Mario Sironi "Il pescivendolo" 1927
Food and Drink

Eat Well, Be Good

On the spectrum of obsessions and eating disorders, orthorexia resides, at least in the minds of most people, in a blurry end zone somewhere between the inconvenient and the slightly ridiculous. They can’t really see how a fixation on eating healthy is anything more than overindulgence in self-discipline. I suspect some may even think that in confessing his condition (men seem to be more prone than women), the orthorexic is playing a joke on them, or making a ploy for pity as hollow as the magnate’s claim of the burdens of wealth or the model’s cross of beauty. “Oh, you’re obsessed with eating well, how awful for you!” they might say, with a hint of a smirk on their face. In a society in which three out of every four adults are overweight, the orthorexic’s fixation on eating healthy is arguably an affront to even mention as a problem.

I only write about it  because I find it an intriguing case study in cultivating a fixation. Yes, obsessions can or perhaps must be nurtured and, like a greenhouse seedling, in as controlled an environment as possible. Because in the end, it’s all about control, or rather, the illusion of control.

Technically orthorexia is not even listed as an eating disorder, though the diagnostic signs are easy to recognize. They include an inordinate amount of time spent thinking about food; a tendency to connect feelings of self-esteem to the quality of food one eats, and growing social isolation because of the perceived need to control what one eats.  (More can be found in the abbreviated self-test for orthorexia here, in case you’re interested). Even if it were an eating disorder, it would be a relatively benign one. With the exception of a very small minority on the fringe of extreme macrobiotic and raw food diets, most orthorexics know too much about nutrition to develop health problems. We don’t get sick, we get lonely.

As far back as graduate school I’ve been careful about eating healthy. I must have been the only student in my department, if not the school itself, who had a copy of the American Heart Association cookbook. (Just for the record, there is no history of heart disease in my family and as a long-distance swimmer in his mid-20s there was no reason for me to be concerned about the food I ate, other than to make sure I ate enough of it.)

That’s one of our words, by the way, “careful”. We are always on the alert. Threats lie concealed everywhere around us, contaminants are everywhere. There’s margarine snuck into a baker’s spinach pie, the chickens are pumped with antibiotics, and egg yolks are hidden in a sauce. One of the reasons we don’t eat out often is that we don’t trust the chefs and owners of the restaurants we visit. Even when they assure us that the fish is not farmed and the olive oil is cold-pressed extra virgin, we don’t believe them. We are like the jealous husband for whom the lover’s oath of innocence is but one more indication of deceit.

But back then in school and even for years afterwards, eating healthy was just part of the routine of my life, a quiet habit I had acquired that demanded of me nothing but a relaxed watchfulness, hardly a fixation. It didn’t affect my relations with friends or alter my life in any way.

Food was still a means of cementing rather than straining bonds. Matthew and I often had friends over for dinner, and they told me I was a good if somewhat unconventional cook. In retrospect I think they enjoyed my cooking in the way they might a meal at an ethnic restaurant whose cuisine was unfamiliar, perhaps interesting, but not something they would want to eat on a regular basis. “For something that doesn’t taste much like food, it’s actually quite good,” a friend once joked.

It was only years later, long after Matthew and I separated, that food started becoming, well, complicated. It began with a book, a kind of triathlete’s training bible. The training chapters were very hard-core stuff. I wasn’t good enough to merit the book and I felt a bit of a fake reading it. But the chapters on nutrition resonated with me, perhaps because it was something I already was familiar with and could accomplish without too much effort, unlike the task of shaving time off my 10k. It was simple. High-quality protein, whole grains, bucketfuls of fresh vegetables and fruit, olive oil, nuts. It all came down to eating clean, and it was the way I had more or less been eating most of life.

I took it seriously, as I did my training, even though I knew I was always going to be a middle-to-end-of-the-pack triathlete. It didn’t matter. I trained because I was hooked on the endorphins, and ate well because it made me feel disciplined. And discipline was good, I thought. I could set a goal and achieve it, unlike with the rest of my life, which I felt was careening out of control. It was something I could master and complete each day, a dietary version of the monk’s canonical hours of prayer.

