Celebrity chef and restaurateur Pete Evans is the latest victim of a PR disaster courtesy of Twitter, copping abuse for what have been described as "pretentious" eating habits, published in The Sunday Life magazine.
Evans, co-founder of the Hugo's Restaurant Group and an ambassador for Weight Watchers, wrote in a column in The Age's Sunday Age magazine that his diet includes a smoothie of blended alkalised water, organic spirulina, cultured vegetables, cacao nibs, emu meatballs and - what's causing the most ridicule - activated almonds.
The hashtag #activatedalmonds has overtaken 'Melbourne Cup' in the Twitterverse, trending at number one, according to The Age, with sarcastic tweets including "whilst #activatedalmonds have been copping it, I'm a little disturbed by the elitist overtones of 'cultured vegetables'" by @ohno_its_Hayley and "Just as well #Pete Evans eats all those grains and #activatedalmonds - means his colon squeaky clean when he disappears up it" by @cocococo10.
Weight Watchers has come out in support of Evans, also headeing to Twitter to defend its ambassador.
"We may not have any #activatedalmonds recipes, but Pete is demonstrating the great thing about WW [Weight Watchers] - no food is off limits," the weight loss company said.
Activated nuts are raw organic almonds that are soaked for 12 hours to deactivate the enzyme inhibitors in them, then dehydrated for 24 hours to make them crunchy again.
Evans, who is also an ambassador for salad franchise, Sumo Salad and is a judge on TV show My Kitchen Rules, defended his comments via his personal Facebook page, quoting German philosopher Arthur Schoepenhauer as part of his response. He said, "I'm occasionally ridiculed because I choose to eat what I believe to be a nutrient dense diet, and I find it so bizarre as to why people sometimes find my food choices 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, and trying new things whenever possible, so that I can be a responsible role model for my daughters ..."
The subsequent Schoepenhauer quote reads, "All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as being self-evident."