Testimony Studies on Diet and Foods

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Chapter 38a—Salt, Spices and Condiments

The Ministry of Healing, 325

Under the head of stimulants and narcotics is classed a great variety of articles that, altogether used as food or drink, irritate the stomach, poison the blood, and excite the nerves. Their use is a positive evil. Men seek the excitement of stimulants, because, for the time, the results are agreeable. But there is always a reaction. The use of unnatural stimulants always tends to excess, and it is an active agent in promoting physical degeneration and decay. TSDF 133.2

In this fast age, the less exciting the food, the better. Condiments are injurious in their nature. Mustard, pepper, spices, pickles, and other things of a like character, irritate the stomach and make the blood feverish and impure. The inflamed condition of the drunkard's stomach is often pictured as illustrating the effect of alcoholic liquors. A similarly inflamed condition is produced by the use of irritating condiments. Soon ordinary food does not satisfy the appetite. The system feels a want, a craving, for something more stimulating. TSDF 133.3

Tract Regarding the Use of Flesh Foods (Eight page tract)

Condiments and spices used in the preparation of food for the table aid in digestion in the same way that tea, coffee, and liquor are supposed to help the laboring man perform his tasks. After the immediate effects are gone, they drop as correspondingly below par as they were elevated above par by these stimulating substances. The system is weakened. The blood is contaminated, and inflammation is the sure result. TSDF 133.4

Letter 37, 1901

At one time Dr.-----tried to teach our family to cook according to health reform, as he viewed it, without salt or anything else to season the food. Well, I determined to try it, but I became so reduced in strength that I had to make a change; and a different policy was entered upon with great success. I tell you this because I know that you are in positive danger. Food should be prepared in such a way that it will be nourishing. It should not be robbed of that which the system needs.... TSDF 133.5

I use some salt, and always have, because from the light given me by God, this article, in the place of being deleterious, is actually essential for the blood. The why's and wherefore's of this I know not, but I give you the instruction as it is given me. TSDF 133.6

Testimonies for the Church 2:367

It is important that the food should be prepared with care, that the appetite, when not perverted, can relish it. Because we from principle discard the use of meat, butter, mince pies, spices, lard, and that which irritates the stomach and destroys health, the idea should never be given that it is of but little consequence what we eat. TSDF 133.7

The Facts of Faith 2:129

There is a class who profess to believe the truth, who do not use tobacco, snuff, tea, or coffee, yet they are guilty of gratifying the appetite in a different manner. They crave highly-seasoned meats, with rich gravies, and their appetite has become so perverted that they can not be satisfied with even meat, unless prepared in a manner most injurious. The stomach is fevered, the digestive organs are taxed, and yet the stomach labors hard to dispose of the load forced upon it. After the stomach has performed its task it becomes exhausted, which causes faintness. Here many are deceived, and think that it is the want of food which produces such feelings, and without giving the stomach time to rest, they take more food, which for the time removes the faintness. And the more the appetite is indulged, the more will be its clamors for gratification. TSDF 133.8

The Facts of Faith 2:131-132

The first great evil was intemperance in eating and drinking. Men and women have made themselves slaves to appetite. They are intemperate in labor. A great amount of hard labor is preformed [performed] to obtain food for their tables which greatly injure the already overtaxed system. Women spend a great share of their time over a heated cook-stove, preparing food, highly seasoned with spices to gratify the taste. As a consequence, the children are neglected, and do not receive moral and religious instruction. The overworked mother neglects to cultivate a sweetness of temper, which is the sunshine of the dwelling. Eternal considerations become secondary. All the time has to be employed in preparing these things for the appetite which ruin health, sour the temper, and becloud the reasoning faculties. TSDF 134.1

The Review and Herald, November 6, 1883, No. 44 (Healthful Living, 92)

