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Eat Raw Wednesdays #09012021

Author: Dr. Yvonne Huggins-Mclean


1 Kings 18:21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is GOD, follow HIM; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. [New International translation] BIBLICAL COMMENTS Elijah was a great prophet reformer in the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. When Ahab, Jezebel and their prophets promoted Baal worship, Elijah sought to re-awaken Israel to the real truth— JEHOVAH, HE alone is GOD. Baal worship was everywhere, all around him, but Elijah refused to succumb. Ignoring what was going on around him, Elijah challenged the status quo. He was confrontational. He was direct. Even Elijah’s name, which meant “YAHWEH 1 is my GOD,” left no doubt where Elijah stood. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah, called the “troubler of Israel” (1Kings 18:17 New International translation), takes a stand against all the false Baal prophets around him. Elijah lets the people know that their “waiver” between GOD and Baal worship had to stop. The people had to choose. Elijah proposed a test---a “showdown.” Elijah, GOD’s prophet vs. the 450 prophets of Baal. 2 FOOD CHOICES When it comes to foods people have to make choices. Unprocessed or Non-processed Foods Unprocessed or non-processed foods are foods in their natural state. These are generally foods that are natural and unaltered. For example, fresh fruits and vegetables are often cited example of unprocessed foods and tend to be a great source of minerals, vitamins and fiber. If we adopt the U.S. Department of Agriculture definition of a processed food, as “any food that has undergone any changes from its natural state,” then any raw agricultural product that has been washed, cleaned, cut, heated, cooked, canned, subject to freezing or refrigeration, drying, dehydration, mixed, packaged has been “processed.” This means about everything we buy from a grocery store has been processed. Minimally Processed Foods In the “Nutrition Source: Processed Foods and Health,” minimally processed foods is defined as follows: Minimally processed foods have been slightly altered for the main purpose of preservation but which does not substantially change the nutritional content of the food. Examples include cleaning and removing inedible or unwanted parts, grinding, refrigeration, pasteurization, fermentation, freezing, and vacuum-packaging. See, Some minimally processed foods are considered “fortified foods” because vitamins and minerals have been added in the process. For examples, many milks, juices and other foods may be “fortified” with healthy additions that are good for a person’s diet. There are degrees that foods are processed. For example, canned fruits and vegetable, bread or cheese, may include added sugar or salt, which means they are processed but not “minimally.” Still, they are not “ultra-processed.” Ultra-Processed Foods Ultra-processing involves multiple steps. The process also brings in ingredients -- usually with unrecognizable names -- that you wouldn’t find in a crop or on a farm. They include artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, and ingredients, such as emulsifiers, meant to make the look or texture of the food more appealing. Sodas, luncheon meats, sugary cereals, and chips are ultra-processed, along with many other packaged snacks and baked goods, some frozen meals, and some crackers. See, Medical News Today describes ultra-processed foods as “cosmetic foods” and gives the following examples:

  • frozen or ready meals

  • baked goods, including pizza, cakes, and pastries

  • packaged breads

  • processed cheese products

  • breakfast cereals

  • crackers and chips

  • candy and ice cream

  • instant noodles and soups

  • reconstituted meats, such as sausages, nuggets, fish fingers, and processed ham

  • sodas and other sweetened drinks

See, “How do processed foods affect your health?” According to The Nutrition Source, “Processed Foods and Health,” some consider these foods are specifically designed to increase craving so that people overeat them and desire more. Some of these foods are also low in fiber and nutrition. These foods tend to “taste good” and are often inexpensive. One study found that ultra-processed foods comprised about 60% of total calories in the U.S. diet. See, Ultra-processed foods have been linked to obesity, heart disease, vascular disease (e.g. stroke), increase risk of cancer and shorter life expectancy. “Hidden Dangers of Ultra-processed Foods,” Id. To avoid ultra-processed foods, read food labels. Look for words such as sugar, maltose, brown sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar, honey and fruit juice concentrate. Look for “added sugars” on the labels to determine the “total” amount of sugar. Be cautious about foods with high levels of saturated fats. Look for words for salt or sodium, like monosodium glutamate or disodium phosphate. Remember, labels list ingredients in order of quantity by weight, so ingredients that weigh the most Remember, eating healthy starts with you! Read, educate yourself and study. WE MUST CHOOSEWe must choose. Our choices are important to our health and well-being and often our choices are critical to the well-being of others. Some of those choices include whether or not we:

  • Serve GOD

  • Study GOD’s WORD

  • Vote

  • Get vaccinated

  • Reject ultra-processed or unhealthy food and drinks

  • Treat others right

  • Help those suffering from injustice

  • Respond to other concerns GOD has placed on our hearts

If we waiver, the words of Elijah still ring true: “How long will you waiver between two opinions?” Choosing may seem difficult. But let us pray that we submit our will to GOD’s WILL. Pray, choose and BE BLESSED. ______________________________ 1 A name of the Hebrew God, represented in Hebrew by the tetragrammaton ("four letters") יהוה (Yod Heh Vav Heh), transliterated into Roman script Y H W H. Because it was considered blasphemous to utter the name of God it was only written and never spoken. This resulted in the original pronunciation being lost. The name may have originally been derived from the old Semitic root הוה (hawah) meaning "to be" or "to become. Other variants include Jehovah. See, 2 Elijah also challenged the 400 prophets of Asherah (another false god), who were loyal to Jezebel to the “showdown” too. See 1Kings 18:19

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