Pete Evans Slams Dietitians Association July 22, 2014 Australia, nutrition, weight management Pete Evans Slams The Dietitians Association of Australia – A Leading Dietitian Reponds An open letter to Pete Evans, but more importantly, to the media as a whole back home in Australia who for some reason feel a need to share his strong opposing view points towards my association as a way of enhancing the controversy in his nutrition ideologies (which by default equals an attack on me, an individual, with an opinion (and guess what, even a brain..who would believe it?!)). A few weeks ago the social media frenzy went a little crazy when Pete, a celebrity CHEF who is a “qualified health coach” by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition i.e – he is a confident and engaging driven entrepreneur whom I respect for those particular aspects – a driven and charismatic nature..not for his depth in scientific knowledge or for his desire to attack me (yep, I’m taking this one personally), each time he feels the need to attack the Dietitians Association of Australia. Pete Evans slams Dietitians Association of Australia As an Australian dietitian who has lived split between NYC and Australia (and has done so for the better half of the last two and a half years), each time I read or hear about a new post he has made, I can hear the American influence of his teachings coming out, as there are certainly trends that have come (and are now going) over here in the USA, which he appears to be funnelling across to the Australian market. In his most recent article there was mention about BPA free cans (which definitely has merit), GMOs (which have different labelling laws in Australia vs America) and even continuing on of the gluten free preaching (even after there was a highly regarded trial that showed it could very well be the fructans present in some foods, rather than gluten, that results in people having negative gastro symptoms following its consumption). Article from an Australian university discussing issues related to the use of BPA in cans and bottles. The registered dietitians in the USA have been receiving this sort of flack for quite some time, and I recall when I returned home in October 2012 after living in the USA for 10 months, that I said to my colleagues at an interest group meeting, this is going to come our way if we don’t both start to be more proactive in the media, and engaged in newer nutritional ideologies (this was the point when I put my hand up to be a spokesperson for the DAA in order to practice what I was preaching). What can I say, as I read the most recent article in The Australian newspaper a few days ago, I cringed..and not because of the all the nutritional advice he was giving (or at least not in its entirety), but because the media felt the need again to highlight within the first couple of lines of the article that he was against my association…as though if he is the authority in nutrition (for who knows what reason..I am still not sure who is willing to insure a “health coach” on giving such specific dietary advice), then anyone with a higher scientific dietetic qualification, should for some reason be disregarded and insulted. Pete Evans slams Dietitians Association of Australia Why the author of this article felt it was a responsible act for the health of Australians to spread the word that I myself, and some of my phenomenally bright and switched on colleagues are not worth listening to, or that we ourselves don’t have a far more thorough training in how to analyse scientific studies to ascertain their value in the process of reaching conclusions (which lets face it, nutrition is an evolving SCIENCE and therefore making blanket statements seems a bit naive given one could be proven wrong in days, weeks, months, or even years from now), makes no sense in my logical brain. I get it, the newspaper / media is a business, and controversy sells, at least it sells momentarily, however as a professional who would like to uphold some integrity, would you not at least think that maybe, just maybe, there could be future ramifications of selling out just to get the one headline. I guess what is more amusing is that there is an assumption that just because you are a member of an association that you don’t have the ability to think for yourself. Just think about it, each lawyer, doctor, accountant (you get my drift) can go through the same, or at least very similar training, keep themselves registered or accredited by the required association for insurance purposes, but still practice in highly individual ways, and go on for years taking part in their own professional development studies that result in individuality and uniqueness in each and every one of their offerings as service providers; hence people selecting the doctor or accountant they want to work with, and obviously knowing that they aren’t going to receive exactly the same advice (irrespective of someone being a member of the required organisation for a multitude of reasons) from each and every practitioner. Different types of dietitians! Different types of dietitians! Different types of dietitians! So where does this article wrap up (it evidently could go on for a while); Yes there are large corporations that sponsor the DAA (as there are with many organisations), no, we as members do not need to opt in to receive the marketing materials from these sponsors, and even if we do receive them, yes we still have our own brains to come to our own conclusions. Is it that hard to fathom that we could use our own judgement on whether or not to take the “new research” which some may view as “marketing materials” as a grain of salt, or as factual (so pretty much the same as if there was a post on a website where each and every one of us has the ability to decide if we would want to take it as credible or misinformation, or maybe even a bit of column A and a bit of column B)? Some of the major partners for the DAA from their website Some of the major partners for the DAA from their website Some of the major partners for the DAA from their website So lets bring this back to the nutrition for a moment; I actually agree with Pete on many of the messages he is trying to share (who would believe it – a previous media spokesperson for the DAA saying this); Lets cut if down though shall we? Fats are required in the diet – yes, We should consume grass fed over grain fed meats – yes, Eggs are good (we all already know I love eggs – look at my Facebook cover photo!), Natural over artificial sweeteners are the go – yes, Lots of vegetables should be included (don’t think ANYONE is arguing with anyone here), Go easy on the added sugars (and yes, the juices too – sorry my juicing friends), Fermented foods for good gut health are of vital importance – YES, Nuts and seeds contain an array of fats and fat soluble vitamins of value, Don’t forget your herbs and spices. Kara Landau – Travelling Dietitian – Specifying I am an egg lover to the world