Our tables should bear only the most wholesome food, free from every irritating substance. The appetite for liquor is encouraged by the preparation of food with condiments and spices. These cause a feverish state of the system, and drink is demanded to allay the irritation. On my frequent journeys across the continent, I do not patronize restaurants, dining-cars, or hotels, for the simple reason that I can not eat the food there provided. The dishes are highly seasoned with salt and pepper, creating an almost intolerable thirst.... They irritate and inflame the delicate coating of the stomach.... Such is the food that is commonly served upon fashionable tables, and given to the children. Its effect is to cause nervousness, and to create thirst which water does not quench.... Food should be prepared in as simple a manner as possible, free from condiments and spices, and even from an undue amount of salt. TSDF 134.2

Testimonies for the Church 3:136

Children are allowed to eat flesh-meats, spices, butter, cheese, pork, rich pastry, and condiments generally. They are also allowed to eat irregularly and between meals of unhealthful food. These things do their work of deranging the stomach, exciting the nerves to unnatural action, and enfeebling the intellect. TSDF 134.3

Parents do not realize that they are sowing the seed which will bring forth disease and death. TSDF 134.4

Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 17

Luxurious dishes are placed before the children,—spiced foods, rich gravies, cakes and pastries. This highly seasoned food irritates the stomach, and causes a craving for still stronger stimulants. Not only is the appetite tempted with unsuitable food, of which the children are allowed to eat freely at their meals, but they are permitted to eat between meals, and by the time they are twelve or fourteen years of age they are often confirmed dyspeptics. TSDF 134.5

You have perhaps seen a picture of the stomach of one who is addicted to strong drink. A similar condition is produced under the irritating influence of fiery spices. With the stomach in such a state, there is a craving for something more to meet the demands of the appetite, something stronger, and still stronger. TSDF 134.6

Testimonies for the Church 3:563

Many mothers who deplore the intemperance which exists everywhere, do not look deep enough to see the cause. They are daily preparing a variety of dishes and highly-seasoned food, which tempt the appetite and encourage overeating. The tables of our American people are generally prepared in a manner to make drunkards. Appetite is the ruling principle with a large class. Whoever will indulge appetite in eating too often, and food not of a healthful quality, is weakening his power to resist the clamors of appetite and passion in other respects in proportion as he has strengthened the propensity of incorrect habits of eating. Mothers need to be impressed with their obligation to God and to the world to furnish society with children having well-developed characters. Men and women who come upon the stage of action with firm principles will be fitted to stand unsullied amid the moral pollutions of this corrupt age.... The tables of many professed Christian women are daily set with a variety of dishes which irritate the stomach and produce a feverish condition of the system. Flesh-meats constitute the principle article of food upon the tables of some families, until their blood is filled with cancerous and scrofulous humors. Their bodies are composed of what they eat. But when suffering and disease come upon them, it is considered an affliction of Providence. TSDF 134.7

We repeat: Intemperance commences at our tables. The appetite is indulged until its indulgence becomes second nature. By the use of tea and coffee an appetite is formed for tobacco, and this encourages the appetite for liquors. TSDF 134.8

The Ministry of Healing, 335

Great efforts are made to put down intemperance; but there is much effort that is not directed to the right point. The advocates of temperance reform should be awake to the evils resulting from the use of unwholesome food, condiments, tea, and coffee. We bid all temperance workers Godspeed; but we invite them to look more deeply into the cause of the evil they war against, and to be sure that they are consistent in reform. TSDF 134.9

It must be kept before the people that the right balance of the mental and moral powers depends in a great degree on the right condition of the physical system. All narcotics and unnatural stimulants that enfeeble and degrade the physical nature tend to lower the tone of the intellect and morals. Intemperance lies at the foundation of the moral depravity of the world. By the indulgence of perverted appetite, man loses his power to resist temptation. TSDF 135.1

Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 46-47

Many a mother sets a table that is a snare to her family. Flesh-meats, butter, cheese, rich pastry, spiced foods, and condiments are freely partaken of by both old and young. These things do their work in deranging the stomach, exciting the nerves, and enfeebling the intellect. The blood-making organs can not convert such things into good blood. The grease cooked in the food renders it difficult of digestion. The effect of cheese is deleterious. Fine-flour bread does not impart to the system the nourishment that is to be found in unbolted wheat bread. Its common use will not keep the system in the best condition. Spices at first irritate the tender coating of the stomach, but finally destroy the natural sensitiveness of this delicate membrane. The blood becomes fevered, the animal propensities are aroused, while the moral and intellectual powers are weakened, and become servants to the baser passions. The mother should study to set a simple yet nutritious diet before her family. TSDF 135.2

