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Clean food and unhealthy obsessions

Orthorexia is not officially recognised as a clinical diagnosis but it is a term frequently cropping up in the media. It refers to an unhealthy obsession with healthy food, and was coined by US doctor Steve Bratman who found some of his patients’ pursuit of a healthy lifestyle was making them nutritionally ill.

Clean eating is big news on social media. Instagram has 16m posts using the tag #cleaneating. Bloggers and healthy eating gurus are successful publishers of a range of cookery books, and I have worked with some to help them bring their lifestyle to more people.

While I’m not suggesting that proponents of a healthy, clean lifestyle full of natural food choices are promoting a dangerous healthfood obsession, it can occasionally result in harmful behaviours in some too, especially young women.

Instagram has 59,000 posts using the hashtag #orthorexia. Food blogger Jordan Younger who founded the popular blog The Blonde Vegan, revealed that she was actually battling health problems associated with her diet and had since reintroduced a more balanced one.

Spectator article exploring the issue touched on the fact that some popular health gurus had neither a rigorous grounding in nutrition nor the experience of treating others. Therefore, critics would argue, pursuing an approach that is good for one is not necessarily right for all.

The message from the dieticians is one of balance, and clean/healthy eating champions and companies do need to be aware of promoting the importance of a varied diet too just as we consumers need to be aware of balancing what’s good for us with our desires to indulge. Let’s not forget that obesity is still the far bigger problem consuming us today.

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Jane Milton

Food industry expert Jane Milton has been in the business for more than 30 years and has the inside track on all things food!

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Let Me Introduce You To Francis Gimblett, author of the Gimblett's Guide to The Best of British Cheese, and Co-Owner of Taste of the Vine, an Interactive Food and Drink Events Business. ,
byJane Milton

Let Me Introduce You to Francis Gimblett, Author of Gimblett’s Guide to the Best of British Cheeses, and co Owner of Taste of the Vine, an interactive food and drink event company.

Francis and I met in Spring 2021 when I joined one of his monthly Friday evening meet the cheesemaker tasting sessions. I learned so much and loved meeting the cheesemakers. I told other people and very quickly was joined on screen by 10-12 friends each month ….

My copy of Francis book , Gimblett’s Guide to the Best of British Cheeses has become very well thumbed and through it i have tracked down cheesemakers around the UK and even found a cheesemaking course in Tottenham, London inspired by him.

He is a great story teller so i know you will enjoy hearing about :

  • his journey in food and drink
  • people who have inspired or encouraged him
  • his French mother’s cooking and how that added to his food journey
  • how he has for many years, resisted repitition and always desired change, t learn or to reinvent things BUT
  • how possibly now after almost 2 years of constant change, he my just be happy for a little more predictability for a while
  • we talk about work life balance and partnering in business with his wife
  • about the importance of understanding your P&L and planning for your business right from Day 1
  • we also get a hint or two about his next taste adventure….

I cannot wait


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