July 8, 2011

Food For Thought

Do we need protein, what are complete proteins, and what seems to be the most important in today's society: where do we get them? 

The purpose of this blog is to only bring information that is new to me to the light of others as well.  I am not a vegetarian or vegan, but always try to eat as healthy as possible.  So if you're like me (desire to be healthy), you'll find this interesting stuff because it is very good for us to never become so proud to believe that we've got all the facts (even if we've been to a school to get them).  It's funny, really everyone who eats considers themselves a nutrition expert.

On eating meat from Scripture.....
Some might use Genesis 1:28 to support eating animals/animal by-products by quoting, "And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth."  But here's my question to them: does it really ever say that you may eat all that you have dominion over?  Let's see.....

Leviticus 11:45-47 describes the entire purpose of chapter eleven saying, "For I am the Lord Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God; therefore you shall be holy, for I am holy.  This is the law of the beast, and of the bird, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and creeps on the earth and multiplies in large numbers,  To make a difference (a distinction) between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten."  So obviously just because we have dominion over them does not mean that we can eat any of them we want.  And nowhere in Leviticus 11, all 47 verses about what to eat VS. what not to eat, scripture never once explains the reason as to why we may eat some creatures as, " Because you have dominion over them."  So now that point is taken care of, let's think about the "Law" of it.....
At first thought the laws given here (in Leviticus 11) seem only to have been made obsolete by Jesus. He taught that it is not what goes into the mouth but what comes out of it that defiles a man (Matt. 15:17-20), and Paul said that when the complete and perfect came, the incomplete and imperfect would become void and superseded (I Cor. 13:9, 10), for "there is nothing unclean of itself" (Rom. 14:14 KJV). But while all these specific laws have become void, we must not lose sight of the fact that they are "superseded" by the underlying spiritual principle, which is just as binding. Christ's teaching relates to the whole area of our living, including our eating and drinking, and is dominated by the principle, "Whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God" (I Cor. 10:31). We do well to remember that it was Jesus Christ Himself who said, "Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law...; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill" it (Matt. 5:17). --Footnotes from Bible Gateway.
Also, make note of the fact that man nor beast ever ate meat until after sin entered into the world.  Genesis 1:29-30 says, "And God said, See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the land and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.  And to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the ground--to everything in which there is the breath of life--I have given every green plant for food. And it was so."  So makes ya think doesn't it?  Were we ever really intended to eat it in the first place?  I know it makes me think, especially since I eat meat and enjoy it.  hmmm.....

On today's nutritional information about protein.....
When we (who are not vegetarians or vegans) meet one who is and engage in conversation about it, most of us usually will pause, rummaging through our What To Say To A Vegetarian/Vegan file, and triumphantly display the “complete protein” clause: “Yes, but plant protein is incomplete protein, and so you need to be really careful to combine foods properly so you’re not deficient!” Then look at them with a strange mixture of smugness, concern, and confusion.  *Pause to enjoy this little cartoon I found:

Bahahaha, I don't care who you are or what you eat,
that's funny right there.

  • I am now going to quote excerpts from fitsugar.com because really they say it much better than I:

Do we need protein?
Protein is essential for many bodily processes, including building and repairing tissue. You use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Plus, your hair and nails are mostly made up of protein. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
What are complete proteins?
Protein is made of smaller components called amino acids, 12 of which are manufactured by the human body. Another 9, called essential amino acids, must be obtained from food. A complete protein or whole protein is a protein that contains all of the essential amino acids.
And where do we get them?
  1. All animal proteins are complete, including red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy.  (Win for the animal / animal by-product consumers!) 
  2. However, Vegetarians and Vegans will be happy to know that complete proteins can also be obtained through certain plants, such as soy, spirulina, hemp seed, amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa.  (Win!)
So here's what I learned today:
Foods can be combined to make complete proteins like pairing beans with rice or corn. There are other combinations as well. Beans and seeds, beans and nuts, and beans and grains will form a complete protein. When you eat hummus and pita bread, nut butter on whole grain bread, pasta with beans, veggie burgers on bread, split pea soup with whole grain bread, and tortillas with refried beans, you are eating complete proteins.  Fit's Tips: Recent studies show that the beans and the grains don't even need to be eaten at the same meal, so if you eat beans for lunch and rice with dinner, you've got yourself a complete protein. You may spread your food combination over a 2-day period.
So that's my Protein, er-ah...Food for Thought!

P.S. - I didn't even mention all of the facts about how vegetarians and vegans who who make sure they get all the complete protein they need are some of the all around healthiest people alive.  Plus they are able to hold a healthy weight, and have greater stamina.  Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (Heard in the voice of the King from The King and I). ;)  However, the next time I go out to a nice diner, I will probably order a filet mignon, cooked medium-well with sauteed mushrooms and mashed potatoes with brown gravy.  But...I will probably be pondering all of this heavily as I eat it, remembering a quote from the Matrix where Cypher takes a bite of steak and says, "Ignorance is bliss," fully knowing that one who is no longer ignorant cannot truly go on living as if they are.

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