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Clean eating: yet another pious regime to squeeze the joy out of good food | Jay Rayner

Gwyneth Paltrow ‘eats clean’, which tells you all you need to know about the latest selfdeluded food fad

You will be relieved to know that today, before writing this, I showered. Soap was involved. I am therefore clean. In the matter of my danker, moist crevices cleanliness is clearly the way to go. Where my lunch is concerned, however, I do not hanker after anything that can be described as clean. Sure, I want my plates without skid marks, my lettuce leaves without half an allotment’s sod. Sadly, though, that is not what the phrase “eating clean” now means.

“Eating clean” is a Thing. We know this because BuzzFeed.com, the arbiter of when something becomes a Thing, recently posted a “clean eating challenge“. What does the phrase mean, apart from a wretched violation of the English language in a way that makes a good argument for corporal punishment? Oh, you know: it means joylessness, piety, self-regard, self-delusion and staggering pomposity. Gwyneth Paltrow “eats clean”, which tells you all you need to know.

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