Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
I am pleased to report that the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has just listed my very own “The Primal Blueprint Cookbook” as one of the five worst (most unhealthy) cookbooks of 2010, along with cookbooks by Gordon Ramsay, Barefoot Contessa, Trisha Yearwood and the creators of Top Chef. Why am I glad to be the author of one of the worst cookbooks of the year, you might be wondering? Look who’s giving out the award. None other than the PCRM, home of such vaunted nutritional giants as Fuhrman, McDougall, Esselstyn, Barnard, and T. Colin Campbell and a celebrated bastion of vegan propagandists. This is Bizarro food world, guys, where “unhealthy” means “healthy” and “desiccated wheat grass smegma” means “grass-fed butter.” The PCRM official “New Four Food Groups,” for example, consist of whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. (Sugar’s still sugar, though.) Even the American Council on Science and Health nailed these guys for “emphasizing only data that support their [vegan] agenda” and “exaggerating the reliability and importance of such data.” They’re described as a “subtle” PETA who mistakes statistical significance for biological significance. With detractors like these, who needs supporters? If these guys are against your dietary recommendations, you’re probably doing something right, so I’m going to take this one as a win.
You know, I never expected to garner such acclaim, so I was completely taken aback by the deluge of press releases and coverage announcing my award that popped up on my feed. Those scoundrels didn’t even warn me I was about to win such an esteemed award. They just dropped it on me. Heck, they’re lucky I didn’t drop dead from a heart attack from the shock given all that atherosclerotic plaque that’s no doubt welling up inside!
Jokes aside, this tells me that we still have a lot of work to do. This exposure’s great, but where’s the Physicians Committee for Ancestral Medicine (hey, coming soon, maybe, actually) making press releases about the five most dangerous low-fat cookbooks? Why isn’t Bill Clinton toting a dog-eared copy of “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” onto talk shows, instead of following the advice of Dean Ornish? Where’s my spot on Oprah? Why doesn’t Robb Wolf have a show opposite Dr. Oz? People need to know this stuff. They need to know that butter maybe isn’t so decadent, or that maybe decadent isn’t even really a bad word. (As Susan Levin (nutrition education direction for PCRM and the woman responsible for the “New Four Food Groups”), admits, one of the reasons so many cookbooks have gone to this “unhealthy” extreme is that a lot of these recipes taste great. Point being, if it tastes great, it can’t possibly be good for you. Now go eat your porridge…)
This also tells me that we’re getting work done without the support of the experts. Heck, we’re getting things done despite rancor from some of the experts. Yeah, we may not be carried by Whole Foods in the check out section and vegetarian is still synonymous with healthy for most people, but things are changing. I can tell because I have to hit the farmers’ market an hour earlier than I used to if I want to stock up on pastured beef liver and soup bones, and because the success stories keep coming in week after week. I can tell because with nothing but the support of the Primal community and virtually no other publicity we’re atop the Amazon Low-Carb top seller list and listed with giants like Ramsay in this recent award. I can tell because blog traffic grows each month and because major media outlets are finally reporting on things we’ve been saying for years. Bottom line: if Primal/paleo is on their expansive radar, I take it as a good sign.
As they say, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” For every borderline vegetarian who reads the press release and mentally crosses me off their to-read list, several others will see me aligned with the likes of the Barefoot Contessa (who, you know, makes the most delectable delicious foods and I do like watching that show of hers) and Gordon Ramsay (who’s got the tough exterior going but it’s just a cover for his gooey baked brie center), and before you know it they’re checking out the PB cookbook, buying it, making some recipes, losing some weight, and getting interested in the rest of this stuff. They end up with all the back episodes of Robb’s podcast on their iPod, a Google reader feed full of Primal blogs, a triple-digit reputation on Paleohacks, and the tendency to annoy their friends with anti-grain talk. Even if just one ailing citizen gets exposed to the Primal Blueprint thanks to the PRCM singling out the PB cookbook, I’m happy, because that’s another person with a better chance to take control of their health and turn their life around.
There are numerous fun quotes from the press coverage. I’ll leave you with one of my favorites from NY Daily News: “Finally there’s a cookbook that, according to the doctors, ‘sets back evidence-based nutrition nearly 2 million years.’ It’s called ‘The Primal Blueprint’ cookbook and includes ‘an entire section of cholesterol-laden recipes for offal – entrails and internal organs.'” Indeed.