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audrey ruth

January 14, 2014  7:28pm

This is God's Word on the subject: "Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and *require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving* by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer." I Timothy 4:1-5 // I hear a lot about the paleo diet, for example, and it seems the great majority of people (even adherents) do not know it is based on the theory of evolution. The vegan diet also denies the Word of God, as do others - even the Hallelujah diet takes scripture out of context. BTW, that spread in the pic sure looks good. :)

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Cristina Howell

January 11, 2014  3:33pm

Part 3: We live in a messed up world where what is considered “normal” in terms of food is often so chronically poisonous, that to make a healthy decision can seem extreme when you don’t realize the gravity of the decisions you are faced with. I’m not saying that every person who eats carefully hasn’t made an idol out of food or every person that eats at McDonalds doesn’t care. But I am seeing a lot of misunderstanding lately about why some people do what they do in terms of food and I have to say that it is possible to make choices that appear extreme from the outside, but which are actually fueled by obedience and sacrifice unto the Lord and which are a responsible and reasonable use of the knowledge gleaned about the state our bodies and food supply.

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Cristina Howell

January 11, 2014  3:33pm

Part 2: The fact is, that much of what is now considered food is not, and the cumulative damage from generations of thoughtless eating are causing increasingly serious and chronic health problems in our population. Due to a variety of other factors, such as increasingly abnormal gut flora caused by everything from an overuse of antibiotics to a lack of traditional and fermented foods, people are also increasingly unable to handle certain foods that are not inherently bad. Western medical practitioners, who generally receive little to no education in nutrition or a “root cause” approach to medicine, often do not make the connections between much of the ill health people experience and the foods they consume while more holistic physicians and practitioners of natural medicine are seeing chronic/incurable disease reversal left and right when careful dietary plans are adhered to. continued...

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Cristina Howell

January 11, 2014  3:32pm

Part 1: Just like with anything, what you eat and why is an issue of the heart. I know people who make healthy food an idol and I know people who who don't have enough respect for God or their body to make even the good choices that are within their reach to make. I personally know many people who have seen the reversal of supposedly incurable conditions by adhering to certain diets as well as people who have made themselves sicker by stressing themselves too much over the aspects of food that they cannot control. I also know people who literally die for lack of knowledge about the God-given power of food to heal and the destructive power of certain foods, or people who know and won’t make the commitment to do anything about it. And I have been every one of those people at one point or another. continued...

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Stefan Stackhouse

January 09, 2014  9:50am

About the only thing Jesus actually says about food is to keep it simple, don't make a fuss, and to eat with gratitude the little bit that we actually need. It is pretty hard to get from there to any sort of elaborate diet involving a lot of effort and attention to what is or isn't eaten.

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Dario Martinez

January 08, 2014  12:19pm

Cathi, I greatly appreciate that you have taken some time to share your "Open Letter" to your friend Paula with us. I share your position regarding the issue you discussed in your essay... and even faced recently a similar situation to the one you described. I am sharing your letter with someone that I deeply love. I have hopes that your Open Letter may impact her life positively. Thank you again and God bless you.

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Rose

January 04, 2013  1:24am

In "The Screwtape Letters," Chapter or Letter #17, C.S. Lewis categorizes picky eating as "gluttony of delicacy" (as opposed to gluttony of excess). It keeps the offender in a delusion of "self righteousness" regarding food, and causes a great deal of inconvenience in others. I used to be such an offender. The worst of its kind. AND I was also sinning in gluttony of excess. Now I am more careful and is asking God to impart me the strength and true righteousness that can only come from Him through Jesus. Amen.

