Death In The Kitchen

Written December, 2016

I happened to be on the Amazing Facts website the other day, and I saw a link to “Free books.” These are more like “free articles” than books, but set that aside. These “books” had titles like “Baptized Pagan,” “The Christian and Culture,” and “Death In the Kitchen.”

Of course, as soon as I saw the cover art on that last one I had to take a look.

Death in the Kitchen by [Crews, Joe]

(There is a noose on the cover, because every good Adventist has a random noose hanging in their kitchen above the stove.)

You can find this on Amazon for $1, or you can read it for free at the Amazing Facts website.

Now, I don’t know exactly when this was written. It’s possible that when it was written, all these things were true. However, I make the case that it doesn’t matter when it was written, because the people over at Amazing Facts have it on their website with no notes whatsoever about the publication date. They present this as current and factual information, so that is how I am going to assume they treat it.

We begin with a short paragraph by the author saying that, according to the results of a survey, the topic most people find interesting is health. I have no idea what survey he is talking about. The author of this pamphlet does not note very many sources. After many sentences I wanted to write “citation needed.”

What a paradoxical age is this one in which we live! A time when we have more doctors, hospitals, medicines; more medical knowledge of the care, treatment, and cure of disease; more pills, capsules, vitamins, etc.; yet seldom has there been a time when more sickness and general ill health has plagued the human family.

Citation needed.

The cries of the sick and diseased are the trademarks of modem society

Obviously. I mean, what else do I think of when I think of modern society?

In spite of incredible programs in medical research, the problems of health and longevity are still the most serious our society faces.

I’m not going to try and pretend that medical research has solved all our problems. I would agree with this statement if it was said, “health and longevity are some of the most serious problems our society faces.” But the most serious ones? That’s up for debate.

The Bible gives a simple, concise answer to the question of premature disability and death. Millions would still be alive today had they but heeded the warning of God in Exodus 15:26: “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”

I’m pretty sure that anybody alive when the events of Exodus were taking place would not still be alive today even if they had lived long and healthy lives.

The author goes on for a bit about how our body has laws, just like nature. Gravity affects everyone regardless of age, sex, or financial status. If we violate the laws of our body, it won’t matter who or what we are, we will be sick and or die.

 Effect is always preceded by a cause. To those who have seriously studied the counsels of God and the current world health trends, there is no deep mystery. Experts are puzzled that cancer has continued its spiraling increase. While many diseases have been greatly reduced, and some eliminated altogether, cancer has mushroomed. Even with unprecedented funding and research there have been few significant breakthroughs in curbing the growth of this deadly malignancy.

I found this on the internet, so take it with a grain of salt. It appears that the rate of cancer is roughly the same as it was in 1950, but nevertheless, it has gone down.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/184566/deaths-by-cancer-in-the-us-since-1950/

We can easily understand the steady increase of lung cancer in the light of America’s smoking practices.

Here’s where I would want to know the publication date. Because I looked this up on the Center for Disease Control website. According to the CDC, there was an increase in lung cancer between 1950 and 1990, and it was quite a significant one. Here’s the link http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00022160.htm

Note that the article says that in 1990, there were 419,000 deaths from Lung Cancer. Here’s a link from the CDC with some more recent data. In 2013, there were 212,584 deaths from Lung Cancer. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/statistics/

Looks like a decrease to me.

I’ll be generous and decide this pamphlet was written in the 1990s. But then, why is it still being presented as current information? There’s no footnote here saying that this information is outdated. Shoot, there is no source given for this information at all. We are just expected to take at face value the fact that there’s been an increase in lung cancer.

Even if the rest of the information in this pamphlet is current, it’s time to update or retire this one to the archives.

As we will soon see, that’s not the only outdated piece of information in this article/pamphlet/book thingy.

But few people understand that fully one-third of all cancers of the human body occur within the stomach. And one-half of all cancers are found in the organs of digestion, including the liver, pancreas, small intestine and colon.

Again, citation needed.

