MEET ME AT CLUB MED

If you are what you eat, then many of you are butylated hydroxytoulene.  BHT is added to many packaged foods to prevent them from going rancid in your kitchen cupboard.  It is the same chemical they put in your fuel to prevent it from going bad in your gas tank.  Go check the label on that box of crackers and you will see this ingredient along with many other unknown sounding chemicals.  It is not a food, should not be going into your mouth, is a known carcinogen, and has been linked to hyperactivity in children.

Our food supply has been seriously compromised and is clearly linked to the epidemic levels of cancers, heart disease and diabetes in our culture.  When missionary doctor 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.

Given what is pretty much general knowledge as to what constitutes a healthy diet today, how is it that the 970 calorie Baconator is still at the top of Wendy’s menu?   In fairness to Wendy’s, the Baconator at 970 calories is not the world’s most unhealthy burger.  Check out this video about the Heart Attack Grill.

The restaurant’s 575 pound spokesman Blair River died last year at the age of 29.

I will admit that I am on a crusade to encourage people to get healthier.  I actually do know what I am talking about when it comes to the food supply.  Many of you will not know that my background is in food production.  I am an Agriculture grad from the University of Manitoba and worked in the farming and grain industry before I went into the ministry.  I was a bit of a radical back then and was always  experimenting.  I was one of the first persons to grow lentils in Manitoba when it was just taking off as a commercial crop in our province..  I imported the seed from Idaho.  Today it is an important Manitoba crop.  Over the years I have watched as our food supply has been poisoned by pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified organisms, preservatives, additives etc.  I also know that at times I sound like one of those annoying ex-smokers that is always telling people that if they don’t quit they are going to die of lung cancer.  But I, like the ex-smokers, have pure motives.  It is not about being judgmental, it is because we want our friends to stick around awhile to continue to be our friends.  I could rag on and on about what not to eat and why, and tell you about all kinds of scary things in the food supply, but instead today I want to point you in a more positive direction.

When God created man one of the first things he did was tell him what to eat.  In the Garden of Eden it was fresh fruits and vegetables.  Mankind did not eat meat for at least 1700 years until after the flood. (See Genesis 9)  When God did permit the eating of meat it was already known which animals were fit for food and which were not. The unclean animals were the scavengers (snails, eels, shrimp, vultures, crows, pigs etc.).  The clean animals were those that chewed their cud like cows, sheep, goats, and fish with scales, and non-scavenging birds like chicken and the like. (Lev. 11)  For the record this list was known for at least a 1000 years before Moses law as it is mentioned in the story of Noah.   100′s of scriptures in the Old Testament are devoted to the 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.  God’s purpose in it all was to keep His people in good health.  He created man, so I am reasonably convinced that He would be the best authority on what they should eat.   My question is this; So, the New Testament arrives and all of a sudden these foods have become healthy?  I highly doubt it.  How Jesus dying on the cross makes bacon healthy is beyond me.  But I digress.

I feel one of the biggest problems is there are too many voices telling us what we should or should not eat that it has become confusing, and so we just eat what we like and take our chances.  There is a simple solution to all this.  Many are probably familiar with the Mediterranean Diet.  It is 1000′s of years old and has come out of the very region that the bible emerged.  It is as close as you will find to the biblical diet.  One of the most helpful tools is the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

The bulk of our diet should be made up of ‘whole’ grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts.  Diary should take the form of cheese or yogurt as animal milk is not easily digested by humans and was never drank in the bible.  Fish and poultry are the best forms of meat, with fish having the edge for low fat and high omega 3 fatty acid.  Sweets were only eaten as a special treat, not every day and certainly not after every meal.  An example in scripture was during the major Jewish feasts.  “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Neh 8:10)   The sugar in our diets is literally killing us.  Don’t forget that sugar is added to almost every packaged food on the store shelf.  Red meat was never consumed everyday or at every meal as it is today in our culture.  Even among those who were wealthy and could afford it, red meat was reserved for special occasions.  (See the story of the prodigal son  - Luke 15)  They only time we see Jesus eating red meat was during the Passover.  Red meat is too hard to digest and contains more animal fat than our bodies  can deal with.  The objection is always; “Well where will I get protein?”  How about the same place as cows get it.  Cows don’t eat meat. All the protein they make has come from the vegetation they consume.  Grains, nuts and vegetables are loaded with protein.  Lentils have more protein than beef.  Quinoa the ancient wonder grain has 16% protein more than twice that of rice.  But even whole wheat has 14% protein.

