James Blunt was on an all meat diet for two months and got scurvy


I have a complicated relationship with James Blunt. Okay, I have no relationship with James Blunt, but my feelings about him are conflicted. He is among a small group of singers that I think have an amazing voice, but I don’t care for their music. However, he has reinvented himself as the Comeback King on Twitter and I can’t help but thaw on him. So that is where James and I stand currently, thawed (I’m sure to his great relief). In keeping with my conflicting feelings on James, I have the same thoughts about this story. James recently told The Times about how he got scurvy in college. I know – I also thought this was going to be some fabulous story about how James led a secret life as a pirate but no, he was flexing his machismo and adopted a meat diet that ended up giving him scurvy. So it was crap behavior on his part, but he’s confessing and laughing at himself. Once again, I’m thawing on him.

Blunt claims that he ate almost nothing but meat and condiments for two months while studying aerospace manufacturing engineering and sociology at the University of Bristol in the mid-1990s.

The eccentric diet was part of an effort to assert his masculinity as some of his degree classes were dominated by women, he indicated.

“On the sociology side of things there were 170 girls and only three boys, of which all the girls were vegetarian or vegans,” he said.

“So out of principle I decided I’d become a carnivore and just lived on mince, some chicken, maybe with some mayonnaise.

“And it took me about six to eight weeks to get very unhealthy and see a doctor, who then said, ‘I think you’ve got the symptoms of scurvy.’ ”

[From The Times via Jezebel]

Scurvy, for those who don’t know, happens when the body is deprived of and becomes severely deficient in Vitamin C, something we ingest through fruits and vegetables. It was very common among the seafaring professions (like pirates!) because ships couldn’t carry large amounts fresh produce. Fun fact, to combat scurvy, British sailors added lemon juice to their sea rations, which is why our forefathers gave them the pejorative nickname “limey,” because we Americans don’t know how to tell our citrus apart, apparently. Anyway, I think even James would say this served him right. However, I can’t say I haven’t fallen into the same trap. Not scurvy per se, but I like to go against the norm simply for the act of going against the norm. And, like James, it often bites me in the butt.

As for James’s dietary protest, it sounds like that Paleo diet that was so popular a few years back, or Atkins before it. It always *sounds* fun to eat all the bacon you want until you actually do it. I am not a vegetarian but if I was ever forced to choose between meat or fruits/vegetable, there is no question that I would choose the latter. Vegan would be hard for me because thinking about living a life without cheese makes me cry. But I’ll bet those Sociology ladies at James’ school really felt owned when he walked in on his bruised feet, flexing his scabby arms (but not far because his joints were swollen) and collapsed on to their desks due to anemia. They probably made him the focus of their senior thesis. They should have made him a pirate, though.

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28 Responses to “James Blunt was on an all meat diet for two months and got scurvy”

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  1. babsjohnson says:

    I hate his fkn music with a passion. So annoying.

  2. WilliamJoelene says:

    @hecate please dish on JB and JJ! I don’t know if I forgot about this or never knew!

    • Hecate says:

      OMGsh you guys, we are in the middle of a heatwave and the electric company is asking us to monitor our power usage to avoid blackouts so I have been working from an 85-90 degree office all week and my brain is melting. It was January Jones and Josh Grobin, not Blunt – I completely confused the two. I’m sorry!

      I worked in the sales office so we only interacted with them on the phone, but we always called down to the resort to get more scoop on folks.

      Again, sorry – I deleted that line.

  3. Nicole says:

    It’s early and I read scurvy as “curvy”. Needs moar coffee.

  4. Mtec says:

    All I got from this story is that he and his ego is/was threatened by smart women, couldn’t deal with that and overcompensated due to this internalized toxic masculinity. I dunno how this story was supposed to make him sound endearing or w.e. I’ve heard more than enough stories of him being an a-hole so, I still highly dislike him despite him being able to laugh at his past machismo 💁🏽‍♀️

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      Agreed. “I’m going to show those ladies I’m a real man by eating only meat!” Wtf. Dude, your female classmates dgaf what you eat. They’re busy studying while you’re getting scurvy.

