James Blunt Got Scurvy After Only Eating Meat to Prove His Masculinity in College


Meat and mayonnaise, what more does a man need?

A lot more, as James Blunt found out the hard way. In an effort to become "the picture of masculinity," Blunt subsisted on a diet of only animal products while attending university and it did not go so well for him.

The "You're Beautiful" singer revealed on an episode of the Table Manners podcast that he ate only meat for so long that he contracted scurvy — yes, the disease commonly affecting sailors between the 17th and 19th centuries.

Blunt said he studied aerospace manufacturing engineering and sociology at the University of Bristol in the mid-90s, and while the former field was mostly populated by men, the latter was primarily full of women and he wanted to stand out.

"On the sociology side of things there were 170 girls and only three boys, of which all the girls were vegetarian or vegans," he told Table Manners host and fellow singer-songwriter Jessie Ware.

"So out of principle I decided I’d become a carnivore and just lived on mince, some chicken, maybe with some mayonnaise," Blunt continued. "And it took me about six to eight weeks to get very, very unhealthy and see a doctor, who then said, 'I think you've got the symptoms of scurvy.'"

When Blunt tried to rectify the situation, he made it worse on the opposite end.

"[My doctor] said, 'You are really lacking in vitamin C,' so then I took it upon myself to just drink a liter of orange juice every night — and then I immediately developed acid reflux," Blunt said.

"Food's not necessarily my forte," the Brit quipped.

After graduating, Blunt served in the British Army for several years, and began pursuing music in 2002 after he left the army. In 2016, the singer earned an honorary Doctor of Music degree from his alma mater.

Listen to the full interview above (scurvy segment begins around the 8:30-mark).

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