If I could leave you with one more challenge.  You have got to get the ‘whites’ out of your diet, they are killing you – white flour, white pasta, white rice, white bread (simple carbohydrates that turn into sugar in your bloodstream) and of course white sugar.  And finally here’s my best dietary advice.  Print this pyramid off and post it on your fridge.   Start putting it into practice every day and  you will feel better, stay healthier, lose weight and never have to go on diet again.  So, meet me at Club Med.

UPDATE: FEB 25, 2013

Today the New England Journal of Medicine published a 5 year study confirming the health benefits of adopting the Mediterranean diet.  The following article appeared in the Calgary Herald:

Pour on the olive oil, preferably over fish and vegetables: One of the longest and most scientific tests of a Mediterranean diet suggests this style of eating can cut the chance of suffering heart-related problems, especially strokes, in older people at high risk of them.

The study lasted five years and involved about 7,500 people in Spain. Those who ate Mediterranean-style with lots of olive oil or nuts had a 30 per cent lower risk of major cardiovascular problems compared to others who were told to follow a low-fat diet. Mediterranean meant lots of fruit, fish, chicken, beans, tomato sauce, salads, and wine and little baked goods and pastries.

Mediterranean diets have long been touted as heart-healthy, but that’s based on observational studies that can’t prove the point. The new research is much stronger because people were assigned diets to follow for a long time and carefully monitored. Doctors even did lab tests to verify that the Mediterranean diet folks were consuming more olive oil or nuts as recommended.

Most of these people were taking medicines for high cholesterol and blood pressure, and researchers did not alter those proven treatments, said the study’s leader, Dr. Ramon Estruch of Hospital Clinic in Barcelona.

But as a first step to prevent heart problems, “we think diet is better than a drug” because it has few if any side effects, Estruch said. “Diet works.”

Results were published online Monday by the New England Journal of Medicine and were to be discussed at a nutrition conference in Loma Linda, Calif.

People in the study were not given rigid menus or calorie goals because weight loss was not the aim. That could be why they found the “diets” easy to stick with — only about 7 per cent dropped out within two years. There were twice as many dropouts in the low-fat group than among those eating Mediterranean-style.

Researchers also provided the nuts and olive oil, so it didn’t cost participants anything to use these relatively pricey ingredients. The type of oil may have mattered — they used extra-virgin olive oil, which is richer than regular or light olive oil in the chemicals and nutrients that earlier studies have suggested are beneficial.

The study involved people ages 55 to 80, just over half of them women. All were free of heart disease at the start but were at high risk for it because of health problems — half had diabetes and most were overweight and had high cholesterol and blood pressure.

They were assigned to one of three groups: Two followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with either extra-virgin olive oil (4 tablespoons a day) or with walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds (a fistful a day). The third group was urged to eat a low-fat diet heavy on bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, fruits, vegetables and fish and light on baked goods, nuts, oils and red meat.

Independent monitors stopped the study after nearly five years when they saw fewer problems in the two groups on Mediterranean diets.

Doctors tracked a composite of heart attacks, strokes or heart-related deaths. There were 96 of these in the Mediterranean-olive oil group, 83 in the Mediterranean-nut group and 109 in the low-fat group.

Looked at individually, stroke was the only problem where type of diet made a big difference. Diet had no effect on death rates overall.

The Spanish government’s health research agency initiated and paid for the study, and foods were supplied by olive oil and nut producers in Spain and the California Walnut Commission. Many of the authors have extensive financial ties to food, wine and other industry groups but said the sponsors had no role in designing the study or analyzing and reporting its results.

Rachel Johnson, a University of Vermont professor who heads the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee, said the study is very strong because of the lab tests to verify oil and nut consumption and because researchers tracked actual heart attacks, strokes and deaths — not just changes in risk factors such as high cholesterol.

“At the end of the day, what we care about is whether or not disease develops,” she said. “It’s an important study.”

Rena Wing, a weight-loss expert at Brown University, noted that researchers provided the oil and nuts, and said “it’s not clear if people could get the same results from self-designed Mediterranean diets” — or if Americans would stick to them more than Europeans used to such foods.

A third independent expert also praised the study as evidence diet can lower heart risks.

“The risk reduction is close to that achieved with statins” — widely used cholesterol drugs, said Dr. Robert Eckel, a diet and heart disease expert at the University of Colorado.

“But this study was not carried out or intended to compare diet to statins or blood pressure medicines,” he warned. “I don’t think people should think now they can quit taking their medicines.”

By Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press February 25, 2013 7:50 AM

 

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58 Responses to MEET ME AT CLUB MED

  1. Bruno says:

    I lived in Okinawa for a while (now in Thailand) and seeing an 80-year old guy running every morning in the sun was a sight to behold.

