Well, one thing’s for certain, a lot of people seem to think they know what it is…
103 million results from the quickest of Google searches. Madness.
But you also wouldn’t be alone in stumbling across this blog and thinking ‘Clean as opposed to what? Some dirty chicken breast she threw in the pan after it had been on the floor?’
5 second rule aside (c’mon, we all do it…) that isn’t what this blog is about.
Starting with clean
My good friend The Oxford English Dictionary (especially handy when the English graduate husband’s not around) sheds a bit more light on things:
So if we pair up these dictionary definitions with eating food then what comes back is ultimately food that hasn’t been messed with; food in its purest form; food that’s fresh; food that’s also got a bit of moral.
Food that hasn’t been messed with; in its purest form
Single ingredient foods are about as pure as you’re going to find. Fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, I could go on…
They’re always the foods with the least packaging, never carrying a cartoon critter or an unrecognisable ingredients list on the side of a box.
Food that’s fresh
Not something with a ‘use by’ date in a decade’s time. Something that hasn’t been injected with a nasty preservative that will send your digestive system into slow mo.
Food that’s got a bit of moral
If you’re a meat eater it’s thinking about the conditions this animal was raised in, what it ate, where it came from to end up on your plate. A cup of coffee from a plantation that hasn’t been subjected to low-wage labour exploitation. Green beans in season, that haven’t just flown into the supermarket from Kenya. It’s a vote with your fork for something better for everyone. Wherever you can, it’s supporting local producers.
Because there are always annoying exceptions
Single ingredient fresh foods are the very best starting points to begin a clean eating journey. But you will find some ‘gems in a can’ such as beans, chick peas, and chopped tomatoes. Proper dark chocolate has got more than just cocoa in it but again it packs a nutritional punch. Nut butters, the holy grail of a full fat fix. You’ll get to know them all and more if you stick around.
Does that help make things a bit clearer?