Faith, Diet and food
Oh my welcome to my nightmare. Did you know that Vincent Fernier, better known as Alice Cooper occasionally teaches Sunday school, at least when not on tour or on the golf course. As you may guess the subject of food and the way we eat is a pretty important topic. Diet has been a major problem for me throughout my entire life. It was not too bad in High School, hell back then everybody wanted me to put on weight. Offensive lineman, Defensive lineman, wrestling in the heavy weight division man the buffet was my best friend. Once I got out of High School that changed a bit. Uncle Sugar did not feel the same way, so while I was in the Army I faced many challenges, but the one that I just could not overcome was my weight. I fought and fought I dieted and exercised and the battle of the bulge has been the greatest struggle I face, and still face. So when looking at Scripture as a guide to what I should eat to be healthy I have taken a much greater interest.
So lets start looking at the beginning again, Gen. 1:29. And God said, “Look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. Wow veggies and fruit, seems we just can’t get away from those. Remember this is in book one chapter one God gives us the hint. Now thankfully a little further in we get this gem, in Gen. 9:3 God gives us the go ahead for eating meat (wild game) in addition to grain and vegetables. Then in Gen.27: 1-8 we are told about eating not only wild game but also goat. In Gen 18:8 drinking milk and eating cheese is mentioned and in Gen. 43 we get honey, almonds and pistachios. In Lev. 19:23-25 makes mention of tree fruits first noted in the Garden of Eden in Gen. 3. Specific fruits are mentioned in Hos. 9:10 (fresh grapes and figs), Joel 1:12 (pomegranates, date palms, and apples) and in Hag. 2:19 (pomegranates, grapes, and figs, along with olives). Deut. 11:10 mentions vegetables. See also Num. 11:5, Prov. 15:17, Dan. 1:12, 16, and Rom. 14:2.
Deut. 14:11. You may eat any bird that is ceremonially clean. Thus poultry is in the approved biblical diet. See also 1 Kings 4:23 and Neh. 5:18.
2 Sam. 17:28 mentions beans and lentils. These are grain legumes that stand beside meat in the USDA Food Pyramid. See also 2 Sam. 23:11 and Ezek. 4:9.
Ps. 104:14-15. You [God] cause grass to grow for the cattle. You cause plants to grow for people to use. You allow them to produce food from the earth–wine to make them glad, olive oil as lotion for their skin, and bread to give them strength. The ancient Hebrew diet is thus outlined with unnamed livestock products (milk and meat) plus a primary diet based on wine, oil, and grains. The major importance of these last three groups is confirmed by Deut. 7:13, 2 Kings 18:32, and Neh. 5:11. Grain, oil, and wine are mentioned together 21 times in the ESV.
So we have been given an awesome variety of things we can eat to be healthy and guess what. Yep you guessed it we screwed it up.
We have taken the most awesome stuff God gives us and turned out things like Twinkies and hohos and turned great nurturing food into a commodity that we gamble on every day. We have convinced nations that can barley sustain themselves through agriculture that they must forgo growing food to sustain themselves but that they must instead grow food that can be sold on the international markets. How awesome is it that we introduce stuff they don’t want to eat to supply the extra stuff we want to eat and then convince them they are better off growing it for us and selling it on the international market and taking the money they make and buy from someone else the stuff they need to feed their own people. Does that sound pretty stupid to any one other than me?
When I was a kid and we occasionally went to various church dinners I always loved it. No place like a church potluck for some serious eating of awesome comfort food. As I got older and started to read the bible I was very confused about many of the Old Testament restrictions on diet. One that puzzled me greatly was the restriction on pork. I was more confused over the fact that at every church meal I had ever attended ham was always a main attraction. I asked people I knew why we ate stuff at church that the Old Testament told us we should not be eating. Sadly no one really new. I even asked a pastor once and he just said it was somewhere in the New Testament but he was not sure where. So I took it upon myself to do a little more research into this. I didn’t feel I should be eating something God said I should not, never mind that I had no problem ignoring so many other things I should have been paying attention to at that time. The thought of a life without bacon just didn’t seem right. So I found the places in the New Testament that freed us up from many of the restrictions placed upon us in regards to food in the Old Testament. First Jesus tells us that “You are not defiled by what you eat; … Food doesn’t come in contact with your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then comes out again.” That is Mark 7:15-19 and then even more specific in opening the culinary door to the wonderful world of pork products is in the book of Acts. Acts 10:11-16 to be exact “He [Peter] saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” “Never, Lord,” Peter, declared. “I have never in all my life eaten anything forbidden in our Jewish laws.” The voice spoke again, “If God says something is acceptable, don’t say it isn’t.” The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was pulled up again to heaven.”
So there we have it God opened up everything for us as far as food goes. But why would he have put those restrictions on us in the first place. For that I would say there are many great reasons. We must remember that when many of these rules where put in place humanity was still mostly made up of wondering tribes of nomadic herders. So many of these rules really had to do more with over all health issues. Triginosis is a bug that humans can get from under cooked pork and is quite deadly; interestingly enough the only other animal that carries that particular brand of nastiness is the bear. Some of the other Old Testament rules involved many of the same concerns. Later during the time of Jesus civilization had advanced and so had our ability to properly cook foods to the point that they where less likely to do us harm. That being said we still have a long way to go in regards to making our food supply totally safe.
But it seems that the ability we have to dine on a vast variety of the natural bounties of the earth are not good enough. Well maybe I should restate that, good enough just not profitable enough. So here in the US we have narrowed ourselves down dramatically in what we eat. Beef, Pork and Chicken are our general staples. Some seafood or fresh water fish and the occasional turkey make there way into the diets of most Americans. But the big three Beef, Pork and Chicken are far and away the majority of what most of us eat. And in order to push the profitability of the biological organisms we choose to narrowly dine upon we have started adding all kinds of chemicals to them. Antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids. Does anyone else find it strange that we are far more worked up over a guy taking steroids to hit a baseball or ride a bike than we are about putting them into our freaking food?
And now the ultimate with GMO’s
Please someone explain how just with the regular stuff we have in the world to sustain us we have decided we are better off mucking with DNA and adding things together that have no business being together, other than for the sake of business that is. We have seen explosions of various health problems from obesity to diabetes to autism and we do not choose to add together the facts. Even when corporate America is willing to spend tons and tons of cash so they do not have to label the GMO’s. Welcome to America, one a great experiment in freedom, now just a damn science experiment.