This appeared in the newspaper on the weekend. Celebrity chef Pete Evans gave readers a sneak peek into the meal plan of a super healthy, slightly wanky, obviously wealthy dude with much time on his hands. I say “time on his hands” and “obviously wealthy” because activating your almonds and making sure your veggies are cultured takes time and money (if you buy them from your local organic “gold mine” store). I say “slightly wanky” because I’ve seen him on the television and to be honest I found him to be just that, “slightly wanky”.
I take no offence to what he puts in his mouth. He’d be shocked and surprised to see what’s passed my lips over my lifetime, but it’s the condescending need to provide far too many details in his pretentious meal plan which made me gag. And seriously, why does the newspaper think we care what he eats? Isn’t there some news somewhere to fill its pages?
And anyway, why couldn’t he have just said he had a fruit smoothie and a couple of glasses of water for breakfast and what the fuck is alkalised water anyway? And if I hear the words activated and almonds in the same sentence again I am going to vomit in my mouth. What’s wrong with straight off the tree almonds? Surely fresh, raw food which hasn’t been “activated” is ok. And here’s where he really lost me – emu meatballs. I darn well hope those emus were free range. I hope they were fed on an entirely organic vegan diet. And how many points are native animal meatballs in the Weight Watchers plan he is an Ambassador for?
I also think if you’re going to go into so much detail then it needs to apply to everything. Those avocados. Were they hand picked by virgins? The cacao nibs. Were they sourced from ethically farmed rain forests? The green tea. Was it locally grown or picked by child labour? His “Day On A Plate” left me with so many questions.
Did he wash it all down with a glass of STFU? Or did the liquorice root tea numb him into submission? Well, clearly not, because he agreed to publicise this obnoxious meal plan.
But this is where I must put my own culinary ignorance aside. This is where I must put aside my own purely shallow view of the man aside. The shellacking he got on the interwebs was pretty harsh. I can’t excuse myself from that behaviour, I couldn’t help myself. Culinary wankery makes me lash out. He was a sitting duck. The more I enjoyed the mockery, the more I actually started feeling a little dirty. At some stage during the quick witted twitter and Facebook feeds, I began to feel queasy.
No matter how “slightly wanky” his menu plan and how at odds with the “average Joe”, it’s his choice to eat those things. It’s not really my place to take the piss out of him, even if he put it out there for all to see. Even if the whole concept of cultured vegetables gives me a vision of carrots sitting around in berets reading Tolstoy and listening to Miles Davis.
Social media is quick to judge. The pack mentality can be a little vicious. And I’m not proud of my involvement in that.
This is his response to the criticism.
IGNORANCE is not bliss!
I’m occasionally ridiculed because I choose to eat a nutrient dense diet, and I find it so bizarre as to why people sometimes find my food choice’s so offensive? All I know is that I’m well aware of the consequences of eating ‘dead’ food, and also I’m a father, and I take that privilege very seriously, so for me striving for optimum health whenever I can so that I can be a responsible role model for my daughters, and still be able to surf right up until the end, is the obvious choice for me.”
Fair enough. Ignorance is not bliss. I’d be the first to put my hand up to say: “What is dead food?”.
But, despite my criticism of your life choices, Pete Evans I apologise. The locally grown, ethically sourced, organic, carob-coated, activated almonds are in the mail.
Are we too quick to judge or did he put himself in the firing line?
As one Tweeter pointed out – as a WW ambassador, as plugged by his mini bio, this kind of meal plan is NOT for the average-joe WWer and therefore I think he opened himself up to ridicule. Yes, ridicule is wrong and not fair at all. But there is that part of me that says, “Well, what did you expect?!”
He is within every right to share which the world what he eats. It is just to dull a thought, really, the whole concept of a magazine thinking that it is even vaguely interesting. And as far as rolling out the “roll model” speech, pass the activated almonds. YAWN.
his menu plan was very… detailed. And didn’t translate very well to the average joe (myself included!) So i do think it was a bit of both – he put himself in the firing line and social media picked it up and ran with it, providing some hilarious entertainment for a Sunday night.
Yeah, I am with Lyndal, it was a touch of both. But he really did put himself in the firing line the second he wrote ‘activated almonds’. I am off to activate my coffee now.