Ooooh a paragraph he gives a source for! I can look this up!

Dr. James Ewing, one of the founders of the American Cancer Society, made this statement in a tract entitled The Prevention of Cancer: “The perpetual abuse of a normal stomach frequently gives rise to cancer, and an abnormally weak stomach may suffer the same fate from less abuse. In both instances abuse and overfunction must be regarded as the exciting cause. The stomach is not lined with copper but by a single row of rather delicate epithelial cells. The sole safe conclusion to be drawn from these data is that all forms of abuse of the stomach must be avoided if the high mortality from this very common disease is to be reduced.”

So, I didn’t (yet) find the actual pamphlet to which the author refers. But, I did find out a big about James Ewing. Turns out he died in 1943. I think it’s safe to say that anything he wrote is going to be a wee bit out of date.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ewing_(pathologist)

Am I saying that when writing pamphlets and articles about health, one must have information published within the last 5-10 years? Yes. Even if the information is still correct, surely there’s something more current?

After talking for a bit about how horrifying it is that people are only eating things that taste good, and about how a lot of money is being spent on diets and exercise (citation needed), we get this gem:

Have you ever noticed that three-fifths of the word DEATH is EAT?

Yanno, I actually thought about doing a list of these 2 words in 10 different languages, but there’s no point. I’m sure we are all aware languages besides English exist, so let’s move on.

Paul Bragg, in his famous cookbook, stated: “The average person is poisoning himself day by day with the food he eats. Most people eat with their eyes. If the food looks good, they do not question whether it is healthful or death-dealing. Few people know the right kind of food to put into their bodies to keep them well and strong or take the time to select this food if they do know. From birth to old age the average individual never experiences the taste of real natural food. Our tiny sensitive taste buds have been for generations so polluted by unnatural, artificially seasoned and stimulating foods that most of us are unable to appreciate the fine, delicate flavor of the natural foods. Foods must be fixed, hashed, mashed, smashed, boiled, broiled, stewed, baked, pickled, preserved, flavored, salted, creamed, dried, roasted, fried, greased, peppered, vinegar-laden, smoked, toasted, crushed, rolled, mealed, oiled, fermented, beaten, sweetened, spiced, soured, peeled, shredded, steamed, braised, colored and otherwise seasoned in order to offer an appeal to the civilized man.” Then, he adds, “Civilized man is not satisfied with the food the Maker has supplied him and must do something with it before he feels it is fit for him to eat.”

Paul Bragg is a bit more recent than James Ewing. Paul Bragg died in 1976. I’m not sure which cookbook is being referred to because I’m finding 2 here on Amazon, one of which is not currently available for purchase. The writer goes on.

Small wonder, then, that 25 tons of aspirin are swallowed every day in the United States. According to the National Observer, this is 2 1/4 tablets for every man, woman and child in the nation; and that is every day of the week. If you didn’t get your 2 1/4 tablets today, somebody else got a double supply, you can be sure of that!

The National Observer, according to Google, was a newspaper. Since we are not told which particular issue contains this statistic nor who wrote the article, I’m going to mark it as “citation needed.”

The writer then laments that nobody seems to care about their health.

Though people fear sickness above every other enemy, yet they do almost nothing about taking care of their health until after the disease has already struck.

People fear sickness above every other enemy? Really? No one really seems to care about their health?

In a year’s time, out of every medical dollar spent by the American people, 95 cents was spent to get well and five cents were spent on preventive medicine. Now this doesn’t make much sense.

I don’t know where he’s getting these numbers. It does make far more sense to spend money on preventative treatment, not just because it’s more ethical but because it does save more money in the long run. On this, we can agree. Right after that paragraph, we get this sentence.

But in this field most people don’t seem to excel in reason or good sense anyway.

Wow, you’re really shitting on medical health professionals.

