I remember an old Peanuts cartoon where Snoopy is lying on the peak of his doghouse in his usual fashion. Charlie Brown has just brought Snoopy his dinner dish. He is going on and on about how intelligent pigs are. Way smarter than dogs, he says. As Charlie Brown walks away, the thought bubble appears over Snoopy. “If they are so darn smart why do they call them pigs?”
It is intriguing to me as to how many scriptures in the Old Testament are devoted to dietary laws. Pages and pages on what God’s people should eat, how they should prepare the food and what foods are in fact outright forbidden. You do not have to be a nutritional expert to realise that God’s purpose in it was to keep his people in good health not to make their lives unreasonably miserable. My question is this; So, the New Testament arrives and all of the sudden these foods have become healthy?
I am deeply concerned with the prevalance of cancer in our world today. They now say 1 in 3 will develope cancer in their lifetime. At 51 years old I am the oldest living male in my family. My elders have all died of cancer. Every last one of them. Last year it was my 53 year old brother of lymphoma. It gives one good reason for pause. My wife Kathy are on a journey to good health. We have looked indepth into this epidemic of cancer and have come to some conclusions. We realise that no one seems to know for sure what causes cancer but I think we have some good clues.
When Albert Schweitzer arrived in Africa in 1913 he took note that there was almost no instances of cancer amongst the Congolese. He eventually concluded that the most obvious factor was the significant difference in diet between Europeans and Africans. Specifically that the Africans were eating fresh food and wild game and none of the refined, processed, canned or preserved foods of the Europeans. A fascinating modern day study has shown that the instances of breast cancer among Chinese women is very low. However, once they immigrate to North America it only takes one generation for their breast cancer rate to jump to Western world levels. This fact pretty much eliminates the genetic predisposition argument as the primary cause.
The human body is a remarkable creation. Every several years it completely recreates, replacing every last cell with a new one. Cancer is simply some of those cells mutating into a degenerated form and then reproducing even more of these unhealthy cells. Evidence points to the conclusion that these cells have been invaded by something from outside the body that has damaged them. Something we breathed in (cigarette smoke) or something we ate. Everyday North American’s are bombarding their bodies with toxins, poisons and preservatives in the food we eat. The majority of us are overweight and undernourished because we fill our faces with crap all day long. We are immensely undisciplined in how and what we eat.
There had a to be a very good reason for God’s preoccupation with diet. God isn’t like the arbitrary father that says, “Cause I said so, that’s why”. There is always a reason for everything God says and does. The forbidden foods were less healthy or perhaps even unhealthy. Scavengers (including pigs) will eat just about anything; garbage, feces, rotting flesh etc. Do you really want to be the next one along the line in the food chain? If that wasn’t enough many of our foods have any nutritional value processed out of them and various suspect chemicals added in their place. “Stays fresher in the jar than peanut’s in the shell” What exactly is it that they added to Kraft peanut butter that preserves it for up to a 100 years?
Christians generally use Peter’s Acts 11 vision of unclean foods as a basis for completely disregarding biblical dietary laws. “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ “But I said, ‘Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’” The context has NOTHING to do with Peter needing to change his diet and everything to do with his attitude towards the gentiles.
In the last few years our family has embraced the biblical diet. We do not eat pork or shellfish, in fact we have gone even further and don’t eat any red meats. Unless you are eating wild or organically grown meats then you are feasting on unnatural growth hormones. Our children are growing taller than us not because they are eating healthier but because they have been bombarded with the bovine growth hormones found in all modern farm produced dairy and meat. The hormones (and toxins) are stored in the animal fat. This is what God says about fat.
‘This shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall eat neither fat nor blood.” Lev 3:17
“Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘You shall not eat any fat, of ox or sheep or goat.” Lev 7:23
“And the fat of an animal that dies naturally, and the fat of what is torn by wild beasts, may be used in any other way; but you shall by no means eat it.” Lev 7:24
We bit the bullet and removed most animal fats from our diet including milk, cheese and butter. We have reduced processed and refined foods and eat lots and lots of fresh fruit and vegatables. The next question for us is always , “then where do you get your protein?” The same place cows get it…from the produce of the ground. There are all kinds of legumes and beans that are loaded with protein. Lentils, which we eat a lot of, are 27% protein. There is much more to this story than I can tell here but you get the picture. If we really are what we eat, then we really are a bunch of pigs.
I think we are slowly poisioning ourselves with our diet. We can pray for people till the cows come home (pun intented) but the rate of cancers are just going to keep on climbing if we don’t make drastic changes to our diet. Maybe, just maybe God knew what He was talking about when He told the Jews what was good for the bodies to eat.