- Glorify Him
From the mountain tops to the valleys
In the rivers, the oceans, the deserts glorify him.
For the Spirit of God is in all places and He must be glorified.
The fire of God dwells within us. It burns for Him.
The fire cannot be extinguished, it is eternal. Glorify him.
Lift up the name of God.
He who gave us life!
He who gave us water!
He who gave us salvation.
He heals our bodies. He hears our prayers. He knows our every movement.
Every day of our lives, he must be glorified.
God is the embodiment of everything we have ever needed.
He is the past and the present. He is everything and he is all things.
From your belly comes a mighty roar.
The Lord God, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah has called us to himself.
Said Christ, when I am lifted up I will draw all men onto myself.
He has been crucified and glorified. Now we all crave him.
Even those that cannot see him, they don’t know him. But they crave him.
Observe if you will an unbeliever.
They gaze at the stars, they search for an answer. From where will their answer come?
They search for a higher power. Is it around them? Above them or within them?
Is it in the trees, in the oceans, or in the skies? Maybe it is the sun.
They seek Him but can’t find him. So they choose something else.
Rescue them from the pit of hell!
God must be glorified.
He is the irreplaceable, unmatchable supreme being of the universe and everything beyond.
He created us in his image, and created the world to support us.
Understand, that we are God’s first love.
Glorify Him. Seek him with all your heart. He wants to be found.
God reveals himself to us in the world around us. Why does he hunt us down and woo us?
Because God yearns for us as we yearn for him.
If you are chosen, look at the unchosen.
They seek a savior. They slave for food, for water, for shelter.
They fear sickness and death. They wonder, from where will their help come?
Glorify God in their presence. Show them the light that shines in darkness.
The name of God must be lifted up high.
He is the highest of the high. How can he not be exalted?
It is time for us to Glorify God. All is for his Glory.
Even his son, Jesus Christ has been exalted for the glory of God.
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”Philippians 2:9-11, NKJV
Genesis 1:26-28 (NKJV):
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Deuteronomy 4: 14-24 (NKJV):
“Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth. And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage. But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance, as you are this day. Furthermore the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I would not cross over the Jordan, and that I would not enter the good land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. But I must die in this land, I must not cross over the Jordan; but you shall cross over and possess that good land. Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
2 Samuel 22:47 (NKJV):
“The Lord lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let God be exalted,
The Rock of my salvation!
Job 33:4 (NKJV):
The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Psalm 21:13 (NKJV):
Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.
Psalm 22:22-24 (NKJV):
I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.
Psalm 34:1-3 (NKJV):
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 50:14-15 (NKJV):
Offer to God thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High.
Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
Psalm 86:8-10 (NKJV):
Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
All nations whom You have made
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.
For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.
Psalm 118:25-29 (NKJV):
Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
God is the Lord, And He has given us light; Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Amos 3:7-8 (NKJV):
Surely the Lord God does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
A lion has roared!
Who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken!
Who can but prophesy?
Matthew 6:25-34 (NKJV):
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV):
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Matthew 24:23-28 (NKJV):
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.
“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
John 12:23-33 (NKJV):
But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”
Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die.
John 17:1-5 (NKJV):
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
Acts 17:24-28 (NKJV):
God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV):
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (NKJV):
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Hebrews 12:28-29 (NKJV):
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
- What is Real Food? Exposing Degrees of Processing
Food Available in the United States Today
73 percent of the United States’ food supply is ultra-processed. This is according to research from Northeastern University’s Network Science Institute. Ultra-processed foods have been successful in displacing ‘real food’ in most parts of the world. The TrueFood database, which captures and compares the degree of processing of thousands of foods, suggests that ultra-processed foods are 52 percent cheaper than less processed alternatives, on average. Their convenience, hyper-palatability, branding and ownership by transnational corporations, and aggressive marketing give ultra-processed foods enormous market advantages over all other food groups.
Convenience at the Expense of Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity prevalence among adults in the United States increased from 30.5 percent to 41.9 percent from 1999-2000 through 2017-March 2020. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7 percent to 9.2 percent. Among children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 years, the prevalence of obesity roughly doubled between 1988-1994 and 2017-2018.