Here’s the thing, I’ve talked to a lot of doctors (I seem to get a new one every 2-3 years for some reason) and whenever I bring it up, they’ve been more than happy to help with preventative care, provided it’s covered by insurance. (Actually, I have the nasty feeling that insurance companies are the main obstacle to preventative healthcare in the United States. I don’t have hard facts on that, though, so it’s pure speculation.)

The writer then goes on to say that researchers are finding that a lot of health issues have to do with diet. I can see it. The leading cause of death in the united states is heart disease* which, sometimes, can be preventable by diet and exercise.

Our Bodies Are Not Our Own

The first paragraph after this section break talks about how health is important to our religious experience. 1 Corinthians 10:31 is quoted:

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”

It’s followed up by 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

If you grew up Adventist, I’m sure you memorized that at some point in your life.

The writer tells us that this verse refers to both the church and individual bodies. And we’ve all heard this before: your body is the temple of God. Therefore, do not defile it with, um, unhealthy food. Or booze. Or shellfish. Or tobacco, caffeine…..

But how much does the average individual know about his own body and how to take care of it?

Maybe it’s because I grew up Adventist, but nutrition classes were a thing. Are they a thing in public schools? I feel like they’re a thing in public schools.

Doesn’t it seem strange to you that the average parent knows more about the physical needs of the chickens in the pen, or a dog in the house, than he does about the needs of his own children?

In my time period and location, the average parent knows nothing about chickens. And not much about dogs, either, come to that.

The writer laments for a couple more paragraphs about people not caring what’s in their food as long as it tastes good and they see it on TV. He quotes Isaiah 55:2. You can go look that up if you want, I am moving on.

As little baby birds open their mouths to whatever mama will put in, so the gullible consumers blindly accept the choices of the media marketers.

This person really knows how to talk down to their audience. Nothing like being insulted to convince me that you’re right.

Actually, that’s not what’s happening here. This tract, with statements like this, can’t possibly be meant to convert the unconverted. Tracts like this are for the already converted masses. “Look at those people who don’t care about their health. But not you, Oh Special One. You have special knowledge from GAWD. You are more discerning about what YOU put into your body.”

This is meant to make those reading it feel special.

So, now that the writer has rambled about God, the Bible, and how stupid he thinks medical professionals/people in general are, he is going to tell us what health really is.

Of course, argues the writer, the best way to figure out how to take care of our bodies is to consult the one who made them-God.

Genesis 1:29, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

No one has been able to improve on it. Nuts, fruits, grains and vegetables are still recognized by the best nutritionists as the finest possible diet.

Citation needed.

Then we get this:

….. no argument or scientific data has been able to challenge the wisdom of God’s original arrangement.

I’m pretty sure scientific opinion is actually divided on this topic. I have read that there’s evidence a vegetarian diet is healthier… and I have read articles suggesting the exact opposite. I’m not sure what to believe about this anymore.

The tract goes on to talk about how meat wasn’t even permitted until after the flood, when there weren’t a whole lot of fruits and veggies because he’d just destroyed the world with a flood. So the story goes that Noah and his family had to eat meat, instead. Because those “7 of every kind” of animals had been busy procreating in the last 40 days and nights while the flood raged, I guess.

But only the clean meat! If Noah and his family had eaten any of the unclean animals, that species would have ceased to exist because only a male and female had been preserved to perpetuate the species. There were seven pairs of the clean animals in the ark. Only they could be spared for food without endangering the continuity of their kind.

So, that almost sounds like advice that would be specific to Noah and his family, rather than advice for all humans everywhere through the ages?

If you were wondering whether or not Leviticus 11 would be brought up, Leviticus 11 is brought up. For those who don’t know, Leviticus chapter 11 is where Jews and Seventh Day Adventists get most of their food laws.

After quoting parts of Leviticus 11, we get this:

We may not be able to explain why some are unclean and others clean, but we can trust the Creator to know the difference, and in His great love for us He has revealed it for our good.

That… doesn’t sound very scientific.

Look, if you don’t want to eat certain foods because you think your God told you so, that’s fine. But if you’re going to argue that your God prohibited these for health reasons, you need to show me some solid evidence.