  5. Lola says:

    I have it on good authority that James Blunt is a total twat in real life. The brother of a friend of mine was at school with him. Also, I was once in a London cab and the cabbie was a proper Camdener (Just imagine the cliche of a proper London geezer cabbie) and used to drive for lots of the people getting interviewed for the BBC. He was so friendly and an absolute delight. He told me that out out of all the celebrities he’d met in his 50 plus years as a cab driver that James Blunt was the most obnoxious and rude and unpleasant.

  6. Geeena says:

    Historically, the British Navy actually switched from lemons to limes because limes were thought to be better since they’re more acidic tasting, and they’re smaller so you could ship more of them, making limes a bit cheaper. However, limes don’t have as much vitamin c and there was a sudden resurgence of scurvy after the switch.

    So that’s why they were called Limeys. Not because we couldn’t tell lemons and limes apart.

  7. Ann says:

    This is a good way to get gout. Too much iron and B12 can also cause lots of blood and liver problems. He probably looked awful. Pail and kind of yellow at the same time. What a stupid thing to do lol

    Eta: I want to hear the January Jones resort stories too!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Oof what an oaf

  9. lucy2 says:

    Raise your hand if you believe that, in the 1990s no less, an aerospace engineering program was 170 girls (and all vegan/vegetarian!) and 3 boys. Sure, James.

    Also, why would he admit his reason? Makes him sound like he’s got a problem with women and was chock full of toxic masculinity.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Nah, he said that’s what he encountered in his sociology courses. That’s quite a mix of interests, engineering & sociology.

      • lucy2 says:

        Ah missed that, but still I doubt any class was that ratio, and that all of the girls were vegetarians to the point where he had to do what he did.

    • Kkat says:

      Ha my first husband and his father are both aerospace engineers. My ex got his degree in the early 90′s . Both at University’s and in the industry it was 95% male. We’re in southern California.
      So that ratio is total b.s.

  10. Heather H says:

    The Paleo diet is vegetable heavy. This is NOT the paleo diet. It is the carnivore diet, totally unrelated and there are folks out there who eat meat only or meat and fat only. Sort of a derivative of a strict keto but really it is it’s own thing.


    Just came to say that James Blunt looks great for his age, probably in part due to actually eating fruits and vegetables now haha. I agree with the assessment—gorgeous voice, meh/irritating music.

  12. Eleonora says:

    Eating vegetarian more and more.

    I feel good

  13. Lunasf17 says:

    He must have been so Constipated as well! What an awful diet. My husband’s cousin lost like 100 pounds doing an Atkins type diet but ended up getting gout and regaining some of the weight because it’s not sustainable to just eat meat. We need fresh fruits and veggies and variety in our diets.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      He probably was constipated lol.

      Just wanted to say that very low carb can be healthy & sustainable. I’ve been doing keto for several years now (under 20-25 net carbs per day). I eat even more veggies than before starting keto & it’s been great for my health. The problem I think a lot of people (mostly men, in my experience lol) have is that they don’t allow for variety. It’s not just all bacon, steak & cheese all the time. I’ve also tried a vegan diet in the past, which was great, but it was much tougher to go to restaurants or eat at people’s houses. And I hated feeling like I had to bring my own food to make sure I could eat something. Doing keto, I’ve always been able to eat without feeling like I was inconveniencing anyone.

  14. MarcelMarcel says:

    This line tho- “some fabulous story about how James led a secret life as a pirate”… I definitely wish more celebrities had secret lives as pirates!
    As a lover of Persephone I’ve always been cautious about Hecate. But your wit is totally warming me up to your namesake!

  15. Jaded says:

    I’d rather listen to nails on a chalkboard that his screeching voice. He’s got quite the reputation as being an arrogant tool and apparently he’s not the brightest star in the firmament either.

  16. Alex says:

    I was a kid when this guy made his debut with that one song, Beautiful, and even then I thought he was a tool. Glad my child-instincts were so spot on.

  17. ClaireB says:

    To me, he sounds like Rod Stewart, and I intensely dislike both their voices. So I’m happy to know that he’s also a douche and I’m not missing anything.

  18. Snazzy says:

    He’s pretty funny on Twitter too

  19. JillyBean says:

    Yup . Horse shit about all the females in engineering in general- ten percent of class size at best. Female iron ring here who works with loads of folks in the field all over the world…

    And his music absolutely sucks