Diet

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Diet

fschmidt
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This post was updated on .
Biblical dietary law can be found in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.

Orthodox and Karaite Judaism simply accept these laws as stated.  This approach is known as Peshat which means simply accepting the literal meaning of the text.  This is not the Mikraites approach.  Unlike Judaism, we ask WHY?  We do this because we believe that God is reasonable and that God gave us commandments for our benefit, as said in Deuteronomy 6:24, not for God's benefit.  God doesn't need benefits.  God doesn't need anything from us, so everything God commands is for our own benefit.  This means that we can understand the commandments by understanding how they benefit us.  So how do the dietary laws benefit us?

The explanation of the reason for the dietary laws is perfectly clear in Leviticus 11.  It clearly states that certain foods are unclean for us.  What kinds of things are prohibited?  Pork which had parasites, shellfish which went bad quickly without refrigeration, and animal carcasses which would likely be infected by various things.  In other words, the issue here is health.  To further confirm this, note that Leviticus 11 begins a long section of the Torah which is all about health laws.  Another point is that the Old Testament never mentions a punishment for violating dietary law, and God never punished anyone for violating dietary law.  This also supports the idea that dietary law was a health code, not a moral commandment.

Now that we know that the dietary laws are for health, we can see that they made perfect sense in biblical times, but they don't make sense today when we have refrigeration and better ways of handling these foods.  Pork and shellfish are no longer health risks, so there is no reason not to eat them.

Does this mean these laws are now irrelevant?  No, the lesson to be learned is that God wants us to avoid unhealthy foods.  Today, instead of worrying about pork, we should be worry about all the unhealthy artificial foods in our diet.  In a sense, these should be considered "ungodly foods".  These are not foods that God ever intended for us to eat.
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specific list of "ungodly" foods

Peter
just wondering if we should make a entire list of "ungodly" foods the followers of Biblical Judaism should avoid.

Potato Chips
Energy Drinks
Sodas
Candy
chocolates?
cakes
types of bread?

what do you guys think?
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Re: specific list of "ungodly" foods

Drealm
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I'm concerned about food from a health standpoint but not a moral standpoint. And I focus more on the ingredients in food than what type of food it is. For example I don't mind potato chips but as a rule of thumb I avoid things with ingredients that I can't pronounce like "maltodextrin", which I assume is bad but don't know what it actually is. If something is made with simple things like butter, milk, etc, I assume it's okay.

If your concern is with health, then I think a more practical approach would be to focus on promoting good stuff instead of restricting bad stuff. I say this because I assume most things are bad by default and there's no need to list them out. But finding rare healthy and tasty things is much harder.
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Re: specific list of "ungodly" foods

fschmidt
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In reply to this post by Peter
It may be worth discussing some concept of "kosher" if we get a few members.  My suggestion, based on the book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, would be to ban foods that are less than 100 years old.
or7
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Re: Diet

or7
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by fschmidt
fschmidt wrote
Biblical dietary law can be found in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.

Orthodox and Karaite Judaism simply accept these laws as stated.  This approach is known as Peshat which means simply accepting the literal meaning of the text.  This is not the approach of Biblic Judaism.  Unlike other forms of Judaism, we ask WHY?  We do this because we believe that God is reasonable and that God gave us commandments for our benefit, as said in Deuteronomy 6:24, not for God's benefit.  God doesn't need benefits.  God doesn't need anything from us, so everything God commands is for our own benefit.  This means that we can understand the commandments by understanding how they benefit us.  So how do the dietary laws benefit us?

The explanation of the reason for the dietary laws is perfectly clear in Leviticus 11.  It clearly states that certain foods are unclean for us.  What kinds of things are prohibited?  Pork which had parasites, shellfish which went bad quickly without refrigeration, and animal carcasses which would likely be infected by various things.  In other words, the issue here is health.  To further confirm this, note that Leviticus 11 begins a long section of the Torah which is all about health laws.  Another point is that the Bible never mentions a punishment for violating dietary law, and God never punished anyone for violating dietary law.  This also supports the idea that dietary law was a health code, not a moral commandment.

Now that we know that the dietary laws are for health, we can see that they made perfect sense in biblical times, but they don't make sense today when we have refrigeration and better ways of handling these foods.  Pork and shellfish are no longer health risks, so there is no reason not to eat them.

