Originally Posted on January 4, 2013 by butterflylady
Years ago, before we moved to Bedford, we threw all of our trash into big black bags and then put the bags into dumpsters, never concerning ourselves with what happened to them after that. Since we moved here, though, we have been able to separate some of our trash for recycling. Paper goes into one compartment of our big “recycling bin”, plastic into another, metal into a third, and glass into a fourth. Some day I would like to know what really happens to these things, but for now I’m content to know that some of my garbage is being re-purposed rather than contributing to the pollution of our environment.
At any rate, this started me thinking about all of the recycling that occurs all around, and even inside, us every day. I once went on a nature hike with a naturalist who hosted a program on S.C. public TV called “Nature Scene”. He was fond of pointing out the recycling in nature with remarks like ” there’s a heron turning fish into bird”, or “dragonfly turning fly into dragonfly”. He could also have pointed out caterpillars turning leaves into caterpillars and birds recycling those same caterpillars into growing baby birds!
We take eating so for granted that we seldom stop to think about what a miracle this process of turning one thing into something quite different really is, until something goes wrong with the process. As a diabetic, I ‘m continually reminded that my body doesn’t recycle carbohydrates into fuel for all its activities as it should. With every thing I learn about this disease I feel more amazed at how complex the normal processing of this one food element really is. The wonder is not that my body is not able to handle carbohydrates well, but that others do!
Instead, we focus on the subject of what is eaten, and how it is made ready for eating. We watch cooking shows on TV, and then watch animal predators tearing their prey apart with equal fascination, but show little interest in the physical and chemical processes the foods undergo from ingestion to the final elimination of what the body doesn’t use for growth, repair, or energy.
The Bible tells us that all animals, and humans, were originally vegetarian (Gen.1:29, 30); but soon began to kill and eat other animals. After Noah’s flood, God gave His permission for man and animals to eat meat, saying “every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.” (Gen. 9:3) Some, of course, still eat only plants. We call these ” herbivores”, while the meat eaters are called “carnivores” . Then there are those, like humans, who eat just about anything. We are the “omnivores”. As should be expected, each group has exactly the right equipment for biting, chewing, and processing their appropriate diet. Most animals seek out, and eat, the food they were created best able to recycle into their own bodies Sadly, though, we humans don’t always choose the foods that are best for us. The result is an explosion of diseases traceable to dietary excess and imbalance.
So many books have been written on the subject of the “best” diet for humans that one could probably fill a library with them! Furthermore, we all have some beliefs about foods that are appropriate and those that should not be eaten. As a student nurse, I heard a public health physician lecture on this subject with reference to the dietary laws given through Moses. Interestingly, he pointed out how these laws protected a large population of people traveling for years in a desert environment without access to modern medicine, referring to specific diseases each law could prevent. Even today we can find good advice for ourselves in God’s word relevant to food, although Jesus declared an end to the old dietary laws in stating that ”Not what goes int the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth,this defiles a man.” ( Matt. 15:11). His reference, of course, was to the words we speak.