Supplied Editorial Pete Evans. Picture: Sunday Night
Supplied Editorial Pete Evans. Picture: Sunday Night

Paleo Pete Evans weighs in on COVID-19 crisis

Outspoken chef Pete Evans has criticised "unhealthy" eating habits during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The My Kitchen Rules judge, also known as Paleo Pete, said he's concerned after seeing people stock up on "crap food" during a recent trip to the supermarket and he hopes the global health crisis will serve as a wakeup call on to many.

"I was at the supermarket the other day picking up meat and seafood, but I was looking at people's trolleys and I was like 'they're still filling up with crap food'," Evans said on his Evolve podcast last week.

"But I dare say throughout this there will be a conscious awakening into those pillars of health because we're going to be in a situation where it's like 'oh sh*t maybe I should've looked after myself those last couple of years and maybe now is a really, really good time'.

Pete Evans in a picture shoot for MKR: The Rivals Picture: Channel 7
Pete Evans in a picture shoot for MKR: The Rivals Picture: Channel 7

There seems to be sheep mentality at the moment."

Evans, who's previously come under fire for his controversial views on health and wellness, said the COVID-19 crisis is a good opportunity for growth.

"This coronavirus that is happening right now, I see it as an opportunity for growth in so many ways," he said.

"I've been promoting health and wellness for the last decade and prior to that I was a chef and still am and one of the things I see coming from this is this will give people a really good opportunity to look at all those pillars of health - things might have been a distraction for them, whether it may have been constant work, constant fear and worry or constant comfort eating."

The TV personality, who produced the paleo documentary film, The Magic Pill on Netflix in 2017, is often criticised for his views on alternative medicine.

His documentary claims people suffering from illnesses like diabetes, cancer and autism can reduce symptoms and reliance on prescription drugs by adopting a specific diet for just five weeks.

Evans previously clashed with Australian Medical Association (AMA) president Dr Michael Gannon, who ridiculed The Magic Pill and compared the documentary to controversial anti-vaccination film Vaxxed.

"Elements of the discussion are just plain hurtful, harmful and mean," Dr Gannon said after the film's release in 2017.

Pete Evans often pushes for clean eating in his books.
Pete Evans often pushes for clean eating in his books.

"The idea that a high-fat diet can change a child's behaviour in a month is just so patently ridiculous … and yet the reality is the parents of autistic children are so desperate they will reach for anything."

At the time, a furious Evans publicly questioned whether Dr Gannon should be removed as president of AMA.

' … Is it time for a new president for the AMA? I don't know, but I can tell you that I am deeply concerned that he would post this tweet,' Evans wrote in a lengthy Facebook rant.

"When did it become befitting for the president of the AMA (Australian Medical Association), Mr Michael Gannon, to make fun of people actually regaining their health and improving the lives of themselves and their families?"

In 2014, nutrition watchdog The Dietitians Association of Australia warned Aussies against the Paleo diet, which Evans swears by, and labelled it "potentially dangerous".

The father-of-two once claimed sunscreen is dangerous and contains poisonous chemicals.

Last year, he shared an anti-vaxxer podcast and urged his fans to ask questions about modern day medicine.

In November he said his critics are mostly driven by greed and ignorance.

"The more I go down this journey, the more I see that so much of our energy is wrapped up in our currency as far as money seems to be the driving force for a lot of people's values in life," he said at the inaugural Manifest Australia event as part of men's mental health awareness month.

"We definitely disrupt a lot of these corporations and industry's abilities to keep making money.

"Why do they seem to think the message we're putting out there is threat? They can never come back with any anecdotal evidence of people becoming sick."

Originally published as Paleo Pete Evans weighs in on COVID-19 crisis