Has anyone seen this weeks Spectator front cover?

There’s something very familiar looking in the hand of the cartoon- not sure it’s very flattering though! (You have to scroll down here).

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:open_mouth: That lady sounds as though she has (as my father would have put it) an axe to grind…

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To be fair I haven’t listened to the podcast, I’ve only read the summary, but I’m already doubting it’s content:


I don’t remember being promised superpowers. I’m pretty sure I’d be much more disappointed with Huel if I had been…


…but surely this is a good thing, given the fact that there’s definitely a wider phenomenon of fat males… (not just males, but still…) I could see how some people might argue that this is a bad thing on the basis of fat-shaming (don’t get me started on how inaccurately the term “fat shaming” gets used), but I didn’t think the spectator was that kind of paper

(ufortunately I’ll never know what her actual argument is, since it’s behind a paywall. Well, a “register-wall” but still, too much effort…)



I mean, maybe that does all sound a bit dramatic. Maybe climate scientists have it wrong (honestly, I’m not a denier but I’m open to the idea that they’ve got it somewhat wrong, mainly based on the ideological nature of the conversations that seem to be going on) Maybe reducing plastic usage isn’t really necessary. Maybe - but it’s easy to sow doubt, it’s much harder to build a compelling argument that there’s any particular benefit to possibly contributing to climate change (where an eco-friendly option is available), or that it’s a good thing that so much plastic gets wasted, or that it’s a good thing to live on ready meals and takeaways (the main foods that Huel is really aiming to replace if we’re being fair - if you routinely make your own healthy food already you’ve really no need to switch to Huel)

I don’t know who this Lara Pendergast is, and I can’t hear the podcast for the same reason of @danliking. I hope the podcast was made also hearing the Huel opinion, or some expert of nutrition, not just of some random “Youtuber” (is Youtube the new University? lol). So I might be wrong on the opinion I made myself. It seems to me it’s always the same problem of blaming the tool and not the people.
I too think there might be a bit of extremism in the explosion of weird diets and supplements (still, better than being obese or dead at 50), and overestimation of the impact of food on some illness (I’ve read a document yesterday blaming food for hiatal hernia, :joy:) but the problem is not Huel or similar products. It’s like saying the Internet is bad because there are crimes or fake news. The problem is always the people using the tool in a bad way.

I think the impact of humans on the planet is a scientific fact which cannot be denied unless only being interested in profit, so ANYTHING that goes in the direction of mitigating it or solving some problems is good. I’m seeing more and more “opinions” against environmentally friendly politics, always criticizing some aspects that are indeed problematic, but one thing is saying “this thing is good, we just need to solve the problems”, another is “hey, that’s bullshit because there’s that single problem”.
If we want to solve the big issue, we can’t stop at the first obstacle. We don’t say “hey, our world is polluted, but that solution has a problem, so let’s keep the world polluted”. No, we remove the obstacle and go on saving the World, as Bill Nye would say. :smiley:

That said I use Huel because is good to drink, because I believe it’s healthy and because the team is nice and professional. So what?

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Oh actually the article talks about it https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/08/why-are-modern-men-obsessed-with-self-improvement/

It’s behind a paywall, unfortunately. :slight_smile:

Not for me it’s not, maybe there’s a limit on articles?

I don’t think profit is the only reason why some people deny climate change as a result of human actions, although I will add that this isn’t the same as saying “profit is not a reason why anybody would deny climate change” - I don’t dispute that there are people/companies who have this motive.

There are also a lot of people who genuinely distrust the scientists who come to a consensus on climate change due to the way they typically deal with “dissenters”, especially those who do have a scientific background. There’s a feeling that the climate change consensus is more of an echo chamber, similar to the echo chambers that exist on the left and the right of politics at the moment (neither side admitting that they have one, of course).

I think to a certain degree they’re probably right - I don’t think climate change is 100% (or even as much as 50%) pseudoscience but any kind of science that develops in a system where it is not allowed to be questioned is likely to have some sort of error - the absolute best argument I’ve heard on this is from Bret Weinstein, and he’s a lot better at making it than I am, since he genuinely is a scientist and understands the scientific process a lot better.

However, like Bret Weinstein I also don’t think the risk that the doomsday predictions are all wrong is one worth taking. Despite being somewhat skeptical of those predictions I still think there’s utility in cleaning the planet up, and there’s not really a downside, whereas there’s a pretty big downside to air pollution, plastic in the seas etc, whether or not we’re literally destroying the world.

Sorry I wasn’t clear enough, I wasn’t referring to climate change, but the overall impact of humans on the planet (like plastic or vehicles pollution, deforestation and so on). I have my opinion on climate change, but I didn’t want to open a debate here. :slight_smile: What I meant is that noone can deny that we are putting our future at risk (I’m not one of the “Earth is dying” supporter, the Earth will survive and life will go on as always, as all the catastrophic events of the past demonstrated - but humans may not).

Don’t know, I even tried to access from a fake UK location, to avoid geo-blocking. :slight_smile: What do you think of the article, if you were able to read it?

