I imagine there are a lot of confused people among Pete Evans‘ social media audience right now.
They’d be the ones who hit ‘follow’ during a My Kitchen Rules ad break, or after their teenager announced they are ‘going paleo’. Or perhaps they stumbled across his name after googling ‘what are activated almonds?’
These men and women would be noticing that, over the past few weeks, the chef has been increasingly abandoning shots of delicious food and his own gleaming white teeth, in favour of political commentary and, frankly, alarming theories about COVID-19.
Watch: Pete Evans had to defend himself over a bone broth recipe for babies.
Among them, a post on his Instagram stories that claims we’ll soon see media articles about celebrities being diagnosed with coronavirus, but secret “code words” will reveal the truth. (More on that later.)
Yes, Pete Evans is finally free to say what he wants, and he’s letting loose. Way loose.
Recently sacked from his reported $800,000-a-year contract with Channel 7, the former judge/host of cooking competition show My Kitchen Rules is now able to spout his baseless theories without incurring the wrath of a publicity team or network management.
He managed to get a few by them during his decade-long association. You can read a full list here, but highlights include his dangerous suggestions that bone broth is a viable alternative to baby formula and that looking directly into the setting sun is one of “the best forms of free medicine”.
The Spill podcast goes inside Pete Evans’ breakup with Channel 7.
Perhaps Evans’ most infamous claim came in April when he promoted a $23,000 light machine (available for sale through his website) as a treatment for coronavirus. That Instagram video earned him a tongue-lashing from the Australian Medical Association and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, along with a $25,200 fine from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
This is a man with no qualifications in medicine, pharmacological science or dietetics.
This is a chef.
And right now, he’s at risk of becoming more dangerous than ever.
With no one’s reputation on the line but his own, Evans has stepped well beyond even his usual alternative health and wellness remit into the dark realm of global conspiracies. And he’s dragging his followers with him.