by Gino De Blasio | 7 Minute Read
IKEA, the only store where adults cry, threats of divorce are placed firmly on a Norsk god sounding named coffee table, and the fear of another visit looms just months away. It is common that any trip to IKEA lands you in a food court.
Promised the goodness of a 60p ($0.78) hot dog or even a plate of KÖTTBULLAR you could tolerate the pain of any visit; denial of food court pleasure is sure to make you take your LEIFARNE to your newly purchased BESTÅ BURS; that means chair to your table for those who don’t speak IKEA catalogue, yet.
The Swedish furniture store has always managed to show us a bit of a different way of living. It’s cheap(ish), clean, smart, stylish for the discernable cool folk; it was pinterest before pinterest existed, and the food court was just an extension of that ideology. Modern, clean living, brought to you by Sweden. Even their vegetable meatballs make you think about the world.
“Our GRÖNSAKSBULLAR veggie balls are packed with quality ingredients like peas, carrots, bell peppers, corn and kale. A plateful of vitamins and nutrients rolled up in a tasty ball. The carbon footprint in producing the veggie ball is about twenty times smaller than the carbon footprint from the traditional meatball. It’s a tasty meal that leaves you with a good conscience.”
Could this be what ‘clean eating’ was all about? Knowing where our food comes from, knowing that our food isn’t harming the environment and, us? Unfortunately not. Unfortunately, clean eating has replaced a much bigger word in our lexicon, one we were always ashamed to say. Diet.
Yes, a spinach and kale smoothie diet for one week will obviously make you drop weight but so will diphtheria and undercooked chicken.
It used to be that we would go on diets. Diets that made genuinely no sense when you consider the human body is an easy interpretation of if you do x you get y. Yes, a spinach and kale smoothie diet for one week will obviously make you drop weight but so will diphtheria and undercooked chicken.
Diet, the ‘dirty’ word for many generations that would result in spontaneous, “there’s nothing wrong with you, why are you on a diet?”. Being on a diet is now ethically wrong, juxtaposed with the idea that diet means thin, thin means you’re unwell. As Arwa Mahdawi wrote so eloquently, “Diets are no longer good for your personal brand. They mark you out as flawed, shallow and probably poor.”
The endless mash up possibilities of Frank Gallagher (1), Donald Trump and a Victoria’s Secret model are too much, even for this blogger to handle.
We could look to blame things like, Crossfit (2), when it comes to the anti-diet, or anything that involves building your glutes (bum cheeks), trapeziums (shoulder/neck muscles) and six packs that you could literally iron off, to explain this sudden change in the way we look at and eat food. If food before was indulgence for a hard workout just had, it is now becoming a blended concoction to fuel your nauseating fitness regime; nausea of course having nothing to do with blending an avocado, spinach and goji berries together until a putrid brown colour forms.
Food is a big, Sara Sigmundsdottir – as seen above – (3) sized business and no longer can we feel like we can find a suitable, non offensive excuse to drop a ‘few pounds’ for aesthetic or genuine health reasons using the word, diet. No, today, we all need to do is, eat clean to obviously supplement our Crossfit tolerant bodies and ensure that gasps of dieting are abated at all costs.
To make matters worse, no one even knows what clean eating actually means. There is no standardised dictionary term, the world’s foremost practitioners of it can’t truly explain it and yet on many different levels, you will encounter someone who says, “I’d love a piece of cake but I’m eating clean right now.” Their Instagram account will let you know if they are telling the truth.
And there again, Instagram; the trojan horse of Crossfit, the place where everyone knows how many hang cleans and clean and jerks you’ve pulled to knowing that your friend had avocado on wholemeal, whole seed, unrefined brown flour in their quest of clean eating madness. What does Crossfit and the Clean Eating movement have in common? No one cares that you do Crossfit or ‘Clean Eat’, no one cares when you photograph it or video it for Instagram either.
A photo posted by Laura Rosé 🌸 (@lauraroseicking) on
When you dieted, you didn’t want to show you were on a diet, cutting out all treats, that your food looked more anaemic than a Milan fashion week Versace latest collection. You knew you were eating flavourless things, and worst still, you knew that your friends knew.
But clean eating has bypassed all of that, instead turning ‘healthy food’ into a blanket term of juicing, cutting carbs, eating seeds, spreading avocado and cooking in coconut butter and making anyone not ‘eating clean’ look, poor, unfit, dishevelled and lost out in life. It’s a social status with a nasty, hidden meaning; we’re judging you if you eat a kinder egg, don’t look after yourself and thus, you have no knowledge about food/exercise/macro-economic political doctrine…
It’s a social status with a nasty, hidden meaning; we’re judging you if you eat a kinder egg, don’t look after yourself and thus, you have no knowledge about food/exercise/macro-economic political doctrine…
Clean Eating means it’s ethically shareable to post you, your life, your food choices with crap instagram filters and fish pouts & hashtags like #cleaneat and #brose without seeing a sense of irony in the ridiculous nature of it all. A salad is now a balanced meal, quinoa is a superfood and red meat is the scurge of the new environmental you.
If diets were your quintessential 70s rock band, then clean eating has become your BBC Radio 6 music station; you may not know the band, you may not even have a clue what the music was about, but it’s good to be seen listening to it because that means you’re cultured, you’re a deep thinker, you’re eclectic and that’s what we all want, everyone to be cool. Of course everyone is then the same, but that doesn’t matter, surely not.
There may be a backlash forming against the ‘Clean Eating’ movement, parody accounts are springing faster than avocado salesman, and there may be even more, deeper thought marketing sub plots to make us eat ‘cleaner’ even if, we still don’t truly know what it is; so when it comes to putting food in your mouth and enjoying it, surely, that should make you wonder just a little bit, what the hell, clean eating, like an IKEA FARTYG, is.
1) Frank Gallagher is a character from the TV Show, Shameless. A drama where it is considerably encouraged to scrounge of the state, drink yourself to oblivion and have no shame whilst doing it.
2) Crossfit is a fitness movement that takes lifting weights in a dangerous manner to extremes.
3) Sara is a wonderful Icelandic Crossfit Games contestant with killer traps and an appetite for pizza!