I found it quite an amusing read, and she does have a point. There is a level of hysteria amongst some men these days. I have friends who endlessly bore me with frequent mentions of how they don’t drink alcohol, or how much better they feel having gone to the gym, all touted at a time when I happen to be doing the opposite. I live my life in moderation. I enjoy a drink, I used to smoke (and may still do occasionally if you got me drunk enough), I like big dirty Burgers and chocolate ice cream…

I also however like not being fat, not being ill, love swimming, love riding my bike, going for walks etc etc.

I’m on Huel pretty much because I can add credit to my system where the occasional Donner Kebab debits. And save the world a little bit along the way :slight_smile:


Ok, I’ve managed to read the article (the web-developers were nice enough to not obfuscate the code, so while in the browser I hit for some reasons a paywall, the text is perfectly readable in the page source. Kudos to their genius :smiley: ).

I have to admit I could easily spend my time better. :smiley: Even if I agree with the point, as I said before there is madness around nutrition and fitness (and I hate it), her opinion is a serie of generalizations and nonsense that rival the madness of the guy “not eating”.

  1. I agree a guy going out for a date and saying “I don’t eat” is, as we say in Italy, a coglione (douchebag? asshole? untranslatable). But it’s just a funny story. The vast majority of men eating Huel wouldn’t do that, so it’s not something you can use to demonstrate Huel-like stuff is bad. Again, blame the people, not the tool.

  2. “I’ve tried it and it is disgusting — gruel, essentially, in smart packaging.”
    Oh, ok, so you don’t like and that automatically defines a product. That’s high journalism. :smiley:

  3. I’m not at all a feminist or a great supporter of #MeToo, but her defense of Trump and Weinestein is, well…embarrassing to say the least. It’s true that men in our society are living a period of uncertainty and change due to many positive aspects of women emancipation, and we’ll have to find new balances, but that doesn’t mean we should be aggressive or rapist. Alpha males besides being a myth (I’ve seen a very interesting TED video on that), are definitely more annoying and worse for the category than who goes to the gym or eats Huel.

That said, I agree with @tomlee80 on the subject: for me moderation is the way. I think we have to live better, healthier and think more about our environment, but we can’t become from day to night superhumans or androids. Life is made to be enjoyed too. (I don’t drink or smoke, but because I hate the taste and not being in control. Regarding sex, well, that’s not all my choice :joy: ).


Well spotted!

Yeah, anyone who agrees to go on a date for dinner and then announces that they don’t actually eat or drink, doesn’t have their head screwed on. Unless he really is that obsessive about going 100% Huel, it kinda sounds like an excuse to save a bit of money - maybe even pay nothing in these progressive times when paying for a woman’s meal might be seen as old fashioned.

Otherwise I think she has some possibly good points about the motives of some people who are really into these new trends, but I think there are very, very few people who actually fit into the nice little caricature of “masculinity in 2018” that she’s created.

by the way, I’ve just found out I can listen to the podcast. I’m just using Castbox rather than the spectator website directly. There’s ads on castbox, but no paywall


I also think Huel isn’t marketed specifically towards one type of person. There’s a huge spectrum of people on this forum from gym bunnies to folks just looking to make their nutrition intake as easy and convenient as possible. We are as varied as people who eat food!


I’m listening now (see the end of my last comment). Lara Pendergast is pretty much just reiterating her article so far, the guy is a fitness youtuber, apparently he made video content for Jamie Oliver for a while, I’m not sure if that means he has nutrition expertise credentials in itself or not :stuck_out_tongue:

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TL;DR Her healthy, attractive date wasn’t interested in her and she’s trying to come to terms with her rejection by calling him a narcissist and having a go at his dietary choices.

I’m not entirely sure how she somehow confused the pursuit of self-improvement with narcissism, but that probably says more about her than anything else. Her article just seems to be nothing more than an ego stroking, misandric rant.


Yes, I also thought it said a lot more about her than it did about her subject!


Agreed, @Africorn and @HarryTuttle.
The article was terrible, incredibly one sided, basically a rant. Maybe that’s her style. Or maybe she used to work for the Mail. If I was Huel I’d be suing by now! Having a mooch around I see an article about her entitled “We’re increasingly living in our own echo chambers”. Rather than being the observation about her that, having read her “all men are narcissists” article, you might expect, it’s actually a quote from her.


The interesting thing is that, this being a spectator article, the ultimate blame seems to be on the Me Too movement and other left wing things. It seems to be suggesting that men are all helpless little boys who, when confronted with the horrible actions of a few men and accusations of a culture of “toxic masculinity”, all devolve into narcissists because we can’t help it.

It’s just a really bizarre argument to read…

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I’m anxious about telling friends that I’ve started drinking Huel so this kind of publicity really doesn’t help, but as soon as I read the article I saw it has no credibility. It’s your typical opinion piece designed to generate some outrage, web traffic, and ad revenue. If only us humans were better at ignoring cheap nonsense like that we’d all be better off.

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Don’t take it to heart, folks. It’s a criticism of hyper individualism. Huel is still good.

I think the author has a lot of salient observations and has tapped into something of the moment — there’s a lot in that article that I see in the world right now and in myself — and lot of it isn’t good.