on my Facebook cover photo! But where do I think we’re going overboard.. No grains – I still think this needs to be broken down more. I will stand with my heart of my sleeve and genuinely recommend BARLEYmax containing foods (we’ve seen that through me WANTING to be the spokesperson for SunRice and Goodness Superfoods – not because they asked me to). Refined grains, yes I agree with him, minimise your intake, our bodies don’t like them (this isn’t anything new!), but blanketing all grains in one, that’s just not cool. Website outlining all the benefits of BARLEYmax – www.thehealthygrain.com Also, if we are going to be really pragmatic about this, just like a vegetarian can get ample iron and zinc and protein without eating animal products by modifying their diet, you obviously can get ample dietary fibre and an array of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals from consuming vegetables if you chose not to consume grain based foods, it’s just why should you have to cut something completely out that you enjoy, if it certainly can be included in your diet, and can still provide you with some benefits? Put it this way, if they were so deadly and toxic that you could NEVER consume any, then how would those celebrity chefs still be alive given they have to at least try some of the dishes contestants cook for them on their shows which contain these deadly foods? (was that a little too pragmatic?) Clip from My Kitchen Rules eating bread! So what do I do? I eat bread, no I don’t eat a loaf a day, yes I make sure I eat a lot of other foods too, and as a proportion of my daily food intake, I’m pretty sure I eat a lot more of the other foods..but guess what… I am still alive and seem to be functioning pretty well..at least I think I am! Eggs and toast..yep, I ate them both. Dairy, this again felt like an American influence shining through, there are so many issues with the dairy industry over here we could write a whole post on it, but for the sake of keeping this concise (I’m clearly past that point!), if you are able to tolerate some lactose in your diet, and you would enjoy consuming your probiotics in dairy form coming from Greek yoghurt or kefir that is made with dairy rather than a non-dairy alternative, then I mean it from the bottom of my heart, go for it! Just get it from an organic source, and from products made from the milk of cows without any artificial growth hormones (if you live in America that is), Australians enjoy, the industries are not identical on both sides of the world. I enjoyed this Russian thicker kefir here in NYC made by a great passionate company Latta (the owners were Russian). They had flavoured varieties and plain varieties, and I mixed in a natural sweetener and some hemp hearts for a super healthy breakfast one morning! Omega-6 rich oils, I agree, they are not of value when consumed as such a large proportion of the diet that the ratio of omega 3 : omega 6 fats gets blown out of the ball park, but olive oil (which I wrote a whole article about) could certainly be used in cooking (which for some reason doesn’t get too much attention in his post), and thinking that everything needs to be drenched in coconut oil for the sake of your health, that’s just going overboard yet again. Here is an idea, mix it up, your body will thank you, as will your taste buds! I also think it is a little amusing that nuts and seeds get the thumbs up in the section about foods to definitely consume, but then the oils that are omega-6 rich get shunned…I mean I agree at the core of this, but then think about how many nuts and seeds do not have an optimal omega 3 : omega 6 ratio…I would think there needs to be some specificity if such strong claims for or against food groups or particular nutrients are being made; Hemp seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds do not have anywhere near the same profile as pecan or cashew nuts..but that didn’t get specified anywhere. This comes back to the point that nuts and seeds, even if not with the ideal omega 3 : omega 6 ratio for preventing inflammation in the body, can still provide different benefits, such as polyphenols, protein, fibre, monounsaturated fats..the list could go on. A range of nuts and seeds that I had as mix ins with Greek yoghurt on my healthy cooking television show pilot episode. I still find this a little amusing, and at the same time frustrating, that this information is being circulated as though it is “new”; I wrote an entire book on foods to reduce inflammation and keep your weight down in my book The Clean Separation two years ago when I focused on nutrition to boost your mood, reduce depression, and stay in shape during any stressful live event..I mean, if dietitians are all being bulked together, then I am going to take one for the team here and say, I’m sorry, but we already had dietitians preaching all things gut health and anti inflammatory at the least a couple of years ago when I published my book (and I know with confidence I am not alone in these messages). Kara Landau Travelling Dietitian – Television interview discussing The Clean Separation in Australia two years ago. So what can we take from this article….Pete Evans is not on about nothing, in fact, I think he has quite a few great points..he also is not the authority in nutrition who with a health coach certificate from the IIN (which teaches their students business skills alongside the nutrition information, as opposed to in depth human physiology that you obtain from a dietetics degree), should be taken by the media as the source of all finite nutrition advice for the Australian population as a whole. How do we resolve this…I think we all need to work together, we find balance, we find as many facts as we can (based on what science is available to us today), and we analyse them until the cows come home (I don’t know if they actually ever come home though), and then we translate credible messages to help educate the wider public in what I would say is hopefully a consumer friendly manner. When do we need to start doing this? Now. I for one would love to work with Pete (I’ve even let him know this), I love that he is so focused and determined to get a message out there, and the media for that matter (which is why I have put my hand up time and time again)…but on one account, only if he and them, stops bashing me, and my association. So I ask again, as I did at the start of this post, please stop bashing me Pete Evans and the Australian media, I have a brain, feelings, and a heart; and please just remember just like I don’t group every naturopath, doctor, journalist, personal trainer, lawyer or even chef as having the same set of skills, passion, or knowledge, I think it is only justified to expect the same in return as a dietitian with a mind of my own. I write this from myself, Kara Landau, but I have no doubt there are at least a few of my colleagues who feel the same. Thank you, For now, TD Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.