An Element is Missing


There is something inherently wrong about your approach: you're not doing this to actually worship YHWH. Otherwise, you would not suggest "there is no reason not to eat them". It is his reputation, his holy name, that you're profaning.

Ezekiel 22:26 (NIV)

26 Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things;
they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they
teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean;
and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that
I am profaned among them.
By suggesting that pork is okay to eat now, you're doing violence to his law, to his holy things. Erasing the distinctions between "clean and unclean" is right up there with violating his Sabbaths: take one of those things away, and it's no longer YHWH—the Holy God of Israel, the Most High God, who created the heavens and the earth—whom you announce to the world and to each other. You might as well be worshiping yourself. By valuing your own reasonings above YHWH's commands that is exactly what you're doing. To do that is to put oneself—not YHWH and his commands—on the pedestal, as the object of worship (the one whom you submit to as Lord over your decisions, who defines what is prohibited and what is not). "No sense" to man is not "no sense" to YHWH.

Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)

9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Leviticus 22:31-32 (NIV)

31 “Keep my commands and follow them. I am the Lord. 32 Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the Lord, who made you holy

His every law preserves his holy reputation (and by extension our holy reputation too). YHWH is a practical God, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to see his reason every single time; we're not in the position to say, "eh... don't obey that one anymore". This is just as much about declaring to the world and to each other that YHWH—the Holy God of Israel—is the one who delivered us from the world and the world's ways. It wasn't some other spirit who saved our bodies, souls and mind; it wasn't some other philosophy. Nor was it our own. Go ahead and eat pork, and you—and your posterity—won't be saved from what's coming in the future. If you think a refrigerator all of a sudden makes pork safe to eat, think again:

Isaiah 66:17 (NIV)

17 “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things—they will meet their end together with the one they follow,” declares the Lord.
Not just the ones without a cold box and modern cooking equipment. All who eat them. And this prophecy (Isaiah 66) is yet future because in Isaiah 66 all flesh has come to bow down before him.

Isaiah 66:23-24 (NIV)

23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord. 24 “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”
Pork is still prohibited. Unclean definitions still stand and will stand in the future. God's word, not our own reasoning, consecrates what is food for us. And as long as this earth remains, those commands are in effect.

But more importantly, YHWH's every command declares that he is holy, set-apart, distinct, unlike what the pagans worship. Everything about our life should suggest YHWH is God: not me, not you, not the pagans, not the pagan deities, but YHWH. In a world steeped in idolatry—where people worship food, themselves, sex, their job, their prestige, their intelligence, other people, etc—in order for us to be set-apart, and declare YHWH's holiness through our set-apart-ness—a holiness which he defines for us—we cannot live like them, speak like them or eat like them. Adhering to the dietary law, to his definition of things, declares YHWH as a distinctly unique God and declares that you don't worship what the world is worshiping. How does eating pork, like the rest of the world, achieve this? It doesn't. This isn't just about benefiting ourselves, but about guarding his holy name.

Once you add or take away, you distort the truth of YHWH.

Proverbs 30:6 (NIV)

6 Do not add to his words,
    or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
Deuteronomy 12:32 (NIV)

32 See that you do all I command you;
do not add to it or take away from it.[a]

Footnotes:

a. Deuteronomy 12:32 In Hebrew texts this verse (12:32) is numbered 13:1.
The moment you add to or take away from his law is the moment you mislead people about who YHWH is. Especially when he keeps reiterating, in prophecy, that these laws still stand. The word of God still consecrates / sets-apart what we eat, what is food.


Other Dietary Laws in the Torah


I'll be quoting these because you didn't link to them. But also, I suspect that some of these will be totally unknown to you.

That said, I would include Genesis 1:29 as another place where YHWH defines food for us (this is before the land was cursed).

