Clean Eating – What is It?

Clean Eating Local Food


Are you familiar with the term Clean Eating? We’re beginning to hear more and more people talk about the clean eating movement and decided to take a minute to take a look.

Clean eating is all about eating healthfully. Contrary to the standard American diet which is “dirty”, clean eating means food that is less processed, has traveled less, and is more ethical. But what exactly does that mean? Less processed means more home cooking, something many of us would like to do, but our modern lifestyle and marketing pressure reduces. It also means less additives and fake ingredients. Diet Cola is dirty – it has artificial sweeteners. Many kids’ cereals are dirty – they have artificial colorings. Various pasties and snacks are dirty – they have partially hydrogenated oils. But what about orange juice? Freshly squeezed might be minimally processed, but a carton of Minute Maid or Tropicana OJ may have gone through many steps (concentration, flavor enhancements, addition of vitamin C) to get to your local supermarket fridge.

Local food is great in theory, but in many parts of the country, dining during winter time would become quite a boring routine. That’s not to say we shouldn’t try to eat more seasonally to enjoy fresh produce from a local farm. But for many it is simply not practical all the time.

Ethical eating is also a challenge because each one of us has a different set of yardsticks to measure ethics. To a vegan, honey is an abomination. To a vegetarian, beef from a grass fed cow is still a cow murdered for meat. And for most Americans, organic and local food simply means too expensive.

How do you define clean eating?

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  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance

    clean eating=whole foods!

  • Ken Leebow

    Clean Eating = Marketers Dream Come True

  • Bits

    Various pasties and snacks are dirty

  • Caty

    How is it a marketer’s dream come true? It’s not promoting one specific company or brand, rather whole foods from many different farmers. Processed food eaters are a marketer’s dream come true!

  • iluvfooducation

    Clean eating = Clean body

  • Roni

    Eating mother natures sweets like fresh fruits and vegetables and not eating fatty foods!

    • DarkStar

      I love all sort of mother natures sweets, fruits, vegetables, cows, pigs, chickens, fish, etc….

  • malachite2

    re: local foods: how about freezing, drying, canning some local foods when they’re in season so you have them out of season? Experimenting w/different recipes or even creating your own so you’re not “bored” with local foods? Most parts of the US can grow more foods in the winter then you’d think. Some small farmers in VT grow carrots in unheated green house structures all winter.

    Except for the value-laden connotation of “dirty” vs. “clean” I don’t see the difference between “clean” and saying you’re trying to eat minimally processed food. To me, “clean” means I rinsed any soil off of the greens I picked from the garden today (and “garden” includes the containers I use in addition to in ground gardening). Or that I rinsed the spinach I picked (this time of year into September if I manage reseeding well) or that I bought from the food co-op, because spinach is often sandy. Otherwise, I don’t think think of food in those terms and I don’t see the reason to. Except for the “value” issues, euuuuw, processed food is “dirty.” How much “processing” is ok/”clean” Shelling peas? Removing the shells of nuts? Pearl barley is “dirty”? Chocolate? Both are processed. So is coffee and black tea. Cheese, yogurt, whether milk or soy. Tofu is processed soy beans, calcium sulfate may be added, is that a “dirty” form of soy?

    Some types of processing make food more digestible or some of its vitamins or minerals more accessible, steaming carrots makes the beta-carotene more accessible (or increases the amount that is). Some people can eat yogurt, which is processed milk, even when they can’t digest milk well, for whatever reason. In those instances and others, processing makes them more nutritious or their what sustenance they can provide available to more people.

  • James Cooper

    Are there any actual facts or science here, or is this just a warm and fuzzy set of wishes? Is there something harmful in any of the foods you mention or just wild guesses?

  • ali

    Go Vegan or plant based diet. I have been Vegan for 5 months now, will never go back..

  • CJ

    Vegan is clean eating, making sure you eat all fruits and veggies, humans are herbivores

  • Reda Jabbare