    There’s a load of videos about diets on the web, each as interesting (or not)as the next, but since I watched this one eerily last week, here’s the link (it’s only 14min). It’s a man and his wife who spent time eating with families around the world, understanding their routine and the amount of food they consume and the emergence of chemicals in diets from people as far Chad or Peru.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsYOhRdlpuw

    • menorito says:

      Terry u r holding the bull from the tail, don’t think about pornography and else bw a waitress and the guy. This ab eating junk vs eating healthy. Change ur mind and erase from ur head dirty toughts

      • Steve says:

        I am a recovering sex addict, i have been sober for 6 months and i agree men are bombarded with sexual images and it is a daily struggle to overcome it. But to overcome a struggle or an addiction, you simply can’t hide under a rock and avoid it. True overcomes learn how to use the tools God has given us and deal with theses situations. I did prefer the other video because i found it more effective in driving the point home about how we willingly abuse our bodies. The focus was not on the waitress… If that is what you did focus on, then i am afraid that you missed the point of the video.

        I was late for church Sunday because i got so excited and involved in planning out my new scheduled eating and workout plan. I laughed to mysef that your message was focused on exactly what i was late for church for. Good job Pastor, i will attend your church again. :)

      • Steve says:

        Wolves hunt in packs.

      • Steve says:

        Menorito,or whatever your name is.Why do you think you can mock God by degrading your own brother with sick assumptions? Guys like Terry are worth having in Churches because they stand up for the Bible. You need to get right with your Maker and apologise to your brother Terry.

        • Byron says:

          The garb of those scantily clad like waitresses in the video is as common place as anywhere. At work, in businesses, on the street, etc. clothing similar to those waitresses are a daily presence. I would think men would be almost immune to female exhibitionism by now.
          But Terry says men need help to overcome their addiction to porn. Perhaps the wives of such individuals would be a good place to start. Why are these men straying to begin with?

          True story. I attended a church service one Sunday and the theme was wholeness. The topic of pornography aimed at men arose. Guys, the pastor said, you shouldn’t be thinking about your sisters in Christ like this. And, guys, you shouldn’t be thinking about any woman in this manner, that you should have more respect for them. Being in a large assembly room I, not long after this admonishment, noticed a 30-ish woman walk across the room toward the bathroom – dressed in skin tight jeans with a high enough shoe heel for added allure. At the end of this particular service that included shaming the young men the people began either to exit the hall or congregate with others. Couldn’t help but notice how many other women of varying ages had attired themselves for a normal church outing in similar skin tight clothing from top to bottom with some showing cleavage in near similar proportions to those waitresses in the video. As a result I had thought that this 90 minute Sunday gathering was kind of sick.
          And not very respectful to men at the best of times wouldn’t you say? But in church of all places? Where the message of wholeness and male shaming was recently discussed?

          Maybe we need to have a little talk with the girls as well about respect. It is women themselves who willingly present and portray themselves as the subject of lust in all porn, at work, in businesses and on the street dressed similar to and in more revealing clothing than those video waitresses.
          And let us not especially forget those women in the church itself who parade themselves in such a manner. Hope you folks are doing this too – having a chat with the girls everywhere regarding their contribution to stimulating men’s innate sexual desire. Otherwise you are wasting everyone’s time if you are not.

  2. Terry says:

    Loved the article about eating healthy but I don’t think the video should have been used. Not because of the food the people were eating (which by the way was really GROSS) but because of the scantily dressed waitresses. Men in our society are bombarded each day with pornography and we as a church are trying to help men overcome this addiction. It is not appropriate for any church’s website to have this kind of content.

    • Sherry DeRidder says:

      Thanks Pastor Mark. I’ve printed the mediterrean diet. 12 years ago I found a book by Dr. Don Colbert ” Weight Loss Muscle Gain” I followed it and lost about 60 pounds. It was healthy eating very similar to the Mediterrean plan. Exercise too of course. The way I see it, if God created it, it’s good. If man made it I better think twice.

      • Sherry DeRidder says:

        Oops! I goofed. Your message about this today was so good. Steve came home and said he seriously has to change his way of eating.So now my guy is with me,”I praise and thank you Lord God!”
        I goofed when I said “If God created it, it’s good.” As we learned today,not all He created was to eat. But what He did create and SAID to eat, that is good for body. Thanks a big bunch Pastor Mark!

    • Mark Hughes says:

      Alright, for the most part I agree. I switched the video to one that is less risque. Not as good at the original, but still gets the point across.