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Toni

October 10, 2012  1:44pm

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kimberly Naranjo

June 08, 2012  8:20am

I just read the article as I was posting on facebook about food.. ;-) I totally Agree, and totally disagree. Food IS an amazing part of social world and eating together and fellowship. All God's gifts are so beautiful! It is so clear that food is a gift, especially when you are staring at the fresh garden of colors on a big salad while waiting on a big steak grilling on the grill, and you can just smell the goodness. What an awesome gift of God that we can sit around a table full of his bounty in the fellowship of friends and believers. Yes if the focus on food becomes a personal ultimate it is an idol and needs to be repented of. Seriously, if it is a healthy concern for the greater good for health and for the children of tomorrow, the Land and for the animals, I think we have a responsibility as Children of God to do something about this horrendous tragedy in our food industry. I think it needs to be the responsibly of the CHurch for us to say, NO MORE!!! instead of us just staying comfortable in the luxuries of turning the other cheek just to have cheap food. I am talking about A fully joint effort, then we could all sit together and eat with no problems. Food is an addiction, and turning a blind eye to what is going on in the food industry just to savor all the foods that are cheap and convenient, can be just as much an idol and harmful. I believe Christians should see this issues as passionately as they see and fight for no more sex slavery, no more child abuse or abusive marriages, etc, and the way we give homes to orphans. According to Genesis, the Lord gave us the responsibility to take care of the earth and the animals. I think God's people have a responsibility to love justice, to fight for the people/farmers who are upholding the standards of care and concern for the people and the food. Horrific Food allergies are becoming very commonplace, and have been created by the Genetically Modified Foods which were created solely for the greed of the companies making them!! Not for the good of anyone else. This needs to be stopped. Not in a legalistic way, but in the name of justice we need to fight for what is right and for the health of our children. Food is destroying health of people in America. It does Matter!!! Honestly, Christians should be HORRIFIED when they see what the industries are doing to the Animals, plants and Farmers and now what it is doing to the Health and well being of People. :( I hope this sounds passionately loving and not legalistic.

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kimberly Naranjo

June 08, 2012  8:19am

I just read the article as I was posting on facebook about food.. ;-) I totally Agree, and totally disagree. Food IS an amazing part of social world and eating together and fellowship. All God's gifts are so beautiful! It is so clear that food is a gift, especially when you are staring at the fresh garden of colors on a big salad while waiting on a big steak grilling on the grill, and you can just smell the goodness. What an awesome gift of God that we can sit around a table full of his bounty in the fellowship of friends and believers. Yes if the focus on food becomes a personal ultimate it is an idol and needs to be repented of. Seriously, if it is a healthy concern for the greater good for health and for the children of tomorrow, the Land and for the animals, I think we have a responsibility as Children of God to do something about this horrendous tragedy in our food industry. I think it needs to be the responsibly of the CHurch for us to say, NO MORE!!! instead of us just staying comfortable in the luxuries of turning the other cheek just to have cheap food. I am talking about A fully joint effort, then we could all sit together and eat with no problems. Food is an addiction, and turning a blind eye to what is going on in the food industry just to savor all the foods that are cheap and convenient, can be just as much an idol and harmful. I believe Christians should see this issues as passionately as they see and fight for no more sex slavery, no more child abuse or abusive marriages, etc, and the way we give homes to orphans. According to Genesis, the Lord gave us the responsibility to take care of the earth and the animals. I think God's people have a responsibility to love justice, to fight for the people/farmers who are upholding the standards of care and concern for the people and the food. Horrific Food allergies are becoming very commonplace, and have been created by the Genetically Modified Foods which were created solely for the greed of the companies making them!! Not for the good of anyone else. This needs to be stopped. Not in a legalistic way, but in the name of justice we need to fight for what is right and for the health of our children. Food is destroying health of people in America. It does Matter!!! Honestly, Christians should be HORRIFIED when they see what the industries are doing to the Animals, plants and Farmers and now what it is doing to the Health and well being of People. :( I hope this sounds passionately loving and not legalistic.

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alice

June 07, 2012  4:17pm

Some good, balanced thinking. A wise counselor-friend calls this "disordered eating."

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Jaz

June 06, 2012  3:46pm

I am a dietary pharisee. I am leaner and I'm miserable.