But wait! Madame Snowman, there is evidence for at least one of the restrictions: pork!

Alright, let’s look at this evidence as presented in this tract.

Pork contains a microscopic worm called trichina, and if it gets into the system, the disease trichinosis results. Governments warn that there is no inspection for the parasite, and a Readers’ Digest article stresses that there is no cure for the disease.

Which article? What year? What issue?

Set all that aside. It’s irrelevant. Let’s fact check this. From the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website:

Safe and effective prescription drugs are available to treat both Trichinella infection and the symptoms that occur as a result of infection. Treatment should begin as soon as possible; a doctor will make the decision to treat based upon symptoms, exposure to raw or undercooked meat, and laboratory test results.

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/treatment.html

That’s not very specific. Let me look somewhere else…ah, here we go. From the Mayo Clinic website:

  • Anti-parasitic medication. Anti-parasitic (anti-helminthic) medication is the first line of treatment against trichinosis. If the trichinella parasite is discovered early, in the intestinal phase, albendazole (Albenza) or mebendazole can be effective in eliminating the intestinal worms and larvae. You may have mild gastrointestinal side effects during the course of treatment.If the disease is discovered after the larvae bury themselves in tissues, the benefit of anti-parasitic medications is less certain. Your doctor might prescribe one if you have central nervous system, cardiac or respiratory problems as a result of the invasion.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trichinosis/basics/treatment/con-20027095

I feel like a broken record, but I say it because it bears repeating: When was this tract written? If I knew the date of publication, I could look up when this cure for Trichinosis was discovered. It’s entirely possible that when this was written, a cure didn’t exist. But there’s nothing on the website to indicate that this may not be current information.

You could be fair and say trichinosis is only curable in the early stages, so this pamphlet is still kind of right. Fair enough, but you either need to then go back and edit your articles, or write entirely new ones and retire this to the archives.

To not do so is, at best, unintentionally misleading.

I’m not going to get into whether or not I think Amazing Facts is doing this intentionally or not. In some cases, it doesn’t matter. They’re still presenting this as current information without fact checking. At best, this is irresponsible.

There’s a few more paragraphs about trichinosis, this time with cited sources. From the “Reader’s Digest, March 1950.”

I looked this up. Apparently he’s quoting from the reader’s digest, March 1950; Vol. 56, no. 335. A copy of this can be obtained on ebay. I’m not interested in buying it.

I’m willing to admit that there may still be safety issues with pork. However, it would appear that the information on trichinosis is woefully out of date.

And if your information on trichinosis is out of date, what else is out of date? If you’re not telling me current up to date information about the trichinosis in your “free online book,” what else aren’t you telling me current information about? I don’t just mean in this pamphlet. If they didn’t bother to fact check this, what else did the staff over at Amazing Facts fail to fact check?

Then we get this paragraph, and I want to strangle someone.

What these symptoms are, the layman had much better not worry about. Trichinosis can simulate to some degree almost any other malady. That pain in your arm or leg may be arthritis or rheumatism or it may be trichinosis. That pain in your back may mean a gall bladder involvement, but it may mean trichinosis.

This is fear mongering, plain and simple.

Just because the meat may be stamped “U.S. Government Inspected and Passed” does not mean it has been tested for trichina infestation. Every bit of the pork would have to go under a microscope to make that determination.

I think I recall reading something about this a while back. It would’ve been a book from a while ago, about how meat needed to be inspected under a microscope. What are the standards in the 2010s? Let’s take a look:

Much progress has been made in reducing trichinosis in grain-fed hogs and human cases have greatly declined since 1950. Today’s pork can be safely enjoyed when cooked to an internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.

It does look like pork isn’t tested under a microscope. It looks to me like the focus is more on preventing pigs from getting it in the first place, and then cooking it thoroughly just to be sure. Here’s a link to an article from the USDA website about it: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/trichinae/docs/fact_sheet.htm

It looks like some countries have even eliminated trichinosis from their pigs entirely. Hopefully the US will soon join them.

