Bone broth may seem an unlikely substitute for baby formula – and it’s turned into a recipe for disaster for celebrity chef turned paleo diet spruiker Pete Evans. A new baby cookbook co-authored by the My Kitchen Rules judge has been “put on hold” amid fears it could lead to serious illness or worse.
Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way for New Mums, Babies and Toddlers was due for release today (March 13), but has been delayed by publisher Pan Macmillan after health officials stepped in.
A consortium of health organisations expressed “grave concerns” over the book’s make-at-home liver and bone broth-based baby milk formula, The Australian Women’s Weekly reports.
“In my view, there’s a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead,” Public Health Association of Australia president Professor Heather Yeatman tells the AWW. “Especially if (the DIY formula) was the only food a parent was feeding their infant, it’s a very real risk. And (I consider that) the baby’s growth and development could be impaired.”
Medical experts’ chief concern is that the formula contains more than 10 times the safe maximum daily intake of vitamin A for babies, but inadequate levels of other nutrients. They say too much vitamin A can cause loss of appetite, dry skin, hair loss, bone pain, fissures and failure to thrive.
The book, co-authored by Evans, Bubba Yum Yum blogger Charlotte Carr and naturopath Helen Padarin, also reportedly includes added salt in recipes, and recommends limiting fruit and avoiding fluoride in drinking water. The paleo, or caveman, diet emphasises meat, nuts and berries but bans all grains, dairy and pulses.
The federal Department of Health says it has been “closely scrutinising this diet and book”. The department is “concerned about the inadequate nutritional values of some of the foods, in particular for infants, and is investigating further,” a spokeswoman tells the AWW. The World Health Organisation says the only safe alternative to breast milk for babies is commercial formula.
The AWWW reports that in a foreword to the book, Evans implies the diet may help prevent autism, birth defects, behavioural and digestive disorders, rashes and asthma. It says a disclaimer in the back of the book states: “Although we in good faith believe that the information provided will help you live a healthier life, relying on the information contained in this publication may not give you the results you desire or may cause negative health consequences.”
In a statement, Pan Macmillan Australia says the book’s publication has been delayed but not recalled, referring to earlier reports. “The publisher will be making no further comment at this time,” it says. Pete Evan’s website and the publisher’s webpage for the book have crashed or been taken down, and the chef has made no comment on his Facebook page. The Channel 7 star is in Victoria as part of his national The Paleo Way tour.
(Images via Facebook)