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I Quit Bullshit

Click to buy an entire BOOK defending science and reason.

Click to buy an entire BOOK defending science and reason. Or, viagra approved come to Gleebooks in Sydney next Tuesday, ambulance April 28 to hear us bang on about it. Book here.

I posted a piece earlier today about the idiocy of Paleo and folk-scientism generally.

To answer the assertions appended to it on social media masked as questions like “how is Paleo harming anyone?”, I could just suggest you read the fucking article. As it seems unlikely few people are likely to do this before holding forth with an opinion, the article is, in part, about the danger that inheres in the freedom people feel to hold forth with an opinion without actually reading anything.

Most particularly Australian chef Pete Evans who would not trouble me 23D3EB5000000578-2863994-image-m-17_1417921929346one jot had he not—and I don’t know how you could have missed this major news story if you have an interest in Paleo—attempted to publish a book recommending the “nourishment” of infants with liver and other foods roundly critiqued by those with a an actual qualification in dietary science. Dieticians (who are different to nutritionists in that they have actually gone to the bother of going to school and learning boring scientific facts HOW ELITIST! WHAT SELL OUTS! STOP SUCKING THE PRONG OF AGRIBUSINESS AND LISTEN TO PALEO PETE WHO IS MAGICALLY FREE FROM ANY DESIRE FOR PROFIT) have said that the recommendations in this book could potentially cause death or illness.

People are “free” to be idiots, of course. But they are not free to their idiocy if it impacts other people—in this case, babies. And they are not free to say that this is a gentle and marvellous diet if it does, in fact, create greater demand for meat which is an unsustainable product. Even if the meat is grass-fed, it still requires the clearing of land, the expulsion of methane and the dwindling of native habitat. And, of course, there is the small matter of death to stock and a diminished food security blah blah blah.

Just as long-term Atkins advocates were found to have a greater risk of colorectal cancer and other fat-related illnesses, the scholarship is showing that advocates of this fad, however much you characterise it as a harmless love of “wellness” whatever in blind shit that word means, are at similar risks.

But, more than anything, it is the ostrich grotesquery of “faith” in “folk wisdom” that is dangerous to us. Frankly, if we lose a few Paleo idiots to the Darwin Awards, the world will probably be a more mildly tolerable place. (But I think babies should be fed things that won’t kill them and administered with injections that will stop them, or other babies, from dying. I’m old-fashioned like that.) So, I don’t give a crap if you cram your face with activated cacao brownies and your bread-free mind with the worst kind of pseudo-science idiots more powerful than you can produce.

But, I do give a crap that the tendency to think that we understand “science” has become a primary fuel for idiot everyday conversation. I actually hate this pseudo-scepticism about “Big Sugar” and the “Immunisation Complex” so fucking much, that I have been driven to actually do work and rarely post on the We Are All Experts self-interested forum that is facebath.

You are not, in all likelihood, a dietary scientist. So quit banging on about “good fats”. You are not, in all likelihood, an archaeological anthropologist. So quit banging on about “what our ancestors ate”. You are not an immunologist so fucking give your children shots and you are not, for the sake of screaming shitfuck, an environmental scientist so quit pretending that your self-involved diet which—let’s be frank—is not about anything other than your desire to look nicer in a pair of skinny jeans is “good for the planet”.

And, no. I don’t claim to know the answers, either. But I know, as any person of fair mind would, that the “answers” on which you have decided are founded in reeking self-interest, ideological delusion and pseudo-science. Not “truth”; however gentle and lovely that truth might appear.

Paleo and the entire bullshit wellness industry are not some simple marvellous panacea for all the world’s problems and your half-baked, or raw, solutions have economic consequences. So man up and admit that this is about you you you and your desire to find a simple solution for what you imagine to be your problems and not, by any means, a cure for the world’s ills.

People are starving. Rather like they were in the actual Palaeolithic age. People are so hungry, that they must eat GMO crops which are the only fucking things that can withstand the violation that YOUR PRIVILEGED PALEO LIFESTYLE depends upon. Still, you know, be sure to campaign against GMO.  If there were not a literal billion people going hungry in the world and more working in the service of our privilege, you would not be in any fucking position to arse around with pseudo-science and say “I think we need to get back to nature” and “Monsanto is evil!”. You would not have the luxury of mindlessly discussing a return to a prehistory that is ENTIRELY FABRICATED BY PEOPLE LIKE PETE EVANS.

I am not saying that starving people are the direct consequence of your privilege. You had no say in it, of course. There is no need to moralise and blame the lavish self-regard of our era because that self-regard is itself a by-product of the market. You know. The same global market that keeps people in labour camps making the things that we in the west can consume.

This is the REAL “conspiracy”, as many of you seem to be so keen to identify one. The conspiracy is not Big Pharma, whose “natural” supplements you may be buying unawares.  The conspiracy is not the Industrial-Medical complex; however much medical science and profit have, and they have, formed an unwholesome fraternity. The conspiracy is not even the double-talk of Big Paleo which perpetually destroys the thing that it perpetually promises with its creation of another greedy market.

The real conspiracy is that there is no conspiracy. Or, that there really cannot be one.

