Tag Archives: Sunday Social Blog Hop

Sacred Fat

This blog post is a product of a lot of studying and thinking for a long period of time. Amy and I have talked extensively about it, she’s texted, emailed and phoned me back with random thoughts, Bible verses and other ideas as they’ve occurred. I’d like to write something more detailed eventually, but I think it’s important to write something now.

caravaggio sacrifice of Isaac

Caravaggio Sacrifice of Isaac

Ok, it started with the word Sacrifice.  Defined as the act of offering to God something precious; or the item itself that is being offered; it is also the surrender of something for the sake of something else – something given up or lost.  So something is only a sacrifice when it is meaningful, when there is hardship involved, and when we do it for a greater purpose.  It is important to get that definition of sacrifice in your head, let it sink in.  It’s not really a sacrifice unless what is being given up is something precious.

It is this misunderstanding of sacrifice that I did not fully comprehend and therefore I was able to have this disconnected view of scripture vs. what I personally was doing and what I believed.  Growing up in the 70s and 80s I remember the legendary Time Magazine cover with the eggs-and-bacon frowning face, I memorized the food pyramid with the “fats and oils sparingly” near the top. I bought things because they were fat-free, I tried to drink skim milk (and decided that no milk was better than skim milk – gag!).

Not fully getting the depth of what a sacrifice actually is made it so hard for me when I would read from Exodus or Leviticus about all of the sacrifices required from the Israelites.  Like this one from Exodus 29 “take from this ram the fat, the fat tail, the fat on the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, both kidneys with the fat on them, and the right thigh…it is the ram for the ordination…burn it up…it must not be eaten, it is sacred.”  Or this one from Leviticus 3 “from the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the Lord: its fat, the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys.”

I mean really, why is there such detail? And why specifically those parts? I remember reading those passages years ago and thinking God wanted all the gross stuff and he left all the normal bits for the Israelites, He’s such a benevolent Lord letting them keep the steaks and the chops while he took the fat and the liver.  But if that were true, it wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice now would it?

butter and sliceIt took me a long time to get it, and it wasn’t until I read about Dr. Price’s villagers in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, and about how many of those cultures had sacred foods, that these thoughts began to take shape.  I read about the Swiss villagers in the Loetschental Valley who filled a bowl with the deep orange-yellow butter made from the cream of the cows eating the fresh, green grass of spring. They would place a candle wick in this bowl of vitamin-rich butter, light the wick and place it in a sanctuary specially built just to honor God for giving them this precious food that gave life and health to their village. Native American Indians in northern British Columbia would hunt moose, and after killing one the very first thing they would do would be to open it up, and in the back of the moose just above the kidney would be two balls surrounded by fat. They would remove these and cut them up into as many pieces as there were people in their family and each person, child and adult, would eat his piece. These two fatty bits were the adrenal glands of the moose which we now know are the richest source of vitamin C in all animal or plant tissues.  Natives living on islands near the Great Barrier Reef would purposefully attract sharks and then dive in after them armed with pointed sticks, to slip coconut fiber ropes over the sharks’ heads and pull them to shore because sharks livers were a vital part of the foods they needed to stay healthy.

Learning about all of these people all around the world who put forth so much effort just to have certain foods I began to understand something. All of these highly-valued foods were similar to the very items called for in the sacrifices of the Israelites that I was having such a hard time understanding.

Unger’s Bible Dictionary tells of a breed of sheep raised during Bible times in the Middle East bred to have a particularly luscious and fatty tail. This tail and its rich fat were forbidden to be eaten if the animal was part of a sacrifice offered to God. Also forbidden to be eaten was the fat from around the stomach, entrails and kidneys – all of the richest parts from which we would use nowadays to make high quality tallow. Unger’s goes on to explain that the fat was the richest part of the animal and stood for healthfulness and vigor.

