Plant-Based, Whole Foods, Three Weeks, Part Two

In part two of my series on my three-week experiment of trying to lower my cholesterol by eating a plant-based, whole foods diet, I look at the Biblical views on what we should and should not eat.

Long story short, in my mind there is no Biblical support for one particular diet. When it comes to a plant-based diet, two passages come to mind. The first is from Genesis, chapter one, just after God had created Adam and Eve:

[29] And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. [30] And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. (Genesis 1:29-30, ESV)

Here, at the very dawn of creation, God gives a plant-based diet not only to humans but to all the other land animals as well.

Then in the first chapter of Daniel there is this fascinating story:

[12] Daniel said, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. [13] Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” [14] So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. [15] At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. [16] So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. (Daniel 1:12-16, ESV)

In this story a test is conducted between vegetable eaters and those eating the rich food of the king and the vegetable eaters came out in top. I don’t know what vegetables Daniel and his friends were eating that fattened them up but clearly they did not suffer by not eating meat.

But these are really the only two places in the Bible that a clear preference is shown for a plant-based diet.

There are many other passages where it is clear there are no restrictions on our diets. When Noah emerges from the ark after the great, worldwide flood he is told by God:

[3] Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. (Genesis 9:3, ESV)

In the Old Testament, the people of Israel were placed under some severe food restrictions but this was not done for health reasons. The reason it was done was to show their distinctness from the other peoples of the world.

When Jesus came along all those food restrictions were lifted as it says in St. Mark, chapter seven:

[18] And he [Jesus] said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, [19] since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) (Mark 7:18-19, ESV)

And I could list many, many more passages from the Bible that show there is no clear preference for one particular diet. As long as a person is getting enough essential nutrients in their diet and is not overeating anything, the Bible says, “Keep it up.”  I would also add that, in today’s world, it is important to look at how our food is raised. Those who raise out food should strive not to damage the environment and make sure our food is safe.

 

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