  3. Gerry Normandin says:

    Thanks Pastor Mark for this article and I wasn’t upset with seeing what the servers were wearing in the video — it shows what’s wrong with certain people. And if a viewer likes what the servers are wearing then that viewer should know he or she need to identify their problems better. Getting those unclothed areas blocked would be better if your tech team can do it.

  4. Terry says:

    Thanks for changing it, I feel the less risque is a better choice.

  5. Linda Kachur says:

    Pastor Mark, you are such a great individual. In regards to your Mediterranean pyramid, it all seems well and good. However, I am border line anemic and I absolutely need red meat at least 3x a week. I rely on salmon also. Chicken and other fish just don’t cut it with me. Failure of red meat consumption in my condition leads to that memorable fainting scene with Streep in the opening of Sophie’s Choice. Also, milk and grain lead to heaviness and a lot of whole grain products have already been modified. I used to consume Squirrel no flour bread which used to make me very sick for some reason.

    • Mark Hughes says:

      Linda
      You need to do what works for you. The iron is red meat is definitely more easily absorbed but there are alternatives like Lentils (and other legumes)that actually contain more iron than meat. Dark green vegetables as well. You probably already take a B12 and folic acid that is also essential for those battling enemia. Iron supplements don’t work for everybody, but very well for many. I assume you have done your homework and it sounds like you are working hard to stay healthy.

  6. Sally says:

    Pastor Mark, an excellent blog on how to live the “Zoey Life” of God! Your message today was excellent too! Now to implement the exercise part which is my weakness as well as sleep deprivation at times. Working nights has a way of doing that to you.
    One thing in your message that I noticed you did not mention was the excessive drinking of coffees which I know as a nurse is definitely not good for you!

    • anonymous says:

      @Jamie…..Poisoning our babies? Thats somewhat of a rude thing to say about the ministry that watches your kids while you enjoy a sermon. I understand your concern but make an effort not to be offensive.

      • Jamie says:

        I do appologize if I offended you anonymous. This was not my intention. I did say “let’s” as in we or me included. WE all have a part in raising our children as a community. I have brought up the snack issue in the past, but WE were not able to come up with a solution as of yet. I was hoping Pastor Mark would have some ideas. Those graham crackers are not healthy and are a slow form of poison. It’s a fact. I am not saying the church is poisoning anyone on purpose. Oh my! I do think the church is a great place to teach our children and every little bit helps.

  7. Jamie says:

    Finally! I am so happy someone in the church is talking about “Health According to The Scriptures”! Everytime I start questioning my church you come through Pastor Mark. On the way to church this morning I asked God to give me some direction. I have been studying nutrition for 4 years!! Have you read The Makers Diet? It’s very inspiring. Maybe this is a good time to bring up my concern about the snack in Kidz Rock. Graham crackers? Please read the ingredients on the box. Lets please make an effort to stop poisoning our babies. If there is anything I can do to help let me know. I also would like to to drop off a book for you by Paul Nison if you dont mind reading it. Where and when would be the best? I would also like to discuss starting some “Health According to The Scriptures” classes in the church if that interests you.

    • Mark Hughes says:

      We had Jordan Ruben (Makers Diet)speak at the church when his book first came out. Most have likely already forgot what he said. I have to be careful not to be too pushy with the diet thing but I will bring up the Kidz Rock snack thing. I don’t need Nison’s book, I have read his stuff… but thanks.

  8. Kathleen says:

    Thankyou for this great post and sermon Pastor Mark!! I have been researching natural health alternatives after being tired of taking prescription drugs with side effects. I strongly believe that we are what we eat! I must say that I do get upset stomach from wheat. I have read an article that the GMO wheat is making us sick. I will definately cut out pork( It will be difficult and I will have to rely on much prayer as I do love bacon. Currently taking supplements, eating whole grains such as spelt, quinoa , also, fruit and veggie smoothies. Stevia in replacement of sugar, and raw honey. I think eating honey is biblical? Thanks to your sermon for opening my eyes regarding the pork. I thought that Jesus changed all that but now I know that I was mistaken. Bless you. Any other tips? ps I dont take any drugs at all. One more question…Are the benefits from cooked veggies as good as raw?

  9. Bruno says:

    I’ll agree with anonymous here, Ahh those accursed baby poisoners because the cookies didn’t have the right amount of stuff! This is a good example of the uphill battle of nutrition. A portion of its speakers bring the subject coherently while the other exaggerate everything out of proportions.

    With exaggerations its easy to make good points though: if the cookies does’t poison them, the gas fumes they inadvertently inhaled while getting in the car did.