Several factors contribute to excess weight gain among adults and youth. Among these are genetics, types and amounts of food and drinks consumed, sleep habits, medical conditions or medicines, and where and how people live. This includes their access to and ability to afford healthy foods and safe places to be active.
In supermarkets and food outlets, Americans have easy access to ultra-processed foods prepared using industrial techniques. Many health experts believe that heavily processed “foods” could be at the root of America’s soaring obesity and chronic disease rates. Ultra-processed foods make meals cheap and convenient, but they can lead to overeating and weight gain and may contribute to metabolic syndrome and chronic disease.
Ultra-processed foods make up more than half of the total dietary energy consumed in high-income countries such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. In American youths ages 2 to 19, 67 percent of daily calories come from ultra-processed foods.
Convenience is the attraction to our industrial food system. However, the efficiency and affordability come with reduced nutritional content, the loss of wholesome flavor, and the damaging impact that these foods have on our physical health.
What is Processed Food?
Typical health guidance advises us to avoid processed foods. However, almost all foods are processed to some extent, if only by preservation. Some processing is not harmful, such as pasteurization and other means of ensuring microbial safety.
However, processing can profoundly affect the healthfulness of foods. Four forms of processing have serious adverse effects on the quality of food: refining grains, partial hydrogenation of oils, refinement of sugar cane to make sugar, and adding excessive amounts of salt and other preservatives.
To determine how healthy a food is, we must evaluate the food as a whole rather than focus on one nutrient at a time. The NOVA classification system categorizes all foods and food products into four groups based on the nature, extent and purpose of the physical, biological and chemical processes they have undergone following separation from nature. There are four processing levels.
NOVA Classification Levels
GROUP CLASSIFICATION Group 1 Unprocessed or Minimally Processed Foods Group 2 Processed Culinary Ingredients Group 3 Processed Foods Group 4 Ultra-Processed Food and Drink Products
Group 1: Unprocessed or Minimally Processed Foods
Group 1 classification includes foods that have not been altered from their natural state; or that have only undergone minimal processes. These foods do not contain added substances such as salt, sugar, oils, or fats, but they may infrequently contain preservatives.
Unprocessed (natural) foods include the edible parts of plants (seeds, fruits, leaves, stems, roots) or of animals (muscle, offal, eggs, milk), and also fungi, algae and water, after separation from nature.
Examples of Unprocessed or Minimally Processed Foods
Whole grains Fish Millets Fresh and pasteurized milk Wheat flour Unflavored yogurt Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables Legumes Unprocessed meats and poultries Nuts Eggs Seeds
Minimally processed foods are natural foods altered by processes that include removal of inedible or unwanted parts, drying, crushing, grinding, fractioning, filtering, roasting, boiling, non-alcoholic fermentation, pasteurization, refrigeration, chilling, freezing, placing in containers and vacuum-packaging. These processes are designed to preserve natural foods, to make them suitable for storage, or to make them safe or edible or more pleasant to consume. Processes such as canning, freezing, fermentation, and vacuum-packaging ensure the safety and preservation of food while maintaining a food’s nutritional integrity.
Group 2: Processed Culinary Ingredients
Group 2 classification includes substances used to prepare, season and cook Group 1 foods. These are derived from Group 1 foods or from nature by processes such as pressing, refining, grinding, crushing, milling and drying. Processed culinary ingredients are not meant to be consumed by themselves and are normally used for seasoning and cooking unprocessed or minimally processed foods.
Examples of Processed Culinary Ingredients
Salt Vinegar Sugar Maple syrup Honey Molasses Plant oils Lard Butter
Group 3: Processed Foods
Group 3 classification includes products manufactured by industry by adding group 2 ingredients to unprocessed or minimally processed foods to preserve or make them more palatable. The purpose of processing is to increase the durability of Group 1 foods and to make them more enjoyable by modifying or enhancing their sensory qualities. Processed foods may contain preservatives, antioxidants, and stabilizers.
