This is an episode of MOLD’s podcast, Food Future. Listen here.

On this episode of Food Futures, Ludwig Hurtado dissects the Liver King and his rise to infamy with contributor Jack Bachmann.

Interview of Jack Bachmann by Ludwig Hurtado.

Last year, Jack wrote a piece for MOLD diving into the phenomenon of  the Liver King, a 45-year old social media influencer based in Texas named Brian Johnson who has gained popularity for documenting his unique lifestyle and raw meat diet. After the piece was published, it has come to light that Johnson was using steroids to achieve his physique— something he publicly credits to his carnivorous diet. Jack explains how this turn of events is hardly surprising, but rather, illuminates the harmful implications of the Liver King’s lifestyle and those who subscribe to it.

Although steroids are alarmingly popular amongst fitness influencers, the Liver King’s rejection of chemical assistance is an extension of a greater rejection of modernity, one rooted in the mythos of the “ancient man” and its underlying tenets of hyper-masculinity. While Liver King’s critique of the modern diet holds merit in examining its harmful effects on the climate and our bodies, this approach to eating raw meat offers a return to misogyny under the veil of wellness. 

Celebrities such as Heidi Montag and Jordan Peterson are public proponents of the diet, ingesting under the  belief that it corrects chemical imbalances between men and women. This has resulted  in health complications and hospital visits for both of them. While the benefits and drawbacks of a raw meat diet are widely debated, both Ludwig and Jack agree that this approach to eating takes the joy out of food and transforms it into fuel and technology.

Listen to this episode to hear Ludwig and Jack dive into the contradictions of the Liver King, the flavour of masculinity he represents and the implications of the raw meat diet trend here.