No Need To Eat Clean
By Northern Munkee
Hot food trends that are supposed to keep you healthy. Not to say that there’s no truth in any of it, but it’s always good to take food fads with a pinch of salt if they promise you a world of fitness and wonder. Too much of one thing is only going to hurt you, and the best way to live is simply with a balanced diet packed with nutrition. You can be a contributor to that yourself and fight off the fads, and make money while you’re at it, rent a commercial kitchen and launch your own food company full of beneficial and nutritious treats… Or you could play it evil and make a new useless food fad yourself! That’s entirely up to you. I won’t judge.
We are the post-MTV generation meaning that we still have a short attention span and demand to be fulfilled by a wide variety of information and entertainment but we now demand that satisfaction instantly. This evolution does not just affect our lust for entertainment but also the way that we consume our diets. Healthy eaters have become nothing more than collectors of fads. If you’re addicted to Instagram and Twitter like me then all you need to do is follow the hashtag tides to understand what the latest fickle Food fad looks like. In recent times we’ve been paleo-promoting cavemen, falsely-fussy flexitarians and smugly-sharing clean eaters to name just a few. It is the latter of these fads that I want to join the food antidisestablishmentarians in dispelling.
I’m not completely opposed to fads per se as these mini moments are fundamental to catalysing change and I’m proud that we’ve come through the punitive dieting mentally and started celebrating what’s good in food rather than the bad that we’ve taken out. However clean-eating is founded in pseudo-science punted by armchair Freudians with a secret stash of Spam and Heinz Beans & Sausage for comfort so I feel it needs a bashing! Clean-eating is a foodie fad that promotes eating raw, unprocessed foods as well as avoiding gluten, GM and other perceived chemicals.
As a principle I get why this has become popular but they do say a little knowledge is dangerous and this is certainly the case here. Let’s look at the raw element of clean eating for a second and explain why this is nothing more than trendy nonsense: cooking changes food and, in most cases, for the better. Not only does it improve taste but it also makes the nutrients available in the food more accessible and more easily digested. So by chomping on a raw swede you’re probably avoiding the goodness rather than a terrifying man made process!
Gluten is a very hot topic at the moment and it’s fairly unloved. I am thankful that I am one of those 99% of Brits that isn’t a card-carrying coeliac however I am also one of the crows that chooses to evade gluten where possible. What I’m not about to do is where it on my sleeve as a status symbol; it’s not cool, stop doing it!
Finally, processed food is the devil. You know I actually endorse this one…to a degree. Processed food has a reputation for being laced with too much salt, too much sugar and too many frankenfoods. And it’s true what they say that there’s no smoke without fire (except for smoke machines). However lots of Foodies are doing a great deal to change perceptions of food categories that have a history of being heavily processed, such as ready meals. So I agree that processed food should be taken with a pinch (or a bucket) of salt in general but don’t just mistrust because a top-knot told you to do so!
So, I feel like I’ve had my rant but I also want to make it clear…I’m not anti-healthy eating but there’s certainly a right and a wrong way to do it. To explain my view I’ll take you back to earlier in this post where I said that I’m proud of the way that we no longer punish ourselves for the bad in food but celebrate the good in it; it’s that simple. Companies like Gym Food are pioneers of this way of thinking providing London with healthy, quality food that’s a celebration of the good in food rather than a witch hunt. Gym Food are one of our FoodStars member’s utilising the professional kitchen space we have to hire in one of our locations in Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Battersea, Kentish Town, Bermondsey and Vauxhall so we’re particularly fond of this slice of proper food advocacy!
So the next time a new hashtag emerges on the social check it out, sure, but beware it’s a flash in the pan (if we’re still allowed to use pans) and nothing beats a bit of proper cooking!