Gamba player publishes meat-free cookbook

Gamba player publishes meat-free cookbook


norman lebrecht

November 12, 2015

Lucy Robinson, virtuoso and Cardiff teacher, says she cured her depression in her 20s by giving up meat and grains. She grows her own food and has been enthusing students with her recipes, now collected.

Read more here.

lucy robinson

Next episode: Lutenist loves lamb chops.


  • Alexander says:

    Depression is a serious illness. Claiming that it can be cured by following a restrictive diet is really, really irresponsible.

    • John says:

      Saying that, if it works for some people, then why not give it a go?

      • Alexander says:

        Is there any scientific evidence to suggest that excluding meat and grains from one’s diet can cure depression? I find it hard to believe that there is. Certainly during the period of nine years when I was treated for depression by three GPs, two psychiatrists, two psychotherapists, and two counsellors nobody suggested to me that a meat-free, grain-free diet was a possible cure. Moreover, meat and grains are two of the most important elements in almost all people’s diets, so it is hard to see how they could really be connected with any sort of illness, excluding, say, coeliac disease, where extreme exhaustion caused by malnutrition could appear to be similar to some symptoms of depression, or could indeed cause depression. Actually, I have even heard of people who claim to have felt less depressed after giving up a vegetarian diet, which they attribute to a higher level of iron in their diet. I suspect that the truth is that any correlation is simple coincidence, but that it’s possible to suggest to oneself that a change in diet, or any other change in behaviour, could be the cause of alleviation of symptoms. It’s definitely possible that somebody could change their diet as part of an effort to improve their quality of life and that that effort could also bring about an improvement in mental health that coincides with the change of diet but is not caused by it. But I really cannot believe that removing two important sources of nutrition from one’s diet could possibly improve mental health.

        • John says:

          I cannot help but agree with what you have written. Despite this, some people do find solace in small changes like this and I am not sure writing a book about it is necessarily irresponsible.

          • Alexander says:

            No, it’s the media reporting that seems irresponsible. If she believes that this is what worked for her she is perfectly entitled to say so. But I think a responsible journalist would be a bit more circumspect about reporting it completely uncritically.

    • sixtus says:

      At least her vegetarianism is not “political.” After all, gamba strings, of which there can be many, are made from lamb intestines.

  • Peter Freeman says:

    She is not vegetarian, Sixtus, unless she also gives up fish, poultry and cheese made with slaughter-derived rennet.

  • Oliver Khlozov says:

    There are as many diet systems as orchestral instruments. Trial and error is the best method.