The Real Deal

I’ve been questioning God for a while now.

It just seems so unfair.

Why would he set things up this way?

It’s cruel, really.

I’m sure most of you will agree.

Why do all things delicious have to be bad for your health?

Why does nutritious food taste like actual dirt (looking at you, beets!)?

I’ve had this thought many times over the years as I’ve tried yet another diet, pretending to enjoy cauliflower rice and lemon water until I finally end up shouting “Pass the Oreos!” in utter defeat.

But I’ve come to a conclusion recently: It’s not God’s fault.

It’s ours.

Duh! God is good and his creation is good, including food! Including butter!

Its what we’ve done to it that makes it unhealthy: Chemicals, stabilizers, pesticides, preservatives: our bodies don’t know how to process any of it!

Compound this with the pervasive sedentary lifestyle that has crept in as we’ve wholeheartedly embraced “quick and easy” and moved further and further away from our agricultural roots. Most of our physical activity is exerted under a fluorescent glow at the neighborhood gym, rather than out in the sunshine working with God’s creation, or even in the home as most manually taxing tasks have been outsourced to modern appliances. Even our non-stick pans show up day after day to make sure we don’t have to use too much elbow grease!

Our schedules don’t help, either! We’re too busy and too mentally exhausted to even think about these choices, let alone to spend the time or money it would take to choose differently.

God gifted us with creativity, but when we reject his creation and try to substitute our own, nothing good will follow. That applies to all areas of life, but let’s stay on topic.

For example, rather than enjoying a beautiful, delicious omelette with the natural resources God’s already provided: free range eggs, pastured animals who eat what they are supposed to and aren’t pumped full of drugs, farm -fresh dairy and veggies picked from the garden; we’ve have been fed the lie that an egg-like substitute with lab-grown meat, fake cheese, and RoundUp laden produce would be the much wiser (and eco-friendly) choice!

Cow poop! But many people buy into these ideas, and, boy, is it profitable, because we can’t easily produce any of it on our own!

Think about it: if the “experts” demonize fat; or cow farts; or dairy; or sugar; or homeopathic medicine; (or parental rights; or common sense; but I digress) or whatever other resources God has given and called “good”, then we are left depending on them to provide an alternative. And it’s going to cost big.

Think about who has the most to gain when we rely on factories and chemists for our daily “bread”. And who profits when all this fake food makes us fat and sick?

But it’s easier not to go against the grain. We’ve been boxed in, and our boxes are comfortable.

You guys.

I am just as entrenched in this toxic food culture as anyone else; although I no longer believe the lies that real food and real farms are bad for the planet. I was vegan for awhile; vegetarian for a couple years. And if you ethically don’t want to eat animals, I totally understand. But this fake food is making us physically sick and our synthetic lifestyles give us the triple whammy; adding mental and emotional fatigue, which tempts us to reach for pick-me-ups that never actually make us feel better; not in the long run.

Vicious cycle, much?

I won’t say it’s on purpose, but I’m thinking it.

It’s a bit overwhelming to process all the changes necessary to kick the system; to source or produce healthy, real food. I’ve made some changes: I buy whole ingredients rather than packaged “food” most of the time; but in my heart I know the meat, dairy, and produce I buy don’t come from good places.

I bake my own bread but I’m still using cheap flour most of the time. I eat eggs from happy chickens when friends have extra, but Kroger provides the rest. I garden without pesticides but my shelves are lined with food I didn’t grow or can myself. I have stainless steel pots and pans coming today but I dread giving up my Teflon. I still enjoy York Peppermint Patties.

I know I have a long way to go; but I am convinced that each step I take towards reclaiming God’s design for food will be one step closer to health and wholeness.

I will not eat fat-free sour cream and lab-grown meat. I won’t eat beets, either, but that’s just a personal preference and there’s plenty of vegetables I do love, like apple pie! I will eat real food in reasonable quantities, and I will enjoy the heck out of it!

I will make a practice of being outside and moving my body: working with my hands; cultivating the earth; producing what I can.

I should probably stop drinking processed almond milk and delicious, chemical-laden flavored water. Ok, ok, let’s not get crazy.

One step at a time.

I long to disengage from easy and reclaim what is real and good and satisfying. And this applies to every aspect of life.

Thankfully, I know where to look.


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