    I have nothing against eating well, far from there, but somehow I think those eating less well are not psychopaths either.

    I am also sure that graham cookies on a weekly meeting counts as a treat and not a forcefed concentration of evil.

  10. lss says:

    Sorry I missed the sermon today but my wife came home ready to give up pork (something I’ve been hoping for) but in serious pain with the idea of giving up shellfish. It is a great start though and thanks for posting the mediterranean pyramid diet. That will come in handy for sure.
    Poisoning our babies! Give me a break. Jamie clearly you don’t have children otherwise you would understand the constraints of time and money.
    For the most part we cook daily and try to stay away from packaged goods. When feeding a family of six things get expensive real fast so it makes it hard. We are a thankful family who ask our Father to bless our food before we eat together each day. So thanks for the good tips and sharing your knowledge on food Pastor Mark.

    • Jamie says:

      Iss, I do have 4 beautiful children and feed my family of 6 on a very low income. By the grace of God we do not have to consume man made boxed food. We try our best to eat locally and support our farmers. Saying “poisoning our babies” may sound a little harsh, but in the long run it is quite true. By teaching our children to feed their bodies what you would feed Jesus I think it helps them to understand that we are the temple that He lives in. If we are going to eat things that make us sick then how are we going to do God’s work here on earth and let Jesus shine thru us? All we have to do is pray and ask God to provide the foods He made for us to be healthy. He will not let you down!

    • Jessica says:

      Jamie,
      Looks like you’re catching flak for saying “poisoning” but as a mother of 3, I agree with you that the church should model for our children Godly living, including eating what God wants us to eat. The stuff in packaged food is poison. It doesn’t need quotation marks. As adults, parents, caregivers, it’s our job to do the best we can do – no excuses. Whatever is important, we will make time for as a society. Good for you for taking a stand, and feeding your children properly – spiritually and physically.

  11. Dave says:

    I agree with Pastor Mark about eating healthy and exercising. However, I am concerned that anything taken to an extreme could actually be “bad”. For example, eating healthy can become such an obsession that it can be classified as an addiction. (state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming). I think there comes a point when there is a fine line between our body being a temple and our body being a/(our?) god.

  12. Gord says:

    Thank you for your sermon this last Sunday. It was refreshing to finally hear someone speak on this topic. I’m sure there are a few sore bellies about it this morning (pun intended)
    I brought my friend to your church for the first time and he was able to relate very well to the down to earth manner in which you presented the subject. He grew up Catholic and is searching for a deeper truth. Your sermon was pretty much a perfect first time for him.
    While you advocate strongly for daily physical activity; I have to wonder why it is so difficult to have a steady and regular Sunday night Men’s Floor Hockey. This is a valuable manner in which to bring people to the church as a first contact and promotes fitness and activity. This being my second season playing; I have heard from at least half a dozen new people that they intend to get in shape and Men’s floor hockey is often their first step in doing that. Please make more effort to allow us to play more regularly. While I understand other groups wish to use the church’s facilities; consider that often this floor hockey game is both a first contact with a church and a first step in men taking charge of the state of their bodies and beginning to make the changes needed and encouraged by your sermon to become healthy again.
    Lastly; while I agree with most of your food pyramid, don’t forget that some people have food allergies and intolerances. Personally I cannot tolerate milk sugars and am allergic to casiene. This removes all yogurts and cheeses. I’ve found that the blood type diet works well for me. For my blood type a diet strong on beef is recommended and I thrive on it. I cannot stand the taste or texture of lentils and beans. Being a professional firefighter, I have to maintain myself to be able to perform at the highest physical level in the most inhospitable conditions at a moments notice. Eating lentils, most grains and dairy would render me quite useless.

  13. Evelyn Bennett says:

    Bravo Pastor Mark another message that tilted the scale between being offensive and useful. You are doing something right. If the enemy got word his nemesis is getting healthier that means are battles will be easier to win. The battle of the mind is a hard struggle I should know. I have suffered from insomnia for 15 years. Around the time I came back to the Lord and my wonderful home Church of the Rock.

    I remember when we used to have evening prayer walks with the ministry. Titi was so much fun when she was Leading. How bout congregation are you game. The battle of the bulge is already disappearing as we speak.

    Instead of red meat how bout switching to liver once in awhile.

    I do not know if switching to organic is the problem. Balance the food with exercise.
    That is all I got. Be easy on our pastor. He is a clean bill of health. There is a predisposition of colon cancer in my family too. I will testify a clean bill of health 8 years from now when I turn 50. My diabetes will be in remission too. Only with the Lord’s help. Let’s give a Hallejuah. God Bless.