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IwearChacosandalsoeatBurgers

June 06, 2012  11:13am

No doubt food consumption can become an idol, either through gluttony or scarcity, much the same way money can as well. Lots of people who love money don't have much of it and idolize it every bit as much as those who are wealthy, and the same can be true with food. That being said, it is entirely possible (and I'd say imperative) to make moral and theological judgments relating to food. The world was formed according to certain ordained norms, and much of our current agricultural and food production violates said norms. Such violations have profound consequences that our culture, not to mention the Church, has chosen to ignore. Virtually all the warnings in the prophetic literature of the Old Testament are tied to the land...and thus to food. It's not enough to say "Peace, peace" while the land we've been charged to steward is polluted and destroyed in order that we can have whatever food we want, whenever we want it. Sadly, the Church's voice seems to be, at best, lacking in intelligent engagement with this issue, or, at worst, entirely misapplying the Cultural Mandate from Genesis to justify greed and extortion. Some (most) of our food is produced (which is such and interesting choice of words to describe food! "produce", as if we can fabricate it like cars, Ipads, clothing, etc.) using methods which damage and destroy the earth, and by buying and consuming it, we (I include myself) endorse that process. That is morally, ethically, and theologically wrong. The challenge, of course, is "So what? What are we supposed to do about that?" I'm still trying to figure out an answer. But, regardless, the focus needs to shift from "What's right for humans?" (which we've attempted and failed to answer with dieting, disordered eating, gluttony, organic-food-nazis, etc.) to the much broader question, "What's right?" Food, rightly understood, is an incredible blessing for which we should give great thanks...most often with other people in the midst of great celebration! Love of the Creator should never be replaced by love of the Creation, a trap into which many crunchy, organic, Chaco-wearing foodies fall. Yet, love of the Creator means caring well for his Creation, rejoicing in it, and participating in, rather than attempting to manipulate, the ordained norms which govern it.

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Cathi

June 05, 2012  5:41pm

I don't blog any more, but when I read this I went back and found a post I wrote in '07 that expressed my heartbreak over this issue... http://atgrannyshouse.blogspot.com/2007/10/open-letter-to-my-friend-paula-not-her.html

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Venessa

June 05, 2012  8:15am

Thank you for this article. It is very thoughtful and thorough. As a person on the autism spectrum, with a son who is as well, I've been scolded by all kinds of people about foods... which foods will "make him better," which foods *MUST* be avoided, and then scolded about the limited foods my son will eat. I can't make those people happy about my choices, so I've given up and refuse to engage in the discussion. Food did not make us autistic. Food can't "cure" people with autism. We do the best we can to eat healthful food, but going on a restricted diet will only be more stress. We aren't overweight, we are active and don't eat a lot of sugar. That's enough... Every evening when we eat, we thank God for the blessing of plentiful food and healthy choices. We are so very blessed.

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helen giesbrecht

June 05, 2012  7:59am

ditto, ditto, DITTO

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Kay @ The Church Cook

June 05, 2012  6:45am

Well said! Thank you so much for writing this Rachel! So refreshing to hear what I dare not say as a cook for my congregation.

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Marie M. Bennett

June 04, 2012  11:57pm

"I learned about GMO fruits and veggies and the horrible dishonesty that is called Monsanto. About the long term affects of sugar like refined and high fructose corn syrup." Yeah right, Monsanto company is all behind that. I read in this article (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/31/monsanto-worst-company-of-2011.aspx) that Monsanto company is the worst company in 2011, so bad.