I took it very seriously. My pantry and refrigerator soon began to resemble the larder of a medieval kitchen. Except for the tubs of yoghurt and a tin of harissa, no item of food contained more than one ingredient. I was eating 3 kilos of nutrient-dense fiber-rich food a day and shitting like a horse. I always seemed to be eating or thinking about what I was going to eat. Five or six meals a day, not big ones, of course, but not little snacks either. Eating clean meant I had to bring three of these meals with me to work, which meant I spent a lot of time planning, shopping for and preparing food. I spent time finding food as well, tracking down sources for organic oil-cured low-salt olives, wild sea bass and organic meat.

I also spent a lot of time reading about food, what’s good for you and what’s not. That’s another one of our words. Good. Not in delicious good but good-for-you good. Orthorexics turn food into a question of morality. Steven Bratman, an alternative physician who coined the term in an essay he wrote for the October 1997 issue of Yoga Journal, notes that for orthorexics the virtue of eating healthy is more important than the enjoyment we get from eating. We delude ourselves into thinking we are better persons because of what we eat. As he notes, we are “seduced by the righteousness of eating.”

If virtue is the satisfaction the orthorexic derives from food, virtue measured is doubly satisfying.

I was already tracking my training with a heart-rate monitor so logging my food intake seemed at the time a logical step. I thought it might help my training or at least explain why I’d sometimes get leg cramps at night. Maybe I wasn’t getting enough magnesium.

It became an end in itself.

Food was no longer a matter of sustenance but a substance to be measured, a source less of enjoyment than of macronutrients, vitamins and trace elements, a matter of numbers. Flavor ceded its place to scores, indexes and ratios: nutritional completeness, inflammation factors, glycemic load, ratios of sodium to potassium, and omega-3 to omega-6 fats. I had eating goals just as I had ones for training, daily ones like saturated fat and cholesterol intake and RDA targets and inflammation scores, and longer-term ones, too, like the HDL, LDL, trigylcerides counts in a blood lipid profile, the orthorexic’s equivalent of the triathlete’s splits . Blood tests were the race day.

Orthorexics are always making distinctions.  There’s clean food and unclean food. And there are people who eat clean and those who do not. We are like some ancient tribe that defines the other, the heathen, not only by what they believe but also by what they eat.  Like that tribe, we, too, have a complex hierarchy, even if not always articulated, of otherness, gradations of the unclean. We reserve our scorn not for the denizens of fast-food restaurants and the middle aisles of the supermarket—they don’t know better, we say—but for the religionists with rival claims of purity, the adherents of macrobiotic and Paleolithic diets. We are cults competing for the privilege of being the chosen people. It’s us versus them. The rational orthorexics and the crazy ones.

Naturally I belonged to the first category, I told myself when I began to sense that something was not quite right. The first sign was the realization that I had acquired a reputation among my friends as a finicky eater. They’d mention a food and ask me if I ate it or worse, just assume that I didn’t. “Oh, you don’t eat this,” they’d say, as they ran they down the items on the menu as we were ordering in a restaurant.

I had never seen myself as a problem eater. “Oh, I eat practically everything,” I’d say, and I actually meant it. But I was thinking of the kinds of foods most people don’t enjoy eating, things like okra and turnips and eel, all of which I liked, along with other such problematic foods as sea urchins, kale and blisteringly hot chilies. I ate them all, the odd, the bitter and the slimy. How could I be a picky eater?

But there was a very long list of things I wouldn’t eat, and these happened to be the things that most other people like eating, like burgers and Chinese take-away, the uncomplicated everyday food that marks the everyday gatherings of friends: the post-movie souvlaki and election night pizza, ice-cream on the beach and a morning’s breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon. Birthday cake and home-baked pie. The food that binds.

Oh, I ate meat occasionally, when I could find organic pork and free-range chickens, and I cooked Chinese at home where I knew exactly what each of the “Seven Treasures” in the stir-fry were. And I made omelets, too, but only  from organic eggs. It was always easier to eat at home where I could control everything—the oil I used to cook with, the salt I didn’t use, the kind of fish I grilled instead of fried—and so I wound up spending more time at home, in an empty house with a well-stocked larder.

But the control I could exercise at home mattered less as time went on. It wasn’t even much of a challenge anymore. I slowly became aware that my fixation on eating healthy was making my life poorer not better. And then I got injured, enough to sideline me from my bike and the track for months. I hated losing the workouts at first and was almost certainly depressed for a time as I went through the process of endorphin withdrawal (I could still swim but the highs I got in the pool were never as good as when I ran or biked).