In my past readings of scriptures about sacrificial laws I was approaching it with a modern worldview brainwashed by the government agencies dictating diet advice that condemned fat as bad, said organ meats were dangerous, and told us to eat lean meats instead.  I should have trusted God instead of buying those lies. Isaiah 55 says “Listen, listen to me and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare….For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Because of Dr. Price’s writings, and because of the work of Sally Fallon Morell in Nourishing Traditions, I understand that organ meats are superfoods full of vitamins crucial to health; I know that the fats from grazing free-range animals are rich in vitamins that work as activators for the minerals and other nutrients we eat. I’ve learned these fat-soluble activators are essential to maintaining fertility, growth and health in all humans. And now I understand that God was truly asking for a sacrifice, something that would have been a real hardship to nomadic people whose very life depended on the animals they herded. God commanded them to give to Him the most valuable parts of the very best animals they owned.  The Bible, especially the Old Testament, is filled with expressions using fat to represent something wonderful – “the fat of the earth”, “the fat of the wheat, of the oil, and the wine,” even “the fat of the mighty”.

burnt-offeringNot only were the Israelites called to sacrifice these choicest of parts, but then they would burn the fat on the altar with fire.  Just imagine the aromas that would release – the Bible calls it a “sweet savor unto the Lord”, but anyone who has smelled grilling hamburgers, steaks, or even better, pit barbecue, can attest to the mouthwatering scents that fill the air around those events.  The sacrifices of precious fat and organ meats given over to God on the fire of the altar were the way man could show his complete surrender to God, to show his heart was pure and ready to be obedient. And when a different animal was slaughtered destined to become food rather than sacrificed, the fat, organ meats and choicest bits would be even more appreciated knowing that they were good enough to be given to the Lord.

There’s so much more to say, more directions to go with these thoughts – how did we end up on the road to thinking fat was bad? Why did we think we could improve on fat by making trans fats, fake fats and industrial fats? When we are poor stewards of God’s creatures feeding them foods they were not created to eat, making them live in ways they were not meant to live why are we shocked to learn their fat (and meat) no longer provides what we need?  But I need to stop now. I’m very interested to hear your thoughts, to find out if this has sparked an “aha!” moment for you, too, like it did for me. Please leave a comment by clicking on the “leave a reply” link next to this article!

I’m linking this up with the Easter Sunday Social.

Sunday Social Blog Hop

Sunday Social Blog Hop

Some links may be monetized. This blog is for informational purposes only. 

 

Sunday Social Blog Hop for Easter Sunday April 20, 2014

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Welcome!

What Is The Sunday Social Blog Hop?

A virtual “Sunday Social”, where we all gather together and share good food recipes and be an encouragement to one another with articles of spiritual and inspirational nature. Come join us, submit YOUR articles, browse around and visit a site or two and learn some new recipes and be encouraged!

This Blog Hop is being hosted by:

Simply Natural Network

Kat @ Simply Living Simply

Marci @ Amazing Graze Farm

Lee @ Well Fed Family

Sara @ The Granola Mommy

Tessa @ Homestead Lady

Pam @ Thankful Expressions

Priscilla @ salam mama

Angela @ Grassfed Mama

What Can I Post?

All of your wonderful tried-and-true family favorite food recipes AND Inspirational/Spiritual/Religious encouragement type posts!

*Make sure and include either a text link or the blog hop button below (copy/save) in your linked post.

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How Can I Be A Featured Blogger?

By linking up! Our featured blogger is chosen each week at random by our Co-hosts…and we hope to have YOU as our next featured blogger!