  14. John says:

    Hi Pastor Hughes. I don’t know about health according to the bible but your post was well done. As a diabetic, I’ve been trying to eat healthier for the past few years. Cutting out sugar alone, I dropped 10 lbs immediately. Good advice. We live in a free society so folks can eat what they want . Education is the key. I found nothing offensive in the use of your video. You were making a point and made it very well.

  15. Jeff says:

    Hi Pastor Mark,

    I completely agree with your suggestions on diet (although I do LOVE eggs and bacon for breakfast on the weekend!). I assume I am missing something from your sermon on this though, as you write about all the O.T. dietary laws from Noah to Moses. Then you move to the N.T. and say nothing has changed? Can you reconcile Acts 10:11-16 for me in context to this? My understanding of the “sheet” full of animals coming down from heaven figuratively represents all the barriers between Jew and Gentile being done away with…but also literally represents God adjusting the dietary requirements to remove those barriers as well? No disrespect meant here…I just want to understand this portion of scripture better. Thanks.

    • Mark Hughes says:

      Yes, there was a whole sermon that goes with the blog and it will air in a month.

      If Jesus had changed the biblical diet how come the disciples didn’t know that? In Acts 10 which was 10-12 years after Jesus time with the disciples we still see Peter eating the biblical diet. When the vision of the unclean animals was presented and the words were heard, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” Peter’s response was “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
      If the vision was about food, Peter doesn’t know that because it says “Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant.” If it was about his diet he would have realized that right. That is why he doesn’t wake up and order a BLT. Visions and dreams in scripture are always figurative and Peter understands that. As you mentioned the interpretation was the gospel going to the Gentiles, which it wasn’t because the Jewish Christians were regarding them as unclean and still unworthy of the gospel. God has to use a very dramatic analogy to get that across. There is no way that a theological case can be made from this that all foods were now acceptable to eat. Anything of that nature would have to be established by 2 -3 separate accounts. “Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established”. Secondly, it would have been done directly and not cryptically. Third, there is not a single example of any person in scripture eating pork in either the new or old testament. If Jesus had declared the unclean foods clean, why did he send the demons into the herd of 2000 pigs? Jesus had a far greater social conscience than to destroy enough food to fed a town for a year.

      The Christian claims that Jesus has altered the biblical diet is bogus and is based on very flimsy evidence.
      Having said that we are no longer under the Levitical ceremonial laws and so Paul declares, “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful.” So, is it a sin to eat pork? No. But do so at your own peril.

      • Jeff says:

        See…that’s why I asked you…I knew you’d have a good answer for me! This is one of MANY topics that I think have been mistaught over the years. I have read various Bible Commentaries on this passage as well (with various explainations given). Thanks again for clarifying this for me! (Now I have to Google “Tofu Bacon”!)p.s.: looking forward to seeing this on T.V.

        • Jeff says:

          I don’t know why this is eating at me (pardon the pun)but after sleeping on it, I have a couple more questions (lucky you don’t charge an advisory fee!) You say that all dreams and visions in scripture are figurative…what does that make of Joseph being told of the birth of Jesus and again being told to go to Egypt with the child to escape Herod? You say that it would take 2 or 3 times to establish this change…I believe the scripture states that this did indeed happen three times before the “sheet” went back up? Specific numbers are very important in scripture and are mentioned for specific emphasis, correct? You say God would act directly not cryptically…seems interacting with an individual on a rooftop and speaking to them in the first person is pretty direct. If we cannot take this passage from Peter as truth, then how do we accept others from him later in the N.T.? Following the timeline of Acts happening a decade after Jesus’ return to heaven, I agree with you saying that He did not change the dietary laws during His time on earth, thus the demons into the herd of pigs (which I think has various levels of symbolism) but the scripture says that GOD spoke to Peter in the vision. Are Father and Son not One? I agree it doesn’t say anywhere about anyone eating pork, but stretch this a little further…Jesus and the disciples DID eat at the houses of non-Jewish people, which I would understand to mean the food was not prepared in a Kosher fashion, right? Isn’t that one of the reasons why the Pharisee’s were so upset with Him doing this? If all the other “laws” that separated Jew and Gentile were repealed (including circumcision) why would God leave the stumbling block of dietary laws in place? Sorry…I don’t mean to be confrontational or disrespectful…I am just trying to wrap my head around this. Thanks again. (And, No, I am not trying to justify eating bacon!)