With the loss of most of my workout I lost the motivation to eat clean. It was like that Jenga game where you have a remove a block from a tower and put it on top without the tower falling. I stopped running and cycling, and the tower collapsed. And then I suddenly found myself with all this free time and I wanted to spend it with friends. Not all of it, of course, I’m too much of an introvert for that, but certainly more than I had before the injury, and that required a compromise in terms of what and where I ate. It was one I was now more inclined to make.

I still eat healthy most of the time (I doubt if that will ever change), but I’m a lot more relaxed about food. Eating well is assuming its rightful place, a part of living well and not of being good. And I’m rediscovering some of the foods I’d sworn off. Funny, you think you’re so over this salt, nitrate and saturated fat thing, and then a friend fixes you a salami sandwich and wham, it all comes back to you! How good bad food can be.

-/-

Image: Mario Sironi “The Fishmonger” 1927

Discussion

51 responses to ‘Eat Well, Be Good

  1. Hello,

    Thank you for your post, I am the girlfriend of a guy who suffers with and is being treated for orthorexia. I write my own blog about the experience from a partners perspective and i am always looking for interesting articles which clearly show just what living with orthorexia is like to explain just what it is and how life consuming it can be. Would you mind if i linked to this post at some point within my blog?

    Thank you
    Anne

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  2. I don’t think eating healthy is needed as much as people think. If you work hard enough working out and running you can eat whatever you want, yes as you age and you arent as active as you are now as when you are younger and arent able to train as hard as you might need to then you should start watching what you are eating and calorie counting and all that stuff but with that said calorie counting and watching everything you eat and eating healthly isnt as important at age 20 to mid 30s and teens is unneccsary helpful but unneccsary.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this. I’m quite preoccupied with eating well and nourishing my body. While I have not reduced the pleasure of my diet to sterile numbers and percentages, I definitely keep track of what I’m eating and how it provides (or doesn’t provide) the nutrients I know I need as an athlete. Food is, beyond pleasure, also fuel. I’ve cut certain foods entirely out of my repertoire, and my health has benefited. I don’t eat out much because I can’t know what is going in my food, and I’m horrified by many of the items we consider “food” in this country. I’m also horrified by our commercial food production system. And yes, I’ve done a fair amount of research. I love to cook, and I spend quite a bit of time in my kitchen, preparing everything from Malaysian curry to banana pineapple pecan bread. When in social situations, I am limited by my allergies (I cannot have any dairy at all), so in social settings like potlucks I bring my own food or I “pre-eat”… this does not diminish my social life or my enjoyment of food, and greatly increases my physical wellbeing.

    My point is that I think, to a generous extent, being aware and concerned with the quality of food we eat is a beneficial thing. Of course, I agree that if our “obsession” becomes so rigid it inhibits our lives, it’s time to take a step back. But I think most people in this country could benefit from being a little MORE concerned with eating healthy, and perhaps we should amend the “foods that bind” to include some vegetables once in a while. 😉

    The first step is open dialogue, so thanks for opening up a conversation!

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    • Thanks for your generous comments and the time you took to craft such a wonderfully written response. You seem to have an enviably balanced approach to healthy eating, and I appreciate your sharing it with us.

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  4. Very interesting. My husband and I are in our 50’s, practicing healthy eating habits and staying active physically and mentally. While all of this is priority in our lives, we keep in mind that it is not a priority for most others. I say ‘most’ because we have definitely noticed that we are in the minority when it comes to what we have been doing for years. Without getting into those details, what I want to say is that we have learned to back off on getting too deep into details with others – unless, of course they pursue the topic. It’s better just to answer questions simply and directly. Rather than sound like a lecture, when someone asks, ‘Hey what is it that you guys do to keep healthy?’ – we keep the answer to one or two sentences. People want feedback, but not everyone wants all of the details. Our intention is not to preach, but just to talk generally about stuff. We don’t want to isolate ourselves from others – and so we are diplomatic and we select our words carefully. Two of our friends make fun and call us ‘Jack & Jill Lalanne’! There are people out there who are way more conscientious than we are for sure – but to these people, we seem extreme. Why? It’s no wonder, because they haven’t even taken the basic steps towards health – i.e. smoking. It’s all a matter of perception I guess.

