The great Paleo Debate

(22 /04 /2015)

You’ve heard of “Paleo” right? You know – natural, organic, unprocessed – what cavemen used to eat, or so it’s said.  No sugar, no grains – unless they’re of the ancient variety – no dairy…yes that means no cheese…and there’s a whole bunch of other things that are no longer on the menu too.

Chef Pete Evans has made a killing from spruiking its benefits and has a lost a fair bit of weight too I might add.  But it’s also surrounded him in a lot of controversy and while I don’t normally weigh into these debates, I was keen to have a look at this one.

Now the Paleo way of life is not for me – I like the “naughty” stuff far too much to give it up – but thousands of people love it.  Apart from helping its followers to lose weight, it is also claimed that this diet can heal people – fixing everything from gut imbalances to behavioural issues.  This is not for me to argue one way or the other, I am much more interested in public perception of the diet, the controversy it has caused and the impact such evangelistic support has had on Pete Evans.

In an earlier blog I talked about publicity and if any publicity, positive or negative, is good for business.  Recently, Pete Evan’s paleo cookbook for babies received some very negative press – linking a recipe for a breastmilk substitute for babies with death.  Now in my book, this level of controversy doesn’t get any worse.  But Pete Evans has embraced it with gusto saying that the more people talk about it, the more people know about it and in his mind, that’s more potential converts.

What do you think?  Is laughing in the face of adversity the right response to such a negative piece of press?  Do you think people potentially considering jumping onto the paleo bandwagon would find this type of reaction appropriate or responsible?  Or perhaps scare off those currently dabbling in the diet?

We’re certainly talking about it and social media is abuzz with comments both supporting the controversial lifestyle and arguing passionately against it.  Certainly Pete Evans is enjoying public reaction and relishing the opportunity to sell, sell, sell!  Let’s watch this space and see what the impact on Pete’s reputation is in the future…

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