The real conspiracy is that the system forms itself. It is not about individual morality and it is not about twelve powerful men in a room deciding on the future of the earth. I have no doubt that there are rooms filled with powerful men covertly attempting to set a course for the planet but these plans will never be reified exactly as described because it is a vast system of screw-ups and poverty and wealth that just happened. And is permitted to continue because we often believe in STUPID IDEAS. Like, for example, we have the “individual choice” not to vaccinate our children even though this will directly harm others or the “individual choice” to just keep eating our artisanal beef even though this indirectly relies on a very real and painful inequality.

So, don’t Quit Sugar. Maybe Quit bullshit instead. And if you continue to Quit Sugar, please at least be honest with yourself and say it’s because you want to look nice in skinny jeans and don’t give me a faux-moralising lecture about how sugar is “addictive”. The science is undecided on that one, by the way. Sugar may not be addictive. But being a fucking idiot certainly is a high a bunch of you cannot seem to do without.

Fuck off, then. I am off to do some fucking work. Which is not a state I recommend but is somehow preferable to the endurance of your faith, which you tell yourself is independent opinion, in marketed bullshit.


153 Responses to “I Quit Bullshit”

  1. Esther says:

    Thank you. I’m a big fan of yours. And will continue to be for as long as you keep making so much sense.

  2. Lou says:

    Hi, Esther. Different Lou here to the Lou in conversation with Helen, but feel compelled to commend you for your comment. I wish I had your ability to so eloquently explain things without losing my shit. :) The hysterics amongst my peers at parties when their children take a bite of a sweet is doing my head in. The parental objection is barely ever about the risks of diabetes, etc, but the worry that children will behave badly as a result of eating sugar. I try to explain that sugar being the catalyst for their kids turning feral is a myth, but, well, I always just end up frustrated.

  3. ted says:

    fifty shades
    of freedom
    velvet padded
    your choice
    of colour
    you are
    what you eat
    you big
    your opinion
    so much
    you know
    more digestible
    than fact
    and isn’t it
    your right?
    so that
    makes it
    all right?
    and there’s
    always the
    who’ll steer
    you right
    all right?
    and tinfoil
    will keep
    them aliens
    and chemtrails
    and Rothschilds
    and them
    know all
    sciency folk
    out of
    your head
    so that’s
    all right?
    but, but
    you know
    what you
    like ‘cause
    so that’s
    all right?
    and that
    inner you
    full of
    full of
    just around
    the corner
    if only
    you could
    shed enough
    to six pack
    thigh gap
    inner you
    full of
    it is
    all right?
    and so
    to be
    so free
    so that’s
    all right?

  4. trash says:

    Oh yes non-proselytizing Lou, the recourse of the non-authoritative parent – it is the sugar wot done it, not me guv honest.

  5. ted says:

    No, I think you probably have a damn good command of English. And logic. And humour. And irony. And sarcasm. And exuberantly, judiciously, deliciously foul(sic) language. Razer lazer.

  6. Jasper says:

    Helen, I adore you. Thank you. Thank you for telling the tools that everything doesn’t have to be FUCKING FLUFFY! Lou, don’t send me love, I will vomit.

    • Helen Razer says:

      The idea that being “negative” is just so, well, negative is one of the scourges of our already diseased age. As a Lady, I find that I am reprimanded more than my male colleagues for my “aggression” but even they are trammelled by others, and not just commenters but peers, is they are deemed to be opposing anything.
      I am not a fan of all that the West has produced. But, our long struggle to grapple with reason, our embrace of rational doubt AND our ability to interrogate bad argument are good things that are now seen as bad things. Because, you know, SO NEGATIVE.
      If there were no negativity, such as even that employed, albeit with Lifetime Channel passive-aggression, by the Pro Paleo party on this page, then there would be no intellectual development.
      My distaste for the organisation of the world is not simply “negative” nor should it be construed as a kind of pathology for hyperglycemia or what-have-you. (And, really. Being told by the faithful that my views are the result of poor diet brings to mind the Medieval accusations that dissent or bad behaviour was brought about by “demons”. Just as much science there.)
      Here’s to being “negative”. Here’s to smashing “safe spaces” when they exist only to help people retain stupid views. Here’s to being a bitch and owning it.

  7. Gsvin says:

    For someone blazing at others for not reading, right back at ya. Had you bothered doing any yourself, you would find an increasing of people with diabetes or immune system deficiencies or problems are reporting these are greatly reduced, to the point of no longer needing medication. Also, had you bothered researching at all, you would have discovered research over the last few years shows the dietary advice to avoid animal fats in favour of man made or low fat, low cholesterol foodis completely wrong and has at least contributed to the obesity epidemic, and related health problems, currently visible in society. So your order for those of us making our own informed decisions will fall on deaf ears. Given their 40 years record of offering absolutely garbage advice, I will take diet advice from a cannibal before listening to those clowns. For yourself, you speak down to your audience from lofty perch of moral superiority. It can only be moral superiority, as you confess you are not qualified in the field. So what makes your opinion, having done the square root of jack shit in the way of research, so much more valid than those you are berating? That you insist those who follow this diet do it for nothing other than vanity is simply further evidence of your lack of research. The majority who do so are experiencing health problems. But why let the truth get in the way of bashing a group you clearly hate?Then you talk like a wannabe gangster, spraying around insults like trailer park trash. Way to alienate your target audience! Frankly, your language is enough itself to inform that you are just another internet troll intent on trying to force as many as possible to your narrow minded agenda. Bet you claim to be a supporter of freedom and democracy. The reality is the opposite. Given your overbearing and aggressive nature, I pity any man unfortunate enough to have to share space or time with you, you horrible trollop.

