MONTREAL GAZETTE | The Right Chemistry: Here's the dirt on 'clean eating'

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Published: 21May2019

I thought I was a clean eater. I wash my fruits and vegetables. I scrupulously scrub my cutting board after use. If I thaw meat in the fridge, I make sure the juices do not contact any other food. I don’t buy into the “five-second rule,” so I don’t eat food that has dropped on the floor. I’m also careful to keep my meals from attacking my shirts and ties. But it seems that according to a number of “wellness” books that are flooding the market and numerous memes on social media, I’m not really “eating clean.”

Why not? Because I’m not worried about eating gluten, I don’t seek out organic produce, I’m not reviled by preservatives, I have not forsaken eggplant, tomatoes or other “nightshade” vegetables, and I don’t think GMOs present a health issue. I do not avoid all dairy, I eat the occasional croissant, and now and then even indulge in a smoked meat sandwich. Only at Schwartz’s of course.

In the eyes of the current promoters of “clean eating,” all of that would make me a dirty eater, says Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University’s Office for Science & Society.

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