Eating: the new religion

Ever notice the religious fervor that sometimes companies food movements and dietary fads?  Well, you're not alone.  In fact, it appears there is now an entire academic conference on the subject.  This from a Canadian paper:

McCann is one of several academics presenting papers at next week’s Congress of the Humanities & Social Sciences in Ottawa looking at how the explosion of “clean eating” — whether raw food and juicing, the paelo diet, gluten-free regimens or fervent veganism — has created a moral hierarchy for food.

She argues that the rise in food movements has coincided with a decline of religion in society, with many people seeking familiar values such as purity, ethics, goodness. But these movements also tend to encourage behaviours that have steered a generation away from religion: Judgment, self-righteousness, an us-versus-them mentality. And, she adds, many seek a fulfilment that cannot be satisfied with food.


“If you think you’re the pure, someone else is impure,” she says. The more self-righteous we are about what we eat — because it’s ethical or healthy or local — the more we also tend to judge others on what they eat. Or worse, who they are.

There’s a reason someone says ‘I am a vegetarian,’ rather than ‘I eat vegetarian.’