I don’t spend a lot of time in CrossFit gyms, so I missed the memo that eating massive slabs of meat is the new cool diet trend among people I avoid like the plague. I’d heard of Paleo, of course, and ketogenic diets, which involve focusing on protein and fat, respectively. But the “carnivore diet”—whose adherents call themselves “bitcoin carnivores”—is a whole new level of awful. (I think I just inadvertently discovered a new diet in which the mention of “bitcoin carnivores” makes me lose my appetite.)
The Guardian traces this diet to Shawn Baker, a 51-year-old bodybuilder and trained orthopedic surgeon who calls himself the “Carnivore King.” He says he eats about four pounds of steak each day as part of his diet, which includes only meat, offal and eggs, and no plant-based foods. He’s racked up an enthusiastic social media following eager to follow his simple diet advice. “I just have to think ‘how hungry am I and how many steaks do I want to eat’,” Baker grunted at The Guardian’s reporter before dragging an entire wildebeest into his cave.
A subset of these carnivores has inexplicably drawn a link between an all-meat diet and cryptocurrency—this is like a bad MadLib—and dubbed themselves “bitcoin carnivores.” Motherboard attempts to describe their thought process: “For the Bitcoin carnivore, there is a kind of metaphysical parallel between decentralized digital ledgers and an imagined idea of what our ancestors ate, and by extension, how they lived.” One such bitcoin carnivore tells Motherboard “Bitcoin is a revolt against fiat money, and an all-meat diet is a revolt against fiat food.”
Uh, presumably the meat these guys are eating comes from a store, or a butcher, or somewhere—I don’t exactly see the Silicon Valley set hunting its own elk behind the bitcoin warehouses. So how is eating steak from a store a revolt against fiat money? I’d investigate, but then I’d have to spend more time thinking about this pseudoscientific junk diet.
In case we’ve forgotten, the medical community resoundingly endorses eating fruits and vegetables. But the carnivore diet’s devotees say that since giving those up in favor of just straight-up protein to the face, bro, they’ve reduced inflammations, increased libido, and sleep better at night. Motherboard then attempts to ask nutritionists about this high-fat, all-meat, no-plants diet, to which one responds that the idea is “too ridiculous to be covered.”