Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Attacking Clean Eating

Here's another attack on clean eating. While it's possible to take anything to extremes that become harmful, I think most of the problem here is that just finding edible food in today's foodstream requires going to extremes. If you cross off high-fructose corn syrup, for instance, there goes 90-95% of the store's contents. If you want unprocessed food, you get part of the produce section, part of the meat section, and very little else. If you need gluten-free, allergen-free, or organic food then you are restricted to one tiny section. The rest of the food exists but is not safe for you to eat. Plus you're paying half again to twice as much for real food as for ultraprocessed junk, which puts a burden on your budget.

What I don't see much of is anyone attacking the foodstream itself. Why is it so hard to find food that people consider safe? If they are actually having mental problems related to dietary choices, would they have those same problems if they were surrounded not by junk food but by fresh produce and meat (free of any harmful contaminants) at affordable prices? The blame falls on individuals, but the fault is a system that mass-produces mostly food that is bad for people, and also makes most people so poor and rushed that it is difficult for them to eat a healthy diet.

Since the article didn't do a great job of defining what clean eating is, here are some basic principles, do's and don'ts, and a shopping list. I also like "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." You don't have to eliminate everything else, but if you fill most of your diet with this type of food, it will be a healthy diet.

Now compare that to medical guidelines for a healthy diet. These also aim for more whole foods high in nutrients, preferably fresh, and less junk food. The details may vary from one reference to another, but the core concepts largely overlap.

So that means the food police are screaming at people no matter what they eat or don't eat. There is no unmarked case. Whatever you eat, someone will tell you that you're bad for it. Almost all of them also tell you to "consult your doctor" about diet and exercise, instead of making your own life choices.

This is the point where it's time to say "FUCK YOU" and just eat what feels right for your body. Does eating the thing make you feel good? Eat the thing! Does eating the thing make you feel bad? Don't eat the thing. Eat some other thing. Don't listen to other people who rag on you about your food, your body, or your irritating tendency to think for yourself. Raggers gonna rag. It is your body. It is your mind. You decide what to put into it, or not. Make the best choices you can with the resources available to you.  They may not be the same as someone else's choices, and that is fine.
Tags: food, networking, safety
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