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  5. Nice post. I think a lot of ‘healthy eater’ should sometimes question themselves a little… At the end of the day, moderation, variety and pleasure are important to consider 😉 Have a lovely week-end!

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  6. Very interesting and important post. More people need to be educated about the ‘fringe eating disorders’ like orthorexia and EDNOS. All addictions / obsessions around food seem to grow from fear and are largely about having control.
    I’m really glad you feel more on top of it now. It’s horrible living in a world of obsession, especially when it’s a world that others don’t take seriously and can’t comprehend.

    WS

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  7. I enjoyed reading your post. I’m my late teens and early twenties, I was obsessed with what I put in to my body. It had to be what I determined healthy. Only organic, whole foods, lots of raw foods too. I had also been vegetarian since age 11 and never ate meat or fish. I eventually stopped eating cheese and eggs too. I felt healthy, had shiny hair, glowing skin, boundless amounts of energy.

    Then I started dating a guy who loved pizza and pasta. I decided eating healthy 85% of the time would be ok as I was soooo healthy anyhow.

    By age 24/25 I became severely unwell. I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with either crohns or ulcerative colitis just before my 26 birthday. Some 11 years on and it has been an up and down roller coaster ride of moments of remission between the pain and misery. I have done so much research on UC and diet. Even though I have been told by countless GI specialists that it doesn’t matter what you eat. Actually the only things that do seem to matter are what you eat/drink, how you manage stress, getting lots of sleep. I also noticed that flares have been pretty bad since I quit smoking almost 3 years ago.

    There is no know cause or cure for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It is simply managed with drugs that carry nasty side effects and don’t seem to work for long. I am starting the SCD diet.

    So my point is, that I agree with you with regards to taking it to the extreme. However, there is a great deal to be said for eating clean! As long as you have all the facts and don’t get obsessed. It’s always a good idea to put your health first. I have learnt this the painful way xxx.

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    • You’re right, of course, there are some very good reasons for eating clean and I should have mentioned it in my text, and I thank you and the other commentators for pointing this out.

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  8. I enjoyed your perspective on this. I have been a health conscious consumer for decades, luckily making the decision to eat healthily early in my life. I enjoy the food I eat and I am what would be considered by most a vegan. I do not obsess about it, nor suffer, nor see eating as a chore. I have come to realize how many benefits there are to eating the way I do, including a low BMI for life, no dependence on pharmaceuticals to get me through the day, and good energy. You can retrain your palate to enjoy almost any wholesome food. I don’t miss meat, which I have not eaten for over three decades, one bit. I love the foods I eat (local, fresh, non-processed, the rainbow, plant-based, seasonal) and have not had a dull meal for years and years, especially when we eat at home. So, I think people should all do what they want, but just remember, some day we will be 30, 40, 60, 80 (if we get that far) and when we are, we will want to be healthy, calm, energetic and disease free. Healthy food is one key to that achieving that.

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    • Thanks for sharing this. I was struck by your comment that you haven’t had a dull meal in years, which in itself is probably a good indication of a healthy and balanced approach to food and eating.

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  9. Enjoyed this very much and learning about being able to label something (us humans, loving to label…) that I had chalked up to just being overly picky about food. I think for me, part of it stems from particular religious upbringing (not Jewish but kept many of the old testament food laws) and then having to seriously clean up my eating as part of getting healthy (insulin resistance will make you rethink a lot…). Part of my personal therapy has been to approach food as an adventure, not something to be charted (and I did go through that macronutrient phase and still worry about it…) and it helps to read about others doing the same. Thank you!

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    • Thanks for the feedback. And for reminding me that there are sometimes very good reasons — insulin resistance, as you note — for being very careful about what one eats.

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  10. Great post! It’s an unusual topic to come across and I have to say, I would have scoffed before if someone told me they had a problem related to eating healthy food. Thanks for educating me!

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  11. This was exceptionally written. I loved it. There is a very glorified feeling in eating clean and sometimes a reminder of the reality of life. But it doesn’t hurt to take a detour…life can be grand with a mixture. It takes time and introspection to realize that and it took me a long while to get it.

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  12. Eating right has not always been easy for me as I keep traveling, However I’m of the opinion that all food is good if eaten in moderation and eaten with an interest and good feeling.

