Is our daily bread wholesome, nutritious food that our Heavenly Father created for us or are we slowly poisoning and defiling ourselves with man-made concoctions that are being passed off as "food"? "Food technicians" are becoming very creative in developing new "food" products to satisfy the lust of the belly and to make a profit. The ingredients they use can be quite exotic. As of this writing there are over 3,000 food additives that find their way into our food supply, many of which are from unclean animal sources. Those who whip up these concoctions remind me of witches making their brew; one tablespoon of cat extract, a cup of grated horses hoof, one teaspoon of pig fat, and a tincture of bug juice for just the right color!
Many who profess to obey Yahweh's dietary laws are not very zealous in their approach to keeping them. We have been well informed by the health community on the "evils" of eating too much fat or sugar. So we carefully check each product to make sure it is not laden with either. Shouldn't we be even more careful to check for ingredients that Yahweh says we should not eat? Is abstaining from pork chops, bacon, ham, shrimp, and lobster sufficient? Should we go no farther in attempting to abstain from unclean animal products hidden in supposedly edible food?
Peter's vision in Acts 10 is often used by both opponents and proponents of the dietary laws. What is usually overlooked is Peter's zealousness towards these laws. He said he had "never" eaten "anything" that was common or unclean (vs.14). We, too, should be so zealous.
1 Cor.3:16,17 reads, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of [Yahweh], and that the Spirit of [Yahweh] dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of [Yahweh], him shall [Yahweh] destroy; for the temple of [Yahweh] is holy, which temple ye are." That being the case, we should diligently guard our temple from defilement. The key word here is "diligently". King Artaxerxes decreed the following concerning provisions for the House of Yahweh in Jerusalem; "Whatsoever is commanded by the Elohim of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the Elohim of heaven:" (Ezra 7:23a).
The "House of the Elohim of heaven" is the body of each believer in whom His Spirit dwells. It must be diligently guarded from defilement by that which Yahweh proclaims will defile it. In Lev.11, Yahweh tells us exactly which animals are unclean abominations that cause defilement when eaten. He concludes His list with vss.45-47; "For I am the Yahweh that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your Elohim: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten." We should "make a difference" by being diligent in reading ingredient labels to search for that which would defile us and Yahweh's temple.
Some people have the mistaken belief that since some unclean ingredients are added in such minute quantities and are so highly processed they are somehow cleansed and therefore, permissible. However, in the same way that an Ethiopian cannot change the color of his skin or a leopard its spots (Jer.13:23) neither can man change an unclean animal to a clean one no matter how much processing it undergoes. This is why we should not eat Jello brand gelatin even though it bears a kosher "K" on the package. Although the company cannot guarantee it uses only gelatin derived from beef bones, liberal Rabbis allow pork gelatin because it has been processed at very high temperatures. The stricter Orthodox symbols such as a K ,U, or V encircled are usually very reliable and can be trusted in designating clean products, but not always. If given a choice of several similar products, always choose the one with a kosher symbol as opposed to no symbol at all. A kosher symbol not only identifies products made with clean ingredients, but it also assures us that the machinery and utensils used to make the product were properly sanitized and that only healthy animals were used.
Gelatin also finds its way into marshmallows and products containing marshmallows like cereals, candies, and snacks. Certain brands of apple juice that are not Kosher certified may have used unclean gelatin or bones to clarify the juice. The gelatin is added to the cloudy juice which causes the sediments to stick to it. The gelatin is later removed by adding animal bones which causes the gelatin to stick to them. The bones are then removed leaving clarified apple juice. If you by "natural" apple juice that appears cloudy and is not Kosher certified, it does not mean it did not undergo that process. It may mean the process was only partially completed to make it appear as though it is a natural product.
Enzymes are used to coagulate and curdle milk when making cheese. There are generally four types of enzymes; microbial (artificially or chemically produced), vegetable (from a plant source), rennet (from the stomach of suckling calves or sheep), and pepsin (from a pig's stomach). Sargento cheeses, for example, are made using microbial (or synthetic) enzymes. Kraft , on the other hand, cannot guarantee their enzymes to be from a clean source. Kosher cheese is available, but is usually hard to find unless you live near a Jewish community. Many kosher products, including kosher cheese, can be purchased over the internet at http://www.koshermall.com/
There are also several varieties of very inexpensive processed cheeses that are made from inferior quality cheese known as "grinder." "Grinder" can be from spoiled or contaminated cheese. It is melted, reprocessed, and solidified with assorted binders to disguise any foul taste. "You get what you pay for" as the saying goes. It may cost more to eat clean and healthier, but the benefits far outweigh the cost.