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Ann

June 04, 2012  3:33pm

I agree with much of what was said in this article... I do think, though, that many health issues today stem from things in our food that wasn't in our food a generation ago, and although I agree that it can become completely obsessive, more "silent" issues like infertility are in many cases caused by things that we eat: processed foods, artificial sugars, gluten, etc. I am currently in this situation and am needing to greatly alter what I eat in order to have the smallest of chances to ever have a child. I don't know that it will work, but I do know that studies have shown that my level of sugar directly affects my polycystic ovaries. My polycystic ovaries are the only reason I have not yet become pregnant after two years of trying. People may look at me strangely when I pass down dessert or try to keep carbs at bay, since they turn directly into sugar in my body) because I am thin and don't need to lose any weight. However, I don't eat like this for any fad purposes and I am certainly not on a diet to lose weight. I just want a shot to get pregnant and many others like me are doing the same thing. I don't feel that I need to explain this to anyone who wonders and I would hope no one would judge me for what I eat or don't eat because for most people, getting pregnant came easy to them and they have no idea about the connection that food has to infertility. 40 and 50 years ago, there weren't the same chemicals in our food that there is today and animals weren't treated in the same way, so in my situation, I have to make changes. I try not to be obsessive since I need to live my life, eat with others, and cook for my husband... :) But, I also want to become a mother and I know that I will not have a chance of that if I continue eating the processed food and chemicals I've been eating without giving it a thought my entire life. Sad, but true... I agree that what the article says about young children being obsessed with this type of thing is sad and very much out of hand. But, just don't pass judgment quickly on people's food choices because you never know what they're going through and why they're making the choices that they are... For some of us, changing what we eat is our only chance.

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Jennwith2ns

June 04, 2012  11:30am

RIGHT ON. I used to work among the refugee population in England in my youth, and, though I have to fight legalism in my own self, I remember feeling concerned and frustrated by certain people on my missionary team refusing to eat certain foods refugees prepared for them, not even because they didn't like the taste (which would have been rude enough), but because it contained some thing that their code-of-eating wouldn't allow them to ingest. I also know of someone who was staying with a poor Costa Rican family who refused what they sacrificially served him because at the time he was a vegetarian and it contained meat. We need to be so careful!

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Stacy @Stacy Makes Cents

June 04, 2012  10:55am

A friend passed this article along to me after she read it. She knows my stance on healthy eating is EXACTLY the same. I wrote an article last month about it and it got fabulous comments - comments from women who were struggling along this same path. Thank you for standing up and tackling this subject. It can be very touchy, but you approached it SO WELL. I'm also sharing it on my post at the bottom. :-)

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Laura

June 04, 2012  8:38am

Very nicely balanced discussion. A pleasure to read, thank you!

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SANDRA KEMP

June 04, 2012  8:04am

You took the words right out of my mouth! Yes, some people do suffer from gluten intolerance, but it is a result of the fall. Gluten - the protein in wheat and other grains - has been a primary source of protein for millenia. Gluten isn't "bad" as I've heard a food fanatic say. It is a good gift of God. Sandra

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Heidi

June 04, 2012  7:32am

Interesting article. Although as one who may be known as an "orthorexic" I think many things are misunderstood. Most "orthorexic" people I know have reasoning's behind each food they eliminate. I currently eliminate anything genetically modified, as we do not know all the problems it may actually be posing. This in turn eliminates most EVERY processed food (unless organic). I also steer clear of most meats unless they come from local farms, I dont want beef full of antibiotics or god forbid this pink slime going around. You can be health conscious without being crazy. Lets all eat hot dogs and bacon full of nitrates (which are proven to cause cancer) and make fun of the people who give it up in the name of being healthy....right? Its all about respect. I dont judge those who eat the things I do not, and I wish the same respect towards me, whether we agree on our eating habits or not.

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Rose

June 04, 2012  6:41am

Thank you. Food and eating has become so outrageously dissected. Seems as though almost anything you eat is bad or has chemicals or has artificial something and the controversy goes on and on and on. You do almost feel guilty eating. It is a shame that we cannot just sit and enjoy breaking bread with each other. I think that the fellowship alone would heal many and much!! Thank you for posting this article. Awesome!! I will be sharing it with many...especially some extremist food fanatics. God bless you!

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Lammy

June 04, 2012  2:01am

good to hear it's not too trivial...thanks for posting

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mike

June 04, 2012  1:57am

interesting posts - looks like healthy is back in...!

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despinne

June 03, 2012  9:52am

If I eat a piece of processed American cheese, it makes the rest of the meal completely satisfying. I don't eat it all the time--I really love mozzarella--but it remains a satisfying element. Lately I feel that attacks on food, like milk because it is pasteurized, are as bad as attacks on politicians, and probably about as full of truth.

