Who doesn’t like the term “clean eating?” It sounds right. It sounds healthy. It makes us sound like we have it all together and, by the looks of social media, having it all together is the goal.
Scroll through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and you’ll see posts trying to make everyonebelieve we have life figured out, we are eating right, we’re going on the right vacations and things couldn’t be better.
Clean eating is the marketing mantra of some trendy restaurants to sell their product and make their customers feel good about themselves. So, the rest of us who don’t toe the clean eating mark must be eating “dirty.” I must be eating dirty pork, dirty bread, dirty cheese and drinking dirty milk.
The lettuce, celery, peanut butter and popcorn must all be dirty as well. I guess I’m just a dirty eater consuming all kinds of evilness.
I’ll admit that two packages of cookies and a couple bags of potato chips for your daily breakfast is not a recommended healthy eating plan, but a diet of organic, non-GMO and gluten-and hormone-free is an unrealistic expectation of the everyday American consumer.
The reality is that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of Americans are overweight, and only one in 10 eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day. The poorest states eat even less than that.
If we are really concerned about consumers eating nutritionally rich foods, shouldn’t we be recommending a $1 head of lettuce, conventionally grown tomato, run-of-the-mill chicken and a salad dressing to go with their grilled cheese sandwich? Does it have to be a $10 clean salad?
Weight loss seems to be the big benefit to eating clean, but Trevor Kashey – a nutrition consultant for Complete Human Performance who holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry – says, “Yes, clean eating will usually result in weight loss, but not for the reasons you think.
“If you lose weight, it’s because you stopped eating comfort food and started eating leaves. That the leaves are organic or non-GMO have nothing to do with your weight loss.” Why? Because pesticides, GMOs and antibiotics, don’t impact the energy content of your food.
Wow – an amazing concept, that the caloric and energy content of your food is not dependent on GMOs, antibiotics, organically grown, pesticides or that cattle were finished in a feedlot or in someone’s back yard.
It sounds like the mantra needs to be changed from “clean eating” to “moderation.” Enjoy your desserts, but have some veggies, some whole grains and lots of dairy along with it.
Let’s not get caught up in the trendy food marketing ploys of those with large disposable incomes, but rather, let’s put the brain that God gave us to good use and allow moderation and balance to guide what goes in our gullet.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments for Melissa Hart may write to her in care of this publication.