Oh dear. I think I created some bloody, protein-rich karma. It was only a joke destined to fizzle out in cyberspace. How was I to know that millions of people around the world would take me seriously?! I’ve got toxins on my hands, of the fatty liver kind.
The idea came at a party, in the moment where euphoria and mayhem met for the official change of guard, and creative and crazy morphed into a mighty hybrid force. A brawl had broken out at the entrance of the castle, once a quiet debate between friends about which food had more nutrition: Wild foraged food or quality, organically farmed produce. Though far from the tussle, I could hear the hysterical shouting.
Wild African Yams have more iron you imbecile!
From ill-prepared sandy soil?
Your mamma must be Monsanto!
It was out of control, like a dozen geek muppets fighting over a stylus.
In the garden behind the castle my friends and I were making mischief in a version of Truth or Dare : One person dares a prank that has to have the potential to go global. Then together we front the challenge.
It was my turn. I suggested that we come up with the most ridiculous diet. Fashionable, filled with celebrity and athlete endorsements, and promise totally unbelievable results. We would launch the diet on social media; maybe follow it up with a book that believers can hold in their hands.
But I never imagined this kind of success. Now millions of people, including our hired athletes and celebrities, are doing what was just a crazy green tea-fuelled prank. It’s a ticking time bomb that’s going to explode, leaving intestinal bacteria carnage, burned out mineral stores, bunkers of mucoid plaque and fatty livers. Then, one day, system failure.
The prank went like this.
Since everybody knows that vegetables, fruits and whole grains are the foundation of a vibrant and healthy diet, we would do the opposite and advocate a meat-based diet. A lot of meat. Organs and raw meat especially. We needed a logical argument for the diet, and supportive science, so we invented the premise that because our Palaeolithic ancestors ate mostly meat, we should too; it’s in our genes. Nobody argues with genes. They’re so tiny.
The popular image of cavemen as a skin-wearing hairy folk holding a large fleshy mammoth bone would be the face of our crazy diet.
These days nobody researches the validity of a fact if the story is posted on facebook and shared by more than a handful of people. The numbers of shares would validate our lie. The plan was solid.
Of course, only the poor suffering northern European Paleo man consumed mostly animal meat, while literally dreaming of greener pastures. Real evidence shows that Palaeolithic tribes who had access to plants and vegetables favoured them over meat.
I’m particularly proud of coming up with the supporting argument that modern diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis arrived with modern agricultural practices. Gafaw! Of course osteoporosis was a common disease in those northern European cavemen who consumed a high meat diet, while the more vegetarian cave dwellers down south had no sign of it. And diabetes, well that’s a processed food disease, not a modern agriculture disease, right?!
We took the prank to the extreme. We banned salt. Just to give a clear signal that this diet was insane. Salt is our commander-in-chief for healthy system function. I was sure that even the most ill-informed person would get the joke. Even cavemen, who are the centre premise of this diet, ate salt for over 200,000 years.
Here was the diet in a nutshell, or should I say, fillet mignon so fresh I can hear it moo.
- People need to eat a lot of acid-forming meat. The subsequent animal-protein overload will produce sulphuric and phosphoric acid. Then, to render these acids neutral, the body will have to suck sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium from its storage bank, the bones. This is how meat-eating is connected to osteoporosis. Mucoid plaque will coat every tube and vessel in the body.
- Scare those into thinking that modern agriculture (as in, the production of all fruits, grains and vegetables) is intimately connected to modern diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis.
- Assure them that Paleo Man didn’t have these diseases, which they did. *
- Of course this diet would be a flash-in-the-pan sham if it didn’t show some temporary weight loss results, so I threw in a few common weight loss elements such as, banning refined foods, sugar, starchy foods, sodas, and eat only low G.I foods – foods that digest slowly. This will make them feel amazing, have more energy, loose excess fat, and they will think it’s the meat-eating doing that.
When the party was over, we set the new “Paleo Diet” free, to begin its life in cyber space. And it raged! It not only went viral, it went cancerous - mostly of the colon and stomach kind.
Do I sleep well at night, knowing that there are millions of gullible people eating e-coli-filled raw meet, or cooked meet contaminated with antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, strontium and heavy metals because of a game?
In a word, no, I don’t sleep so well.
I’m sorry I made fun of you. Can’t we all just get along?
*Otzi, is a pre-historic 46 year old man, discovered in the Swiss Alps under ice in 1991. He had died from an arrow wound, but was found to have heart disease, had suffered a heart attack some time before his death, and had arthritic knees.
The guy in the picture though is just a piece of Leggo. He happened to be more photogenic than the real Otzi.
Oh one thing before I go. I never usually share the private side of my life, but I want you to meet some friends of mine.
This is Brendan Brazier, Ultra Marathon Champion. Raw food vegan.
This is Ruth Heidrich aged 67, named one of the top ten fittest women in North America. She won 900 gold medals in running. Vegan.
Here is Scott Jurek, ultra marathon champion, named top 25 fittest men on the planet. Vegan.
And here is Michael Arnstein, 100 mile World Endurance Champion. Vegan fruitarian.
Just in case any die-hard Paleo-folk think that vegans are, to use the technical term, airy fairy pinky powder-puffs.