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Questions to Consider While Reading

What is ‘orthorexia’? Do you recognise this as a contemporary malaise?

Does the clean eating ethos mean that people are absolved of the ‘need to do anything else beyond selecting products for purchase’ (Charlotte Biltekoff), or does it encourage critical thinking about the food system?

Is a concern for healthy eating just another form of consumerism, or is it part of a radical critique of what Michael Pollan called the ‘nutritional industrial complex’?

What role does 'personal responsibility' play in clean eating? How might this connect to the critiques of dieting that we considered a few weeks ago?

FIRST Use the internet to explore the emergence of the concept of ‘orthorexia’.

THEN read one item from this list:

Abbots, Emma-Jayne, “Eating for Self and Society: Responsible, Acceptable and Abject Bodies.” The Agency of Eating: Mediation, Food and the Body (London, 2017)--access by the Bloomsbury Food Library, in the 'databases' section of the Warwick Library catalogue

Belasco, Warren, ‘Food and the Counterculture: A Story of Bread and Politics’, Food in Global History, ed. Raymond Grew (Boulder, 1999).
Biltekoff, Charlotte, Eating Right in America: The Cultural Politics of Food and Health (Durham, 2013), Chapter 4: 'From Microscopes to 'Macroscopes''.*

Bratman, Steven, 'Orthorexia vs. theories of healthy eating', Eating and Weight Disorders 22 (2017), pp. 381–385.

Coveney, John, Food, Morals and Meaning: The Pleasure and Anxiety of Eating (London, 2000), Introduction.

Crawford, Robert, ‘Health as a Meaningful Social Practice’, Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health 10:4 (2006).

O'Neill, Rachel, '"Glow from the Inside Out": Deliciously Ella and the Politics of "Healthy Eating"', European Journal of Cultural Studies 24:6 (2020).

*Sign into the Warwick Library Catalogue to access the electronic version.

To Learn More

Atkins, Peter J., 'Fattening Children or Fattening Farmers? School Milk in Britain, 1921–19411', The Economic History Review 58:1 (2005).

Barry, Wendall, ‘The Pleasures of Eating’, What Are People For? Essays (Berkeley, 2010).

Belasco, Warren, Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took On the Food Industry (Ithaca, 2006).

Block, Daniel, ‘Saving Milk through Masculinity: Public Health Officers and Pure Milk, 1880-1930, Food & Foodways 13 (2005),

Jackson, Peter. 2015. “Introduction.” In Anxious Appetites: Food and Consumer Culture, edited by Peter Jackson. Bloomsbury Academic.

Levenstein, Harvey, Fear of Food: The History of Why We Worry About What We Eat (Chicago, 2012).

Pollan, Michael, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (London, 2006).

Trentmann, Frank, 'Bread, Milk and Democracy: Consumption and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century Britain', The Politics of Consumption: Material Culture and Citizenship in Europe and America, ed. Martin James Daunton and Matthew Hilton (Oxford, 2001).