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Junk Food Defined

This article, first published in 1990, provides a clear explanation of what should and should not be considered “junk food”.

“The real definition of junk food (or, of any of its synonyms) should recognize the fact that the adjective is applied exclusively to food items that children, and especially teenagers, find appetizing. Thus, codliver oil, despite its undeniable greasiness and artificially added vitamins and preservatives, is not junk food, because children loath it. Cake, which children love, is, on the other hand, a non-basic (or junk) food, despite containing flour, eggs, milk products, fruit, and sugar (which, with the inexplicable exception of the sugar, are all individually classed as “basic” food items).”

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1 Comment(s)

  1. Really good article! But I would argue that it’s not about vilifying food that children find appetizing. It’s about vilifying food that we all find appetizing.

    As a society we have a really twisted suspicion of anything that brings pleasure. Money, Sex, and Food are all targets.

    But I think that article has a hold on the general idea, that our hang-ups about food really do have more to do with moral righteousness than they do with health.

    Parrot | Oct 2, 2007 | Reply

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