Here’s a 39 page article I don’t have time to read right now.

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/2ca75475-3efd-4fa7-8f34-7393c245a1df/Trichinella-Compliance-Guide-03162016.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

So, how likely are you to actually get trichinosis? Well, here’s another quote from the CDC:

During the late 1940s, when the U.S. Public Health Service began counting cases of trichinellosis, 400 cases in the United States were recorded each year on average. During 2008-2010, 20 cases were reported to CDC each year on average. The overall number of cases reported has decreased because of improved pig-raising practices in the pork industry, commercial and home freezing of pork, and public awareness of the danger of eating raw or undercooked meat products.

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/epi.html

Don’t get me wrong, I get that it probably really really sucks to be one of those 20 cases. However, it sounds like if you are in control of your pork and are able to cook it thoroughly, you should be fine.

The Public Health Service advises consumers to cook the pork thoroughly in order to kill the trichina worms. Someone has observed that eating dead worms is not very highly appealing to the palate either.

Fair enough. If someone doesn’t want to deal with the fact that pork could contain worms, I don’t have an issue with them making that choice. But again, that’s their choice. As long as They’re not putting out pamphlets written close to the 1950s (I assume, as that is when this information would have been current) full of scare tactics, I don’t care.

However, right after that paragraph, we get this:

The act (sic) is that God calls it unclean and an abomination. Why is it so hard for Christians to accept the judgment of God over the perverted craving of appetite?

Lots of Christians don’t believe that the Levitical laws still apply. Especially if the reason God outlawed pork in the first place was trichinosis. In 2016 as I write this, we have better knowledge about how to prevent pigs from getting the worms, and we also have better cooking techniques to kill any worms that may exist. In the event someone does get trichinosis, we can even cure it, so long as it is caught early.

Am I suggesting that something in the bible doesn’t apply to everyone everywhere in every time and every place? Yes.

After a short paragraph about why God created the pig in the first place, the writer has this to say about my argument:

Arguments have been advanced that there is better sanitation since God made those Old Testament laws, and the pig is now quite fit to be eaten.

Sounds fair enough. Their counterargument to this is:

One is hard put to believe that land or sea animals have become less polluted by the passing of time. Today there are chemical poisons infecting land, sea, and atmosphere to such an alarming degree that constant government directives are being issued. Environmentalists keep us posted hour by hour on the massive accumulation of deadly pesticides, insecticides, and other contaminants in every order of nature.

Really? I’m… I’m unaware of this.

I mean, if the air is that full of deadly pesticides and insecticides, what about vegetables and fruit? Surely there would be more risk eating those, if the air itself is full of poison. Are you now only going to eat food grown in a greenhouse?

This, to me, sounds more like fear mongering.

And if reason doesn’t convince us that the unclean animals are still unclean, we have the revelation of God’s Word on the matter. Isaiah writes: “For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 66:15-17).

If I can’t convince you with my “logic,” believe my supernatural authority, who won’t take you to heaven if you eat bacon.

I sound like a broken record by now, but this is called “fear mongering.”

Seafood not fit to eat

The next section title in this pamphlet is about sea food. The writer says that according to Leviticus chapter 11, the only clean seafood are fish with fins and scales.

This eliminates oysters, shrimp, crabs, clams, eels, catfish, lobsters and crayfish. Again, the scavengers have been forbidden as articles of diet.

Ok. Why is that?

Prevention magazine of September 1972, carried an interesting article entitled “Shellfish Are Dirty and Dangerous.” The author appeared reluctant to take a stand, but he was committed to telling the truth on this sensitive subject. He wrote: “They’re succulent; they’re delicious; they’re even nutritious. But, because of the nature of the mollusk and the sewage-like pollution of its habitat, we must in good conscience advise you to avoid shellfish, no matter how they tempt you, and even though those around you seem to be swallowing them with delight. The day of reckoning cometh.

