, but clearly has not lost his sense of humour.
“Look, just because I’m paleo doesn’t mean that I don’t like the flavour of food.
“I don’t eat and purge afterwards. And I never, ever feel guilty. There’s a bigger thing at play here. It’s bigger than me.
“You have to understand, the food I consume as an MKR judge is a very small percentage of my yearly diet – about 1 per cent.
“I chose to be a judge on MKR for many, many reasons, and one of them is to embrace cooking and highlight cooking in the mainstream.”
Evans also validly reminds us he does not take his paleo beliefs and ‘‘causes’’ into his role on MKR.
“MKR is a cooking show – not a healthy cooking competition, and that is why I love it,” he says.
“I don’t want to jeopardise the formula for the show when it is kicking goals. That is not what I am involved in it for. It’s not about me.”
“Staying on MKR helps me promote other things I am passionate apart from paleo.
My Kitchen Rules, Monday, 7.30pm, Channel 7.
My Kitchen Rules judge Pete Evans is an outspoken supporter of the paleo diet.