Thursday, January 20, 2011

Christian Paleo?

The Paleo diet advocates are frequently evolutionists, who take the stance that our bodies evolved to meet the conditions during the paleolithic era, and have not evolved significantly since.  Does my belief in the word of God contradict the Paleo diet?  I don't think so.

On the eighth day God created technology.  Wait, no, I don't think it says that anywhere in the Bible.  We were created for living in the Garden of Eden, and have since then turned to technology to increase the availability, quantity, and desirability of our foods gained from a cursed ground. 

Our first major venture into technology was agriculture, invented when we were forced from the Garden of Eden:
"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
We know some additional detail of the lives of two of Adam and Eve's sons, Cain and Able.  Cain worked the soil, and Able kept flocks.  Neither lived the hunter gatherer role portrayed in the paleo theory, but that does not mean they ate anything like a modern diet.

Let's look at several food related technologies and when they first appear in the bible.
  • Gardening - From the very beginning, there was a garden for Adam and Eve to supply their needs from
  • Animal Slaughter - Performed by God at the time of leaving the garden
  • Boats - Noah
  • Baking - Tower of Babel
  • Flour - Abraham
  • Knife - Abraham
  • Spear - Moses
  • Arrow - Moses
  • Flour Mill - Moses
  • Olive grove - Moses
  • Oil Press - Moses
Most of these technologies do not have their invention dates documented in the bible, but the order of their first mentioned uses line up with the archaeological evidence of their order of invention.

Other modern foods with archaeological/historical evidence:
  • Refined Sugar, discovered in India prior to 550 AD, spread to China in the 600's, then to the Arabs, then to the rest of the world
  • White Flour - developed in Europe in the 1800's
  • Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil - 1911, Procter & Gamble
  • Soybean Oil - 1930's
So no matter whether you believe in evolution or in creation, it is clear that many foods are the result of technology and not the pristine state of the world.  Although Christians may find some of the logic in "Paleo" diet books incorrect, the recipes and diet guidelines could be in line with what we might guess as the original diet of Adam and Eve and the way God designed us to eat.  Agriculture was thrust upon us as a curse, and we are only starting to learn what other food related technologies have hidden curses under their benefits.