Zoe Harcombe and Glynis Barber

Dr Zoë Harcombe addresses your questions

Glynis BarberDiet & Nutrition, Health 2 Comments

I recently posted a video interview with Dr Zoë Harcombe called “How nutritious are vegetables really?”

A lot of the information Zoë shared was news to me and I knew it would it get a big reaction from people. Specially from vegans and vegetarians. We’ve all been brought up to believe that there is nothing on earth more nutritious than a vegetable. But Zoë showed this is not supported in the data. As she keeps saying, this is not her opinion but simply the given nutrients in each food type. The simple facts.

Animal produce has way more nutrients than fruit and vegetables

I can honestly say I had no idea and was just as shocked as everyone else. There were a few points in particular that Zoë made that got people hot under the collar.

Dairy and olive oil got people really riled up

In the video below, I sit down with Zoë to talk through these these points in further detail.

We also talk about the production of milk and besides it’s high nutritional content, there’s also the question of the cruelty in removing newborn calves from their mothers. Zoë talks about how she gets all her dairy from a local farm in Wales where the calves are left with their mothers. This is an important factor for me and I know will be for many of you, so I’ve had a trawl of the internet to try and find some more farms that produce milk in a humane way. I found quite a few but they were all far from London where I live. I suggest you do the same and find one near you.

The only one I found for London (and I’m sure there must be more) was Daylesford Organic Farm. They’re in the Cotswolds but have shops in London and also do home deliveries. Their milk is organic and the calves are kept with their others for the first 5 days (I know, I wish it was longer too) but are then fed with their mother’s milk for the next few months.

Here’s the link to the farm in Wales that Zoë uses:

Mead Farm

After filming our video, Zoë contacted me with some further information about olive oil. There is supposedly a hugely fraudulent industry whereby even oils marked as extra virgin are, in fact, diluted with less healthy oils. Here is a link to some of the story:

Olive oil scam

In the video Zoë mentions ORAC which is a guide to the nutrition found in foods. There are quite a few sites for this but Zoë has supplied this one with the nutritional value of olive oil. You can do some research and check out the value of all the foods she mentions.


People also asked me about fibre, antioxidants and polyphenols and we didn’t get to it in the video. I have therefore asked Zoë to give me the information on these here.

She has sent me a link to a lecture that she gave on fibre and I can honestly say this blew me away even more than her revelations on vegetables. Hold on to your seats:

What about fibre?

Here is Zoë’s response about antioxidants and polyphenols:

“You wouldn’t eat meat to get antioxidants and polyphenols – you eat meat to get what you actually need – essential fats, complete protein, vitamins and minerals.

The talk of antioxidants and polyphenols is part of the pro plant narrative. Because plants can’t compete for the nutrients that we actually need (essential fats, complete protein, vitamins and minerals), the talk focuses on other stuff that plants deliver (better than animal foods) like antioxidants and polyphenols. It just changes the goal posts to justify eating plants. You won’t lose your eye sight if you don’t consume polyphenols – you will if you don’t get retinol – as happened to me when I was vegetarian.

The plant narrative also doesn’t mention stuff in plants that can impair absorption of nutrients that we need. Oxalates in green leafy vegetables, tea, beans, nuts, beets—can bind to calcium and prevent it from being absorbed. Phytates (phytic acid) in whole grains, seeds, legumes, some nuts—can decrease the absorption of iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium.

Antioxidants and polyphenols aren’t necessary if you’re getting the nutrients from meat.”

This is a lot to take in as it’s VERY different from what most of us have been led to believe in the last few decades.

Now find out what Zoë has to say this time around in our new video, as she answers your questions.

Share the knowledge!

Comments 2

  1. I found your article very interesting. In recent years we’ve been led to believe a diet full of fruit and veg was healthy. And that meat was full of fat.

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