When I google the name of the magazine and the date, this quote is about the only thing that comes up. Prevention magazine seems to be a secular magazine. So perhaps in 1972 you did not want to eat shellfish. It’s not 1972 anymore. Have things changed?

In 5 minutes of googling, it’s hard to find anything concrete. Most of the websites I’ve found are more likely to discuss the danger of eating undercooked or raw shellfish, or being careful of allergies. There does seem to be some discussion that shrimp farming could use some serious improvement.

So, I’ll give them a pass on this one: maybe it’s still not particularly safe to eat shrimp. That being said, they still need to find more current sources than the 1970s.

Can you imagine anyone finding such fare to be a culinary delicacy? Over and over again outbreaks of hepatitis have been traced to the eating of seafood. After feeding on raw sewage, the creature is harvested and sold. The disease is simply cycled from man to mollusk and then back to man.

I’m pretty sure modern shrimp farms don’t have the pollution that wild caught shrimp would. You may need to exercise some judgment on where exactly you purchase them.

Hepatitis…isn’t there a vaccine for that?

There is, but it’s unclear which form of the disease it is that you can get from shellfish. A or C, though according to the CDC there is a vaccine for Hep A. Not sure about Hep C.

It seems, however, that if you make sure the shrimp are thoroughly cooked, you should be fine. But maybe make sure you’re getting your shrimp from clean sources.

Next, we move on to our next section:

Alcohol

Among all the popular poisons which are imbibed by modern man, one that is particularly pernicious and destructive is alcohol. Glorified as a symbol of gracious living, it has, in fact, been the most malignant social disease known to civilization. No wonder the Bible declares that no drunkard will be in heaven.

The most malignant social disease known to civilization? What does that even mean? What is a social disease?

The keyword here is “drunkard.” No drunkard will be in heaven. But the word “drunkard” is not synonymous with “drinker of alcoholic beverages.”

The writer goes on to say that a moderate stance on drinking is unsafe, because 1 in ever 10 drinkers will go on to develop a problem. Again, citation needed.

The pamphlet gives the argument that, since the word for “wine” refers to both wine and grape juice, we can’t say that the Bible tells us that it is ok to drink wine. Whenever the Bible mentions wine in a positive light, it is referring to grape juice. When it talks about wine in a negative light, it refers to actual wine.

That is how Adventists manage to take the fact that Bible seems to endorse a moderate stance and twist it into saying that the Bible endorses nothing of the sort.

Could the ancients have been drinking grape juice? I don’t know. I’ve read that the technology to make grape juice simply did not exist. Wine was made because fermenting the grapes was how they preserved the juice.

If anybody has any actual sources on this, feel free to chime in. If I’m wrong, I’m open to learning about it.

However, I feel like a surface reading of the biblical texts indicate there is room for moderate drinking.

Now, if you are going to argue that Jesus turned water into grape juice, sure, I’d believe it. If Jesus is God, and has the power to turn water into wine, he could do literally anything he wanted. The wedding guests, already drunk, wouldn’t have noticed that what they were drinking was different. But even if they did notice a difference, I doubt they would have had a word for what it was they were tasting, since it’s up for debate whether or not the ancients had the technology to make grape juice in the first place.

Some studies have come out saying that, in moderation, red wine can be healthy. Such studies are poo-poo’d by the Adventists, and I’m not 100% sure they’re the only ones debating this. Here’s an article from the mayo clinic website. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/red-wine/art-20048281

At best, the benefits aren’t well understood, and more research seems to be needed.

Nicotine

Next, we will talk about nicotine. I don’t actually disagree with the writer that cigarettes are a terrible no good really bad thing that no one should do. At the very least smoking needs to be banned in public places, because a lot of people are allergic, or have asthma attacks that can be triggered by cigarette smoke. I’ll never forget the time a smoker walked past an asthmatic friend and she stopped breathing. That scared the shit out of me.

