The search for the elixir of health spans centuries. In the mid-1800s Sylvester Graham invented a wonder food: the graham cracker. This simple cracker was part of his cure for alcoholism and sexual desires. Rumor had it his bland diet (which banned meat and spices) would indefinitely lengthen your lifespan.
His enthusiastic following was somewhat dampened when he died at 57.
“Nature will castigate those who don’t masticate,” claimed Horace Fletcher, last century’s impassioned advocate of mastication. Mastication, or the chewing of food, became a health craze due to his zealous work.
He preached that you should chew each piece of food 32-100 times and not swallow until your bite of solids turned to liquids. Supposedly, it took him 45 minutes to properly masticate an apple. Even liquids should be “chewed” in order to digest them properly. This, he claimed, would give health, lengthen life and help save the world.
When he died at 69 his theories gave way to calorie counting.
The temptation to worship at the altar of health is still going strong today. Health standards have replaced the moral standards of the 50’s. Whereas a girl in the 50’s would have been plagued by guilt over sexual impurity, today food impurity has taken its place.
The Scriptures teach that it isn’t what we eat, but our thoughts and actions that defile us. Even a diet of Twinkies wouldn’t defile our souls (and you might even live as long as Sylvester Graham!) Our bodies weren’t made to live forever and no diet’s going to change that fact.
Gratitude turns the focus from the food to the Giver of the food. Sometimes, the best choices are prohibitively expensive, but hunger satiated with less-than-organic meals is cause for gratitude. God has provided more than all that we need.
While His Creation is lush with fresh fruits and teems with fish, He has given us “all [foods] richly to enjoy”, including decadently rich and chewy brownies. If you like them, the flavor of Twinkies reminds us of the goodness of God, and is another cause for gratitude.