‘Why is everyone fat and stupid?‘ asks tell-it-like-it-is-don’t-hold-back academic Jordan Peterson in an interview about the massive changes that carnivory has brought to his life. (The answer appears to be, ‘because they don’t eat ZC’).
So Jordan Peterson, dashing anti-PC (political correctness, not Windows-based computers) intellectual, clinical psychologist-turned-media-darling (or ogre, depending on your politics) recently did an interview about his move to carnivory. It’s a fascinating interview, as you’d expect from Mr P, and I’ll use this blog post to sum it up and get an angle on it, in case you haven’t watched it yet.
Anyway, to begin with, why is it worth repeating the advocacy for ZC from this man? Because he has 1 million+ subscribers to his YT channel, and has clocked up over 50 million views of his videos, that’s why. He may not be a household name (no one else in my household would know him), but he’s certainly a fully-fledged ‘media academic’, maybe even one of those ‘thought leaders’ I hear so much about but cannot define. So if he sings the praises of ZC/carnivory, then many thousands of people in the western world will sit up and take notice.
As of early July 2018, Peterson had been LC for about two years, then keto for a year, then carnivore/ZC for two months. His primary motivation came from the experience of his daughter, whose arthritis had been so bad that she had had hip and ankle replacements as a teenager, as well as suffering from depression. Her autoimmune issues and depression both started to clear up under keto, and eventually she found that beef on its own was what brought her the most health improvements.
Peterson’s own journey began with LC, and there was an instant ‘non-scale victory’ – he stopped snoring after one week.Then, after a lifetime of waking up with great difficulty and in a miserable mood, he started waking up with ease. Peterson lost seven pounds in first month, and in the second month also, and carried on losing seven pounds a month for seven months. His psoriasis cleared up, his eyesight improved and he existed for a year without anti-depressants.
So for many in the world of ZC/carnivory this is hardly surprising: person goes LC, then VLC/keto, then ZC; mental health improves, autoimmune improves, skin conditions improve, excess weight melts away…
Both Peterson and his daughter were, in their own ways, extremely unwell. Any change for the better would be a godsend, but being the clever chap that he is, Peterson is able to put forward one or two ideas that may be of interest to us ZCers who study the subject (we all do, don’t we?) and who have people around us who need to improve their health (we all have some of those, don’t we?).
The most interesting was the idea that putting on fat might be a kind of defence mechanism against the constant consumption of nutritionally empty yet slightly toxic food. This is not Peterson’s idea, but nor is it one that gets much exposure either.
Basically the lack of nutrients – Blake Donaldson would say the 10 amino acids – makes the body go into a form of starvation mode. Peterson said, ‘Toxic caloric intake buffered by whatever fat is doing as a neurological-endocrine organ.’ He’s keenly aware, as a practising scientist, that all this is anecdotal, and is at pains to point this out, but also aware that nutrition science is so hard to do effectively that a lot of anecdotal evidence is no better or worse than the many epidemiological studies that have fuelled nutrition science over the years. Actually I’m saying that, not Peterson.
The ignorance of the interviewer, whoever he may be, isn’t too pretty, though: ‘As someone who has studied nutrition, I assume you need phytonutrients,’ he says in his western-food-dogma arrogance, making it easy for Peterson to point out the error of his assumptions (although, sadly, he doesn’t shout ‘assume makes an ASS out of U and ME!’)
So there you have it. This video has been mentioned all over the various FB carnivore groups, so it’s been hard to avoid, but if it’s passed you by, then: depressed man with autoimmune problems and carrying a bit too much weight ditches the carbs and finds relief.
Till next time.