Are we really 'detoxing' — or just re-naming the crash diet?

Just in time for the new year, author and academic Tim Caulfield critiques our cultural fascination with clean slates.

Detox isn't just the domain of models and celebrities anymore. As juice bars and colon cleansing clinics multiply in our cities, Tim Caulfield is fact checking the fresh start.

The academic and author (Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?) joins guest host Rachel Giese to explore our growing obsession with cleanses — particularly at the dawn of a new year — and how we might understand them as metaphors for new beginnings. 

Also: are we really "detoxifying" our bodies, or just re-branding the fad diet? Are liquefied fruits and veggies really better than solids? And why do so many people suddenly care about gut health? 

q:  Why is the idea of the cleanse so appealing? Health motives aside, do you think detoxing has emotional or spiritual value? 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?