People seem to love to create phrases like “clean diet” or “detox” and then people (presumably not the same ones) like to tear these phrases apart, debunk them, explode them and generally rough them up. In a way it is fair enough; for myself the question always arises “what does this word or phrase actually mean in practice?” and if the answer isn’t clear then it seems reasonable to ask why we’d speak like that. (Answers probably include, fashion, looking cool, looking virtuous, rebranding and generally keeping the merry-go-round of controversy and emotional arousal about food in full swing).
Clean diet always seemed flexible to the point of meaninglessness, whilst also somewhat moralistic. This gives the debunkers a nice big fat target to aim at.
Our family have been eating pretty much a whole food plant based diet for the last 8 – 10 years, ever since we read Colin Campbell’s China Study in fact, whenever that was. There are a few surprising things about eating this way, and today whilst I was washing up I remembered one of them.
It is very easy to wash up.
In fact it is so easy that we don’t bother with our dishwasher – it takes as long to stack and empty the dishwasher as it does to slosh off our plant-based food from the plates and utensils.
And it was the fried egg that brought it to my attention today. There are no absolutes in any sane approach to eating ,and so the odd egg will be fried, the occasional cheese will be grilled, fish occasionally appears on the menu. What I was really noticing was that the frying pan was weirdly sticky and required detergent. It was DIRTY.
So, here’s a question about your diet. What do the pans and plates look like after cooking and eating. How easy are they to clean? Will the food soak or rinse off with just hot water? What does the inside of your oven look like? Chernobyl? Do you regularly have to deploy heavy machinery or chemicals to shift fatty proteinaceous volcanic rock-like stuff in the kitchen?
Does your diet require lots of cleaning?
I think that “clean” is still a pretty meaningless concept when it comes to describing a diet, but it is certainly an awful lot easier to clean up after a whole-food plant-based meal.