mannaIt always amazes me how Moses and the Israelite’s spent 40 years in the desert and yet they did not starve. A number of years ago a was teaching a youth class at church and one of the questions i asked the class was about this subject – how did Moses and the Israelite’s not starve or what did they did for food and water? One bright spark and there is always one, said ‘maybe they went to Mosasda?’ (Asda now being part of Walmart, is a well known super market in the UK).

After everyone had had a good laugh and calmed down again, we began to look at how the Lord sustained his people in the desert, even though they were there because they were being punish for disobedience to the laws they had been given, God did not let them go hungry or thirsty.

In fact, the Lord provided for them ‘manna’ to eat in the mornings and when they were stricken because of the lack of meat he provided quails for meat and water, which came out of the rocks when they needed it. Although, the Lord made sure had enough food there were laws they had to follow to be able to benefit from the food they were being given, which were these –

  • they were told to only gather the amount of quails or manna that they needed to feed their household for the day.
  • except on the day before the Sabbath, when they were instructed to gather twice as much, so that they would not need to do so on the Sabbath
  • many were faithful to these instruction, but some were not and those that were not found themselves without food –
    • if they gathered more than they needed, they would find that it had rotted by the following day
    • if they did not go out each day and gather what they needed, they simply went without

Now, i have not seen any manna outside my home, no matter how little food i may or may not have in the house. No, have i seen quails just sitting around waiting for me to gather them up. Does that mean that the Lord no longer provides for us?

Today, for most people, there is an abundance of food, but we need to use our knowledge and choose wisely that which will feed us and support good health. I do not want to label any food ‘bad’. I do not think there is any food that is ‘bad’, but there are some foods, which are better and we should partake of those first and foremost, adding other foods in as occasional treats.

Food writer, Michael Pollan encourages us to ‘shop around the edges of the supermarket’ and to ‘eat food, mainly plants, not too much.’ I like Michael Pollan’s philosophy when it comes to food and it certainly fits in with what the Lord admonishes, which is to eat beasts of the field, fruit of the vine and herbs (vegetables) in the season thereof and to eat meat sparingly in times of cold, winter or famine. Michael Pollan also states that there is nothing wrong with eating cake or chips/fries but when you make them yourself from scratch you are less lightly to eat them often.

So where to shop and what to shop for?

I have already spoken about the fact that most of us shop in large stores and most of our groceries and non-groceries are bought at the same time – including feeding the family pet! But, when you next shop try these ideas –

  • create a menu
  • make a list from the menu
  • buy nothing nothing that isn’t on the list
  • shop around the edges of the store
  • don’t meander through the store, shop with determination – buy what you need and leave
  • try and shop no more than twice a week
  • never buy food where you buy your petrol, etc
  • things to buy –
    • vegetables including potatoes
    • fruit
    • fish
    • eggs
    • dairy – milk, yoghurt, cheese
    • rice
    • fruit juice – but only one portion per day
    • meat
    • pasta
    • bread – if you are able make your own
    • treat – always include one, if you are able buy the ingredients and make your own, then do so.

These are a few ideas.

  • Do you find supermarkets useful or not useful when trying to eat healthier?