          • Mark Hughes says:

            I am going to stick to the food part of your question. Peter was at those banquets with Jesus and yet says he never ever ate unclean food. I am quite certain Jesus was not sitting beside him scarfing down the pork chops.
            We are not under the Law of Moses, yet we do not kill, steal, commit adultery, etc. Why not? Because those things are still wrong and Jesus never changed the ‘rules’ regarding them. What meats were unclean go back at least 1000 years before Moses to the days of Noah when man first starting eating meat. Noah brought 2 unclean animals add 7 clean animals onto the Ark. With only 2 unclean animals I can promise you that those were not the ones he was eating.
            It has nothing to do with Moses law. My challenge to people is simple. How does Jesus dying on the cross make an unhealthy food health? It is a bizarre leap in logic that Christians have been making for 2000 years.
            Glad you are wresting it through. That was my intention here.

            • Jeff says:

              Definately wrestling with it! The more I learn…the more I need to learn! I love when you (or any pastor for that matter)challenges us to examine our behavior based on what we believe (or what we’ve been taught to believe). I also appreciate your acceptance of questions and willingness to give answers & explainations. Most church leaders I have personal contact with get defensive and just try to shut you down. So, thanks again Pastor Mark and God bless.

  16. Steve says:

    You’re a pretty smart cookie Pastor Mark. You obviously know a heck of alot about alot of stuff. A person cannot be so full of knowledge without alot of hard work, determination and talent. You obviously posess all of the above.
    It is plain to see that your Church looks up to you and holds you in high esteem. I find you to be a pretty funny guy myself.
    I just want to bless you. May the Spirit of God fall upon Church of the Rock in a mighty way. May the mighty hand of God be in the midst of your congregation to bring forth justice and mercy and grace in the name of Jesus Christ. To set free the captives and heal the broken and save the lost. Praise God!

  17. Manitoba Mother says:

    I have a few questions. A chicken eats any garbage you throw at it, very similar to that of a pig. Why, then, is it safer to eat than a pig? And would it be safe to consume meat of a pig that has been completely raised in a controlled environment and been fed only grains? Wondering…thank-you.

    • Mark Hughes says:

      There is no question that hogs today are raised in much more controlled environments. They are also bred to be leaner. The verse I used in my message on Sunday was Lev 3:17 ‘This shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall eat neither fat nor blood.’ It is the blood and fat that carries the toxins, disease and hormones etc in animal meat. The Jews never ate the blood or fat and there were laws as to how to prepare the food to prevent that happening. The biggest problem with pork is that the carcass is 47% fat. The fat is right through the meats. Even when the visible fat is trimmed off, that meat is full of fat. That is what makes ham so tender for example.
      Will it kill you to have a ham sandwich? No. But over the long haul pork is not going to contribute to a healthy diet… and that is what this blog is all about.
      What is happening todsy with chicken farms and breeding is almost as scary. The food supply has been compromised. Everybody should watch the documentary Food Inc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_ap_qefLjI

      • Jamie says:

        Hello again Pastor Mark. I am more than willing to volunteer my time to make healthy snacks for Kidz Rock if needed. God has put this on my heart so I feel the need to address it. Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

  18. Jamie says:

    “BHT is added to many packaged foods to prevent them from going rancid in your kitchen cupboard. It is the same chemical they put in your fuel to prevent it from going bad in your gas tank. Go check the label on that box of crackers and you will see this ingredient along with many other unknown sounding chemicals. It is not a food, should not be going into your mouth, is a known carcinogen, and has been linked to hyperactivity in children.”

    Here’s a link showing BHT in graham crackers served in Kidz Rock:
    http://www.fooducate.com/app#page=product&id=89761784-E10B-11DF-A102-FEFD45A4D471

    • Gwen says:

      Jamie, there is NO BHT in the brand of graham crackers that are served in Kidz Rock. You are welcome to send a snack along with your own children.

      • Jamie says:

        Hi Gwen, What brand of graham crackers do you serve in Kidz Rock?

        • Jamie says:

          My children do not have snack in Kidz Rock, but I am asking for the sake of the rest of the kids who might not be as informed. I can’t be ignorant in this situation when there is innocent children involved.

  19. Phil says:

    Pastor Mark
    How do you reconcile Romans 14 with this topic?

    • Mark Hughes says:

      I am not sure what you are getting at but I completely agree with Paul, you are free to eat however you like. It is no longer a sin to eat the so-called unclean foods.

      The letter is written to the Romans who did not have a biblical diet. The conflict arose over whether it was right or wrong for them to continue. Paul is clear that he is not going to impose the Old Testament law upon them and wants others not to judge them either.

