So, the last I heard, the Bible is still a top seller. Like the top seller. And as much as we may enjoy books like Against All Grain, their peak sales will probably not top that 5 billion mark, and their wisdom probably not exceed God’s. And what a relief. Because if I followed every bit of “advice” I’ve read lately, I’d be wasting away on, like, chia seeds. I love this bit from Producer Sherri–the wheat germ!!–but even that wheat germ would be banned in a lot of diets. And then what, just water? Maybe not.
It can all be overwhelming.
For instance, I have a library book here, billed on the jacket as “one of the most important books on health ever written”, in which the author puts forward lists of “forbidden” and “prohibited” foods, including dairy, eggs (What? No eggs?! Them’s fightin words.), and wheat. Another book I recently read categorizes many foods as “kryptonite”–with “risks for everyone that far outweigh the benefits.” These food include mushrooms, beans, peanuts, corn, and millet, with many, many other foods falling into the author’s “suspect” category. And then there’s my favorite workout book that suggests I avoid milk, as “Milk is a source of highly concentrated calories meant to nourish a baby calf, an animal that nature designed to grow from fifty pounds to two thousand in just six months!” And in one fell swoop, the God who gave Israel a land flowing with milk and honey is made to look like either an idiot or a saboteur.
I just have to step back and think about this (highlights mine):
1 Timothy 4:3 (from The Message)
4 1-5 The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they’ve lost their capacity for truth. They will tell you not to get married. They’ll tell you not to eat this or that food—perfectly good food God created to be eaten heartily and with thanksgiving by believers who know better! Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. Nothing is to be sneered at and thrown out. God’s Word and our prayers make every item in creation holy.
29-30 Then God said, “I’ve given you every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth And every kind of fruit-bearing tree, given them to you for food. To all animals and all birds, everything that moves and breathes, I give whatever grows out of the ground for food.” And there it was.
And also this!
9 1-4 God blessed Noah and his sons: He said, “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill the Earth! Every living creature—birds, animals, fish—will fall under your spell and be afraid of you. You’re responsible for them. All living creatures are yours for food; just as I gave you the plants, now I give you everything else. Except for meat with its lifeblood still in it—don’t eat that.
And don’t get all Oh, yeah, well what about tobacco, Shannon? on me, because look. There’s just so much we don’t understand about plants and nutrition and inflammation and moderation and biodiversity, but one thing I can understand is that these foods should not be “forbidden” or “kryptonite”.