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  13. I;ve tried to “eat healthy” for the past 45 years and am glad of the effort. Along with plenty of exercise, it has paid off as I enter my seniorhood hale and hearty. My main rule is, “if it’s not good for you, don’t bring it home from the supermarket”. A secondary rule is, “whenerver possible, walk or ride your bike to the supermarket.” Neither rule is burdensome, but together they pack a big payoff.

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  14. I found this article such an interesting read, I know a few vegetarian friends that seem so uninspired by food to the point where they eat because they have to. I, on the other hand love food, I eat a relatively healthy diet and we were always brought up to eat what was on our plates especially when we were a guest for dinner, but also to enjoy the food you eat and try new things. I’m glad this article ended with you developing a more relaxed attitude to the food you eat, it really is something to be enjoyed especially with others. I think this will have surprised a lot of people as we often think of obsessions or addictions being unhealthy in the sense that what your addicted/obsessed with is bad for you. I doubt many people have thought that an obsession with healthy eating could be a bad thing or have negative effects on someone’s life. As they say, everything in moderation.

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    • Thanks for the feedback. I agree with you about the importance of enjoying food. I think it’s a pretty clear warning sign when we stop enjoying food, or when enjoyment becomes mixed with feelings of anxiety or guilt.

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  15. Very insightful story. Thank you for that!

    I got also more and more fixated on the nutrients with my workout. My way of eating may not have been as fixated as yours in the past, but I sense the problem and damage that arises of too much fixation. The middle way is always the good way. Eating bad food isn’t bad either. It’s the amount that makes the poison. So enjoy your burrito or your burger, but try to do it once a week and in general commit yourself to a healthier way of life.

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  16. Just wrote about the difference between being driven versus self-led. What I didn’t write about in that piece, and what you did not go into in much depth here, are a couple of elephants in the room likely dealt with elsewhere: marketing and food additives (including bioengineering). Where folksy choosing and industrial control meet, a marketing mirror mediates, scratched and abraded by an increasing number of documentaries about what is in the food.

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    • The marketing issue is an important one. Advertising undoubtedly influences food choices, one particularly ironic example being the success companies have had in promoting granola bars as “health food”. That said, I have the sense that for the most part people generally know what’s healthy and what’s not. If you presented the average consumer with a list of healthy and unhealthy foods, the person would probably not tick off bacon cheeseburgers or cupcakes as healthy. Why people make the kinds of food choices they do is complex, I think, though of course agrobusiness and big food manufacturers play a role.

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  17. I was the opposite. I just ate the same crap over and over. I loved sandwiches with cold cuts. That and a side of cole slaw with a soda and I was in heaven. I went to three hundred pounds got sick, stroke and nearly died. I lost ninety pounds, stayed alive by the care of my wife, and gave up my heavenly sandwiches. I now look at what I am eating and avoid salt and sugar like the plague. I eat a lot of fruit and veggies avoid soda and fruity drinks. I wish I had been more careful at the beginning and realized what I was imbibing. But that is all calories under the bridge. Your post rang a bell with me. To much or to little. Just right should be the course we follow concerning what we are putting in our mouths.

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    • You’ve been through a lot, glad it’s over for you. “Just right” sounds like good advice to me, though I think it takes some practice (and mindfulness) to find this balance. Thanks for commenting.

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      • I appreciate your getting back to me. I hope it is not completely over for me, I think I can stick around a little while longer. (lol). I wrote a small blog on my Waisted Life, that I think might give you a smile. If you read it, let me know what you think. Sincerely, Barry

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  18. I think you’ve said it well. It’s just sad that many were tempted to consume the ones that belong “fastfood” or simply the “easy food”? The effect is becoming unhealthy.

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  19. Wow I didn’t really know about orthorexia, but I can relate to it. I’ve gotten to the point where my fixation on food has started to affect my social life and isolated me as a result. It caused tension between family members and friends. I eventually came to a happy medium as you have, but it was a dark hole there for awhile where I didn’t think I was eating in a disordered way, I mean I was eating enough calories, but it was still disordered because food shouldn’t have been the main thought on my mind every second of the day. Thanks for sharing this. It was well written and an enlightening read.