  8. steph says:

    I take it you didn’t read her article thoroughly. There is nothing repressed about that anger. Perhaps you’re pissed off because she’s right?

  9. Jane says:

    Ah, thanks for the clarification. So you are simply comparing the two. Never mind the fact that there is plenty of science supporting low carb and paleo diets, and none at all for the anti-vaccination movement (so no, they’re not both about blind faith and therefore not at all comparable). I note that you haven’t managed to provide any references for your point of view either despite my two requests.
    And BTW it may reassure you to know that I don’t in fact care about what you eat. I’m amazed that you assume I would in fact care.

  10. Tracey says:

    I don’t think you’re in any position to comment on other people’s grammar, Helen.

  11. Jane says:

    Ah, thanks for the clarification. So you are simply comparing the two. Never mind the fact that there is plenty of science supporting low carb and paleo diets, and none at all for the anti-vaccination movement (so no, they’re not both about blind faith and therefore not at all comparable). I note that you haven’t managed to provide any references for your point of view either despite my two requests.
    And BTW it may reassure you to know that I don’t in fact care about what you eat. I’m amazed that you assume I would in fact care.

  12. Gavin says:

    If these are the same nutritional experts who for the last 40 years have prescribed a diet which has seen an explosion in obesity and health problems at levels never before seen, you have to question why they’re considered experts? Research coming out of UK & USA show the current expert advice is wrong and is contributing as previously described. As for Ms Razer, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear she claims to be an advocate of democracy and freedom of expression and action. However, her foul-mouthed tirade against anyone, (as unqualified as herself), with the temerity to deviate from her way of life, thought and diet. Frankly, I would rather take dietary advice from a cannibal before I listen to the so called experts. As for Ms Razer, I have never been one to follow the orders of trailer trash trollops like her. I won’t be changing that anytime soom.

  13. Wendy says:

    For someone with so much to say, it is such a pity that you do not do your research so well as to check the credentials of those that have taken the painstakingly long educational trail in nutritional science…. in its infancy??? What, 20 + years is still in its infancy…

    Thankfully I don’t have to come across your rubbish ever before, nor again…… Your offer of whatever type of journalism other than a blog that it is, is worthless rubbish!

  14. huh says:

    wow, so many words on a pointless topic. Im having a cream bun for breakfast qnd stuffing my clacker with chia seeds

  15. susan says:

    Oh my goodness your reply could be a whole second blog on the subject. Loved it!!! You’ve made my weekend. Doing the happy dietitian dance xx

  16. susan says:

    Esther so well said, thank you

  17. julianna says:

    Oh, society, we have a critical thinking problem. Like my 9yo son who is a black & white thinker, individuals get all righteous when otgers don’t confirm their individual ideas. Razer’s piece is questioning our belief in ‘unqualified’ experts and asking us to respect scholarly research and the philosphophical canon of centuries of thinking.

  18. amy says:

    Alright. Paleo isn’t that bad if you ignore the name and glance over it with a critical eye. For me, adopting by accident some of the key Paleo principles has done me the world of good. I have a pretty serious history of diabetes in my family which both scares the shit out of me and means I sometimes react terribly to refined carbohydrates (pasta, lots of flour, sugar, chocolate binges etc), to the point that sometimes I was passing out in the afternoons when I was at university.

    Basically I became pretty scared, did some reading and decided that ‘alright no more lemon curd tart in the afternoon’ from the glorious bakery I worked at whilst at uni. I decided to cut out pasta, rice, compromised on eating the $9 sourdough I would get for free from the bakery, try to avoid flour and try to get rid of refined sugar by either reducing it in recipes (typically fine to reduce by 1/3 in recipes without affecting taste too much, fyi), switching to honey (some honeys are okay-ish in tiny amounts for me – lucky to buy cheap honey from a beekeeper I know) and preparing food myself. Various diets, such as paleo, ketotonic, vegan etc, which are promoted by photogenic #thinspos advocates can be a wealth of information if looked at by a critical eye. For example, orange and almond cake made with almond flour sweetened with a little honey and oranges is fucking delicious and I don’t feel like I am going to pass out when I eat it. But when I use this advice, I typically compare to lists of GI food, often backed by credible organisations who’ve conducted/referred to serious research, which says that rice malt syrup (the sweetener choice of I Quit Sugar) is like drinking poison for a diabetic.

    So basically, there’s nothing wrong with cutting out some foods that mess with your body so long as you understand why you’re doing it and what you hope to achieve. I did loose weight when I changed how I eat which was an unintended consequence, I lost 13kgs over 2 years which is really fucking annoying when you’re a poor student who can’t afford to buy a whole new wardrobe of clothing. I’ve also experienced the fucked up nature of eating plans, I remember as a stupid 16 year old I went possibly every diet in existence and felt like shit afterwards, I think the reason I’ve stuck to changing how I eat was because it wasn’t related to my self-esteem, made me feel physically much less shit and was motivated by the death of an uncle at 39 from diabetes related complications.

