Genesis 9:3 “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”
This is the command that God gave Noah after the flood. Prior to the flood, humans only ate plants; however after the flood, He allowed us to eat animals as well. The Bible doesn’t give us much more diet advice than that.
Food (and eating) used to be simple. I would have loved to live in a time when eating was something that was necessary to survive, and not the center of everything. People didn’t worry about eating the “right” thing. They just ate.
There are lots of people arguing about about food these days. Eat this. Don’t eat that. The contradiction is almost funny sometimes. How can one person argue that something is “good” when the next person is saying that it is “bad”? Opinions about food are polarized and causing all sorts of chaos and confusion.
Because of the advancements of science, we now know what is in the foods we eat, which makes it more complicated than it used to me. Many people don’t see it as food anymore, but rather a sum of its parts. The practice of planning meals around food groups is disappearing, while carbohydrates, protein, and fat take their place. Not only that, but foods themselves are being replaced by powders and supplements claiming to be equivalent, even superior, than the real thing.
The thing food has that no powder or replacement will ever have is called synergy. There are still constituents in food that science has not been able to replicate. Not only that, but the nutrients found in foods work together in a way that also cannot be replicated. Just like God created our bodies to survive based on the exact workings of very complex mechanisms, He also knit nutrients together in just the right proportions to give our bodies what they need to grow and function as designed. And when we make food more complicated by focusing on its specific nutrients, rather than the food as a whole, it takes away from the awe and splendor of the One who created it in the first place.
What about GMOs?
It is a fact that GMOs have eradicated numerous nutrient deficiencies around the world. We rarely see things like scurvy or pellegra, which used to be rather common nutrient-related diseases. Many people see GMOs as tampering with God’s design, but I like to look it from the standpoint that God gave us brains to solve real problems in a fallen world, and GMOs are just one example of that. Without GMOs we wouldn’t have seedless watermelon or papayas or many of the foods we eat and enjoy today. These foods still provide nutrients; therefore, they are good.
So, what should you eat?
Focus on eating a variety of foods, and don’t get too sucked into the specific nutrients (unless a medical condition requires it). Each of the foods groups provides different combinations of nutrients that your body needs, and when you give your body what it needs, it will function the way it was created to.
Originally published 1/9/15, Revised 10/7/19