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California | Education & Student Activism

Stockton Food Day ~ Growing Your Groceries
by by Simon Yu, MD
Monday Oct 21st, 2013 7:40 AM
Taft Botanical Gardens ~ Growing Your Groceries continues our journey towards intercultural, intergenerational and interfaith organizations coming together to expand health and wellness. San Joaquin County is the 7th largest agriculture economy in the nation. National Food Day 2013 offers a new conversation toward expanding Health and Human Services to include "growing your groceries." In the heart of "the greatest garden in the world," a new paradigm of showcasing Healing Foods From the Bible ~ Biblical Cuisine begins... learning the wisdom of Ancient Egypt where Moses studied and ate "Good Food."

Healing Foods from the Bible ~ Growing Your Groceries
By Simon Yu, MD

Brendan, my three year old grandson, started Lutheran Sunday school this year. He is a good student. He learned that Jesus died on the Cross. When my wife asked him what else he learned, he said Jesus ate junk food.

I am not so sure about the Lutheran’s teaching for those children but I had a sneaking suspicion that he is not telling me the whole truth.

At the same time, I started reading the book, “Healing Foods from the Bible” by Bernard Ward. It is a small book I bought 15 years ago at the grocery store. I never had the chance to read the book until now.

Following are some of the quotes from this book, Healing Foods from the Bible. According to the Bible, the Promised Land flowed
with milk and honey. But the Promised Land was even more than that. It was a cornucopia overflowing with all kinds of healthful, healing foods: “A land of wheat, and barley, vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey; a land wherein thou shalt eat bread wit hout scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it.” (Deuteronomy 8:8)

Nearly every book in the bible contains references to foods of the day, along with rules governing their cultivation, preparation, and consumption. The Bible begins with the Book of Genesis (1:29) when God tells Adam: “I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.”

I agree with the author that Bible scholars have been studying the foods of the Bible for centuries, but only recently have modern nutritionists recognized that what was good for people thousands of years ago was better than modern industrialized food.

Modern industrialized farming relies heavily on synthetic fertilizer, pesticides, including numerous insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides, and genetically modified crops.

Biblical cuisine is naturally healthful. Scientists have identified dozens of foods that may help prevent cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. These are foods that ancient people took for granted. The dietary laws of the Talmud tell the ancient Biblical people how to prepare certain foods and which to avoid entirely.

Instead of processed sugar, biblical people used natural honey as a sweetener or honeyed pulps of fresh fruits. They ate grapes, figs, pomegranates, dates, cucumbers, small carrots, beans, lentils and healthy herbs such as dill, cumin, coriander, mint, turmeric, cinnamon bark, saffron, mustard, rue and bitter herbs like endive.

One of the most famous biblical foods with a bad reputation is none other than the apple. The Greeks who lived during Biblical times believed the apple healed all ailments. Apple cider vinegar was used in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylonia, Greece and the Roman Empire. It was used for every known medical condition, from simple digestive problems, gout, rheumatism, low endurance, and
jaundice with liver and gallbladder problems, to external wound care.

They ate apple, apricot, barley, beans, figs, garlic, grapes, melon, nut's, olive, onion, wheat, fish, lamb and yogurt. Herbs they used include Coriander (also known as cilantro), Hyssop, Mint and Parsley. They drank milk, wine and bread. The most well known Biblical bread is Ezekiel’s Bread made of wheat, barley, soy, millet, rye, lentil with honey, olive oil, salt and yeast.

I cannot imagine the Biblical people eating any junk foods or genetically modified foods even if they wanted to because it was not available. My wife, Kate, and I visited Brendan’s Sunday school. We found out he gets to eat donuts at Sunday school as
a reward. His friend, Nathan, does not eat donuts so Brendan gets to eat extra donuts. How can I tell him there were no donuts during Biblical times and Jesus did not eat junk foods?

Dr. Simon Yu, M.D. is a Board Certified Internist.
He practices Internal Medicine with an emphasis on Alternative Medicine to use the best each has to offer.