If you are selected as “Featured”, make sure and grab your button (just copy/paste):

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**Please note: By linking to this Blog Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include 1 photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way. So you don’t miss a single Blog Hop, we will also add you to our e-mail reminder list. For a little extra exposure/marketing BONUS, we will also “PIN” your submissions on our PINTEREST Board-HOP on over and check that out….HERE! Just a quick reminder: All posts are welcome, however let’s keep them uplifting, encouraging, respectful and kind…otherwise they may be removed**

Congratulations to our Featured Bloggers:

Inspirational/Spiritual:

Faithful Feat

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Recipes:

Taylor Made Ranch

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Let the blogging begin…

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Synergy and Our Body’s Balancing Act

Synergy happens when many parts come together to make a whole that is even greater than the simple sum of the individual elements.  In the Bible book of 1 Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul talks about a kind of synergy in the body of Christ’s believers. Paul uses the human body as his example when he says “the body is not made up of one part but many.”  One part is not more important than another, and all parts no matter how seemingly insignificant are necessary to the body. Paul wrote “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,”  Just like the parts of the body work synergistically to make a living, breathing person so do the various nutrients work within our bodies.

Wander down any grocery aisle and you’d likely think that some nutrients were more important than others. “Calcium Fortified!” is plastered across everything from orange juice to chocolatecalcium fortified Orange Juice syrup.  Skim milk, breakfast cereals and margarine carry boldface letters announcing  “Added vitamin D!” The truth is that no single nutrient is more important than another. Just like our feet must cooperate with our toes, our legs and our brains in order for us to walk or run, so must the nutrients we get from our diet work together to keep us strong and healthy.

Vitamin A is crucial for eyesight and a healthy immune system, but taking too much vitamin A on its own over time can be toxic. Vitamin D is critical to life,  guiding the body to make strong bones and a calm, healthy nervous system.  Taking megadoses of Vitamin D over time can also be toxic. But together, when vitamins A&D are present and balanced within the structure of a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, they work synergistically to protect against toxicity.  Look at calcium: Taken on its own in large doses calcium can actually cause osteoporosis and atherosclerosis. This is called the “calcium paradox”. Balance the calcium with magnesium, along with Vitamins D&K2, and you stop the toxicity.

Chris Masterjohn PhD, a researcher with the Weston A Price Foundation, says that we need to take the focus away from trying to achieve a particular concentration of any single vitamin in our bodies and instead realize that ALL of the fat soluble vitamins are important. Eating a good diet, such as the one recommended by Dr. Weston Price, insures that you have balanced levels of all the nutrients allowing for synergistic action between the nutrients.

Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue explained this nutrient synergy like a team of gymnasts working together to put on fancy balancing acts, but if one team member lets go the whole pyramid collapses on the ground.  Dr. Kate says that the fat soluble vitamins team up with the mineralsgymnastic balancing act like calcium and magnesium. Working together the vitamins make sure the minerals go where they are needed instead of ending up in a place where they would do harm. She notes that 50% of all heart attack victims have cholesterol levels considered normal or desired. Instead of using cholesterol levels to predict heart disease Dr. Kate suggests testing for the presence of calcium in the coronary arteries, meaning the synergy with A, D, K2 and calcium has broken down.

You also need to know our bodies can’t store vitamin K2. We have to eat it every day or we won’t have enough of it and it won’t be in balance. Unfortunately most people don’t eat the right kind of food anymore to get K2. Industrial farming and CAFOs deplete K2. Trans fats block K2!  Animals produce K2 only as long as they are eating grass and other green foods rich in K1. Then we can get enough K2 by eating their milk, eggs and organ meats. Fermented foods help us produce K2.  Foods with higher levels of K2 include Natto, cheese, egg yolks, butter, chicken liver, salami, chicken breast and ground beef.

Finally, it’s not just the vitamins that work together; fat is also important.  Fat is what allows the fat-soluble vitamins to be absorbed and used. Vitamin E and fat increase our absorption of vitamin A.  According to Chris Masterjohn, the most effective type of fat in aiding the absorption of vitamins A, D, K2 and especially beta carotene, is saturated fat.  The least effective? Those industrially produced polyunsaturated oils such as canola and soy.

Just like the loving body of believers in Ephesians 4 who are “joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”  So do our own physical bodies work when we honor the foods created to work synergistically within us as each nutrient does its work to build us up.

This was posted as part of the Sunday Social Blog Hop.

Sunday Social Blog Hop

Sunday Social Blog Hop

Some links may be monetized. This blog is for informational purposes only.

