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Food: We Can't Improve on God's Creation

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We Can't Improve on God's Creation

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God loves His children and therefore wants them to be in good health. Many scriptures make this clear. The benefits of good health are too numerous to count!

God created our marvelous bodies and then delegated the care and feeding to us! So it's up to us to increase our knowledge and motivation to be "faithful" stewards on behalf of the Owner and Master (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Luke 16:2, 10). Every effect has a cause (Proverbs 26:2). Though a person's sickness is not necessarily or entirely his fault, we should do what we can to avoid the causes of sickness.

God said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). He was referring primarily to spiritual knowledge, but the principle applies physically as well.

To a great extent, we become what we eat, drink, breathe and absorb through our skin. Our bodies are made to "run" well when we put the good stuff in and keep the bad stuff out. It's easy to become malnourished if we fill up on foods that are high in calories and low in vital nutrients. That is why so many people are overfed and yet undernourished.

Preventing health problems is much easier than regaining good health! We reap what we sow, especially in the long run (Galatians 6:7). For example, if a child has a healthful diet, he will be healthier than he would have been when he reaches middle age. It's tempting to assume that what we just ate is okay because we didn't suffer an immediate reaction. But the accumulated damage of poor eating habits eventually takes its toll.

Remember that Satan is "the ruler of this world," a "murderer," a destroyer and "deceives the whole world" (John 12:31; 8:44; Revelation 9:11; 12:9). The unhealthy conditions and influences around us are the result of his conspiracy to destroy us physically as well as spiritually.

Consider just a few factors in "the state of the world." We can easily be exposed to many pollutants and chemicals. Many people know almost nothing about the body's essential nutrients (including vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes, fiber, etc.).

Often both parents are too pressed for time for gardening, home-cooking or teaching their children much about foods, food preparation and the dangers of eating too much fast food. When foods are too high in salt, sugar, starch and fat, we suffer consequences plus we can lose our appreciation for the natural flavors of fruits and vegetables. (However, we can decide to purposefully reeducate our taste buds.) We could think of many more factors.

What Did Jesus Eat and Avoid?

The food laws of the Bible give us part of the answer because Jesus would not have disobeyed them.

Jesus would only have eaten the flesh of clean animals, birds or seafood (Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14), and He would have avoided anything that "died naturally or…was torn by beasts" (Leviticus 17:15).

He would have avoided animal fat and blood (Leviticus 3:16; 7:22-27). That means He would only eat meat from which the blood had thoroughly been drained.

Though He was falsely accused of being a drunk and a glutton, Jesus never drank too much to even approach intoxication (1 Corinthians 5:11; 6:10). Nor did He ever stuff Himself and become a glutton (Proverbs 23:21; Deuteronomy 21:20). And He would have sought enough variety in the foods He ate to get all the nutrients needed for good health.

Of course, every person has a different set of genetics, allergies, health problems, etc., and must adapt his diet accordingly for as long as necessary.

And God never intended that we all prefer or eat exactly the same foods. God created a tremendous variety of food so we would not get bored and to accommodate our taste preferences. But the most important reason for the variety is to help us to get all of the different nutrients that our bodies need.

Food Production Has Changed

Avoiding unhealthful foods in today's "modern" Western cultures is more challenging and complicated than it was for most of mankind's history.

During Christ's ministry, when He was invited to someone's home for a meal, almost always it was a Jewish home where the biblical food laws were followed.

And in that first century, probably everything that average (not wealthy) people ate was natural. For thousands of years man did comparatively little to negatively alter the plants and animals that God made for food! It's not that people were so noble. It's that they didn't have the technological know-how and equipment to make many alterations, especially at a low cost.

But since the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, food "refining" processes and the use of synthetic chemicals have become popular for various reasons, including appealing appearance or taste.

But the main driving force has been money. When food spoilage is prevented or delayed, food can be shipped farther and sit on shelves much longer. "Refining" and adding preservatives brought food costs down for producers and consumers. But consumers have paid a high price in their health because these processes usually have diminished the healthful value of the food.

Knowledge Is Priceless

Many scriptures urge us to seek valuable knowledge, understanding and wisdom. So if eating nutritious food is so important, why doesn't the Bible say more about it? The basic answer is this: For thousands of years, the average person was not faced with many bad options!

But in this 21st century we are faced with an incredible number of choices, including lots of poor ones! In all this confusion, we need to be well-informed to make wise choices.

Consider the amazing number of choices in a modern supermarket! Largely because of rapid transportation and refrigeration, we can enjoy fruits and vegetables from far-away places during the whole year rather than one season. We have access to every kind of food our bodies need.