Genesis 1:29 (NIV)

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant
on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has
fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
As for limitations / prohibitions (after the land was cursed and after YHWH chose to reveal himself by setting up a nation consecrated to him, and to him alone), he also gave these outside of Lv 11 and Dt 14:

Exodus 22:31 (NIV)

31 “You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.
Leviticus 17:15 (NIV)

15 “‘Anyone, whether native-born or foreigner, who eats anything found dead or torn by wild animals must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be ceremonially unclean till evening; then they will be clean.
We cannot eat an animal carcass we found already torn apart by another animal. Nor can we eat "anything found dead" - if we find a rotting carcass of an animal (this includes roadkill in modern times), we cannot eat it. You'd be surprised how many people still do this in America (let alone in the rest of the world). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadkill_cuisine


Leviticus 7:22-27 (NIV)

22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Say to the Israelites: ‘Do not eat any of the fat of cattle, sheep or goats. 24 The fat of an animal found dead or torn by wild animals may be used for any other purpose, but you must not eat it. 25 Anyone who eats the fat of an animal from which a food offering may be[a] presented to the Lord must be cut off from their people. 26 And wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal. 27 Anyone who eats blood must be cut off from their people.’”

Footnotes:

a. Leviticus 7:25 Or offering is
Eating fat is prohibited—whether the fat is from an animal you found dead already, or one you slaughtered yourself (even as a sacrifice to YHWH). Fat cannot be eaten. The marbled pieces of fat in meat is one thing (and if I understand correctly, once thoroughly cooked, it melts away); but the fat surrounding the organs is another. We cannot eat it. And eating blood is also prohibited.


Disciplinary Action for Violating Dietary Laws


Certain dietary laws did have consequences and could get you kicked out of the community (or killed— depends on what "getting cut off" in verse 14 entails).

Leviticus 17:13-16 (NIV)

13 “‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, 14 because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, “You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.”

15 “‘Anyone, whether native-born or foreigner, who eats anything found dead or torn by wild animals must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be ceremonially unclean till evening; then they will be clean. 16 But if they do not wash their clothes and bathe themselves, they will be held responsible.’”

In Ex 31:14, "getting cut off" entailed having the violater put to death.

Exodus 31:14 (NIV)

14 “‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people.

Final Thoughts



Needless to say, to summarize Leviticus as merely a health code denies what it truly is: instructions for how to be distinct from the corrupt world (ergo, commands to be holy).


Leviticus 11:44 (NIV)

44 I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground.
We're suppose to reflect his nature to the world. Obviously, he's going to command things that keep his holy (set-apart) nation thriving if they obey. But benefiting us is just a means to an end; his goal: proving to the pagan world, who once knew God but went astray, "you guys are not worshiping the loving deity that created you, but are wandering after the lusts of your own heart, puffed up by the vain notions of your own mind and his other creations that went corrupt." What better way to demonstrate that than by ensuring your set-apart nation is the one that thrives (if they actually obey what is written), while the others are living based on what pleases their five senses and their imaginations, which doesn't lead to life.

Numbers 15:39 (NIV)

39 You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.
Deuteronomy 14:2 (NIV)

2 for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
Ezekiel 37:28 (NIV)

28 Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’”
Isaiah 53:6 (NIV)

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 45:20-23 (NIV)

20 “Gather together and come;
    assemble, you fugitives from the nations.
Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood,
    who pray to gods that cannot save.
21 Declare what is to be, present it—
    let them take counsel together.
Who foretold this long ago,
    who declared it from the distant past?
Was it not I, the Lord?
    And there is no God apart from me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
    there is none but me.
22 “Turn to me and be saved,
    all you ends of the earth
;
    for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
    my mouth has uttered in all integrity
    a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
    by me every tongue will swear
.
Psalm 22:27 (NIV)

27 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him
,

It's like you're putting YHWH off in a corner, and shining a big ol' spotlight on mere man. This play isn't about man; it's about YHWH, and everyone coming to know him. This is about YHWH. Man did not save himself from Egypt. So, stop trying to make this all about man and using God's wisdom merely to be well-off in life.

Exodus 13:9 (NIV)

This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.
Exodus 12:12-13 (NIV)

12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
Thus all the "god wars" happening throughout the Old Testament (i.e. YHWH vs. Dagon; YHWH vs. every single idol in Egypt [river god, sun god, frog god, pharaoh, etc...]: he's putting their idols and demonic spirits to shame. Proving himself to be Most High.

Also note that putting Lamb's blood on a doorpost has nothing to do with morality, your definition of it anyway. It has no practicality to it. But putting lamb's blood on the door posts did demonstrate something very important, "I have faith in the Holy God of Israel; not in the pagans, not in the things pagans worship, nor in myself—just YHWH [and obviously the prophets who brought his message to us]". It identified who the moral were. That is why YHWH spared the Israelites. They obeyed even if it didn't make sense; they trusted God wasn't lying to them.  Of course, there are certain commands where you can see the practicality of it, but not all of them are like this (and not all of them serve practical purposes). Putting lamb's blood on the doorposts served no practical purpose (as if it could prevent disease from entering a house, no...). There is an entity watching. And he's watching to see who has faith in him or not: are you going to do it his way or yours? will you unashamedly be affiliated with him or not?

