The way in which our food is grown or raised has an incredible influence on the health of the society and Godís creation. When animals are fed what God intended for them to eat ñ grass for cows, for example ñ they are healthy, and their meat has an appropriate balance of nutrients for human consumption. When cattle are fed corn, soy, and other stuff you donít even want to know about, their stomachs have to adjust, their fat and muscle adjusts, and the animals are more likely to be ill, just as their meat is more likely to make human eaters ill (or at the very least, not support optimal health).
Soil and Farming Health
Artificial fertilizers and pesticides are wreaking havoc on the health of our soil, yet another layer of ìhealthî that is easy to disregard. The soil doesnít groan with stomach pains or look gaunt from malnutrition, but it may as well have both. The minerals in most conventionally farmed fields are tapped out, to be replaced with the same artificial fertilizers year after year, requiring more each year to compensate for the dead earth.
We may never recover from the impact of genetically modified plants, especially after they start influencing the development of their organically farmed neighbors, and even the weeds that try to attack them. We are changing our ecosystem with genetic modification, playing God if you will, and I donít think the far-reaching consequences have been predicted or examined thoroughly enough.
Add to that the damage done directly to the health of communities by pesticide clouds, manure run-off, and petroleum and ozone depletion to cart all these commodities across the country and back and package them, and our food system is becoming as anti-health as can be.
The High Health Costs of Cheap Food
To complicate an already complicated food situation in America, we need to acknowledge the fact that our food system changes are all aimed at the goal of increasing production and reducing cost. That makes it even easier for the uninformed or unintentional consumer to overeat, particularly foods that will ultimately damage their health. We generally grow cheap food that will kill you early instead of expensive, worthwhile, nutrient-dense food to sustain good health.
The Problem of Medication
The common solution to the various health problems we have created is to throw some more chemicals in the mix, whether they be more fertilizer, sanitizers, irradiation, antibiotics or other medications. We are putting medicinal band-aids on bleeding hearts instead of looking for preventative measures and simply returning to the life God has created us for.
Not only is this perpetuating the diseases from which the modern world (and the modern world only!) suffers, like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, but also the chemicals, either after passing through our bodies or by taking up residence in the soil, pollute our air and water supply. We are all drinking the estrogen, for example, that users of the Pill and hormone supplements excrete, because it cannot be filtered out of our water. How many more occurrences of disease are we causing in our fight to take control of our health, unnaturally?
Whatís a Christian to Do?
Can we really use our faith to influence the choices we make about our health and our food consumption? I truly believe that God wishes us to consider the overall health, both physical and spiritual, of the world when we make our food choices. The Father of all wouldnít want His children sabotaging each other and harming themselves for some momentary convenience or pleasure of good-tasting food. Our health is tied into our care of creation, our day-to-day eating, and our sense of community. Let us make conscious choices to be good stewards of all Godís creation when we sit down to the table and break bread. We may be hosting angels unaware.
What else are people doing to fight against God’s creative plan, and how can we make a positive impact?
Copyright 2010 Katie Kimball