    Another note regarding opposition to GM food, the argument ‘but there are people who cannot eat!’ can easily be countered with ‘well why don’t we waste less food and stop super-trawlers from sweeping the sea beds of fish which has sustained villages/towns/communities for thousands of years, who are now starving?’. Having more food won’t guarantee more people will have access to food and there are huge issues associated with intellectual property, even when a property is contaminated (Garforth, K. 2006. When Worlds Collide: Biotechnology meets Organic Farming in Hoffman v Monsanto. Journal of Environmental Law. 18 (03):459-477.). Many biotech companies don’t have a great track record and nor do the products they promote. I know that this isn’t saying “omg cancer!” but this peer reviewed publication, Nature, is reporting on research and warnings made by the WHO about glypohsate (used by biotech companies) and is calling for greater studies into the impact of glyphosate on humans and issuing some caution (

    Disclaimer #1: I can’t read the first article because I am not a crikey subscriber (and I know I should be, writers gotta eat and can’t rely on people reading their work and saying ‘well done!’)
    Disclaimer #2: Not anti-vaccination. Infact saved many times from possible tetanus from my clumsiness, including a time when I held for dear life onto a a rusted ladder as waves crashed over me for five minutes nearly stealing my bathing suit and ripping my legs to shreds. I have a romanticised image of looking like Ariel after she gave up her ability to swim, but am thinking vertical beached whale is more appropriate.
    Disclaimer #3: I have a really fucking scary history of diabetes in my family.
    Disclaimer #4: Studied environmental policy and food systems, and work in that field now but nothing to do with dietetics.
    Disclaimer #5: Not advocating food shaming/dieting/gymming. Do what you want, eat what you want but there’s nothing wrong with investigating if there’s an alternative that makes you feel a bit better.

  19. Benison O'Reilly says:

    Brilliant. Just brilliant. You have nailed it perfectly. In a Facebook rant Evans also claimed that the diet advocated by the Heart Foundation and ADA caused autism! As a scientist, mother of a child with autism, and the author of a respected book on autism, I can’t begin to tell you how angry that made me feel. The “arrogance of ignorance”, as someone termed it.

    • Helen Razer says:

      Thanks, Benison. My pals with spectrum kids who, like you, tend to be active in promoting and advocating viable treatment for the entire ASD population, are devo that some children may be denied the most basic healthcare even as they fight for the chance for affordable therapies for others. This ignorant response (which, as I’m sure you know, rather perversely tends to happen in middle-class suburbs) is one of the pseudo-scientific knee-jerks I am talking about.
      Of course, dietary science recommends that we eat whole foods. But, to call this “Paleo” and to base it on an evolutionary fiction and to defend and twist the most basic findings of science to the point where people are saying Pete Evans is okay in his recommendation of poisoning children is madness.
      I am not yet at the point where I can accept the death or injury to children as collateral damage for the stupidity of their parents. Given the quality of “debate” here, perhaps I’ll get there.

  20. Lisa Te Morenga says:

    I am a dietary scientist. I really wish I could tell all those lCHF/paleo evangelists to bugger off and stop assuming I sit in my office playing tetris all day instead of discovering the simple TRUTH about fat and sugar and our paleo ancestors

  21. Jenny Jones says:

    If you’d actually bothered to look into your topic a bit further, you would have discovered that Pete, Charlotte and Helen have not invented the wheel here with a baby formula made from broth and liver. In fact a US based Paediatrician, Katherine Erlich MD and Nutritionist, Kelly Genzlinger published a book several years ago with several homemade baby formulas, including a couple made with liver and one with the liver and broth. I suspect if their recipes really were dangerous and killed/maimed babies, then they both would have been sued, deregistered and their book withdrawn from publication. None of that has happened.

    As per usual, anything different or out of the box is shot down in flames by our nanny state health officials. Fortunately, all the furore has actually resulted in publicising Pete’s cause even more, which is a great thing for the health of Australia. The more people that actually listen to their bodies (which is Pete’s ultimate message), the greater health we can look forward to as a nation.

  22. Lyndal says:

    Oh gosh darn it – you mean I’ve just wasted three years and $30K getting a masters degree in nutrition (to be a nutritionist!) that means nothing because I’m not a dietitian? Hmm might write to My uni to complain that it’s a worthless bullshit piece of paper and to not offer food science subjects in that course then….! Sorry but you kind of lost me after reading that in your opening paragraphs.

  23. Shane says:

    Wow! I haven’t come across you before (I’m particularly savvy with all the social media stuff) but I am hooked. What a great, powerful bit of writing. Have you considered politics? I would love to see you dress down a few politicians on issues such as fracking etc. assuming you are against it. They hate facts thrown up against them… I will be reading more.

  24. Tom says:

    What do you get if you cross a Jack Russell with a Shitzu? Jack shit.

  25. John Mayger says:

    What a nasty negative article. The concept that we are currently eating foods for which we have not yet had time to evolve to eat is a perfectly reasonable hypothesis. We’re living in an age where the diet we are on is litterally killing us and someone who promotes a realistic alternative is just another tall poppy to be knocked down by a bloody journalist who has nothing to offer in its place!
    I’ve met Pete Evans, he’s an honest enthusiastic (but not overbearing) bundle of energy who designs and prepares really tasty food. For gods sake open your minds peeps.