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Diane

June 03, 2012  8:23am

Thank you. Just, Thank you!!

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Sue

June 02, 2012  6:57pm

Very thoughtful. Now I understand what is happening in a family members' life. Thank you! It's another form of pride (or sin) as I see it.

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Tim Childs

June 02, 2012  10:45am

The sad irony of life is that half the world seems to be eating itself to death and the other is dying because they can't often get enough to eat! This is symptomatic of the wealth divisions that exist in the world and the wealth divisions that exist in countries like America, UK, France, Germany, Holland and so on and so on. In rich countries, it is usually the poor who are obese; it's certainly that way in England anyway. In poorer countries, the richer one gets, usually the bigger a person is! Why can't we all be grateful if we have a roof over our heads and food in the fridge and access to running water and the things that keep us clean and healthy; why can't there be enough to go around for everybody? Even in America, the biggest economy in the world, people are going hungry; isn't this what we should be worrying about, and trying to do something to change?

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Katherine Willis Pershey

June 01, 2012  1:55pm

What a thoughtful and inspiring piece. Thank you!

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Marie

June 01, 2012  1:00pm

This seems like reverse prejudice to me. Instead of judging people who eat unhealthy food, it is okay to judge people who choose to only eat healthy food. Judging is judging. We should not be self-righteous about food or anything else, including that we are NOT "orthorexic!"

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Stan Guthrie

June 01, 2012  12:36pm

This is a great post. Obsession with food is a form of gluttony, and I'm continually amazed that in a place and time where we have the safest and most plentiful food supply in history, we are so worried about what we eat. I understand that some people are legitimately allergic or sensitive to certain foods, but most of us are not. I agree with those who say it's a heart problem (really a sin problem). It's an area where people try to exert control.

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Michelle Wegner

June 01, 2012  12:12pm

Amen...Amen...Amen. Thank you for putting words to this issue.

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Warren

June 01, 2012  9:10am

Wonderful post. As a chef and food writer, I could not agree more. I've sat at more than one table where folk's intense predilection for certain foods destroyed whatever fellowship remained after Grace was said. A fond and lasting memory: In my tradition (Eastern Orthodox) we strive to fast from meat and other items during Lent. At a potluck following a service a visitor brought in a huge pile of homemade fried chicken. As a newcomer myself, I was wondering how folks would react to the visitor's gift. I was impressed when the pastor helped himself to a thigh and, after smacking his lips, thanked the young man for participating in such a meaningful way.

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Sharon Collinge

June 01, 2012  8:26am

This reminds me of a client that we had, who would only eat 'healthy' food, sadly this led to her becoming anorexic, and in turn far from healthy. She seemed unable to see that this rigid diet, although containing healthy food, was actually unhealthy. Even when she reached a BMI under 13, she still claimed that she was healthy, because of what she consumed. Even if she had remained at a healthy BMI, this rigidity reflects a very unhealthy mind - is it not important to have both - healthy mind AND healthy body?!

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Mary DeMuth

June 01, 2012  7:31am

As one who loves to cook and entertain and bring people together, this post was a salve to me. Thank you.

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Linda Stoll

June 01, 2012  7:17am

Oh the great need we have to work through and walk through our absorptions ... self-absorption, food-absorption, body-absorption, what-others-are-saying about me absorption ... and focus on growing more in love with our heavenly Father, being and doing what pleases Him - in every area of life {2 Corinthians 5:9} ...

