I was strolling through a shopping mall recently, when my eye was caught by by a young woman acting rather strangely.
She walked out of a greengrocer with a single large apple, placed the apple on a handkerchief and applied hand-sanitiser liquid liberally all over it before biting into it.
Twin pathologies seemed to me to be at work here, anorexia and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
It also raised a number of questions in my mind:
Apart from anything else, what does hand-sanitiser taste like, and should one consume the stuff in such a peculiar fashion?
If one is excessively worried about germs on one’s food, might one not simply wash it? Of course this woman may also have had a deep morbid fear of germs in water, which raises a whole nother issue, the marketing of bottled water by false advertising, pseudo-science and quackery for the simple motive of corporate greed.
What does this woman brush her teeth with? Vodka? Does she keep her lips tightly sealed and pinch her nose when she showers, lest, god forbid, unclean water splash into her bodily cavities?
Does she wash her broccoli? With what? Does she boil rice?
What does she drink?
Are there other people out there like this woman? Is she a lone lunatic, or just someone who takes irrational concerns about food and drink to the next level?
Is scientifically stupid food faddism a classifiable mental illness, up there with anorexia and bulimia?
It’s a very first world problem, of course, this obsession with gimmick diets, “super-foods” and nutritional make-believe. As I often say, anyone who carries on in this manner has never been truly hungry. Healthy living is not that complicated. Our grand-parents had it pretty much right.