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

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY - DEB­BIE SCHIPP

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.

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