It took just one Instagram post for Pete Evans to find himself in hot water once again.
In December, the My Kitchen Rules judge shared a photo of himself basked in sunlight, writing that he liked to have a “brief gaze into the radiant light of the early rising or late setting Sun” because they were “two of the best forms of free medicine”.
While the post was praised by his devoted Instagram followers, it spawned a lot of online mockery — was Evans really advising his followers to stare into the sun? — and prompted the Australian Medical Association to issue a warning about Evans’ post.
But rather than be annoyed at the criticism, Evans told news.com.au he found it laughable that his post caused such a stir.
View this post on Instagram
Everyday I love to immerse myself in an experience within the cleansing ocean water as well as a brief gaze into the radiant light of the early rising or late setting Sun. These simple, yet powerful practices have got to be two of the best forms of free medicine on the planet for body, mind and spirit. #sungazing 🌞👁💦❤️
A post shared by Pete Evans (@chefpeteevans) on
“I think it’s hilarious that people are advocating that we shouldn’t appreciate a sunrise or a sunset,” he said.
“I mean, how warped is the reality of the world where medical professions are saying don’t look at a sunrise or a sunset because it could be bad for your health?
“Even today we have the mainstream media saying if we are walking to the bus we need to be lathering up in sunscreen every single day. I mean, is that not the most ludicrous thing that has ever been said in the history of humankind?”
Rather than feel frustrated, Evans believes the Australian “mainstream media” just hasn’t woken up and is decades behind the curve.
“Most of the information that I am sharing is coming from leading doctors and scientists from America, Canada and the United Kingdom,” Evans said.
“It’s very well accepted in those parts of the world, while Australia seems to be caught in this time warp of we’re about 20 years behind as far as our media seems to be, as far as what is considered common sense.
“So am I frustrated? I wouldn’t say frustrated, I find it very humorous.”
In fact, since two of his documentaries were picked up by Netflix — film T he Magic Pill and series the Paleo Way — Evans claims he has been inundated with messages from people which the “mainstream media” won’t report on.
“I just so many messages from people that said I’ve lost 50 kilos, I’ve lost 30 kilos, I no longer take diabetes medication for my type two diabetes,” Evans said.
“(Saying that) I not longer have any issues with auto-immune disease that I’ve had all my life and I’m feeling fantastic, and I’m no longer depressed and I no longer have anxiety. I get that each and every single day.”
Evans will be back on TV screens alongside judge Manu Feildel for the 10th season of My Kitchen Rules, which starts on Monday night.
He credits the show’s success to its formula of serving up something for everyone watching.
”There’s obviously the food; everyone can relate about food and love to learn more about food, whether it be the kids or adults or grandparents or whoever is watching… and then there is the voyeurism aspect of it where people love to see the different teams come together.”
While admitting he has been devastated to see some teams bow out early because of one bad dish, Evans says he has been happy with every winner who has been crowned.
“You just feel so much joy and emotion no matter who wins, whether they are people that you have gotten along with around the table or you haven’t,” he said.
He pointed out that “not always the most talented team wins, it’s the most determined that do,” explaining how many teams were often afraid to say during the first dinner party that they wanted to win.
“People are so funny they don’t want to say it; they’re a bit shy to say it. If you have a team that say, ‘We’re winning it no matter what,’ you see how determined they are,” Evans said.
Despite MKR’s success, last year’s season divided fans, with some complaining on social media that there had been too much focus on the drama which saw Sonya and Hadil booted from the show for bad behaviour.
But Evans brushed off the criticism, saying it had come from only one pocket of the audience which was then picked up by media outlets.
“It’s interesting that mainstream media will focus on the comments of a few instead of many,” he said.
“I would never go onto social media and say anything about the show, but there are certain people that take great joy in actually being heard on social media, and trust me, I get a few on my page.”
The tenth anniversary season of My Kitchen Rules kicks off on Monday night at 7pm on Channel 7.