The Facts of Faith 2:132

The lives of many children from five to ten and fifteen years of age seem marked with depravity. They possess knowledge of almost every vice. The parents are, in a great degree, at fault in this matter, and to them will be accredited the sins of their children which their improper course has indirectly led them to commit. They tempt their children to indulge their appetite by placing upon their tables flesh-meats and other food prepared with spices, which have a tendency to excite the animal passions. TSDF 135.3

Fundamentals of Christian Education, 150-151

I was seated once at the table with several children under twelve years of age. Meat was plentifully served, and then a delicate, nervous girl called for pickles. A bottle of chow-chow, fiery with mustard and pungent with spices, was handed her, from which she helped herself freely. The child was proverbial for her nervousness and irritability of temper, and these fiery condiments were well calculated to produce such a condition. TSDF 135.4

Testimonies for the Church 3:21

Above all things, we should not with our pens advocate positions that we do not put to a practical test in our own families, upon our own tables. This is dissimulation, a species of hypocrisy. In Michigan we can get along better without salt, sugar, and milk, than can many who are situated in the far West or in the far East, where there is a scarcity of fruit. But there are very few families in Battle Creek who do not use these articles upon their tables. We know that a free use of these things is positively injurious to health, and, in many cases, we think that if they were not used at all, a much better state of health would be enjoyed. But at present our burden is not upon these things. The people are so far behind that we see it is all they can bear to have us draw the line upon their injurious indulgences and stimulating narcotics. We bear positive testimony against tobacco, spirituous liquors, snuff, tea, coffee, flesh-meats, butter, spices, rich cakes, mince pies, a large amount of salt, and all exciting substances used as articles of food. TSDF 135.5

Testimonies for the Church 2:485

One family in particular have needed all the benefits they could receive from the reform in diet; yet these very ones have been completely backslidden. Meat and butter have been used by them quite freely, and spices have not been entirely discarded. This family could have received great benefit from a nourishing, well-regulated diet. TSDF 135.6

Testimonies for the Church 2:383

The blood-making organs can not convert spices, mince pies, pickles, and diseased flesh-meats into good blood. TSDF 135.7

The Ministry of Healing, 305

Do not eat largely of salt, avoid the use of pickles and spiced foods, eat an abundance of fruit, and the irritation that calls for so much drink at meal time will largely disappear. TSDF 135.8

Testimonies for the Church 4:417

Our laborers could do more by their example to advance health reform than by preaching it. When elaborate preparations are made for them by well meaning friends, they are strongly tempted to disregard principle; but by refusing the dainty dishes, the rich condiments, the tea and coffee, they may prove themselves to be practical health reformers. Some are now suffering in consequence of transgressing the laws of life, thus causing a stigma to rest on the cause of health reform. TSDF 135.9

Testimonies for the Church 2:602

Nothing should be taken to camp-meeting except the most healthful articles, cooked in a simple manner, free from all spices and grease. TSDF 135.10

The Facts of Faith 2:130

Persons who have indulged their appetite to eat freely of meat, highly seasoned gravies, and various kinds of rich cakes and preserves, can not immediately relish a plain, wholesome, nutritious diet. Their taste is so perverted they have no appetite for a wholesome diet of fruits, plain bread, and vegetables. They need not expect to relish at first food so different from that in which they have been indulging. TSDF 135.11

Unpublished Testimonies, November 5, 1896 (Healthful Living, 166)

The less that condiments and desserts are placed upon our tables, the better it will be for all who partake of the food. All mixed and complicated foods are injurious to the health of human beings. Dumb animals would never eat such a mixture as is often placed in the human stomach.... Rich and complicated mixtures of food are health destroying. TSDF 136.1