Controversial Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson apparently believes that a “carnivorous” diet created by his daughter is responsible for curing his depression and an undiagnosed “autoimmune disorder” he can’t even name.
I learned about Peterson’s pseudoscientific beliefs, which could be dangerous if any of his fans decide to listen to him and treat their serious ailments with meat, from Kavin Senapathy on Twitter. She pointed out that Peterson was pointing people to his daughter’s Patreon page.
So, Jordan Peterson is sending people to his not-a-dietitian daughter’s patreon because, according to her and her dad, she’s “successfully” treating his depression with diet alone. Oh, and she just launched online consultations for the low, low price of $ 120 CAD per hour. pic.twitter.com/Y17ZQze3Wh
— Kavin Senapathy (@ksenapathy) July 26, 2018
Senapathy said Peterson’s daughter also “claims to have cured herself of depression and all kinds of ailments with diet alone,” so I decided to do some research. I first saw a September blog post by Peterson’s daughter, Mikhaila, in which she describes how her meat diet improved his life.
Dad suffered from a number of health problems. He had GERD [Gastroesophageal reflux disease], minor psoriasis, mouth ulcers, fatigue and had an extremely hard time losing weight. He stopped eating desserts, went without sugar, and tried exercising. The worst health problem was severe depression. It seems to run in our family.
When I started figuring out my problems were caused by food, and my depression lifted, I convinced dad to go on the same diet. The first year he lost 50 pounds. No joke. He lost about a pound a week. I know this sounds extreme but he’s eating well. We eat a lot and we definitely don’t calorie count. All his minor health problems went away, and he seemed to age backward. No joke, check out his previous YouTube videos (2014 ish) compared to 2016-2017’s. The depression has been harder to get under control but it’s under control too. He doesn’t nap either.
Mikhaila describes her dad’s diet in detail, but I’m more interested in the extreme health-related claims she’s making. She’s saying a diet got her dad’s depression “under control,” and that he “seemed to age backward” as a result.
Next, I found a video from February of this year in which Peterson himself is interviewed by Joe Rogan about “diet and health.” Peterson describes the diet as nothing but “meat and greens,” and said it fixed his “autoimmune disorder” that he’s “battled with for a long time.”
Peterson: Both my wife and I have autoimmune illness, and my daughter…
Rogan: What kind of autoimmune illness?
Peterson: I don’t know, exactly, what it is.
Rogan: What fixed it?
Peterson: All I eat is meat and greens. That’s it. No juice, no vegetables, no carbohydrates. Meat, greens, that’s it… that seems to have fixed it.
Peterson goes on to tell a sympathetic Rogan all about Mikhaila’s blog, Don’t Eat That, which argues that “many (if not most) health problems are treatable with diet alone.” This really isn’t a new revelation, because Peterson has actually appeared alongside his daughter to talk about diet curing depression and other ailments. An article published last month similarly says Peterson and his daughter “swear by a carnivorous diet for turning their health and their lives around.”
So, this information has been out there, but I didn’t hear about it until I read Senapathy’s tweet. That’s because, aside from the articles and videos I just described, there isn’t much out there about the Petersons and their diet based on woo.
It’s not like this is the most offensive thing Peterson has said, but it’s definitely one of the most dangerous, especially considering he’s known for having a flock of die-hard disciples that treat his words like gospel.