But is it a sin? If you do it in the privacy of your own home where no one is going to stop breathing or otherwise be affected by second hand smoke, then no. But the writer of this pamphlet thinks otherwise:

Is it a sin to use tobacco? There is no sense in denying a patent truth. Anything that defiles the holy body sanctuary is a sin. God says He will destroy those who do it. We dare not call it less than it is. It is a sin, and no Christian should presumptuously shorten his life by introducing it into his body.

Other than that, I’m going to skip over the information in most of this section. It’s probably way out of date, but smoking is still bad, mmkay? Moving on.

Coffee Drunkards

No seriously, that is the topic of this next section.

Merck Index of Drugs lists quite a variety of caffeine symptoms and indicates that seven grains of the drug is a medical dose. Most cola drinks, tea, and coffee contain from one and a half to three grains. Many people take far more than a medical dose at every meal. The effect is to stimulate the cells of the body to operate on a higher level of activity than God ever intended. One physician described it this way: “We in America have become a nation of tea and coffee drunkards.”

I….don’t know what the hell this is talking about. Who measures coffee in grains? I was unable to find the exact source of this, but here’s a comparison chart of how much coffee is in certain drinks it’s a long list.

http://www.caffeineinformer.com/the-caffeine-database

Yikes. It looks like cold brew, for some reason, has a higher caffeine content. And I thought it was just my imagination that I felt more jittery than normal after an iced coffee!

The writer goes on to say that coffee is bad, and that doctors warn patients with stomach ulcers and heart problems to stay away from it.

Ok, but does that mean all caffeine is bad?  Here’s an article discussing the pros and cons. At the very least, research seems to be divided. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271707.php

Another coffee factor has recently been established as cancer-causing. This is, by far, the most serious charge that has grown out of the coffee research. Although the carcinogen has not been identified as caffeine, it is definitely associated with coffee drinking.

This is possibly just worded badly. They do not tell us, exactly, what “coffee factor” causes the cancer. A quick google search tells me that there is still some debate on the subject.

So, coffee may possibly still cause cancer, but it’s probably a myth.

Here’s an article that says coffee could cause cancer–if it is drunk at hot temperatures. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/news/world-health-organization-says-very-hot-drinks-may-cause-cancer

The very next paragraph is this:

Tea, in addition to its content of caffeine, has another harmful constituent, tannic acid. This powerful chemical is used for dyeing leather. The detrimental effect of sugar concentration in the caffeinated drinks provides still another reason for eliminating it from the diet. The murderous effect of refined sugar threatens the well-being of every habitual user of soft drinks.

Hold on, are we still talking about tea? Because you can drink tea without sugar. You can also drink coffee without sugar. If you are talking about pop….shouldn’t you begin another paragraph?

Who hasn’t heard their common rationale: “If I don’t get my coffee (or coke) I get a headache”?

Is he talking about the headache that comes from a caffeine addiction, or the fact that caffeine is often an ingredient in migraine medication? One of these things is not like the other.

The caffeine does take away the headache, but so would a tenth of a grain of morphine.

Even in the 1950s, I’m pretty sure morphine was not given out on a regular basis to chronic migraine sufferers.

The temporary, sedative effect is to deaden the pain, but the daily dosing of delicate nerve-endings wears off, leaving them more jangled, and demanding more and more sedation.

Well, sure. If you have an actual addiction to caffeine, that is not a good thing. But if you are trying to use caffeine for a migraine? That’s not an addiction.

The writer then goes on to talk about how expectant mothers drink coffee, and says that this poisons the fetus. Again, citation needed? Maybe coffee drinking is harmful to the fetus, but I wouldn’t know, because you don’t link to any actual research. I’m not looking it up, because 1. I don’t care 2. you brought up the claim, it’s your job to back it up, not mine to look it up.

This is why America has a big drug problem, apparently. Because pregnant women drink coffee.

The Big Question

So, now that we know this shit is harmful, how do we quit these “narcotic like” drugs?

Wait, what?

