There are (probably) really viable reasons for the food rules in each culture and religion. I am not saying that there are not faith based reasons, but just as we know that Christmas happens about the same time as Winter Solstice.
Because they were trying to get the pagans to adopt the new, Christian rites…and the Christmas Tree – well, evergreens were the only thing growing and lush at that time of year.
Anyway – as we get into the topic of food – here are my thoughts on the matter, starting with the foods you can’t eat, or that you can’t eat together and the times of the year when you shouldn’t eat at all; there seem to be valid, historical and scientific reasons.
While I am aware of the rules, I am not sure of these specific basis. I have my guesses.
- Throw spilled salt over your left shoulder if you spill it.
- Warding off evil spirits…
- Maybe, let’s not get into the left versus right and what is evil or good shall we?
- Fasting during Lent, Passover and Ramadan.
- Making a sacrifice for religious beliefs.
- Or, maybe resetting your body and metabolism…while making a religious gesture to observe the holiday – perhaps to think about and appreciate what you have in times of plenty?
- Not eating dairy and meat together in a Kosher kitchen/household.
- Because the Rabbi said so?
- For this one, I thought it had to do with how the digestive system behaved or, one of the food items causing the other to spoil faster…but I really didn’t know.
- Doing some quick (aka “HA”) internet research, the most logical reason I found was that you shouldn’t eat the meat of an animal with the milk that was meant to nourish it. Hmmm. Seems like as good a reason as any to me.
- Eat fish, not meat during Lent.
- Because the church said so?
- Or was it that the fishmongers needed sales too?
- Or, maybe it was that the animals were not quiet yet ready to be consumed…and needed to grow a bit more during the early spring before they would be as plentiful for the rest of the year.
- Or, maybe the ancient ones knew that too much meat-based protein is not healthy for most humans.
- The sacred cow.
- People see their gods in many forms.
- Also, perhaps it is fair to say that one cow can feed many with its milk…so, skip the burgers and enjoy the butter, cheese, and maybe a bit of cream in your tea.
- Unleavened bread during Passover.
- The story makes sense…there was a lot going on – who has time to let the bread rise when you are trying to escape death and tyranny?
- No yeast in the bread isn’t the worst of these, plus, I know many look forward to their Matzoh each year and stock up before it isn’t available in stores near them.
None of these policies or observations should be that difficult to follow. If you believe in the faith – enough.
- Say thank you for what we have.
- Take a pass when you can.
- It is okay to suffer or sacrifice a little every once in a while.
That said, new (fad) diets are always creeping up. Paleo, carb-free, dairy free, vegan, plant-based, fasting except for 8 hours in the middle of the day, eat many mini meals, forks over knives and eating more vegetables with no meat, the food pyramid, 4-squares a day, the 2000 calorie recommended diet, and more. Where do they come from and is there true science behind them?
What is right? What is wrong? Who can really judge what you, your family or your ancestors choose to eat.
- I am pretty fond of the “no crackers in bed” rule…and no eating in the living room.
- Unless it is Friday night, when it is pizza night and the kids are over the age of 10; or something like that.
To be honest, I’d really rather not have to clean the antique carpet passed down from one generation to the other – in addition to observing their rules in honor of religion and tradition.
Would love to hear your take, and what your food rules are. Please share – it is always fun to learn!
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl