Ruby Tandoh takes on the clean eating phenomenon

CookbooksIt seems that every food website you see has a feature or two on ‘clean eating’. Bloggers who promote the tenets of the movement (few or no carbs- especially sugar, few processed foods, and a focus on vegetables) have become nearly overnight sensations. GBBO contestant and bestselling cookbook author Ruby Tandoh recently contributed an opinion piece to The Guardian in which she discusses the problems she sees with the ‘clean eating’ phenomenon. In the article, Tandoh calls out several popular bloggers-turned-authors who were in the forefront of the movement but who have recently distanced themselves from the label of ‘clean eating’.

She notes that although bloggers like Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, Amelia Freer, and Ella Woodward scrupulously avoided “the restrictive and judgement-laden overtones of the dreaded D-word” (diet), the “lifestyle” they advocated promoted pseudo-scientific health claims that had little or no backing from researchers. Now that the proclamations of physicians and others who these bloggers had once touted have come under intense scrutiny, the bloggers are quick to claim that they never promoted themselves as part of the ‘clean eating’ movement.

Tandoh believes that the recent distancing from the ‘clean eating’ label is a rebranding effort to put “a bright new face on the diet industry. When a fad wears thin, you give it a new name.” She also calls to task the cookbook publishing industry, who she feels are too eager to offer a book deal to a successful blogger regardless of how dubious her health claims may be. What do you think of the phenomenon? Is it a fad diet in a new package, or merely a rejection of overly-processed food?

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  • TrishaCP  on  February 8, 2017

    Ruby's article was not her first about her skepticism with the clean eating movement (her first was in Vice)- and I found both articles to be well-written, well-researched, and refreshing.

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