      My point is and will remain, that the purpose of the Old Testament diet was not arbitrary but a template as to what foods were better for the body than others. Given what we now know about diet, God was right all along… big surprise!

      To conclude that Paul is saying all foods are equal, is not his intent at all. There are many creatures that will kill you instantly if consumed like the blowfish, triggerfish, blue-ringed octopus, barracuda etc. The Inuit have always known that the polar bear liver is lethal because of toxic levels of Vitamin A.

      My conviction is that if people would eat better they would be healthier and we would not have to spend so much time praying for them to get better.

  20. Moderator: Church of the Rock says:

    Jamie
    Gwen does not usually frequent this blog. I am sure she would be happy to discuss this with you in person, which is probably the right place for the discussion anyway. We will let her know you are going to talk to her.

  21. Isaac says:

    I’ve been overall trying to eat healthier etc for awhile, but not taking it very seriously, and still going to McDonalds a fair bit, eating fruit loops, etc.

    But God really spoke to me in your message that I hadn’t ever submitted this area of my life to Him. I had a real submission issue. So I committed it to Him. It’s only been a week, but my fridge and cupboards are now full of healthy foods, and I already feel better.

    Thanks for this Mark.

  22. Sandi says:

    I took a look at the food pyramid, and while I understand your reasoning for posting it, I think we need to be careful with taking a “once fits all approach.”

    The same principle applies to the current Canada Food Guide.

    There are people who are predisposed to blood sugar regulation issues, and for them, legumes, grains and most fruit would be disastrous.

    Rather than having chicken, fish, and eggs once a week, and beef once a month, these people need the hunger-gatherer type of diet to best regulate their blood sugar. Protein such as eggs, cheese, beef, fish, chicken, lamb at every meal and snack, good fats such as avocado, almonds, almond butter, extra-virgin olive oil, low glycemic fruits (berries) and veggies.

    While legumes and certain grains may contain protein, they’re still too high in carbohydrates for many people with blood sugar issues to metabolize properly.

    Besides the BHT, artificial flavours and colours are petroleum derivatives, and they also cause the same hyperactivity in children as BHT.

  23. Todd says:

    And their newest spokesman died this morning in front of the restaurant waiting for a bus. But I digress because in this increasingly strange world we live in – this will be good for business.

    • Peter Mandrow says:

      Hey Mark,

      Totally agree with you – I checked our crackers and did not see BHT. Having said that, what is Amylase, Protease or IL#C5068?

      Point taken!

  24. Christina says:

    Hi Mark:

    I love your message today on eating healthy, but I am wondering? What do you eat as an example of dinner if chicken and fish is only to be eaten once a week? Can’t eat too much pasta (its high in carbs), eating just vegetables and say a rice dish will never satisfy my husband who works all day in a construction environment and he would be hungry within a few hours of dinner. It says foods allowed everday eg cheese, rice, pasta (all high in carbs or fat and calories. I don’t see anything wrong with lean chicken or fish (salmon, pickerel). What is an example of your evening meal?

    • Mark Hughes says:

      You are right Christina, you do not want to eat rice and pasta everyday. They are simple carbs that turn to sugar in the blood, which produces insulin, which produces fat. Fish or lean chicken once a day at the most is a good choice for protein. We would eat one or the other maybe every second or third day.

      Kathy likes to cook vegan so on those days we eat no animal fat (no – eggs, dairy, milk, cheese or meat). The protein will come from legumes or quinoa, and the complex carbs from whole grains. We eat mountains of veggies, both raw and cooked. You can essentially eat as many veggies a you can stand and you will never get fat.

      Remember this as well. The amount of exercise you do determines how many carbs you an eat. The high carb diet of North Americans combined with our sedentary lifestyle is the killer. Many cultures that are very active eat high carb diets and are lean and healthy. I feel the Mediterranean diet is good choice for our culture if we remain active, and very close to the biblical one.

  25. Victoria says:

    Just started no pork in the house diet-the “pigs eat the tumors off other pigs..” really did it for me! Love you,love your sermons,Pastor Mark.Keep inspiring many!

    • Jessica says:

      Seriously, that tumour-eating mental picture did me in! I can’t look at pork the same way ever again. But, Sweet Jesus, it smells so good! I can die to pig-eating, though. I’ve given up harder things in the name of Christ!

  26. Kay says:

    You have done a better job converting me to a vegetarian than a Christian. Thanks

  27. pamela doleman says:

    pastor Mark..i am pleasantly surprised…i will be referring this blog to a few of the most ardent carnivores in my clan…

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