Celebrity chef Pete Evans is forging ahead with a paleo cookbook for babies, despite warnings some of its recipes – including a make-at-home infant formula – may pose a health risk.
Publisher Pan Macmillan this week announced it had completely pulled the pin on Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way for Babies, Toddlers and New Mums. It had already put the book “on hold” after medical experts raised concerns about its recipes last week.
Just hours later, My Kitchen Rules judge Evans, along with co-authors Charlotte Carr and Helen Padarin, announced on social media they had struck a deal with a digital publisher to instead release it as an e-book.
“Charlotte, Helen and I are thrilled to announce that Bubba Yum Yum The Paleo Way will be a proudly independent digital worldwide release in April with print to follow. We didn’t want to wait, too many people are wanting this beautiful treasure trove of nutritional recipes and we are extremely thankful to all our followers and colleagues for their support,” Evans writes on Facebook.
The Public Health Association of Australia has warned that the book’s formula recipe – made of liver and bone broth – contains 10 times the safe maximum daily limit of vitamin A for babies. It also includes added salt in recipes and recommends avoiding fruit, and fluoride in drinking water. The paleo diet is big on meat, nuts and berries, but bans all grains, dairy and pulses. In a foreword to the book, Evans reportedly implies the diet may help prevent autism, birth defects, asthma and behavioural disorders, among other things.
“In my view, there’s a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead,” president Professor Heather Yeatman told the Australian Women’s Weekly last week. “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.” The federal Department of Health is also investigating the book.
But Evans has been undeterred by the controversy, adding on Facebook: “A huge thank you also goes out to all the media for them helping to raise awareness about this over the last week, we hope you continue to do more of the same. Keep up the great work promoting paleo. Xo.”