Returning Back to God in Our Eating
Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you; even as the
green herb have I given you all things.
What is Food?
God’s definition for food is very straightforward, simple and not at all complicated: animals and plant life for food. From the beginning of creation, we were given the responsibility of working in harmony with the earth to cultivate the land to produce crops and raise cattle for food. If you take a quick inventory of what we are eating today, food has taken on many different variations outside of God’s definition. Much of what individuals are eating today is not food at all, but a food product.
Food Products vs. Whole Food
Food products are highly processed and consist of particles derived from whole foods (1). Examples of food products are boxed cereal, soda, instant mashed potatoes, candy, donuts, fast food, frozen dinner entrées, jelly, bagels, canned goods, bottled juice, pasta, bread, pastries, ice cream, and potato chips. Basically, any edible item that is not in its original or whole form. This is where the term whole food comes from. Whole food is food that has not been processed, or is minimally processed, and is still in its original whole state. This includes all vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and nuts. You might be wondering when did we move away from God’s original plan for food? Whole food was transformed into processed food during the Industrial Revolution.
The Industrial Revolution completely changed our relationship with food. Food that was once commonly grown and harvested by families was suddenly replaced by the mechanical process of canning and packaging food, altering its true form (2). In order to preserve processed food products, manufactures added salt, sugar, chemicals, fillers, and other additives. The process of canning and packaging food in massive quantities for global distribution became a normal practice and significantly overshadowed the original method of supplying whole food to families. The truth is, processed food is not food in its natural whole form and is nothing more than a food product; this is far from God’s original plan regarding food.
Garbage In, Garbage Out
In my Award-Winning book, Rock Your World Naturally: 7 Divine Keys to Unlock Extraordinary Health, I share that while I served on Active Duty with the Air Force, one of the jobs that I performed was as a Client System Administrator. I was responsible for troubleshooting computer problems for my organization. One of the first terms that I learned that is still common language in the computer world is GIGO, which stands for Garbage In, Garbage Out. This famous computer axiom means that if invalid information is entered into a computer system, the resulting output will also be invalid (3). For instance, if a program asked me to enter a certain code that required specific letters from the alphabet and I decide to enter numbers, the result that I would receive back would be “garbage.” This would occur because I did not enter or input valid data as required. The human body has been often referenced as the most sophisticated intelligent “computer system” in the world. We must input the right data, in this case whole food, into our bodies to obtain the correct results.
“The adage says, you are what you eat. If you put garbage into your body, the result will ultimately manifest in the form of sickness. Filling our bodies with unhealthy processed food products will always result in GIGO.”
Processed Foods and Your Health
When whole food is processed, it is stripped of essential minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, and is converted into a toxic food product with little to no nutritional value. Because our blood cells are living organisms, they need whole living food to stay healthy. Unprocessed, whole foods are considered living food and provide our blood cells with an abundance of nourishment and healing. Processed food products contain no life and are nutritionally dead. Living whole food in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables is natural medicine for the body.
“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” ~ Hippocrates
If you’ve ever taken time to read the ingredients on the back of any popular cereal box or ready-made instant meal, you will discover dozens of nutritionally dead substances, unpronounceable words and questionable ingredients. When substantial amounts of processed foods are consumed, blood cells are contaminated and become damaged, compromising the body’s ability to function properly. Eating unhealthy processed food has been correlated to chronic illnesses ranging from obesity, diabetes, asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, depression, autoimmune disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), eczema, migraine headaches and insomnia. Because of the health risks associated with eating food products, we must reconsider what we are putting into our bodies.
Eating Is a Spiritual Practice
Christians have disconnected the way that we eat from our spirituality, when in fact God ordained eating as a spiritual practice. When God originally prescribed laws to the children of Israel in the book of Leviticus concerning eating, He made it known that there is a distinction concerning what food He wanted us to eat; organic whole foods and clean meats. In addition to what we are to eat, God also shared that we are not to overindulge in gluttonous eating habits.
“ ...and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite” Proverbs 23:2.
Our nation has become one that is obsessed with doing everything in an enormous or extravagant way. Bigger cars, larger houses and when it comes to eating, we are given the option to biggie size or supersize every meal. The convenience of overindulging in unhealthy, oversized fast food meal portions has contributed to America’s 52% obesity rate. The fat, sugar, and chemical content in these food products inflict damage to our blood cells, creating a chain reaction, plaguing the body with diseases such as high blood pressure, inflammation, stroke, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Most restaurants use a variety of unhealthy cooking methods that change the chemical composition of food, which include: microwaving, frying, barbequeing, pan searing, and grilling. When eaten, they further harm and change the chemical composition of your blood cells. The ease of purchasing fast food products and eating out at restaurants 4-5 times out of the week has literally replaced preparing, healthier home cooked meals.