Coffee is not a narcotic drug. I will admit that it is a drug, but caffeine is a stimulant. Alcohol is also not a narcotic, but I can give the writer a pass on calling it “narcotic like.” But tea and coffee? Not even close.

Well, first, one must be willing to stop. Next, one must pray, because one can only find deliverance outside of oneself.

So, basically, your typical 12 step stuff. I was prepared to skim past it, but then I read this:

Don’t try to taper off on the use of something that is morally and physically wrong to indulge. It just doesn’t work.

Whoa. No. What? That is shitty shitty advice.

What this pamphlet should say is, “if you have an addiction, please consult your doctor on how to proceed.”

In some cases, stopping cold turkey like that can have disastrous consequences. The fact that the Amazing Facts people still have shitty advice like this on their website in this day and age is despicable. Someone could seriously hurt themselves by following it.

Readers, listen up. If you have an addiction, and you want to quit, find a doctor, preferably one who specializes in addiction treatment. Do not try to quit suddenly without first seeking medical advice.

Of course, all of this probably depends on what the addiction is, how severe the addiction is, etc. I am not qualified to give medical advice beyond “talk to your doctor,” so we won’t dwell on that for too long.

The main point is: Do not try and quit abruptly without seeking medical advice. This also is good sound religion.

Don’t try to taper off on the use of something that is morally and physically wrong to indulge. It just doesn’t work. It is much like cutting off the dog’s tail a little at a time to make it easier on the dog! It is actually more painful that way. A habit is a habit. If you cut off the “h” you still have “abit” left. Take off the “a” and “bit” remains. Remove the “b” and “it” is still with you. Even after taking away the “i” you are left with “t.” And if your problem is tea-drinking, you still don’t have the full victory.

Somebody probably thought this was funny. It took me 5 tries to understand the joke. Get it? “T,” “Tea?”

Someone may object that we are trying to take away too much. After all, you can overdo anything. Too many potatoes or beans can also be very harmful to some people. Indeed they can, and a true definition of temperance should read like this: A total abstinence from things that are harmful, and a moderate, judicious use of the things that are good. Doesn’t that make a lot of sense? It also contains a lot of good, sound religion.

The thing is, “things that are harmful” are sort of up for debate. There are some obviously bad things (no one wants to take cyanide tablets) but there are some things that are gray areas. Smoking on a regular basis is a bad thing, but did you know that Nicotine is actually an ingredient in some migraine medications? Neither did I, until I actually took one. Yes Nicotine can be harmful, but it made my migraine disappear. I do not use migraine medication on a daily or even weekly basis, so where’s the harm?

The way you define “harmful” seems completely open to interpretation.

Impressive evidence that a person can postpone his own funeral was presented by Paul Harvey in his news column. Under the title Eat Right, Live Longer, Harvey described the results of a western survey on longevity. The study focused on the death certificates of California Seventh-day Adventists in comparison to non-SDAs. Comparing the records of the Adventist (who teach against drinking, smoking, or using caffeine) with others, the survey revealed that Seventh-day Adventists have a life expectancy almost six years greater than other Californians.

Here’s the article they seem to be referencing:

http://omega77.tripod.com/PaulHarvey.htm

I have heard that other groups were also involved in this study, but I would love to have more concrete information. Most of the studies I get from googling seem to be more recent, and seem all too quick to sing the praises of Ellen White. Who did get some health topics right, but don’t ask about the wrong ones, because Adventists don’t admit to those. Masturbation does not cause cancer, and reading fiction does not cause mental illness.

I’ll cover those topics in another post, if there’s interest. For now, the concluding paragraph of this pamphlet ends, as all Adventist sermons should end, with an appeal.

Do you have the faith and courage to accept the inspired prescription that can lengthen your life and tranquility? Seize it right now as the course that can prepare you well for both time and eternity.

I prefer to go with what modern medical science has to say on the subject. Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t think the Bible or Ellen White are current enough to be good sources.

Though really, I probably should drink less coffee.

 

*http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

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