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Staci M

June 01, 2012  1:54am

As my family likes to say "everything in moderation". I hopped on the healthy eating bandwagon a few years ago after going vegan and no dairy/caffeine/sugar for a month. I became so cleaned out and my energy was through the roof I was amazed. As I started to work the old stuff back in my body told me right away, or rather I could detect faster, what it didn't like. Dairy caused a runny nose and rumbling gut, meat felt like lead in my gut and made me nauseous and tired and a cup of coffee made me shake like I had slight Parkinson's. I also noticed that when I applied certain body products I felt exhausted and jittery. This all lead to me doing hours of research on what is in our food and the products we put on our bodies. I learned about GMO fruits and veggies and the horrible dishonesty that is called Monsanto. About the long term affects of sugar like refined and high fructose corn syrup. About organic veggies versus pesticide laden and GMO (genetically modified) ones. What it all came down to is that as Christians we have an enemy who has come to steal,kill and destroy and one of those areas is our health. We as Christians need to care for our bodies and know what we're putting INTO and ON them via the foods we eat and the body care items and drugs we apply and consume. Many Christians think what they're eating from a can or a box is healthy and they don't know what companies are putting in the food in those cans and boxes. They think it's ok to eat pesticide and GMO veggies and fruits even though our government has said that they don't know the long term affects of GMO's. It's not healthy to be eating preservatives, pesticides, massive amounts of sugar and soy and corn. But all this is in many of our foods for reasons of preserving and bulking up the food etc. . Again I say education is good and every Christian should start looking into it. Our US government is allowing more and more terrible chemical and cheap ingredients into our food supply cause it's cheap and preserves things. Looking up Monsanto is a great place to start. Will also add that it's not good to go all nutso about it and be rude and turn down people's offerings of food. When someone invites you to their home be gracious and eat what's put before you. It may be that they don't know or it's all they can afford. And I say all this as someone who eats donuts, McD's french fries and all the non organic stuff my parents serve at their home when I visit. Do what you can and do what you have to when you have to. But get knowledge and understanding about what's in your food, don't get crazy though.

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DEBRA EVANS

May 31, 2012  11:30pm

Without question you pose some good questions and valid concerns, Rachel. I would love it if autoimmune diseases weren't so closely associated with gluten, casein, and soy. As someone who followed the approach you describe until I developed Type 1 diabetes at age 48--followed by Grave's disease, autoimmune hepatitis, cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy, autoimmune arthritis, early onset osteoporosis, chronic kidney problems, and more--I had no idea that a volatile combo of my DNA, celiac disease, and food sensitivity were contributing to my immune system's implosion. Thankfully, an oncologist's nutritionist with a double PhD (one in virology) did the appropriate genetic testing, showed me the research on PubMed, and offered his expert support. As a result, I did what I needed to do--not out of fear, but as an answer to prayer. Though I occasionally miss having the freedom I once had regarding food choices, when my antibody blood tests now come back showing that I'm currently in remission as a result of God's timely intervention and my willingness to move beyond my previous dietary mindset, I'm amazed . . . and deeply grateful. So, for those of us out here who really do get sick if we eat certain foods that aren't easy to forego when others can partake more freely, please include a disclaimer with your writing and speaking on this subject: There is substantial, credible, life-saving evidence that links specific foods to deadly diseases. Consider me the living proof.

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Larissa

May 31, 2012  9:46pm

I truly appreciate this post, and it echoes my own recent ponderings on the food dilemmas of middle class western folks. I have a friend whose family is currently gluten free and vegan (and other variously changing and assorted miscellaneous foods). While we used to share meals and fellowship, we now struggle even to provide a cup of tea (I don't keep rice milk, or the unusual caffeine free teas they drink). I try hard to find unusual supermarket items that may be acceptable to them, but fail to scrutinise the fine print, and thus miss a recently forbidden ingredient. Even fruit can be unacceptable - have I washed it correctly? Where did I buy it? Is it organic? While I understand her desire to 'do the right thing' by the poor cows and chickens, I feel that our relationship is becoming fragile because we cannot eat together. And am I the only one with no family member who has an allergy, intolerance or food issue? It feels like it :-)

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LOIS TVERBERG

May 31, 2012  4:37pm

Years ago I was chatting with a Ugandan pastor who studied at a local seminary and I asked him what he would remember most from his time here. His answer struck me dumb. He said, "The thing I will most remember is that for one whole year, I did not need to worry about where my food for the next day would come from." Since then I've realized that there's a reason why Jesus told people to pray for their "daily bread." Most people throughout history have subsisted on a serving or two of whatever starch they can get. My African friends are quite galled when they hear about how Americans are obsessed with food.