“In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music combined.”
With fewer meals are being prepared at home, there is no control over proper food preparation or sanitary practices. Not disinfecting food equipment and utensils, improper hand washing, poor hygiene and improper food preparation have all been traced back to food borne illnesses. The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans or 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases (4).
It’s Time to Think About What You Are Eating
We put ourselves at a great disadvantage when we wastefully spend our financial resources on food products that contribute to sickness, yet day in and day out, our culture consumes staggering amounts of unhealthy toxic food. We are simply not taking the time to think about what we are eating on a spiritual level. Rather than embracing a whole food lifestyle as prescribed in the bible, we are consuming dangerous food substances that were never meant to be eaten.
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah are prime examples of making decisions based upon biblical principles concerning our eating. Because their choices stemmed from their obedience and love for God, they experienced amazing health and were found to be unparalleled in wisdom, spiritual agility, interpretation of dreams, leadership ability and were also gifted in mathematics and the sciences. Further proving that eating biblically has everything to do with how we function mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water, Daniel said. “At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s food. Then make your decision in light of what you see. The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others.
The various methods in which we prepare and grow food may have changed, but God’s plan for food has never changed. His plan has always been simplistic in nature, yet is deeply embedded with spiritual principles. When followed, God’s way leads to living a healthy life overflowing with vitality and strength.
The recurring cycle of mindless eating in America is totally dependent upon our five physical senses, what we can see, smell, hear, touch, and taste, rather than on the biblically centered spiritual side of eating. This physical sensed type of eating leads us to believe that if it looks, tastes, and smells good, then it must be good for me. This is a fallacy. The bible reminds us that we have the mind of Christ, therefore, as His children, we have taken on His nature and can think and operate the way that Jesus did on the earth, even in relation to our eating. In our thinking, we must begin developing a disciplined mindset to make wise choices that are pleasing to God that will in turn benefit our health.
I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live
Thinking Mindfully About Eating
When and if you go out to eat, begin asking yourself some of these basic questions to redirect your relationship with food:
Is what I’m eating being driven solely by my physical senses?
Am I eating whole food or a food product?
Am I eating the healthiest food choice for my body?
Where did the food come from?
What methods were used to prepare the food i.e. microwave, fried, barbeque, grilled?
How was it processed?
Was it humanely raised?
Is it Genetically Modified?
These questions will help you to begin thinking mindfully about what you are eating. Your very health rests on these questions. Not only do we need to deeply consider what we are eating, we must take into account how we are eating.
How We Are Eating Is Important
All too often, food is eaten hurriedly usually while driving, watching television, working on the computer, walking down the street or multi-tasking. Whenever the bible speaks of eating food, it speaks of people sitting down and breaking bread together. During an evening meal, while Jesus was sitting down at a table relaxing with His disciples, Matthew 26:20-30, says that He took bread, praised God, gave thanks, broke it, blessed it and gave it to his disciples. In the book of Revelations, God describes a beautiful picture of the marriage supper that Christians will
enjoy with Him in our new heavenly home.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are true words of God."
Christians will be seated at a royal banquet table that could only be fashioned by the Father Himself. How we are eating truly is important to God. He never intended for us to wolf down food and drink. Just as Jesus gave thanks for the food that was before Him, God wants us to follow this example by enjoying and appreciating the true blessing and gift of food. It is time for the Body of Christ to return to God’s principles concerning our eating. He has graciously blessed us by abundantly filling the earth with organic whole foods and humanely raised meats that are healing, nutritious, and delicious. God takes great delight and is honored when we partake of the blessings that He has provided to us.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
As we look around our world today, there is no doubt that we are living in the end times. God needs His people well spiritually and physically for the days that lie ahead. We must be fit to fight for the Kingdom of God. We have come to a point in time where we must lay down our own wisdom and reconnect our spirituality back to God’s way of eating, because what we are doing in our own strength is simply not working. When God gave us the key of eating clean, GMO free, organic whole foods in Genesis 9:3, somehow, over the course of time we discarded it, choosing another way. The wonderful thing about God is that He understands and recognizes that in our humanity we will make mistakes. It is His amazing grace that offers us the opportunity to pick up the keys again so that we can live a life overflowing with health. When we follow His path, we have the promise of living and experiencing a life that is most blessed.
[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.
1. Food product definition http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ food+product
2. Nicholas Appert Issues the First Book on Modern Food Preservation Methods
http://www.historyo nformation.com/expanded. php?id=2541
3. GIGO definition http://techterms.com/definition/gigo
4. Estimates of Food Borne Illness in the US http://www.cdc. gov/foodborneburden/