Mostly I love the internet. I spend a lot of time here and it’s awesome. But the activated almonds thing is everything I hate about it.
It’s petty, it’s juvenile, after seeing five million of the same joke over and over it’s not really funny. And I’ll agree that I definitely don’t understand a lot of what he’s talking about in his diet, but so what? It seems like the internet is the only place where someone else can be ridiculed for our lack of knowledge and that’s just plain depressing.
I have obviously lost my sense of humour here and am in the minority. His menu was pretentious for sure and most people wouldn’t be able to relate to it. But mocking things that we can’t relate to is real lowest common denominator stuff for me.
I think it was a bit of both. If this what he eats, seriously, then he is entitled to share that with us all. The connection (or disconnect) with WW was another factor and then the response about “dead food” which he has spent his entire career serving to the rest of us out there..who knows! I am a judger, even more so on my lazy arse on my couch on a Sunday night when I’m having a laugh on twitter. The last laugh will be on us I suppose he lives to 108 and we are all long gone…
…off to google “activated almonds” and “cultured vegetables”. I have no bloody idea what he’s talking about, and therefore he’s not the role model for me. If I can’t slap it on the plate within 20 minutes, it’s not happening in my house. Pretty sure Coles doesn’t stock emu meat…not that the kids would eat it anyway.
While we’re being picky, picky, picky, Pete needs to activate his grammar check while he’s activating his almonds – choices does not need a freaking apostrophe. Just saying…
Call me crazy, but every week I read that section of Sunday Life. I might not read what the nutritionist has to say, but I do read what those people read – whether they’re celebrities, sports people, whoever they are. I am interested in what they eat. And while you say, well isn’t there more news – well Sunday Life is my oasis, my fantasy land where I go to escape the normal humdrum of the newspaper.
When you’re fully immersed in something, when you’re really passionate about something, I think there’s a danger of forgetting that not everyone feels the same passion as you. That not everyone else shares the same knowledge.
As funny as I thought the whole piece was, and it was kind of patronising, and I did think the whole #activatedalmonds meme was funny, why do we care so much what Pete Evans is eating?
Bang on. You’re SO right.
I personally don’t care what he eats, in fact I don’t really even know who he is. I had fun at adding “activated” to pretty much everything I said yesterday and I suspect I will for quite some time to come. But I definitely do worry about the effect his showing-off will have on those wrapped up in dieting and I hope they all realise that there is NOTHING wrong with a glass of tap water and raw almonds (or choc coated almonds for that matter!)
If he wants to soak his nuts I’d prefer he do it in private next time.
I believe he has the right to choose to eat whatever he wants to eat. The problem I had was that he published this as a chef and Weight Watchers ambassador – which infers some kind of authority or expertise – and thus influence. More importantly, it was out of touch with the reality of the majority of Australians who do not have the luxury of eating or preparing his diet. If you’re going to be a nutritional model for the nation, make it accessible and doable for the millions. No wonder we all did a collective eye roll, we didn’t feel there was ever a chance of us living up to his standard.
If he is a super healthy foodie, focusing on raw, and therefore anti processed food, how can he be expected to spruik this?
exactly Mrs Woog 🙂
the ‘cultured veggies’ had me wondering if they had bern to the opera or ballet 🙂
He is not my role model. I am far too lazy to activate anything.
good point Mrs Woog x
Yeah, this is where I have the issue. He’s actually promoting a really healthy lifestyle, and seriously people, the activated almonds are just soakign them overnight and then drying them in a really slow oven or food dehydrator if you have one. It’s not a big deal at all. There are a lot of us who have to eat like this due to poor health problems and digestive system issues. I have also since found out that the cultured vegies are pickled.
His healthy way of eating is so far away from the garbage that Weight Watchers peddle. If you want to have a go at the man, ask him how he can support the aspartame filled crap they pass off as food when he obviously has a huge amount of respect for his own health and wellbeing.
He should be sponsoring us over at http://www.twomoderncavewomen.com.au, that’s how we have to eat …….