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Robyn Widmer

May 31, 2012  2:22pm

This is such a first world problem.

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Tim

May 31, 2012  2:10pm

KSP may not have been able to pick out her favorite line, but here's mine: "the dangers of dietary legalism". That's an awesome turn of phrase! It suggests so much of what we see in our culture, including the overwhelming evangelistic fervor that orthorexic prophets display. Nice job, Rachel. Tim

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Mark Andrew Hamilton

May 31, 2012  1:51pm

This made me think, indubitably, and is very insightful. My only question is about issues like hypoglecemia or diabetes etc. For instance, if I eat certain amount/type of sugar my blood sugar will usually drop, sometimes drastically, when I exercise over the next few days. In such instances, I need to have boundaries when people offer me food, and I need people to accept those boundaries, regardless of hospitality, and I think that is healthy. Otherwise, I'll be passed out on the ground after a run in a very unhealthy way. This piece really got me thinking about my "food Pharisaism" which might hurt relationship. But it's only just a few hundred fence laws, so I think I'm alright :). Jk. Thanks.

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charity jill

May 31, 2012  1:43pm

I so appreciate this article, Rachel. It reminds me of the most recent post on Michael Ruhlman's site, where he says, "This I believe: to eat humanely raised and slaughtered animals is not only ethical, it’s important to our humanity." He argues that eating meat is what brought humans together into communities, thus causing the advent of civilization. I might lean a little hard to the charismatic side by wondering if the disordered attitudes around food consumption in our country carries with it the smack of spiritual oppression. If we are in an all-out spiritual war on true communion, and it is causing God's children physical and emotional pain, we as Christians need to take action through prayer and by helping our neighbors. But this can't happen until we are truly informed about food issues, maturely grasping the nuances of human behavior. I hope that, because of this article, we will hear more voices calling for healing of food issues in the church (true healing, not diet clubs).

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Lynda

May 31, 2012  1:10pm

My grandparents' generation was obsessed with bowel movements....at precisely 'the right time'....EVERY day.....don't go out of the house until the sacrament is offered up....and don't forget about color, size, and texture too. Today's obsession is with the religion and devotion to Righteous Eating. The style of eating that places one ABOVE all the rest of us who think food ought to actually taste good while consuming it.

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SANDY HANEY

May 31, 2012  12:38pm

As someone who could definitely lean toward "orthorexia nervosa," I appreciated this post. I laughed at the cheese story, because we allow our kids to eat processed cheese sometimes, and some friends cringe while others don't understand why I cringe, too. Trying to balance eating healthy foods, being aware of the larger implications of our diet, and participating in community is so difficult, and I'm glad you brought out some of the tensions. I would love to add, too, the issues associated with those who can't eat communally, at least not easily. As a mom of kids with severe food allergies, we often have to avoid communal food settings, including many shared meals at church. It's difficult and frustrating, for everyone involved. In contrast, one of our best meals is Christmas Eve, when our friends whose children have even more--and more severe--food allergies come to dinner and, after much careful, nerve-wracking preparation, we share a meal where no one needs a 'special' dish or to avoid a certain aspect of the meal. It is in those meals that we most feel God's presence, since most other communal meals serve only to remind us of our difference and exclusion. We talk about the joys of heaven, where our bodies won't have allergies and where we will all feast together. As my young son said, "It will be one big party!" For people who know parties as places of both celebration and potential danger, one big, 'safe' party is good news indeed.

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KAREN SWALLOW PRIOR

May 31, 2012  12:35pm

Oh, Rachel. Oh, oh, oh. Outstanding. I'm trying to pick out my favorite line in this, but I give up. I'll just offer a slightly altered version of one of my favorites: "Too many [blank] rules can make it hard to love your neighbor." Amen and amen.

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