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What They Ate in Bible Times: Use Foods to Help With Bible Lesson Planning

May 30, 2008
When you think about the foods that you typically eat, you probably think about the unhealthy fast food, prepared meals that are frozen and full of preservatives, or the sweets that are full of fats and sugars. These kinds of foods, while typical for many, are only recent additions to the human diet. In fact, when you look back in ancient times, many of the foods we eat today didn't even exist.

In many cases, foods eaten during Biblical times were much healthier, as they were organically grown and never eaten to excess. Organically grown is somewhat of a trendy buzzword today. It is "cool" to eat organic foods that are grown without hormones or pesticides. During the Bible times, people had no choice but to eat organic foods. There was nothing else available.

Animals that were killed for food were always free ranging. They were never injected with hormones or antibiotics, and they were always lean. Of course, back then, most people didn't even eat meat at every meal because it wasn't as plentiful, and because the Bible actually states that an excess of eating meat will make a person sick. The meat they did eat was usually limited to fish, sheep, and some types of fowl. Pigs were considered unclean.

When meat was not available, the people got their protein from other sources. Nuts and soybeans were important in their diet. We now know today that soy is extremely healthy and provides a good source of lean protein. Nuts are also very good for the body. While they do contain fat, they have the "right" kind of fat.

Yogurt was also eaten during this time, although it is not the same kind of yogurt that comes flavored in neat little packages that we eat today. It contained no preservatives and no sugar. It often was derived from goat milk and was curdled. This was also known as cheese during the time.

When looking at grains and vegetables, it is important to point out that the people during this time ate what was native to their land. There was no importing or exporting of goods. Eating foods that were native to the land also meant that many people worked hard for their food, often farming their own crops. Popular vegetables and fruits included figs, pomegranates, olives (which most people ate on a daily basis), and apricots. Some studies actually suggest that the famed apple that temped Eve was actually not an apple at all, since it was not native to the area. Instead it was an apricot.

Of course, grains were very important to the diet during this time. People used barley and wheat to make bread and other grain products. It contained no preservatives, salt, and no sugar. If sweetness was needed, then local honey was used. Fat was forbidden, especially animal fat. However, olive oil was used when cooking and making food. It was plentiful and nutritious as well.

It is easy to see how much our diets have changed through the years. During Biblical times, people just did not have the choices as we do today. They ate when they needed to eat and did not overindulge or eat unhealthy foods.
About the Author
Denise Oliveri has been teaching Sunday School for the past 13 years. She is the owner of Preschool Sunday School Central, a leading online resource for preschool Sunday School teachers.

Stop by Preschool Sunday School Central and see the array of free resources and exciting and fun things that are available to members. They are guaranteed to make your lesson planning much easier.
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