Proverbs 15:3 (NIV)

3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,
    keeping watch on the wicked and the good
.
2 Chronicles 16:9 (NIV)

9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”
Taking his commands, without giving him due credit for who he claims to be and what he claims to be doing with mankind, defeats the whole purpose of this forum: seeking morality. What you're doing is the spirit of plagiarism: I want your writing, and want to benefit from it, but I want nothing to do with you—so let me disassociate a bit and heap up people to come worship me and my thoughts, instead of you.

This may sound harsh, but that's exactly what you're doing—not unique to you. Many others have done the same. But for your sake, the well-being of others, and YHWH's holy reputation's sake, turn away from this wickedness and fully turn to him.

We will have to face him on judgment day. I can imagine the rage he feels when people put words in his mouth, or withhold words from people which he actually wanted communicated, and that would keep people safe.

Hosea 4:6 (NIV)

6     my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
“Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
    I also will ignore your children.
Ecclesiastes 3:17 (NIV)

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”
Do you want to be responsible for leaving people in danger? All of his commands still protect us.

On a related note, He already manifested on earth as the prophets said:

Isaiah 9:6 (HCSB)

6   For a child will be born for us,
      a son will be given to us,
      and the government will be on His shoulders.
      He will be named
      Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
      Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
It would be blasphemy to call a mere human by such titles as, "Eternal Father" if that human wasn't actually the Most High God, Father of all Spirits, in bodily form. YHWH incarnated. I see you linked to the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) in your opening post, but based on your stance, you don't seem to be a Christian, one who believes in YHWH's incarnation from a woman's womb (a.k.a. in Jesus). YHWH-incarnate didn't teach to do away with God's commands, but to do away with the man-made traditions and interpretations that nullify God's law and prophets.

Matthew 15:3-9 (HCSB)

3 He answered them, “And why do you break God’s commandment because of your tradition? 4 For God said:[a]

    Honor your father and your mother;[b] and,
    The one who speaks evil of father or mother
    must be put to death.[c]

5 But you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother, “Whatever benefit you might have received from me is a gift committed to the temple”— 6 he does not have to honor his father.’[d] In this way, you have revoked God’s word[e] because of your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said:

8     These people[f] honor Me with their lips,
        but their heart is far from Me.
9     They worship Me in vain,
        teaching as doctrines the commands of men.”[g]

Footnotes:

a. Matthew 15:4 Other mss read commanded, saying
b. Matthew 15:4 Ex 20:12; Dt 5:16
c. Matthew 15:4 Ex 21:17; Lv 20:9
d. Matthew 15:6 Other mss read then he does not have to honor his father or mother
e. Matthew 15:6 Other mss read commandment
f. Matthew 15:8 Other mss add draw near to Me with their mouths, and
g. Matthew 15:9 Is 29:13 LXX
Notice how Jesus said "tradition" to refer to how they interpreted God's commands, an interpretation which in effect kept them from obeying what was written as is. You're falling into this behavior.

Isaiah 2:22 (HCSB)

22 Put no more trust in man,
     who has only the breath in his nostrils.
     What is he really worth?
Proverbs 3:5 (HCSB)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
     and do not rely on your own understanding;
Psalm 119:34 (HCSB)

34 Help me understand Your instruction,
     and I will obey it
     and follow it with all my heart.

For His Glory,

a disciple of Yeshua ha'Mashiach, the Word of God, YHWH in the flesh
Joshua 24:15 (WEB)

15 If it seems evil to you to serve Yahweh, choose today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh.”
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Re: Diet

fschmidt
Administrator
or7 wrote
Ezekiel 22:26 (NIV)