A waste by-product of the cheese making process is whey. It finds its way into many products such as candy, ice cream, bread, snacks, etc. As cheese curdles, a thick liquid begins to separate from it. This liquid contains whatever enzymes were used to make the cheese. Therefore, if pepsin (from a pig's stomach) was used, any product containing that whey would be unclean as well. It is important to read labels on the products you buy. If it contains whey, be sure the product is Kosher certified. This would assure you the whey was from a clean source.
Contamination of our food supply comes in many different forms from many different sources; insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, drugs, food additives, chemical additives, etc. A recent article in a local newspaper concerned the feeding of our nation's cattle, hogs, poultry, etc., with 19 million pounds of antibiotics each year. The National Research Council did a study on this practice and found that the antibiotics created strains of disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics and infect humans. They recommended consumers cook meat thoroughly and take other precautions, such as washing cutting boards and knives after chopping chicken.
The safest, healthiest way to eat is from your own organic garden. Since that is not always possible or practical, we must be watchful in selecting products for our family to eat.
The following is an assortment of things to consider.
When making maple syrup, it is a practice of some companies to drip pork fat into the boiling syrup to keep the froth down. Buy only Kosher certified syrup.
Turkey sausage seems like a good alternative to pork sausage until you realize it may be stuffed into hog casings.
The ground beef, chicken, or turkey from your local grocer may have been ground through a grinder that was used for pig and not sanitized. A recent edition of Dateline showed an undercover operation in which the ground beef from 100 stores in 10 different cities was tested. Six out of ten stores in Miami, for example, were selling ground beef with ground pork in it. The same was true of almost all the cities tested. The program also told the story of one man's death from eating a supposedly "all beef" hamburger. The burger was contaminated with pork resulting in a trichina worm making its way to his brain and killing him.
Think twice before ordering a restaurant pizza, even if you know they use clean cheese. They slice it with the same rolling cutter they used on the previous customer's supreme pizza with pepperoni and sausage.
Below is a list of a few food additives that you should be aware of. Raphael Meyer's complete list can be obtained from the American Asian Kashrus Services at http://www.kashrus.org/kosher/chem.html.
Alpha Amylase - It is used in flour to break down starches and is derived from hog intestines.
Carmine (cochineal) - This is a crimson coloring derived from an insect (coccus cacti, L). It is used to color red apple sauce, yogurt, chewing gum, fruit cocktail cherries, confections, baked goods, soft drinks, and meats.
Civet, absolute - This is used as a flavoring for beverages, ice cream, candy, baked goods, and chewing gum. It comes from an Ethiopian cat.
Cystein, L form - This is an amino acid that can come from horses, humans, or may be synthetic. It is used as a nutrient in bakery products. I noticed it for the first time in fresh bagels from a major grocery stores bakery.
Glycerides, Glycerol, Glycerine - All can come from unclean animal sources. Most toothpastes and mouthwashes contain glycerine.
Natural Flavorings - These can be derived from civet (cats), castorium (beaver), ambergis (whales), etc. They are indeed "natural," but certainly not clean.
Shellac - This is an insect secretion used in glaze for confectionery products.
The following Scriptures forbid the eating of animal flesh that contains blood; Gen.9:4; Lev.3:17; 7:26; 17:10-14; Deut.12:16; Acts 15:20,29. That being the case, we need to be sure that the meat we eat has had the blood properly drained. The only way to do that is to slit the live animals throat allowing the blood to be continually pumped out by the heart. The flesh is then salted to draw out any remaining blood. Broiling the flesh will draw even more blood out. If the animal is killed prior to bleeding, which is common in many slaughter houses, the heart will not aid in pumping all the blood out. Whatever blood remains in the flesh will contain whatever diseases, poisons, impurities, or toxins where in the animal's blood at the time of death. "AIDS," for example, is carried through the blood stream of humans. The same is true of diseases found in animals. When the Word says, "the life is in the blood," the opposite may be true as well, "death is in the blood." Therefore, seek to buy Kosher meats which have been properly bled. Kosher frankfurters and salami are usually readily available and chickens can be purchased from Empire. Their web site lists all the locations where their products are sold. The URL is http://www.empirekosher.com/
We are also to abstain from eating fat (Lev.3:17; 7:24). As with blood, fat contains poisons and impurities. It also, as the medical community has proven, contributes to high cholesterol, heart disease, and a host of other ailments. All excess fat on kosher meat should be trimmed off before cooking. The skin should be removed from poultry since most of the toxins and fat are found there. Broiling helps to remove much of the fat as it does the blood. There are many products that list fat in the ingredients such as soups, pies, and other baked goods. Be sure to read the labels and select only kosher certified products.
Yahweh has given us some sobering words from the prophet Ezekiel; "Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." (Ezek.22:26). Let us not profane Yahweh or His holy temple (our bodies) by not discerning between clean and unclean products to eat. There is great reward awaiting those who are zealous for the way of Yahweh and who are diligent in carrying out His will.