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  20. I really enjoyed reading this post because I, too, found myself falling into this trap a few years ago. Once you learn about how much food matters it’s hard not to become obsessed. I am actually planning to write a post similar to this one. I think it’s great you became aware of the fact that you were leaning too much to one side of the fence and doing it more out of principal rather than listening to your body and simply eating clean, to live. I like to think of myself as a ‘primal’ eater, but not in the conservative sense that most people seem to think of it these days. I simply eat real foods that feel good for my body – I listen to my body – and after that I don’t think much about it. There are too many other wonderful things in life on which to focus. 🙂

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  21. It’s so hard to know what’s “orthorexia” and what’s not in a world where’s the just so damn much crap non-food around us. I have known people who live on coke and goldfish crackers, and that is what this culture is turning into — anything in a box, where a lifetime’s supply of rice-a-roni is considered a prize, people line up for deep-fried oreos, and half the ingredients for most shit in the supermarket have numbers in them. In that vein, it can sure look like orthorexia just to go, “Naah, I’m not eating that shit.”

    But at the same time … I have definitely known people (and unlike you I have known far more women, especially young girls, who get this way) who are overcome with guilt and a deep sensation of personal dirtiness if they eat one thing that’s not part of their “juice fast,” or whatever you want to call it. Seriously — there are vegan teenaged girls who will get nightmares after eating a jelly bean.

    Let me forestall the protests from commenters who will doubtless loudly state that yes sure, maybe one or two people who only I know are like this, but there are quadzillions of perfectly normal vegans who aren’t, and they are one of them thank you very much. Yes, whatever. I’m not talking about any one particular strain of orthorexia, but about orthorexia itself. It can attach itself to anything.

    Me, I eat when I’m hungry, don’t when I’m not, and tend naturally to prefer the kind of food where I can tell what it was before it was killed. I also tend to love food and baking. I’m Italian, it’s a genetic thing. I can make gnocchi and lasagne that you can use to talk your way into a bomb shelter. Food and conviviality go hand in hand for us. But at the same time, the conviviality and contentment that good food brings means that you don’t crap it up. Why have a boxed cake when you could have a real one? Why microwave a brownie when you could make a pan? (And you don’t eat that stuff all the time; it’s once-a-year food.) Why buy a plastic packet of broccoli and “cheez” sauce when you could just steam the stuff, sprinkle some parmagiana on it, and eat it? We even have a word for people who shovel their food in thoughtlessly, and it’s not a compliment. I’m eternally grateful to have grown up in a house and a culture where food was meant to be pleasurable, create social bonds, and still be healthy and fresh.

    Anyhow, just adding in some ramblings … 🙂

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    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! I enjoyed reading your comments. Healthy, fresh food that’s a pleasure to eat and share — perhaps a good definition of a diet for life.

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  22. Interesting post. It’s not surprising that we have a complex relationship with food when most of our shops are crammed with artificial sweeteners and “low-carb” or “low-fat” foods, implying that two of our main natural building blocks are somehow to be avoided… and “low cal” foods which preclude learning about proper portion control. I’d probably love your fridge, fresh foods, adventurous foods, etc — yum!
    We’re currently trying to teach our children about the life-cycle of food; the growing of it, sourcing, eco and ethics. We’ve taken them fishing so that they realise that meat is preceded by death, and is not to be wasted, but they still eat cake too. We try to make food a social occasion, a pleasure to be shared, which I think has been a staple component of human community and friendship since Stone Age times, and mustn’t be lost. Food is such a sensuous thing, such a bond between families… we really need to sort our “diet” culture out (in the UK it’s been one diet fad after another for years) and see food in a holistic sense. A friend of mine just wrote about the same, you might like this?

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    • Your children are fortunate to have you as a parent and to be growing up in a family in which food is a pleasure to be shared and not, as it is perhaps in some other families, a means to reward, cajole or punish others or oneself. They’re also fortunate in learning that food incurs a cost beyond its price in the supermarket, and in such an engaging way (as all experiential learning is)! I agree it is important that children (and we adults, too) know where our food comes from and how it is grown, raised or produced and, as your friend notes in the post you kindly shared, “never justify eating food produced in a way that they would not be happy to witness for themselves.”

      My mother, too, taught me that food was not to be wasted, but her arguments at the time — “think of all the hungry children in China” — were not very persuasive in the ears of a ten-year old. I couldn’t see how leaving food on my plate would make the life of a hungry kid halfway across the world any worse than it already was. Your fishing lessons are so much more illuminating!

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