  26. Tara says:

    Gsvin I could not have said it better myself.
    I too turned away from traditional advice and towards paleo due to ill health (triggered by a traumatic childbirth experience) and have never looked back.
    I have a degree in nutrition and am quite right to say it qualified me to follow whatever it is they told me to believe. University undergraduate study basically spoon feeds you convention and that’s what i believed too.
    I decided to research myself and well found a plethora of research that completely contradicted what i had been told at uni.
    Fat, in particular saturated fat (the demon himself) wasn’t bad for me after all!?!! People lost modest amounts of weight on low fat but lost way more on lower carbohydrate diets AND improved their blood work!?!! WTF!?!! But still the advice was there was no evidence it was effective long term. But isn’t that what my grandparents ate and they are in their nineties? Still the dog would not let go of that bone.
    Helen says there is no agenda by big business or big pharma but recent articles in Washington post talk of multiple fabricated nutritional peer review studies withdrawn from publication. Sad really someone can be so blind to what is actually going on (well I can’t talk I used to be one of those people)
    I don’t believe eating these foods on an occaisional basis will cause harm in people without allergies or intollerances but the tests are so inaccurate many people are mis-undiagnosed.
    On a nutritional scale grains are the LEAST nutritious food you can eat and in a world where we are so undernourished why not shift the focus to a more nutrient sense alternative?

    • Helen Razer says:

      Helen says there is no agenda by big business or big pharma

      Where does Helen say this?

      • Sean says:

        It’s all just ‘pure science we can trust in’, of course. Because the research money and control over what is studied or developed doesn’t come from big business or big pharma, there’s a special tree you shake.

  27. Tara says:

    Sorry your comments were conspiracy not agenda at the end of the article. My confusion. Certainly not the same thing although one could hypothesize that a conspiracy is the actions when someone has an agenda.
    My criticism is that large multi national food corporations sponsor the DAA and the heart foundation and are so closely tied that it would be inevitable for bias to occurr with their advice.
    Imagine if the DAA (dietitians assoc for those playing along at home) suddenly advised not to eat packaged food anymore? How long do you think they would keep sponsoring them? Or the heart foundation said that Statins (cholesterol lowering meds) were inneffective in reducing fatal heart attacks (this is actually true by the way) how long would GlaxoSmithKline keep funding the heart foundation medical conference?
    Members of the pharmaceutical industry are present when guidelines are made at the heart foundation. Don’t kid yourself they don’t influence what’s advised there too.
    It’s a sad day but unless I read the research myself I don’t believe anything anymore.
    BTW Pete has some cracking recipe books out there. Someone the other day commented petec Evans paleo show a n it like a televangelist with music and clapping. I thought that was funny

  28. Tara says:

    Aside I have never seen Pete Evans say diet causes autism. I have heard him say it does in some instances improve symptoms. There are many very experienced medical people who say the same thing like Martha Herbert and Natasha Campbell McBride. They also say that vaccines in susceptible children can destroy the gut microbiome causing autism like symptoms. Please don’t misquote me anyone, I have three healthy kids who are fully vaccinated (as am I personally as I work in the medical field too)
    As far as fluoride goes research says it is effective if applied topically (like at the dentist not in drinking water). Fluoride draws calcium from bones. I take my kids to the dentist and have fluoride but temove it from their drinking water

  29. Pearlie says:

    Helen, if being “negative” means critiquing the middle class “lifestyle” and calling it to account for its hypocrisy keep doing what you are doing! If we all embraced a healthy Mediterranean diet, “experts” like Mr Evans and the I Quit Sugar gurus would be out of a job and the Middle class hipsters would have no trend to embrace to make their affluent lives “worthy”.

  30. Tara says:

    Except for the fact that
    1. By definition the Mediterranean diet is more closely related to the paleo diet you loathe so much as historically these people are primarily plant foods, fish and some full fat dairy
    2. In multiple trials LCHF ketogenic diets outperform Mediterranean diets every time.

    If being around in the future when my kids grow up make my “affluent life worthy” then thanks I’ll take that!

    • Helen Razer says:

      For the sake of screaming tofu. (The non GMO kind). No one here is asserting that *some* of the basic “principles” of the poorly named diet do not happen to coincide with advice given by hard independent (not soft corporate) dietary science. That there are those “principles” that urge (a) caregivers to feed infants foods that are demonstrably unhealthy and (b) a misunderstanding of prehistory is the practical problem.
      The broader theoretical problem is that “Paleo” claims to be science when it is, in fact, a conflation of retroactively cherry-pricked science with absolute bullshit about Getting Back To Our Ancestral Times. Which, according to paleoanthropology, never existed.
      And what is it that prevents you from seeing my argument which is: poor thinking is bad. I am not claiming to have the answers. That selecting parts of knowledge and wrapping these in a big The World Was Once in Balance Bow And I Should Trust My Instincts Because I Am Special And Wise is idiocy. I say I do not have the answers but that answers must be sought by science and through methodical doubt. Still, better systems than Believing in Yourself or, worse, Pete Evans. This is why I say, very explicitly, “I don’t have the answers”. I am simply urging a faith in the discipline (if not always the corporate practice) of science and, FFS, Pete Evans is a dangerous idiot.
      It seems that reading comprehension is not one of the outcomes of the Paleo Lifestyle.

  31. Mezzza says:

    Good comeback Gsvin. You said everything I was thinking! Helen’s comments are angry and misinformed and laughable that she is accusing her paleo opponents of a lack of research when she herself has obviously done none! You had me hook line and sinker until the last sentence which was just downright rude, offensive, really disappointing and uneccessary. You won the argument then blew it all with your final words. Not cool.

