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May 13, 2012 in Chapters

Food for Thought

Psalm 104:14 says that God made “the herb for the service (meaning ‘labor’) of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.”  In the New Testament, Jesus taught his disciples to pray for their “daily” bread. God intended for man to have to continually work for his food. Even before the ground was cursed, Adam was put in the Garden of Eden “to dress it and to keep it.”  The word “dress” in Genesis 2:15 is only translated as “dress” two other times, but as “serve” over 200 times in Scripture. Man, as the caretaker of the earth, was to render service to the garden in order to “keep” or preserve the quality of it.  Not until the last century, has man relied predominantly on technology to serve himself, enabling him to greatly minimize the labor involved in producing food. From planting to harvesting to preserving and distributing, some of his efforts have backfired resulting in poor quality and sometimes toxic food.  Today, many processed food items made with refined products are also laced with toxic metals and chemicals used in the processing and preserving of the food. There are over 14,000 man-made chemicals used in the food industry.  These additives are used to extend shelf-life (or shelf-death depending on how you look at it), enhance taste and retain the color of the food.  Additives, preservatives and food dyes have been proven to be a cause of migraine headaches, attention deficit disorder and other behavioral problems.  Artificial sweeteners and flavors such as aspartame and MSG (a cheaper substitute for salt) have a poisonous effect on the body and have been linked with brain tumors and other cancers, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue and other diseases.

The connection between diet and health is clear.  The scientific community estimates that 79% of all disease is the result of environment, lifestyle and diet while only 30% is from genetic predispositions.  Food can help sustain us or drain us, depending on how we eat.  As the quality of food declines, so does peoples’ health.  Current U.S. health statistics show cancer ranked as the second leading cause of death with a 1 in 3 risk of developing cancer sometime in your lifetime if you’re female and a 1 in 2 if you’re male.  The most recent American Heart Association disease statistics show 37% of the American population diagnosed with some form of cardiovascular disease (includes heart disease and stroke).  According to the Center for Disease Control,  approximately 16% of Americans have been diagnosed with depression and about 10% are taking anti-depressants.  To top it all off, the combined effects of medical error, adverse reactions to prescription drugs and hospital infections make allopathic medicine the third leading cause of death in the United States.  With the promises of God, the believer should not fear, but rather ask God what precautions to take to escape becoming a statistic. 

This is just an excerpt from "Food in the Bible."  For the full chapter, you may download the book here.