 

 

A Heart for Feeding the Hungry

On March 25th, 2014, Congress erected a statue in honor of Norman Borlaug, the creator of a hybrid dwarf strain of wheat that grows in poor conditions, is disease resistant and high yielding. He was motivated by the desire to end world hunger and is credited with saving the lives of over 1 billion people.  Crop modifications and GMO technology were his solutions, he was always looking for new and different ways to use technology to feed people. Feeding the world is absolutely an honorable goal, but Mr. Borlaug’s solutions have created new and different problems because of the methods he chose. His hybrid dwarf wheat is so different from ancient wheat they aren’t even the same grains anymore.

Rather than seeking only solutions that involve highly altered foods and heavy dependence on chemical fertilizers and herbicides, there are others who also have hearts for the hungry whose methods are creating sustainable food sources while also healing the land and giving work to the communities.  I would like to recognize those people here and thank them for their contributions to make their world a better place. I know my list is incomplete; I welcome your suggestions in the comment section below!

Allan SavoryAllan Savory – growing up in southern Africa, Allan witnessed firsthand the precious lands around his home becoming deserts – a process called desertification – and its effects on humans and wildlife as both went hungry. He developed a system called Holistic Management and for over 30 years now he has been teaching people throughout Africa and around the world how to heal the land, provide food, and support life through the use of correctly managed livestock herds. Savory used nature as his model, learning how to use the livestock to fertilize and till the land until it regained the ability to hold precious water, restore fertility and become usable for both crops and grazing. The Savory Institute has as its goal to heal 1 billion new hectares of grasslands around the world by 2025. With Allan Savory’s method desertified land can be re-greened and used to grow crops as well as livestock for meat, milk, and eggs all while creating healthier ecosystems and cleaner water.

Mel Bartholomew Mel Bartholomew – You know Mel from his books and tv shows all about the Square Foot Garden.  What you may not know is that Mel has a heart for feeding the hungry. He established his Square Foot Foundation to take gardening education to the poor and hungry around the world. His motive is much like the old saying “give a man a fish and feed him for a day; teach him to fish and feed him for life”.  Mel’s foundation has sent teachers to Malawi, Kenya, Peru, and Ecuador to educate communities on Square Foot Gardening methods helping people grow their own food in smaller spaces using less water, learn composting and even create cottage businesses with garden markets. He also provides curriculum to schools to educate children in the US how to grow fresh, healthy food for themselves.

Will AllenWill Allen – Will’s rags-to-riches-to-food story is inspirational. Born the son of a sharecropper, he became a professional basketball player with a desire to give back to his community. His vision is to help people grow safe, healthy, affordable food; to develop a healthy food system even within inner city locations. To this end Will founded Growing Power which is now a model farm and community food center in inner city Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His company has also started food communities in other areas including Chicago, Masachusetts, Georgia and Kentucky. All of Growing Power’s urban farms are sustainable using compost, vermicompost and organic techniques. In addition to fresh produce many of these farms raise livestock for meat, eggs, milk and bees for honey. They also create jobs for the community and feed the hungry.

Joel SalatinJoel Salatin – possibly America’s most famous farmer, Joel is an ambassador for grassbased farming, real food, and historical normalcy.  He’s also a prolific author, speaker and sometimes even a movie star.  Joel’s Polyface Farm has been featured in books like Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and movies like Food, Inc.  Joel’s farm is a living model for sustainable multi-generational family farming. His farm intern program teaches dozens of wannabe farmers each year how to make a real living through farming while healing the land and maintaining respect for the animals raised. Joel’s books reach even more people helping them turn their dream of owning their own Eden into reality. He speaks to agriculture conventions around the world sharing the good news of grass farming.

Who do you think has made a difference in this world and deserves some special recognition? Let us hear from you in the comment section!

This blog is part of the Sunday Social Blog Hop

Sunday Social Blog Hop

Sunday Social Blog Hop

Some links may be monetized. This blog is for informational purposes only.