Artificial Food & True Faith

20130701-091339.jpgWhen my son began claiming that he knew more than me my first reaction was to doubt him, but I find now that much of what he said as a young man made sense. One of the things he said to me was that the government was not my friend; it is the friend of big business. Recently, his girlfriend tagged me on a post by BuzzFeed.com about 8 foods we eat here that are banned or require warnings on labels in other countries because of possible health issues, but in the United States, these harmful additives are allowed.

One of the best things about eating nutritarian food is that we don’t have to worry about the health of processed foods because we don’t eat them, but we do if our friends and family are still eating them. So aside from the sugar and salt issues, the high heat cooking that kills nutrients, and the unhealthy fats and oils, here’s two ingredients to watch out for.

Artificial food dyes have been linked to cancer and attention deficits and hyperactivity in children. Food dyes are used to create foods that are naturally attractive to us, colors that in real foods contain higher amounts of phytonutrients. Unfortunately, if a food needs dye to make it “look” healthy, it probably isn’t. Artificial food dyes are named by color and a number. If you are buying processed foods like cereals, mac and cheese, cakes, cookies, icings, candy, okay, well, most any kind of processed food, be sure to check your labels.

Olestra is an ingredient in low-fat varieties of naturally fatty foods. Just a single-serving size per day of low-fat potato chips, for example, contain enough olestra to rob us of important cancer-fighting nutrients like carotenoids, that we have consumed from other foods by as much as 50%. Another problem with those low fat chips is stomach aches. Olestra cannot be digested by our bodies and passes through with difficulty, leaving us with a desire for more (this ingredient actually can cause weight gain) and a big old tummy ache. Personally, I would forget about processed chips all together and buy humus and carrots for a crunchy snack, but if chips are your weakness and you don’t have time to bake them yourself (slice potatoes thin and lay on baking sheet with a little healthy oil sprayed on them and some no-salt seasoning and bake at 375 until crisp), just buy the fatty organic variety– you are actually better off. Other foods that contain olestra are corn chips, cheese puffs, ice cream and french fries to name a few.

Recently, my husband also sent me an article about how atheists are starting their own “churches” (Washington Post, Local, June 24). I can understand folks who want the social benefits of faith but have no belief in Jesus Christ, the God of Abraham, or any of the gods of other religions. One fellow even made up his own goddess and prayed to her daily, knowing full well she was not real. This may sound funny to some Christians but it does go to show how fortunate we are that we have a faith in a loving god who is not subject to the whims of our imaginations. We have His book, the Bible, and lots of other books about Him, too. We also have many Christian friends and weekly fellowship that feeds us with godly wisdom and purpose. Christ loves his church and he takes personal care of us through her. Can we really blame atheists who want the same but cannot find true faith?

Like these artificial foods, faith without belief in God and Jesus Christ is a pale moon shadow to true faith. How will we know the way? What standard can we use if not our God’s? The 12 step programs are founded on a need for “something greater” than ourselves, but they do not insist it be Christ or the God of Abraham. In fact, we can embrace faith and completely leave out Christ and still do many wonderful things and live a life of love, as this article proves. But if we want power, that is the power of resurrection and eternal life, the power of transforming grace to grow ever closer to our savior, the power to see and overcome sin and forgive others, and the power of the Holy Spirit within us so that we are sealed as His forever, then we must turn our sights to the One True God: Jesus Christ.

There was a time in Christ’s life when he looked to the unbelievers in the city of Jerusalem on his way to the cross, and he said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” What grief and sadness are in those words.

Do you know someone who has not found the faith you have? I know how sad that is. A life of faith in Christ is the richest life anyone can lead. But who can know when an unbeliever might come to Christ at the very end? So do not give up talking with those who are still wandering, and do not give up praying for them, because this life is very short and very surprising when it comes to what the Holy Spirit can do.

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