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    June 20, 2007 by Brandy Vencel
    Thus [Jesus] declared all foods clean.
    Mark 7:19

    Now that I have set a bit of a foundation, and it is understood that my opinion is only Opinion, I will tell you that I do not think that food is really the problem with the “bad” American diet. One aspect, which I will deal with tomorrow, is gluttony. Today I wish to discuss the idea that the modern American diet includes what should rightfully be considered nonfoods.

    Let’s look at a handful:

    • Saccharin: This is a chemical engineered when “anthranilic acid successively reacts with nitrous acid, sulfur dioxide, chlorine, and then ammonia.”
    • Red 40: Officially called Allura Red AC, or E129, I suppose this would be called a chemical, also. Red 40, however, is derived from coal tar.
    • Sodium Benzoate: Also known as E211, sodium benzoate has gotten a lot of press lately. It is produced by reacting sodium hydroxide with benzoic acid. Sodium hydroxide is, by the way, what soap makers call lye, a wonderful ingredient for soap, but very dangerous and should be kept out of the reach of children. Lye has been in use for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Benzoic acid, on the other hand, has been in use since the 16th century and was originally obtained through distillation.

    What you are about to read is my opinion, and you are {obviously} free to take it or leave it as you choose. Chemicals are not bad. They are a helpful result of human ingenuity. As a general rule, however, I believe them to be nonfoods, meaning I do not believe they should be eaten.

    Think about what the average person considers food. Cockroaches, for instance, are not considered food here in the States, and we would be hardpressed to find a person eating one at the dinner table {though we probably all knew the guy in high school who would do it for money}. Coal tar is not food, and I do not believe that anything derived from it should be considered food, either.

    God gave us food. In Genesis 1, we are told that man is given every plant and fruit {save the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil} to consume as food. Later, in Genesis 9, man is given every living thing to eat, and I am assuming this would include not only animals, but also insects, amphibians, and reptiles. No where is it suggested that we should eat coal tar.

    I am not saying that abstaining from coal-tar derived Red 40 makes a person spiritually superior. Honestly, we began to avoid it because of our son’s sensitivity rather than conviction. But as I research these things, I keep coming back to the idea that sticking to the food God gave us is a very good idea.

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    1 Comment

  • Reply Headmistress, zookeeper June 25, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Interesting, thanks. We’ve avoided red # 40 because it gives two of our seven children nasty stomach cramps, so bad that our oldest child would eventually throw up every time she had it, no matter how small the dose.
    Our doctor at the time (she’s 24 and this was when she was between the ages of newborn and four- she even got sick from children’s tylenol with red #40 in it) told me I was imagining it.
    I decided he was a dismissive quack and eliminated it from her diet, making her a much happier child.

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