26 Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things;
they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they
teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean;
and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that
I am profaned among them.
By suggesting that pork is okay to eat now, you're doing violence to his law, to his holy things.
I will give a longer response later, but I just want to say that I looked up Ezekiel 22:26 in Hebrew and it isn't "my law", it is "my teaching".  The difference is important and it is a tragedy that "teaching" is so often mistranslated to "law".  The Old Testament is a book for teaching, not a law book.
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Re: Diet

fschmidt
Administrator
In reply to this post by or7
or7, I only fully read your post today since it is shabbat and I have the time.  And having fully read it, I don't want to debate it.  You can have your view and I will have mine.  I don't want to change your mind, but I would like to explain a few things.

or7 wrote
By suggesting that pork is okay to eat now, you're doing violence to his law, to his holy things. Erasing the distinctions between "clean and unclean" is right up there with violating his Sabbaths: take one of those things away, and it's no longer YHWH—the Holy God of Israel, the Most High God, who created the heavens and the earth—whom you announce to the world and to each other. You might as well be worshiping yourself. By valuing your own reasonings above YHWH's commands that is exactly what you're doing. To do that is to put oneself—not YHWH and his commands—on the pedestal, as the object of worship (the one whom you submit to as Lord over your decisions, who defines what is prohibited and what is not). "No sense" to man is not "no sense" to YHWH.
This is really the core of your argument.  What I want to explain is that REASON divides into two categories, inductive reason and deductive reason.  Inductive reason is to reason about to facts and to say that facts that hold up over time tend to be true.  Inductive reason makes reality the source of truth.  Inductive reason is the basis of the scientific method as advocated by Galileo and Isaac Newton (both Christians, by the way).  Deductive reason is to reason inside your own mind.  To purely use deductive reason to arrive at truth about the world is "to put oneself on the pedestal, as the object of worship" as you say.  The primary advocate of this curse is Plato.

So now we see that there are three means of arriving at truth: there is faith, inductive reason, and deductive reason.  Clearly your means is faith while mine is inductive reason, so we will arrive at different conclusions.  But to accuse me of putting myself on a pedestal when seeking truth is unfair.  I put reality on a pedestal and I consider YHVH to be a force in that reality just as gravity is.  You put a book (the Bible) written by men on a pedestal, above reality, which I view as borderline idolatry, but which I am willing to accept if you can tolerate my view.

I have no interest in getting you to eat pork.  Eat whatever you want to.  But my eating pork does not harm you in any way, so I don't see why it should bother you.  The purpose of this web site is to encourage people to cooperate based on shared biblical values.  We expect people's views to differ on the details which is why we do not specify everything (like the Talmud does).  We encourage tolerance of differing views where these differing views do not cause harm to others.  Dietary law is a perfect example of this.
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Re: Diet

Hax Templar
In reply to this post by fschmidt
I am really torn on pork since I am part ethnically Jewish (very mixed ethnicity) and a Christian.  I know it still has parasites, worms etc. in it quite often.  But it can be really delicious when properly prepared, which usually means crispy bacon and ideally also brined or koshered in some way.  Also I live in east Asia (Taiwan) and they eat pork all the time here.  The Chinese character for "house" is "pig" under a "roof" even.

I do agree with you about eating healthy in general! This will seem random but today I finished one of my long term projects, a sous vide cooker composed of an arduino controlled relay and a simple hot pot.  The arduino also has a waterproof thermometer that measures the water temperature and turns the hot pot on when it gets below the target temperature.  It cooks some amazing foods.

I don't actually sous vide in it because the plastic usually used will leech into the food.  Plastic leakage is associated with higher estrogen levels, which probably is what causes women to mature more quickly these days and might even be related to things like radical feminism and an increase in female promiscuity, or the apparent rise in effeminate men.  Although I digress -- plastic bad.  What I do is put the food into a glass mason jar and fill that with water.  Then I put that within the water that's already there.  This has many advantages since you only have to wash out a small mason jar instead of the whole pot.

I'm into things like this lately and it's what my name is a reference to, hacking things in the spirit of distributism.  My next project is a soil humidity sensor for in-door farming, I'm hoping to get around some corrosion issues in some way, and to build my own segway.  Supposedly segways are actually pretty easy to build.
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Re: Diet

Ruryse
In reply to this post by fschmidt
I remembered reading some news a couple years ago that were linking iron to Alzheimer's disease, so I looked it up. According to some findings, the consumption of both iron supplements and red meats can accelerate iron accumulation in the brain, which leads to an earlier onset of the disease: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla-study-suggests-that-iron-247864
http://www.intelligentpeopleforum.com
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