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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Clean eating and dirty burgers: how food became a matter of morals

Julian Baggini
The Guardian
Originally published July 17, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

Perhaps the clearest proof that the way we talk about food is saturated with moralism is the ubiquity of the term “guilt”. Marketing departments have seen the power of this and promoted “guilt-free” snacks and treats. This promises an escape from self-recrimination but simply reinforces it by suggesting that eating the “wrong” kinds of foods does and should make you feel guilty. Hence Madeleine Shaw’s Ready Steady Glow contains a section on “self-love” which includes “forgiveness”, begging the question as to why exactly we need to forgive.

These ways of talking are so embedded in our culture that it is tempting to think they are natural and harmless. But they are neither. The writer Bee Wilson has examined the way we learn to eat from birth. “The moralising language around food encourages us to eat in ways which are both less pleasurable,” she told me, “and also actually less healthy.”

The article is here.