Alicia Silverstone is known for many things, like being an actress, star of Aerosmith videos, vegan, and champion for the environment. She is not, however, a licensed physician or even a wise shaman, though in her new book, The Kind Mama, she’s giving advice that has our experts seeing red and shouting, “As if!”
A few eyebrow-raising comments from the book include, “Bananas are a naughty food for a baby,” “Dairy leaves toxic sludge in your baby house (uterus),” “The diaper industry is fueled by corporate-backed pseudoscience,” and also, pretty much everything she talks about in the book is “yummy.”
We’ve been HERE before
This is not the first time the Clueless star has been in the news for her nontraditional parenting style. Wait, I didn’t mean to call her clueless, I meant she was in the 90s cult classic movie, Clueless. Actually, come to think of it, either way that sentence works. Anyway, there was that time she chewed up her toddler’s food and fed him from her own mouth, baby bird style. Then, she admitted to eating her own placenta after his birth. She didn’t just reach down, grab it and munch on it. It was in pill form, so it’s totally not weird.
Did she really just go there about infertility? Yep, she did.
I believe Alicia had good intentions when she wrote this book, but she has to know that some of her claims will be challenged. It’s widely known that our managing editor, Brandi Koskie, had infertility issues before giving birth to her daughter, so when she read Alicia’s one-size-fits-all fertility rule about simply “cleaning up your baby house,” “having lots of yummy sex,” and avoiding fertility drugs, she had a swift response:
“Doesn’t that just sound delightful and peachy keen? Well, I’m here to tell you that Alicia is delusional. After eating well and living a balanced, healthy life, and spending six years having lots of ‘yummy sex,’ that is hardly the recipe for at least one in seven couples, or 12 percent of women. I have a $20,000 receipt from the fertility clinic to prove my point. I don’t care if you’re my mother, the nice woman at the grocery store, or Alicia Silverstone herself, stop telling women to just relax, pray, be patient, and to have more sex! It does not always deliver the baby you’re hoping for and it’s beyond maddening to hear it more than once.”
Vaccines are not yummy, “anecdotally.”
Silverstone definitely poked the bear when she made the off-hand comment that “anecdotally” some babies are never the same after receiving a vaccination. “As a pediatrician, I know that there is nothing that I do for my patients that has more proven benefit than vaccinating them fully and on time,” said Dr. Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Editor for ABC News and author of Tell Me the Truth, Doctor, “I worry when celebrities cast doubt on vaccinations by citing the experience of friends rather than proven science. No one enjoys giving a child a shot. It is the tradeoff we make for preventing life-threatening and disabling diseases. We vaccinate to protect our children but also to protect those children and adults who are unable to get vaccinated due to their age or medical conditions.”
If pressed for comment, Alicia would probably say that this book is not intended to be used as a guide, and that she is simply offering up insight about what worked for her. Except that wouldn’t be entirely correct because the book literally tells the reader, “I’ll show you the way to have a luminous, present, ailment-free pregnancy.” This is not information to be bound and sold as advice, it’s something she should be talking about with friends while they sip organic smoothies and watch their children poop in the grass (her potty training method).
Vegans are Healthy, Not Magical
“Readers of The Kind Mama must understand that Alicia’s explanations of human physiology are complete conjecture,” explained resident dietitian Mary Hartley, RD. “While a diet loaded with processed foods and meat and devoid of vegetables is a problem, there is no evidence that those foods introduce toxic sludge into the uterus or that bananas are bad for the baby. A well-planned vegan diet is potentially healthy, but it is no cure-all for seemingly every condition known to man.”
Hartley also added, “Alicia is a great supporter of healthy living, but she has no training in nutritional science and her opinions are merely her own. She finds great joy in her dietary practices, and maybe you will too, but be careful because a sloppy version of her extreme non-Western Diet could be potentially unhealthy indeed.” Indeed!
April 25th, 2014