But many "foods" in a supermarket are not healthy (no matter how they are advertised), especially when eaten often. We are faced with much confusion and many temptations. We surely need to be in the habit of reading the list of ingredients on labels. If we understand more about our bodies and good nutrition, we can make wise and safe choices.

Some of the basic and most important principles are to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid too many manufactured and processed foods.

The best books on nutrition are based on both up-to-date science and on the laws and principles of the Bible.

An Important Guiding Principle

However, whether or not you spend much time studying nutrition, there is one main principle that should be a constant guide for all of God's people. It is this: God created everything and everything "was very good" (Genesis 1:31). Everything God made for food was perfect. So much of what is done to "improve" or fundamentally alter the food only hurts it!

Therefore it is healthier to eat natural food, which in this article is defined as food the way it was originally designed by God.

When people believe in evolution and humanism, they have too little respect for the design of God's creation and too much trust in what humans do to tamper with it. We must not let these subtle attitudes rub off on us.

Somewhat synonymous with "natural food" is "organic food." However, many natural foods are of excellent quality even though they haven't met the legal standards or gone through the red tape to be labeled "organic."

But consumers have an advantage if they live in a country (like the United States) that has adopted legal standards defining "organic." These ideal standards are helpful as we try to judge the relative quality of foods.

For crops, "organic" means they were grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste or sewage sludge, and that they were processed without ionizing radiation. Very few food additives are allowed. They must not be genetically modified (GMO).

There is an emphasis on soil fertility maintained through application of manure, compost and crop rotation (clearly biblical practices). Highly fertile soil results in food crops tasting better and having more vitamins, minerals, etc. Allowing crops to fully ripen before harvesting also makes them more nourishing and tasty.

For animals, it means they were raised without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones. The animals are raised in healthy free-range environments rather than in pens. Grass and other animal foods have not been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.

So "organic" should not be considered weird or extreme. For thousands of years, most food was "organic"!

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the confusion. But please don't think that "there is too much to learn so it's not worth the effort." Any knowledge of nutrition is valuable. And don't be discouraged because you can't achieve a perfect ideal! Just do the best you can. The healthier your choices, the healthier you will be!

Sometimes healthful food is more expensive, but there are many things to consider. Consumers often do not analyze costs fairly. Consider the low cost per pound of potatoes compared to that of potato chips! You can save money in many ways—by eating out less, by eating less junk food, by comparison shopping, by finding shopping partners so you can buy in bulk, etc.

Above all, keep in mind the better health you will have and the savings in future medical bills when you have a healthy diet!

Avoid Additions and Subtractions

Many synthetic food additives are unhealthful. And the general public is finally aware that adding hydrogen to a molecule of vegetable oil to make it "hydrogenated" can cause health problems.

And the health value of food (whole food) is almost always diminished when any part is taken away, such as removing the germ and bran (fiber) from any whole grain. "White" bread, pasta and rice are mostly just starch.

Another modern phenomenon is highly concentrated foods, like refined sugar. It is so easy to consume too much of them. For most people, highly-sweetened foods are very tempting and habit-forming.

Some Christians become excessively preoccupied with food, remedies and other physical things (Romans 14:17; Hebrews 13:9). This is unbalanced and a serious mistake of priorities.

But God is pleased when we take an interest in learning about His creation, especially the human body and what God meant to go into the body.

At the very least keep this perspective in your everyday thoughts: God made man. God made food for man. Healthful food. Delicious food. Perfect food.


  • Ivan Veller

    Christ, after blessing his disciples with a catch of over 150 fish, welcomed them over to "a fire of burning coals...with fish on it" and invited them to "Come and have breakfast." (John 21:9-12a, NIV 2010).

  • Soundmind78

    The perfect food for health and longevity
    is given mankind in
    Genesis 1:29
    And God said, behold, I have given you every
    herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the
    earth, and every tree,in the which is the fruit of a tree
    yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
    And Exodus 20:13
    Thou shalt not kill.
    This supersedes the temporary allowing the killing
    of clean animals and eating them as food after Noah's Flood.
    Mankinds life and health was greatly reduced after eating
    the flesh of animals they had to kill. Logically we should
    have returned to the living raw vegetables and fruits of pre-
    flood nutritional science as soon as possible.

  • david from tx

    The problem with that is that the Levites were required to eat meat. God intended some animals for food. Otherwise in the Law of Moses (written long after the Flood) God would have instructed the Israelites not to eat meat anymore, similar to how God instructed them that relations between family members were no longer acceptable.

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