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Cookbooks

Controversial paleo cookbook for babies pulled before release

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Health experts say the caveman diet can be harmful to-- or even kill-- babies have been instrumental in stopping a baby paleo cookbook before it hit shelves.

Australian celebrity chef and wine promoter Pete Evans along with organic food blogger Charlotte Carr and nutritionist Helen Padarin were set to release the cookbook “Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way,” on Friday.

But the Australian health community has put a stop to the book’s publication after citing certain recipes would likely cause major harm to newborns.

"A baby may die if this book goes ahead," Heather Yeatman, president of the Public Health Association of Australia, told the Australian Women's Weekly. Pan Macmillan, the original publisher of “Bubba Yum Yum” has stated that the book’s publication is now “delayed.”

Though the book touted itself as a paleo guide for “New mums, babies and toddlers,” Yeatman cites a recipe made with chicken bones, chicken feet, mashed-up liver, and apple cider vinegar would contain unnecessarily high levels of vitamin A—up to 10 times the amount babies should be eating—which could promote infant hair loss and stagger development.

"The baby's growth and development could be impaired" if this was all he or she was drinking, Yeatman explained. Other recipes with “runny eggs,” “added salt” and complex ingredients were also cited as having the potential to “ruin” a young baby’s development.

Evans and his co-authors do not have medical degrees but in the book’s forward, the celebrity chef suggests that adhering to these recipes could prevent autism and other behavioral disorders, certain birth defects, asthma, among other ailments. The book reportedly does contain the disclaimer “relying on the information contained in this publication … may cause negative health consequences."

Evans defended himself and told News.com.au that the diet would be "the norm" in 10 years and paleo cafes were opening up "faster than McDonald’s."

Australia’s Department of Health is now reviewing the book and a spokeswoman told the Australian Women's Weekly that the department is "concerned about the inadequate nutritional values of some of the foods, in particular for infants, and is investigating further."