Come on this food is not accessible to every man and his dog. I’m glad he’s proud of his nutrition. I’m proud when my son does a big poo in one nappy (less changes) but I don’t document it in a public forum. It would help no one, you can’t control when and how your child poops. You can’t bloody eat activated almonds and emu balls on an average wage in an everyday setting. He was bragging. If he had given out a meal plan that we could follow to help our own health then yay for us, but I can’t follow that bs. If you can, well done but remember don’t publish it in a magazine. Majority of Australia is striving for a healthier future and reading this interview is just patronising and annoying.
I didn’t see the article, don’t want to see it, don’t care what it says, didn’t even know until much later what all the #activatedalmonds hashtag on Twitter was about, but I find it interesting that from what you’ve said, there were probably people who have bagged trolling on social media in any form who became part of a trolling brigade.
So it was a bit wanky, so what? So he’s no Jamie Oliver who gets meat under his nails and refers to the blending process as “giving it a wazzy wazzy woo”. I don’t know why people care so much. They should find something better to do.
My thoughts exactly!
I woke up this morning to see a whole barage of Activated Almond jokes all of twitter and instagram and actually had no idea what it was all about. Personally, I think who cares what the man eats. That is his meal plan, he is proud of it, I know a lot of people who activate their almonds and carry the same sense of pride. If they have the time to do it and could be bothered the good for them. If they believe activating their nuts will give them an extra 5 years of life then again, good for them. Im certainly not going to waste the time doing it. Id prefer to be out and about and living life over watching nuts soak in water and then sit in the oven 12 hours.
As for the argument of “who cares” and why is the magazine publishing such rubbish. Lets not forget that what the magazine chooses to publish is not Pete’s choice and therefore why is he being slammed for sharing the information. He was approached for this information.
Yes… he was being a little pretentious and a lot bit wanky but hey… he is a little like that regardless of what he eats!
So I am confused.. was the emu dead? or alive? (if he doesn’t eat ‘dead’ food) or is it my ignorance because dead related to non sprouting, regenerating whatever?.. or is it faux or metaphorical emu?.. let’s Disqus…. LOL
So I guess you aren’t a fan of comedy shows that take the piss out of almost everything?.. it will pass and the publicity won’t do him any harm at all – he has skyrocketed in the twittersphere and google rankings – that’s what celebrity is about – the good and the bad
When did Australian’s start taking themselves so seriously? If we can’t take to twitter or facebook to cut down a poppy then when can we? The world is becoming so over sanitised. I think you should stand by your comments and not apologise. The next thing people will accuse this post and related tweets of is bullying.
Oh he soooo put himself in the firing line! I usually love reading that section of the Sunday paper but I read this yesterday and my only thought was “WTF?!” Cultured veggies? Emu meat balls? Activated almonds? Alkalised water? I eat regular veggies/meat balls/almonds and drink regular water and my health is just fine! 🙂
Live and let live people. And yes the pack mentality of social media is so dang nasty. I have awyas maintained, if people are kind enough to share something of themselves why be mean? Sure disagree but why crucify? I have know idea what he is talking about either, but if I took the time to fine out, I might just like it. Even better, if I swallowed, I too maybe able to surf until the end. Hell what’s not to love?
Totally missed this storm in an alkalised-water cup! I would have had a giggle if I’d read the menu, but hey, if he’s got the time, the patience and the (lack of) tastebuds to stick to that diet, good on him! I’m just jealous (while chowing down on my peppermint chocolate… perhaps not so jealous after all).
i agree with you feeling a bit uneasy after having a reaction to the article (i may have called him a pretentious wanker :\ ) but as a vegetarian i would just like to point out a discrepancy in his reply….unless those emu balls were ripped right from between that emus legs, those emu balls were made from very much a dead food, flesh starts to decay from the time of death….and yes he has put himself in my firing line for that comment
PS I could correct all my spelling mistakes up there but I won’t.
I think he is a product of our ridiculous generation, B. No offence, Pete, but in my book your ‘food choices’ makes you a complete tosser who has lost touch with all reality. x
Comedy yes! The flog a dead horse type of comedy, not so much.
