Living in Australia in this day and age, food seems to be as hot as the sun. People just cannot get enough of it because hey, it makes our Instagram feeds look better. But coming with this current trend comes high-profile figures putting in their 2 cents about absolutely, positively life-changing diets (or not so much). The lecture looked at high-profile figures such as Jamie Oliver and Pete Evans who seem to be more about making more money for themselves than considering the damage they are doing to the consumers of the information they give. The problem is, there isn’t much that can be done about it, because well, they are high-profile. Pete Evans has been promoting a Paleo diet for quite some time now which is totally fine, because fad diets have been around for quite a long time. The main issue is that he is using his status to fling out all these wild and ridiculous statements regarding the health benefits of his diet, when there is in fact, little or no scientific evidence that can actually back-up his claims.
This can actually be doing the opposite to what the diet intends, because there is evidence that some of his claims can in fact cause quite severe health problems. He claims that his diet can help Autism, cure Cancer and provide infants with a healthier diet to develop healthier. What makes things worse is that Evans is nothing more than just a qualified Chef which makes his claims sound even more ridiculous. We need to ask ourselves, why is he allowed to use such big media platforms such as national television to promote such ridiculous ideals when he is quite obviously under qualified and overstepping the mark? Looking at this topic closer, we should start looking into how prevalent powerful media personalities turned food warriors are. There are so many ranging from Sarah Wilson to Daniel Churchill who was an ex Masterchef Australia contestant. These personalities have intentions to influence healthier eating, but at the end of the day it is also about making money. They have usually always entered the media realm through a different medium other than food, but then seem to use this as a stepping stone into a sector that they may be passionate about, but not so qualified. Everyone has their own vision of ‘perfect health’, and most of us work towards it even if it isn’t an easy path. These personalities also have their own views on ‘perfect health’ but due to money, fame and a different set of ideologies, they see it as an opportunity to make money while at the same time, boosting their own profile.
On the other hand, not all food warriors have negative effects on the public. Lucio Polli de Carvalho is a food-warrior that has used his expertise in the food industry in a good way. Through using his knowledge with good, healthy food, the condition of Autism and a good attitude about helping others, this chef helped turn the eating habits around involving a school of autistic kids. He didn’t force anything down their throats and he didn’t throw any overloading amounts of confusing information at them. He worked with all the kids needs, some at an individual level which saw a great improvement in their eating habits and all around health. He also underwent professional training in the condition of Autism that legitimises his position and role. I would call him a healthy Food-warrior that is less self-serving and more giving.
Being a “Food warrior” has become somewhat of a trend in this day in age with social media booming. A lot of new media platforms with little gatekeeping such as blogging and YouTube allow everyday individuals to become self-made advocates of healthy eating. You never know if what they are telling you is true, so sometimes its best to just leave it up the experts. Also, we do need to ask ourselves why these personalities that do use their status for their own personal gain stay in these positions and that we shouldn’t tolerate these personalities that think that it is ok to feed us this information.