Pete Evans awarded the Australian Skeptics’ Bent Spoon award for quackery

19 October, 2015 by
Aoife Boothroyd

Chef Pete Evans has been bestowed with the highest accolade from the Australian Skeptics Inc, the Bent Spoon award for supporting and promoting pseudoscience.

According to president of the Australian Skeptics Inc, Eran Segev, the award, or “uncoveted” honour, recognises the "perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudo-scientific piffle."

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Speaking with SMH, Segev said that it wasn’t just Evans' support of the Paleo diet that earned him the award, it was also his support of quackery.

"It is not only for his diet that he is a worthy winner, even though it can apparently shrink tumours, reduce diabetes, cure autism, stop asthma and reverse chronic fatigue," Segev said.

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"No, he has won the award for his support of pseudomedicine, his stance against fluoridation, and his association with rabid anti-vaccinationist Joseph Mercola – "the legend" as Evans Calls him."

Earlier this year, Pan Macmillan Australia has announced it will no longer be publishing a paleo cookbook for babies, which has been co-authored by Evans.

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The book sparked controversy with Professor Heather Yeatman, president of the Public Health Association of Australia, who claimed that the consequences of its release could be fatal, referring specifically to a recipe in the book for DIY baby formula made from bone broth. Yeatman says that the recipe contains 10 times the recommended daily dosage of vitamin A for babies, in addition to inadequate levels of other nutrients.

Late last year Evans also came under fire for allegedly deleting Facebook post from registered health professionals on his public Facebook page after they challenged his view that grains are toxic, and that entire food groups such as dairy should be avoided.

A number of health professionals including Tim Crowe, associate professor and nutrition academic within the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University, raised concerns that by deleting legitimate comments and blocking individuals from the Facebook page, Evans (and/or his representatives) are denying the public a balanced argument – something which they believe could have dangerous outcomes.

Segev said that he didn’t expect to receive a response from Evans in relation to the award.

"Generally it's an uncoveted award,” he said. “The responses we get to this award are either completely ignoring it, or in some cases people take it as some kind of reverse compliment."

Previous recipients of the award include anti-vaccination campaigners, homeopaths, complementary health providers and the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia.