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Old Testament Food Laws


trashy
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The silly food laws of the Old Testament has long been a source of curiosity to believers. The standard response I always heard (when someone asked what the rhyme or reason was behind them) was that they were given to the Israelites to protect them due to sub-standard food preparation techniques of that time. I'm wondering if there has ever been any scientific analysis of this idea? Google did not reveal anything on a quick search this morning.........

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I don't know about the seafood, but pigs often harbor works which can infect and kill humans if the meat is not cooked to the proper temperature. I'm sure most of the laws had some use in protecting the Israelites from food poisoning and the like.

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Most ancient cultures had perfectly good food preperation techniques,

the foods prohibited by the bible were eaten by most cultures with no ill effect.

Does this suggest that the acient "isrealites" were less inteligent than their neighbors, that they couldnt master basic food safety?

 

The reason pigs are not raised in the arabian lands is this,,,,, they consume the same foods that humans eat, they are our competition, and in the arid conditions of ancient palestine/mesopotamia, food was always in short supply,, the rest is just rubbish

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I don't know about the seafood, but pigs often harbor works which can infect and kill humans if the meat is not cooked to the proper temperature. I'm sure most of the laws had some use in protecting the Israelites from food poisoning and the like.

Callyn, I've heard that about pork too. A parasite called Trichinosis is especially prone to cause problems in pigs. More info here.

 

I think the rule about seafood is that if it does not have scales, we're not suppose to eat it. Crustacians and mollusks do have very high levels of cholesterol, and are bad to eat in significant quantities! How would they know about that though? So, I looked up Kosher foods and found a reasoning I can't understand how it came to be. More on Kosher foods found here. The ways one was to slaughter the animals was suppose to be the most humane at the time, yet with more modern ways that are FAR MORE humane, I hope they have ceased those practices! :eek:

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My folks are on some diet plan (I forget the name, I can ask them) that regulates what foods you can mix at a given meal. They supply you with menus for the week, and I've looked over it a bit, and it reminded me of kosher rules. Altho I will admit I'm not too familiar with kosher.

 

The main point of the diet is that when you eat something like red meat, your body secrets certain enzymes to break it down and digest it. When you eat something like cheese, it secrets a different set of enzymes and many combinations of foods (like meat and cheese) will cause the body difficulity in digesting the food because the enzymes are working against each other. Thus you get fat. Therefore, the menu they supply is set up to avoid any conflicts in digestion.

 

I have no idea how sound the diets premise is, but my mother has lost 70 pounds and my father 55, and they had tried every diet on the face of the earth before this one. As far as kosher goes, the intestinal worms in pigs seem a good reason (didn't the babylonians eat pork? They lived in the same area), and as far as shell fish are concerned, they are bottom feeders, basicly the insects of the ocean. I've never eaten them for that very reason, not because of any rules on dieting or anything.

 

But in all, I'd say the kosher laws were just a means to control the people. Nothing more.

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I take it to mean that those ancient peoples were not stupid, they just learned from their observations.

 

At the time, the waterways were also the sewers of the time, and by observation they grew to learn that eating certain shellfish resulted in a higher incidence of disease due to what we now know as cholera and typhoid. Likewise, they acquired knowledge that consuming the flesh of swine, especially if undercooked, resulted in death and disease related to parasites we now know as trichina...it was not by accident that these "dietary laws" were put in place and attributed to the teachings of the tribal god. It was rather the fundamentals of public health.

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