The harmful effluvia of modern life

Jen Gunter takes on “wellness” in the Times.

Let’s take the trend of adding a pinch of activated charcoal to your food or drink. While the black color is strikingly unexpected and alluring, it’s sold as a supposed “detox.”

Guess what? It has the same efficacy as a spell from the local witch.

Maybe it’s a matter of aesthetics. Wellness potions in beautiful jars with untested ingredients of unknown purity are practically packaged for Instagram.

I also want to clear up what toxins actually are: harmful substances produced by some plants, animals and bacteria (and, for them, charcoal is no cure).

“Toxins,” as defined by the peddlers of these dubious cures, are the harmful effluvia of modern life that supposedly roam our bodies, causing belly bloat and brain fog, like a microscopic Emmanuel Goldstein from George Orwell’s “1984.”

Ha! A microscopic Emmanuel Goldstein; I love that. EG stood, of course, for Trotsky, that other naughty Jew.

Medicine and religion have long been deeply intertwined, and it’s only relatively recently that they have separated. The wellness-industrial complex seeks to resurrect that connection. It’s like a medical throwback, as if the halcyon days of health were 5,000 years ago. Ancient cleansing rituals with a modern twist — supplements, useless products and scientifically unsupported tests.

All sold in pretty jars or pretty paper or pretty boxes. I like pretty jars and paper and boxes myself, but I manage not to think of them as medicinal, or even a source of “wellness.”

By the way I wrote a Freethinker column about Paltrow and “wellness” last week.

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