  32. Sean says:


    March 26, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    “My ancestors have eaten dairy for 10000 years if they could get it. I don’t understand why I am supposed to be more adapted to eating coconuts when my grandparents thought an orange at Christmas was a special treat and my mother thought passionfruit was a made-up drink flavouring until she was a teenager. So I will continue to eat cheese with a happy heart.”

    Scandinavians and a host of other ‘races’ are lactose intolerant, i.e. have a great deal of trouble digesting milk without a lot of pain and discomfort — hence I doubt it’s a large part of their diet. Cheese tends to cause fewer problems, however, although it’s unlikely lactose intolerant peoples would have bothered attempting to get to the cheese producing stage if they had no interest in cow’s milk to begin with (and possibly no cows in their region either).

    Who says you should be adapted to eating coconuts? Coconut milk is supposed to be remarkably good for you. However, fruit incuding oranges is a big part of the primate diet, and an early essential, and primates have lost the ability to synthesise their own Vitamin C due to a genetic mishap millions of years ago, hence they need to source it from fruit. (Hence the whole scurvy, oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clemens thing from long sea voyages in the age of empires.) Given their apparent evolutionary biology reasoning, I doubt paleo types prohibit oranges and other fruit, unless you can show it is written thus somewhere.

    Passionfruit? same same. It’s meant to be good for you. Paleo types do tend to look at nutritional breakdowns in foodstuffs, they’re not oblivious as far as I know.


    March 26, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    “Our ancestors used to be cannibals too. Genetic markers commonly found in modern humans all over the world demonstrate evidence that our earliest ancestors were cannibals.”

    Sometimes, for different reasons, often ritualistic ones to do with vanquishing enemies. However, most paleo people lived essentially in a way similar to existing ‘4th world’ peoples we can observe today – Australian Aboriginals, New Guinea Highlanders, South American ‘Indians’ in the Amazon, etc. Cannibalism doesn’t feature strongly in their diets (or at all), and the usual evolutionary psychobiological injunctions against eating your own species in your own immediate group obtain for the sake of the preservation of the species. Nonetheless, warring and feuding in the form of intertribal warfare is common, usually triggered by accusations of ‘witchcraft’ or by some act or other of deemed bad behaviour. Equally well, though, women are often required to marry outside their tribe, and act as ‘kin keepers’ and reduce the incidence of intertribal warfare.

    I’m not an apologist for every claim in every paleo cookbook or lifestyle book, nor do I particularly follow the lifestyle or approaches and haven’t read a whole lot of them except to get a gist of the underlying assumptions. I have studied anthropology and paleontology in my academic career, and also take a keen interest in health and diet, and receive a lot of ‘alternative health’ internet feeds which I read with some interest. (I have also studied human biology, physics and chemistry at uni and am not a completely illogical unscientific nitwit.) However, the dietary recommendations the paleos make are often not a lot different from things I’ve read in healthy heart books dating back years and decades and by and large probably won’t kill you — whereas living off a NIgella Lawson cookbook probably will. The one questionable ingredient in one of Pete Evans’ recipes was the addition of liver to a ‘bone broth’ recipe which otherwise used to be recommended in babycare books dating all the way back to the 1960s — and I guess has therefore been tested longitudinally for decades and centuries without too many infant deaths. Nobody seems to be questioning, for instance, the practice of INJECTING Vit K straight into a newborn (largely so the males won’t have a problem when they’re ritualistically circumcised 4 days later and lose a lot of blood), or insisting on a Vit A jab with every MMR delivered — even though it’s been demonstrated ‘scientifically’ that giving oral Vit K is a helluva lot safer than injecting it. The doctors don’t care. All that matters is that we go after someone like Pete Evans for being a ‘quack’, when of course modern money-making medicine with all its adverse reactions and side effects is beyond reproach.

  33. Jane says:

    No reply to my request for a reference on the “long-term Atkins advocates were found to have a greater risk of colorectal cancer” assertion? Can’t say I’m surprised. (And BTW Atkins is not Paleo). Might I suggest you actually do some research before writing your next piece. I think it’s scandalous that journalists like you are allowed to publish what they like with no backup of their claims. The sad part is that many reading this will not realise how poor this article is. I can only encourage them to do their own research and not take anything on trust when it comes to nutrition, as there is so much bad information out there. Ironic that you titled this piece “I quit bullshit” – well I’ll take your advice and quit this bullshit now. Cheers.

  34. Dave says:

    I don’t know why anybody takes this silly bitch seriously…She worked for triple nothing more than a trained muppet…wouldn’t know what critical thinking was….has no idea what New World Order means. Obviously she hasn’t researched a thing about the toxicity of vaccines and GMO’S…..just seems like an angry ignorant…brainwashed and closed minded moron……You can’t fix stupid……

  35. Anne O'Brien says:

    Great nuanced reply. I use a lot of so-called “Paleo” principles in addressing Crohn’s disease, such as lots of chicken stock – backed by science as an anti inflammatory as well as fermented foods and lots of green leafy vegetables. I mostly follow the more scientifically / peer review backed low FODMAP diet which is similar to Paleo in eliminating certain carbs. My gastroenterologist is fine with it and has recognised many patients benefit from this. It’s a pity the Paleo bandwagon appealed to such a shaky historical referent. Some of the earlier research that people like Sally Fallon relied on to write her much older cookbook ‘Nourishing Traditions’ (a precursor of Paleo) -such as from the Weston Price Foundation- was more about the dietary practices of diverse cultures around the world that maintained good oral health based on fossils, rather than the practices of cavemen. Here is a related post I wrote last year about people who go gluten free:

  36. gen says:

    Nailed it!