Examples of Processed Foods
Canned/bottled vegetables and legumes Cheeses Fruits in syrup Salted or sugared nuts and seeds Canned fish and meats Breads made of ingredients used in culinary preparations
Group 4: Ultra-Processed Foods
Group 4 classification consists of ready to eat/drink/heat industrial formulations that are made with multiple ingredients extracted from foods or synthesized in laboratories, while containing little whole foods. Ultra-processed foods are made mostly or entirely from substances derived from foods and additives. The overall purpose of ultra-processing is to create highly profitable, hyper-palatable ready to consume products with a long shelf-life.
In addition to Group 2 foods like salt, sugar, oils and fats, and preservatives, ultra-processed foods include ingredients not used in culinary preparations. Food substances of no or rare culinary use include varieties of sugars, modified oils, and protein sources. Cosmetic additives disguise undesirable sensory properties created by ingredients, processes or packaging, or else make the final product especially attractive to see, taste, smell and/or touch. Flavors, colors, sweeteners, emulsifiers and other additives are used to imitate sensorial qualities of unprocessed or minimally processed foods or to disguise undesirable aspects of the final product.
These products are termed ‘ultra-processed’ because they are created through a series of industrial processes. Processing begins with the fractioning of whole foods into substances that include sugars, oils and fats, proteins, starches and fiber. These substances are often obtained from a few high-yield plant foods (corn, wheat, soya, cane or beet) and from puréeing or grinding animal carcasses. Some of these substances are then submitted to hydrolysis, hydrogenation, or other chemical modifications.
Subsequent processes involve the assembly of unmodified and modified food substances with little if any whole food using industrial techniques such as extrusion, moulding and pre-frying. Colors, flavors, emulsifiers and other additives are frequently added to make the final product palatable or hyper-palatable. Processing ends with sophisticated packaging that is often vivid and features health claims.
Examples of Ultra-Processed Foods
Carbonated drinks Mass-produced packaged breads and buns Fruit flavored drinks Margarines and other spreads Sweet/savory packaged snacks Cookies (biscuits) Candies Pastries, cakes, cake mixes Ready to eat/heat pizza, sandwich, burger Breakfast cereals Frozen or shelf-stable dishes Pre-prepared pies, pasta and pizza dishes Chocolate Poultry and fish nuggets and sticks Powdered and packaged instant soups, noodles Sausages, burgers, hot dogs Ice cream Other reconstituted meat products
Ultra-processed foods are hyper-palatable “industrial formulations” that stray from their organic origins. They are highly caloric but offer little nutritional value. They are typically high in sugar, unhealthy fats and salt, and low in dietary fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Processing food removes or destroys many naturally-occurring nutrients present in whole foods which cannot be replaced by supplements or added vitamins. Despite health claims that may appear on product packaging, the food industry cannot replicate the health benefits of whole foods.
What to Eat and What Not to Eat
Now you should have an understanding of the typical processes used to produce foods. Given this information, how can you choose foods that will provide nutrition without harming your health? Before you buy or consume food, consider how it is made. Here are some guidelines you can follow to make healthy food choices.
Eat This: Real Food
Real food is whole food: unprocessed fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy products, nuts, seeds and grains. Whole foods are unprocessed or minimally processed foods and freshly prepared dishes and meals. When you eat whole foods you are eating the entire food with all of its vitamins, minerals and fiber, and the food has not been subjected to potentially damaging processing.
Real food is fresh, nutritious, predominantly local, seasonal, grass-fed, as wild as possible, free of synthetic chemicals, whole or minimally processed, and ecologically diverse.
Eat This: Fresh Food
The closer a food is to its natural state, the more nutrient-dense it is. Foods that are highly nutritious attract living microorganisms that break down the food and can also make us sick. For this reason, whole foods have a short shelf life. They should be consumed within a day of harvest for maximal nutritional content.
Consider the difference between fresh, real bread and shelf-stable processed bread. The primary ingredient used to make bread is wheat, a long grass. Wheat is harvested for its berries, which consist of three parts: the bran, the endosperm, and the germ.
The wheat germ is the most nutritious part of the wheat berry, providing a variety of minerals, fiber, essential vitamins, antioxidants and phytosterols. The highly nutritious wheat germ attracts microorganisms which break down the nutrients and cause the wheat to spoil. Bread that is baked with whole, unprocessed grain spoils within a day.
