A recent episode of SGU (Episode #597 - December 17th, 2016 minute 5:30) got me thinking about Orthorexia, a term I found while trying to define a set of behaviors I see increasingly manifest in myself and others. I've seen it described as a "Fixation on Rightous Eating" - but how do we define righteous? It's not necessarily about what is healthy or unhealthy. I've seen this disorder defined as "a maniacal obsession for healthy foods" but I think a broader definition is needed to understand all the limiting factors in play which is why I argue for the term "righteous"... some of the moral concerns are completely rational, or rational to a varying degree, and they play off other concerns, irrational or otherwise...
*There are global and economic concerns - Where was it made or grown? Is it benefiting the local economy? How much does it cost? Is it worth paying more or less for it?
*There are humanitarian concerns - How is it made, processed, where, by whom, under what conditions?
*There are often animal rights concerns - How are the animals bred, fed, treated while alive, treated when slaughtered? While harvesting wheat and soy, how many mice, rabbits, cats are scooped up by the combines?
*There are concerns over conspiracy - What is in the food? Has it been grown "properly" or "naturally". Has it been modified. Has it been tested for "safeness". Can we trust the results of the tests or the people who did the studies?
A certain number of people learn what they're going to learn, progressively, from their in-group, resulting in a feedback loop (echo chamber). Through social media and advertising we've started editing each other's diets much more quickly and effectively than we used to. It would take time and/or energy to change your views, or the truth itself would have to change - and even if the truth did change you would have to know about it.
Combined with legitimate reasons to restrict one's food intake, and other factors, such as one's ability to imagine what they could eat, these moral and "truthy" and (other) concerns make it very possible to end up with a very short list of foods that one feels are "okay" to consume at a given time... The cycle also includes factors such as self-punishment.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthorexia_nervosahttps://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/orthorexia-nervosa