  37. Sean says:

    your cloaca??? : O ; )

  38. Sean says:

    There’s plenty of science out there questioning vaccine safety, but it doesn’t get much press. There does appear to be a huge adverse reaction cover-up going on, where the criticism is based on very reasonable and biologically plausible hypotheses about how infants’ (and adults’) immune systems work. There is a great deal we do not know about immunity and our bodies, and yet we feel we can inject just any old adjuvants and sometimes even food proteins into our systems and not expect adverse reactions, including asthma, allergies, other auto-immune conditions, and much worse?

  39. Lisa says:

    Well I have been forced to watch MKR by the fact that my family hog the TV remote and Pete seems to enjoy a widely diverse range of dairy and other foods not listed in the paleo bible. Maybe he has a spew bucket instead of a spittoon Ike wine tasters.
    But ironic, paleo man woofing into brûlée but we all do things in our job we don’t like.
    Maybe this diet is good for the planet because paleo life expectancy was I believe around 40, one way to deal with over population.

  40. Rozza says:

    Is this the same science that is doing a U-turn on Ancel Keys fraudulent cholesterol heart disease hypothesis?

    • Helen Razer says:

      So what you are saying is: we should all distrust scientific method and, indeed, science’s habit of correcting itself because some findings are “wrong” or were imperfectly reported? Even if it is science correcting itself, this is a “u turn”?
      Can you see how stupid this is or do I need to remind you that Newton was “wrong” about certain things, too.

  41. Christine says:

    Excellent – thank you.

  42. kate says:

    Please what makes you nice…your would and the world around you will be a much happier place!

    Paleo may make you a little thinner but a whole lot crankier.

    Think of those around and have a piece of bread some sugar.

    • Helen Razer says:

      I appreciate the sentiment, Kate. But the notion that food affects one’s temperament is something these Paleo folk argue!

  43. Shannon says:

    Love me some angry Razer. I see you have had robust discussion points such as silly bitch and trailer trash trollop brought up to enrich the quality of debate.

    • Helen Razer says:

      Yes. These are excellent arguments that help me see the errors in my logic. I always find that being called a sexually loose and/or angry woman will remedy the flaws of argument.

  44. EvidenceRules says:

    Well said! The more we out the the science fiction of the multi-billion dollar “wellness” industry and expose the narcissistic zealots who spread it’s pernicious bullshit, the better!

    • Helen Razer says:

      Yes. This is not to say that science exists in a vacuum and is never impacted by profit or other motives. It is, however, to say that it’s all we have got. The foundation of doubt and that idea that a proposition needs to be proven and pored over and peer-reviewed in order to become a theory are good. The idea that our “instincts” should inform our decisions is not. What we need, surely, is less of an urging to get “back to nature” and more of an interest in keeping scientific practice as independent and as purely scientific as it can be.
      The idea that Pete Evans is somehow freer from powerful influences or motives than medical science is just bizarre.

  45. Helen Razer says:

    I know, right? I wish I could turn my back on the only close-to-objective system of methodical doubt that we have developed over nearly four centuries and accept that I am being fooled and that Pete Evans, and his friend David Icke, have access to the REAL TRUTH.

  46. Luke says:

    I agree with your thrust, but the attack on all nutritionists is a little unfair. Sure, there are some that are self “educated”, but there are many with tertiary qualifications up to and including doctorates that do serious work, and many more technical and” sciency” than a dietician.

    Whilst I don’t want to get in the way of a good pro-science rant, if we’re asking people to get their facts right, it’s worth making sure the arguments aren’t open to the same criticism.

    • Helen Razer says:

      Sure. I know that there are no regulations for the designation “nutritionist” but that this does not necessarily mean that all nutritionists have not necessarily completed a program of hard study. I ought to have made this more clear. But, I figured in an internet spew that I was doing the Lord’s Work in prompting people to question the integrity of the popular shingle “nutritionist”. Which can really just mean “I once visited Deepak’s website”.
      I also understand that dietitian is a term without regulation. It is just that it is now so unpopular, and one widely used by those sober few with qualifications, that it seemed worth making the point. But, I understand your view.

  47. Kristen says:

    Allison it just took me less than five minutes on google to discover that the story about that man was written by a satirical news site. Try again!

  48. CAP says:


    I’m so glad to see this, I’ve been missing your words and I’m one of the povo members of society that is not in a position to own a subscription for good writing so I do hang for these.

    I should proof read this – But my eyes are tired. I had an emotional day and cried a lot, so read it knowing that’s the mood in which it was written, and that I can’t be bothered to edit anything in this state.

    OK – People think Monsanto is evil because even when their GMOs are knocked back by Federal Health bodies from wealthy nations, for not being proven safe, they then go and pay impoverished economies to grow them, they are deliberately non seeding, often squeeze out self seeding stocks because they are more dominants… so pretty much are testing their wares on people in poverty to see if it will be ok on richer countries while reducing their seed stock to nothing and forcing them into a system of having to buy more from them just for food. They then go using the results of that growing as their research evidence, of ok-ness for rich people. It’s not very nice to use desperate and poor countries as guinea pigs and destroy their natural crops making them seed dependant on your own product… so people find them a little bit shit. I get that. That’s not to say all their products are evil, but some of their processes to find out whether it’s a good product or a dangerous one are pretty questionable and so is genetic modification to make farmers seed dependant.