For me, the biggest ‘huh?’ from reading this was how far removed it is from the stuff that he flogs and the persona that he has created. He became a celebrity chef for creating and selling his so-called “dead” foods. He sells cook books that are no way dishing up the kind of menu he says that he eats in his ‘day on a plate’ yet if my memory serves me correctly his books are called things like “my table” “my kitchen” suggesting these are his everyday recipes. Either he’s bullshitting somewhere along the line, or he’s happy to dish up one thing and eat something else himself.
Most of these ‘day on plate’ pieces are tied into something a celeb is trying to promote, so it’s a little confusing. I don’t know what he was trying achieve, and I definitely think he was trying to achieve something, whether it was simply to impress Joanna Price-McMillian. I think if it had been someone like Sarah Wilson or similar it wouldn’t have got the attention it did.
Ha! I’m so glad you linked up this baby, B. x
I activate my almonds sometimes (soak them in water) just didn’t know there was a fancy name for it! I think eat what you want to it and who bloody cares if someone eats differently to you. They obviously have a reason for it, and it’s easy to judge but perhaps better to ask why first. I eat no dairy, no gluten and no raw vegetables. People think I’m crazy and fussy (they judge) but the truth is it’s the only diet that keeps me in remission from a chronic disease. Anyhow, I’m not fussed what Pete eats but his descriptions didn’t surprise me for a chef. Xx
I didn’t see the article until later, when much of the chat on Twitter and FB was over. But you’ve used a few words which instantly sprang to MY mind while I was reading his menu plan: Pretentious. Condescending. And yes, Wanky.
That menu plan was all three, and if that makes me judgemental, well I’ll happily cop to that. Mrs Woog is quite right though – associating with WW put him fair and square in the firing line.
Well said, hon! xx
God above, what a wank. Though I wonder whether he was making his own grub or whether he had a wife-pleb do it for him?
When I read Pete’s day on a plate I knew what everything was on that list (except the cultured veg, my mind is still boggling over that one), I have many of the bits and pieces in my pantry and know why he eats them but ‘wanker’ was definitely the first word that sprang to mind. Hell, I call myself a wanker when I talk about those sorts of foods 😉 I’d love to see his food list costed out because it really isn’t an affordable (or practical) daily menu for the majority of us. I do agree that plenty of the comments were pretty scathing, but coming from a place of understanding my judgement wasn’t much different.
Definitely too quick to judge – Christ the poor man just shared his day on a plate. If it was some Hollywood celeb diet there would be scores of people jumping on the bandwagon regardless of how crazy it is, yet an Aussie says “I eat healthly” and he’s hung for it.
Wazzy wazzy woo. Fuck, I love Jamie Oliver!
I must admit, I had a little giggle. The idea of activated almonds are lovely but ain’t nobody got time for that.
What I didn’t giggle over was the way the masses descended. From where I sat, Beth simply shared a joke on her FB page and suddenly my feed exploded into a frenzy of others cracking the exact. same. jokes on their own page. It’s a bit like celeb culture – Someone we idolise says something so we just must be onboard with it, but then I guess maybe that’s just a sign of the times? x
Ok. I confess I activated my almonds once. And I try to do best for my body too. We all should because we only get one and its got to last us a long time. Pete’s menu sounded unfamiliar, but it does have me wondering whether I should eat better. He looks healthier now than he ever did. And is that so bad?
i’m not actually sure that #activatedalmonds was solely a dig at Pete, i think it just took the fancy of those of us whom admittedly, in a position of ignorance, thought it was a KILLER meme to run with!
putting myself in his shoes (sensing a pattern here Bianca?), i have no doubt i would have been doing my best to polish up my every day diet to hopefully pass the scrutiny of both the nutritionist AND the public … my defrosted homebrand mixed berries might just have become fresh berries from the local producer, my cottage cheese might similarly have become made from raw milk, my honey Manuka, my pepitas and lecithin organic and my *coughs* two flat whites and *cough cough* single square of post-dinner dark chocolate would undoubtedly be fair trade.
but you know, berries and cottage cheese with a drizzle of honey, pepitas and lecithin is a pretty damn healthy brekkie anyway, and i MIGHT just have more than two coffees and one square of chocolate, but so what? i would have been guilty of nothing more than trying too hard to play to an invisible audience, and maybe Pete tried too hard as well? xt
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