Industrially produced wheat is refined, removing the bran and the wheat germ to produce white flour. White flour is used to produce a bread-like product that will keep longer but is missing nutrients. From a nutritional standpoint, it is better to consume fresh bread baked with whole wheat rather than shelf-stable bread baked with refined wheat.
Industrially produced foods travel long distances from farm to grocery store. Consumers expect produce to be ripe, attractive and flavorful. If industrial farms harvested fruits and vegetables when ripe, they would spoil before they reached their final destination. To extend the shelf life, produce is either picked unripe and then artificially ripened or it is processed to extend shelf life, often using synthetic chemicals to prevent microbial growth.
The most commonly used chemical for artificial ripening is calcium carbide. When exposed to moisture, it produces acetylene gas, which is an analogue to ethylene. This quickens the ripening process. When produce is artificially ripened, it does not develop the same density of nutrients it would have if it were harvested when ripe. Fruits ripen when they absorb moisture, minerals, and other necessary components from the soil. As the fruit grows, its storage cells expand and fill with water, sugars, organic acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Eat This: Locally Grown Produce
It is well-known that fruits and vegetables taste better freshly harvested from a garden than when purchased from a store. Some foods lose nutrients during transportation and storage. Locally grown produce does not travel long distances from farm to table, so it is fresher and retains more nutrients than non-local produce.
If you cannot grow your own garden, the best source for locally produced, fresh foods is farms in your area. When you buy directly from local farms, you not only purchase the best in quality and nutrition for your family. You also support the farmer who is often at a disadvantage competing with the industrial food system. Through choosing to support local farms, you strengthen your community economy and help to keep local producers in business.
Instead of grocery stores, shop from farmer’s markets or join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
Avoid This: Ultra-Processed Foods
Ultra-processed foods are intrinsically unhealthy due to the nature of the processes and ingredients used in their manufacture. To create foods that can last for days, weeks, or even months on the shelf, and can be transported across states and countries, food corporations have to reduce the nutrient content, while adding preservatives and additives to maintain freshness, flavor and texture. Ultra-processed foods are typically high in added sugar, trans-fat, sodium, and refined starch and low in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Cohort studies provide consistent evidence suggesting that high intake of ultra-processed foods contributes to obesity and cardiometabolic risk factors in children and adults. It is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancers, and total mortality in adults.
A review of food trends published in Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology reported that consumption of ultra-processed food was associated with weight gain. The most weight gain was attributed to ultra-processed foods such as potato chips, sweetened beverages, sweets and desserts, refined grains, and processed meats.
Conversely, weight loss or less weight gain was associated with eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine linked eating ultra-processed foods to type 2 diabetes. After adjusting for co-morbidities and weight change, the researchers concluded that a higher intake of ultra-processed foods consistently increased risk for type 2 diabetes. In many cases, type 2 diabetes is related to lifestyle choices that can be modified with a structured wellness and fitness plan.
How to Recognize Ultra-Processed Food
The practical way to identify whether a product is ultra-processed is to check to see if its list of ingredients contains at least one item characteristic of the ultra-processed food group. This includes either food substances never or rarely used in kitchens, or classes of additives whose function is to make the final product palatable or more appealing (‘cosmetic additives’).
Food substances not used in kitchens appear in the beginning or in the middle of the lists of ingredients of ultra-processed foods. Several examples are listed in the table. The presence in the list of ingredients of one or more of these food substances identifies a product as ultra-processed.
Cosmetic additives are at the end of lists of ingredients of ultra-processed foods, together with other additives. The presence in the list of ingredients of one or more additives that belong to these classes of additives also identifies a product as ultra-processed.
It is important to check ingredient labels because foods that may appear to be healthy can actually be ultra-processed. For example:
Industrial breads made only from wheat flour, water, salt and yeast are processed foods, while those whose lists of ingredients also include emulsifiers or colors are ultra-processed.
Ingredients Characteristic of Ultra-Processed Foods
SUBSTANCES NOT USED IN KITCHENS COSMETIC ADDITIVES Hydrolyzed proteins Flavors Soya protein isolate Flavor enhancers Gluten Colors Casein Emulsifiers Whey protein Emulsifying salts Mechanically separated meat Sweeteners Fructose Thickeners High-fructose corn syrup Anti-foaming agents Fruit juice concentrate Bulking agents Invert sugar Carbonating agents Maltodextrin Foaming agents Dextrose Gelling agents Lactose Glazing agents Soluble or insoluble fiber Hydrogenated or interesterified oil Other sources of protein, carbohydrate or fat which are neither foods from NOVA Group 1 or Group 3, nor culinary ingredients from NOVA Group 2
Plain steel-cut oats, plain corn flakes and shredded wheat are minimally processed foods, while the same foods are processed when they also contain sugar, and ultra-processed if they also contain flavors or colors.
Avoid This: Industrially Mass-Produced Meat
Leviticus 11 of the Bible, in which God outlines animals that are and are not fit for consumption, specifies:
Chewing the cud is a part of the digestive process of ruminant animals.
Ruminants have multi-chambered stomachs. When they eat plant material such as grass or foliage, the ingested plant material is stored in the first chamber, called the rumen, where it softens. They later regurgitate this material, called cud, and chew it again to further break down its cellulose content. The chewed cud goes directly to the other chambers of the stomach where it is further digested.
Ruminants such as cattle, sheep, and goats are designed to graze over stretches of grass. This is further illustrated in Genesis 1:
Industrial farming often consists of food monocultures, in which a single species of crop or livestock is produced. This mass production removes the delicate ecological balance which is found in diversity.
Industrial meat operations are cruel to animals. Instead of being allowed to roam and graze on a variety of plants, factory farmed cattle are confined and fed commercial animal feed made primarily of corn and soy. Cattle’s rumens are designed to digest various grasses and plants, not massive amounts of grain. These grain-based diets cause disease and general ill health, such as stomach ulcers. Cattle are known to be herbivores, but they are also fed animal products.
Additionally, unsanitary animal factory conditions create the need for antibiotics to prevent the animals from dying. This has contributed to the global antibiotic resistance crisis.
When you consume factory-raised livestock, you are consuming growth hormones, genetically modified animal feed, antibiotics, vaccines, and anything else the animal has been exposed to. You should avoid animals that have been fed processed seed oils, such as chicken, pork or farm-raised fish. These unnatural additions to animal meat qualify mass-produced meat as ultra-processed food.
Instead, choose grass-fed meats, free-range poultry and wild-caught fish. Animals that have been treated humanely and allowed to roam in an ecologically rich environment are more nutritious for us to consume, with a higher omega-3 fatty acid content among other benefits.
Avoid This: Seed Oils
The United States consumes more seed oils per person than any other nation and has the highest obesity rate in the developed world. Industrially processed seed oils were introduced in 1911, when Procter & Gamble used a newly invented hydrogenation process to convert surplus unusable cotton seeds into a synthetic seed oil, sold as Crisco. Seed oils are found in most processed foods, with up to 50% or more of the overall calories contained in most processed foods coming from seed oils. Processed seed oils cause oxidation, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, memory impairment, impaired immune function and increased mortality.
It is important to understand that oils are fats, and that not all fats are harmful to your body. Fats are storage units composed of individual fatty acids, and they are the primary building blocks of membranes in all of our cells.
Saturated fatty acids are characterized by a single bond between carbon atoms and they are solid at room temperature.
Unsaturated fatty acids contain one or more double bonds between carbon atoms. The presence of double bonds creates a bend in the carbon chain, making fat molecules less compact. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature.
Due to the double bonds, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are highly perishable and susceptible to oxidative damage. PUFAs are easily damaged by temperature. When in a warm environment such as the human body, they quickly harden into solid masses due to oxidative damage. Animals who live in warmer environments must limit PUFAs and use saturated fats for storage because PUFAs in hot temperatures are incompatible with life.
Linoleic acid (LA) is an omega-6 PUFA found in seed oils. Linoleic acid makes up 60-80% of omega-6 fats. PUFAs such as LA are easily damaged by oxygen in a process called oxidation, which triggers the creation of free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells, cell membranes, DNA, stem cells, and mitochondria. They are unstable oxygen or nitrogen molecules because they have an uneven or unpaired amount of electrons. When a molecule loses an electron and becomes a free radical, it seeks to rebalance itself and steals an electron from other healthy cells, thus creating more unbalanced molecules. Excess free radicals rapidly accelerate aging and contribute to a wide variety of diseases.
Excess free radicals result from a surplus of omega-6 fat in the form of seed oils. Omega-6 fats are not inherently dangerous, but they should only comprise 1-2% of your diet. Omega-6 is only harmful in excess amounts due to its susceptibility to damage from oxidative stressors in the environment.
When seed oils are damaged by oxidative stress they form harmful by-products that can contribute to inflammation and chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, arthritis, and aging.
You should keep your intake of LA as low as possible. Research shows that animals typically develop cancer once the LA in their diet reaches 4% to 10% of their energy intake. The half-life of LA is 680 days, or approximately two years. It would take you six years to replace 95% of the LA in your body with healthy fats.
Primary sources of LA include seed oils used in cooking, processed foods and restaurant foods made with seed oils, condiments, seeds and nuts, adulterated olive oils and avocado oils, and animal foods raised on grains such as conventional chicken and pork.
Common Cooking Oils and their Linoleic Acid Content
COOKING OIL Average % LINOLEIC ACID Safflower Oil 70% Grape Seed Oil 70% Sunflower Oil 68% Corn Oil 54% Cottonseed Oil 52% Soybean Oil 51% Rice Bran Oil 33% Peanut Oil 32% Canola Oil 19% Olive Oil 10% Avocado Oil 10% Lard 10% Palm Oil 10% Tallow (CAFO) 3% Ghee/Butter (CAFO) 2% Coconut Oil 2% Tallow (Grass Fed) 1% Butter (Grass Fed) 1% CAFO concentrated animal
Instead of seed oils and vegetable oils, cook with coconut oil or animal fats such as grass fed butter, grass fed tallow, ghee, or lard. Animal cooking fats provide fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A or retinol and vitamin D.
In addition to high levels of linoleic acid, seed oils contain toxins naturally contained in the seeds of plants. The worst toxins in plants are contained in the seeds because they are critical to the plants’ reproductive processes. Some plants hide seeds within sweet tasting fruit to entice animals to eat and distribute the seeds. Other plants do not make fruit but animals may still attempt to eat the seeds. Plants seeds contain self-generated pesticides which block digestion in any animal predator that eats them. This is a natural defense mechanism to preserve the longevity of the plant species.
The Biblical Significance of Eating Nutritious Food
Real food is food grown the way God intended: Fresh, nutritious, predominantly local, seasonal, grass-fed, as wild as possible, free of synthetic chemicals, whole or minimally processed, and ecologically diverse. Most foods as purchased and consumed are processed to some extent. Foods benefit, and are made more available, when processed by various harmless methods of preservation; and some processes enhance food quality.
However, ultra-processed foods are not ‘real food’. They are formulations of food substances often modified by chemical processes and then assembled into ready-to-consume hyper-palatable food and drink products using cosmetic additives such as flavors, colors, and emulsifiers. Ultra-processing makes food products highly profitable, appealing and intrinsically unhealthy.
Processing food destroys many nutrients and flavor. Real foods are designed the way God intended them to be consumed – in its whole form. The Bible provides several illustrations of God’s intention for mankind to eat whole, fresh, unprocessed food. Instead of modifying foods for our convenience, we should consider why God created them as they are. God is the master Creator, life sustainer, and healer. He knows what we need to thrive and he has provided it to us in its optimal form.
We have a responsibility to glorify God with our bodies. This includes feeding our bodies real food, not harmful food-like products. Our bodies are self-healing, but they require the nutrients to maintain themselves.
Every time we buy food, we support the system that produces it. We should strive for perfection in every area of our lives, including the food we buy and eat, just as our heavenly Father is perfect. Our food choices first begin as thoughts, and taking every thought captive unto Christ Jesus includes our thoughts about food.
God desires for us to be healthy. Let us return to Him as provider.
The statements in this article are my opinion, based upon a review of recent research in nutrition and health trends. I am not a nutritionist or medical practitioner. If you have a health concern or existing medical condition, I advise you to consult a physician or nutritionist before making significant lifestyle or nutritional changes.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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