    As for GMOs more generally, there are levels of instability and danger and David Suzuki went into a fairly thorough discourse on this in one of the many appearances he’s made on the ABC and in his doco’s. He’s qualified from legitimate institutions, so I tend to listen to him. For example a hybrid plant, grafted onto a stronger root stock is technically a GMO, but it’s not unstable or dangerous, it simply makes the weaker plant more fungus/rot resistant but doesn’t change the plant above the graft too much as to make it dangerous. Changing the genome of a plant in the lab however is supposed to create very unstable forms, where the safety of the plant and it’s long term effects cannot be ascertained, but money pushes them onto these impoverished test communities just the same. Yes not all GMOs are evil. In fact some of them are just good gardening and have been used to strengthen our black magic passionfruit etc for ages. Some GMO isn’t really all that GMO. The problem is the ones that are god awful have no differentiation in our marketplace from the ones that aren’t, and there really isn’t enough “science” in to know whether those ones will be the next huge mistake like DDT or thalidomide. They just don’t know, but money buys market share. So where I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said on some level, I can’t suddenly feel, “oh that Monsanto they’re just poor misunderstood world saving scientists”.

    The vaccination haters however are just weird. Get your shots, I 100% agree. The science really is in on that, and every qualified Doctor in all the lands will tell you, they save lives from horrible deaths and maiming so yeah fair call, it’s pretty dumb to believe and idiot with a ice smile whose parents probably had them vaccinated so they have the luxury of the strengthened childhood immunity and are now on a high horse putting today’s children at risk. That’s super shithouse I sometimes wonder why that’s not a criminal act since they intentionally creating conditions that harm people. It seems to me like it should be a chargeable offense… if for no other reason than fraud. Scientist have to prove their vaccines work, these hacks just prove they felt some vibe, and apparently that’s enough.

    The diets though, I think are just personal things people do because sometimes life can feel so out of control and monotonous simultaneously, that this gives them a window/illusion of power in an otherwise hum-drum existence. so I say Paleo on and quit refined sugar if you have to because you need something to think about other than how depressing and pointless life is, but for goodness sake look at some basic charts on a balanced diet and make sure you are still getting the right nutrition and enzyme balance so that you don’t get scurvy or and inflamed pancreas or something. The No sugar thing seems to be a bit of a gimmick rather than really no sugar. People love a good gimmick. Makes them feel like they are one of the “beautiful people”. I accepted a long time ago how ugly and boring we all really are so I guess I don’t really get caught up in these things but I have a confession…..

    I insanely am vegan, because I think it’s devastating that we are being told Global Warming is causing catastrophic weather events and drought/fllod is harming food security, yet we chow down live stock to excess when their farts are the things by and large taking us down, according to scientific research. So I get out my health charts out, and find out not only how much protein I need but how to get the enzymes that make that plant protein digestible, and hope in vain that when we all literally eat ourselves to planetary death, I can at least feel a little like I gave us all an extra second :/ BTW it’s no good for skinny jeans because a protein rich, animal eating diet like Atkins is better for weight loss, so no one attempt it if you are worried about arse fat, it’s not a solution. It’s really hard at times because people attack me out of spite and demand to know why I am doing it despite not saying anything about their food choices. They profess how it’s unhealthy despite all my painstaking following of protein and enzyme guides and the extra food prep that is boringly time consuming, like mixing of Almond and Soy milk to make sure I get the calcium from one and the protein from the other etc. I generally don’t tell people, they find out when we go out to eat and I ask for something like no butter and cheese on a bruschetta or something and they ask why. Sometimes I just say I have a lactose intolerance because if you do no one gives you crap, but if it’s a choice, everyone wants to jump on you and attack you for being anti dairy farmer or something, despite making no attempts to stop them from guzzling a pound of cheese in front of you and making no comment. Well… what if I’m just pro almond farmer, or soy farmer or sunflower farmer? Isn’t diversity in food choice ok as long as you don’t pressure others? I don’t have one single vegan friends so isn’t that evidence I’m not doing it to join the cult of vegan? Then I get told how self-righteous vegans are even though I didn’t bring it up, didn’t want to talk about it from the outset, and have been getting berated by suddenly self appointed nutritional experts when I’ve gone to great care to try and make sure I’ve done it safely and by doctors orders. I’ve even gone to my GP had my iron tested and lots of blood work done to make sure I’m ok over many years… I had to take a hiatus at one point and eat meat for a bit so she could get a baseline for comparison, and she thinks I’m fine… But apparently the passion for making me into an uneducated demon because I don’t eat animal products trumps the doctors expertise. So yeah health nuts can be annoying self appointed experts, but so can everyday blood thirsty burger eaters who are trying to justify their propensity to judge others and act like a dick. It wont matter soon enough because the planet wont support their lust for cow back and they’ll be eating test tube flesh from inside an environmental dome, because everyone was so worried about how much profit they could get from meat and not what amount of cattle was sustainable. Then those pro live stock self professed health police hating on vegans will have to no leg to stand on when they complain their test tube meat is not what meat used to be, and that jeez they miss fresh air; Because that too will be conditions created by their own stupidity.

  49. Andrew H says:

    A kindred spirit I think you will know and love.
    PS, love your work. We need more of this type of commentary.

  50. kollpip says:

    Keep it in your pants Jack! Thanks for visiting!