Hello! It’s been a while. I study literature, so I’ve had lots of papers to write in the past month–a total of about 65 pages! Now that I’m on break, I’ll have more time for writing. Plus, I’d like to add to the content here. From the beginning I wanted this to be about living a “Hebrew” lifestyle, but it’s turned into mostly theology. I say “Hebrew” because it is my own interpretation, or rather, what Papa has lead me in, not an accepted definition. Of course my theology is important to my lifestyle, and I will not stop posting theology. But I want to write more about how my love for YHWH has manifested in more than just how I read the scriptures.
So today, I’m starting with my food philosophy.
Food is pretty important to my theology. Actually, I think that consumption is more important than most people give it credit. In contemporary society, we buy more than we make, and as a result, we often don’t think about where our products are coming from. This is related to so many things, but I’ll focus on food for now.
As emissaries of Yeshua, we are called to love our neighbor, treating others as we would want to be treated, bring justice, make disciples, and much more. Did you know that much of our food comes from workers who aren’t treated well? Common products that come from these kinds of conditions are chocolate, coffee, and fruit. These are foods we consume on a daily basis, and in mass amounts. Not everyone knows this, most do but don’t really care, and a few actually take care to buy fair trade food. Why aren’t we buying only fair trade products?
Because slave-labor is cheaper. Fair bananas are about 99 cents a pound, while unfair bananas can be as cheap as 35 cents a pound. We would rather save our wallet than worry about doing the right thing for someone 3000 miles away.
What is just as bad as mistreating people, is that we mistreat our animals. Most of the meat we consume is raised in horrible conditions. They are crammed with their brothers and sister, wading in feces, and fed an unnatural diet. Grain-fed cattle can only live for six months to a year, as compared to the long lifespan of grass fed cows. Plus, run off from cattle feces is what causes e coli in spinach and other crop. So not cool.
Why does it matter how we treat animals? Because they too are precious in Yah’s sight! We were probably vegan or at least vegetarian until after the flood. (Scripture says nothing about YHWH giving man permission to eat animals until that point.) Animal cruelty is the reason many people become vegans and vegetarians.
Why don’t we treat animals properly in the first place? You guessed it – it’s cheaper. Raising animals on a grass pasture is expensive because of the land it requires, and grain is cheap food. We sacrifice proper care for economic reasons once again.
We also mistreat our crops. Now you might ask, Really Genevieve? Plants don’t even have souls! Yes, but we are commissioned to be stewards of the earth. And it does matter how we treat our plants, because it affects the whole system. The Dust Bowl is proof of the first time we over-farmed America, ripping out trees and draining swamps. It caused the soil to dry up, and the winds carried the dust everywhere.
Now we’re doing it again. Genetically modifying the crops, like wheat and soy, allow us to farm more per acre. Although this may be more calories per acre, it ends up with less nutrients per serving. Nutrients come from the soil, and if we over-farm the soil there will be less nutrients. Research already shows that our current soil has less nutrients than it did 100 years ago. That’s why Yah commands to let the soil rest every seven years. Crop rotation – it’s a Torah thing.
And pesticides — Yeesh that’s a mess. Even children can prove it’s not good for crops. I myself am proof that it’s not cool! I’m allergic to sulphites, which are chemicals in the fungicide sprayed on grapes. And there are bunches of studies of the effects of the toxins in pesticides. Just Google it.
My brother tries to argue with me that GMOs and pesticides are necessary for producing enough food. But they are not! We waste so much food in this country. Any problems we have with hungry is a matter of distribution of wealth, not having enough food. GMOs and pesticides are all about making more food for a bigger buck, not healthier food for a hungry nation.
I could go on about any of these subjects for entire blog entries, books, or even movies. But this is not a health food blog. There are plenty of awesome health food blogs out there, a few of which I’ll share at the end of this post. But what does any of this have to do with Yeshua?
I do not think it is a coincidence that I developed various food intolerances around the same time I started my Torah studies. This past January/February, I became gluten intolerant. Basically, I can’t eat anything made from wheat, barley, rye, or a related grain, or anything they touch. It upsets my digestive system. And this fall I learned that I’m sensitive to sulphites, which are basically used in fungicides or as a preservative.
As a result of all of these sensitivities, Papa has been teaching me a lot about food, health, and what goes into my bodies. And as I’ve explored Torah, I’ve realized how tied food is to theology. YHWH even has rules about what animals are okay to eat and which animals are not okay to eat. He has rules about crop rotation. It matters to him. We are here on earth for a reason, and we are to take care of the land that we have been given. We cannot be sure of what the next life holds, but we have this life. We must take care of this earth, and of each other.
As I demonstrated in my entry on the word “create,” earth is the dwelling place of our King. Further, our bodies are the tabernacle. If our main occupation is as worshippers, then we must take care of the dwelling place of His Set-Apart Spirit. And as ambassadors of Messiah, we must take care of our fellow man. It matters what we do because people are watching us in everything we do. They are watching us, “So is this what a Christian does? Is this how they live?”
That is why I believe it is important to set an example in eat organic, fair trade, whole foods. It is healthier for our bodies, our environment, and for human society as a whole. It is worship to Yahweh that we take care of these three aspects of the universe in watching how and what we eat.
I call it “Hebrew” because food and animals were totally a part of worship for the ancient Hebrews! They lived with their animals, and of course fed them on pastures. They took care of their animals and their grain, and gave God the best. Until they settled in Canaan, most animals consumed were first sacrificed. Tithes were due as grains. Eating was part of worship! Yahweh wants more than just our time in the sanctuary or in scripture, He wants all minutes of the day, down to our breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So what do I eat? I do not adhere to this diet perfectly, because unfortunately, I am not in the best economic circumstances. However, I endeavor to honor the Father with my money in buying organic and fair trade whenever possible. I basically eat the Paleo diet, which is, as my friend defines it, anything you can eat raw: Meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, oils. I also eat grass-fed dairy and non-gluten whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and millet. I avoid processed food as much as possible, although there are a few I do still eat, although they are from organic and gluten free brands.
I plan on talking about food more in the future. I’ll either expand on aspects of my food philosophy, sharing articles, or sharing food that I make.
What are your thoughts on food and theology?
PS: Of course I eat Kosher. That’s a silly question. But I basically stick to the list of animals to eat and not eat in Leviticus 11. So no bacon, but I will have (grass-fed) cheese on my (grass-fed) burger please. 😉
Food/Health Blogs I like: