Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet
Author: Professor Walter J. Veith, PhD
Publish date:
Summary: The human diet has changed throughout history. When God first created people, he had a very specific diet in mind to keep them healthy.
 
 

Many people believe that the Bible is outdated. However, Scripture has much to say about how we can live healthy lives, including what God intended us to eat. God has a perfect plan for humans, and it started at the very beginning of time. Jesus Himself created this planet to be inhabited and enjoyed by humankind. He wants us be happy and healthy.

The Original Human Diet

In the beginning, God created everything perfect. There were no weeds and no blights.

Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so (Genesis 1:11 NIV).

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth (Genesis 1:26).

After God created the perfect world, he gave Adam and Eve instructions about their diet. He said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it" (Genesis 1:29). This includes nuts, grains, legumes, and seeds.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Our human digestive system is geared toward the diet God set out for us in Genesis 1. The length of the digestive tract is a strong indicator of what type of food is normally eaten, and our digestive tract is 12-14 times our shoulder-to-hip trunk length, the same as fruit-eating animals.

Herbivores, such as cattle, have a gut-length 20 times their body length, since it takes longer to digest the fiber content in their diet. The shortest tracts are found in meat-eaters. It does not take many thousands of years for a change to take place in gut lengths due to changes of diet. Recent studies have shown that this can take place over a short period of time.

Vegetables Enter the Human Diet

After the Fall, humans were also permitted to eat vegetables. This may have been because the original foods were not as available as they were before. Satan's work is to destroy God's creation whenever he can. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, Satan stole their dominion of the planet, and the whole of creation has been groaning ever since. God told Adam that the earth would be cursed—that it would produce thorns and thistles—and that he "will eat the plants of the field" (Genesis 3:18 NIV).

Vegetables are very rich in elemental sulfur and are good cleansers of the digestive tract. Vegetables also take longer to digest than the fruits, grains, and seeds that God originally gave humans to eat. It has been proven that if one eats vegetables with any of the original foods at the same meal, fermentation takes place in the gut. This is not a healthy practice (See Food Combining Chart). This fermentation consists largely of fatty acids that have a detrimental effect on the body's immune system. Try to avoid eating vegetables and fruits at the same meal.

Fruits can be eaten with grains, seeds, and nuts; and vegetables can be eaten with grains, seeds, and nuts. Fruit is digested quickest, followed by grains, then seeds and then nuts. Vegetables take longer to digest than all these.

Even today, everything our body requires is found in a grain kernel. It has the carbohydrate, the protein, and the essential lipids we need in all the correct proportions. However, we separate these good foods—and sell each portion at a much higher cost! Most bread these days lacks the basic natural ingredients. Much of the whole food that is still available is chemically treated. Nevertheless, if we all ate more whole grains we would have far fewer diseases.

Meat Enters the Human Diet

Meat entered our diet after the Flood. After the floodwaters had receded, the earth had little vegetation. Perhaps Noah had seeds with him and planted these for this first food. However, there would have been no fruit or nuts for a number of years. So, the Lord said, "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything" (Genesis 9:3 NIV).

In Genesis 7:2 there is reference to clean and unclean animals going into the ark. Thus, the concept of clean and unclean is not a Jewish concept and has no ceremonial connotations, but came from the time before the Flood.

If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD who heals you (Exodus 15:26 NIV).

God wants us to be healthy, and sets out specific guidelines about which animals we should and should not eat:


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Clean Animals
God knows what's best for us. He tells us in His Word which animals we can eat.
CC Sharealike  Airwolfhound on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/24874528@N04/8718183760/in/photolist-ehoYi7-yQ1geh-yVDmF2-yyYWhq-fs7pji-7WRH73-sw38NA-7gqrf2-7gqqmc-7YCyt8-8dK1ED-gP4VTB-8dNgam-eh1o17-7SG384-bgPHCM-e9mpVa-dLbgGT-fs7G6a-8and5s-rMVPdM-s39wsM-xfkaqq-99fkmq-6ToT39-wwgaTy-osLZDx-r6RQ1v-6UKpm4-99Jwte-r5gMZd-8ancY9-dcvYDC-dTmjZP-8arhAN-cvKuMm-aet2MJ-4GWBeE-bQC6an-de6vVG-4Cp8HY-8mW1ng-8pydph-6Euitw-de6Gy6-5NBpZV-8tZmXa-cuLNBS-8BisgA-riMcuk
Unclean Animals
God is clear about animals that we should avoid eating, for our own health.
Fotolia © Thomas Perkins.
Do the Old Testament Dietary Laws Still Apply?
The Old Testament was written thousands of years ago. Do we still need to heed its warnings about clean and unclean animals?
CC idpams on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/jfowler27/517372853/in/dateposted/
Clean and Unclean In The New Testament
The New Testament contains some passages about dietary laws that can confuse us, if we don't understand them correctly.


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    Evidence of Design
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