Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Christian Philosophy of Food

Today, I am posting an interview with Peter Bringe, author of The Christian Philosophy of Food. You can check out his website here.

In his book, he discusses the WHY behind our goals for proper eating and nutrition. For a Christian, there are many more reasons than one might expect, and Peter does a great jog digging into some of them. 

Peter describes his book in a one-liner: "Biblical principles are foundational for glorifying God in all interactions with food."

Peter Bringe Interview 

Functional Foodish (FF): Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, etc... 

Peter Bringe (PB): I am a Christian son and brother who loves history, theology/philosophy, and art (music, food, dance, poetry, etc.). I play various musical folk instruments, call traditional dances, participate in historical reenacting, and help with my local church, especially in its music. I have been saved from sin by Christ alone and seek to live in accord with that wonderful reality. My parents homeschooled me in the Lord from the day they brought me home from the hospital. I am currently attending Whitefield College and interning with Generations with Vision and the Rocky Mountain Shepherd Center. I have grown up in St. Charles County, Missouri, and I currently reside with my family outside of Elizabeth, Colorado (population 1,500, elevation 6,530). We are members of Reformation Church OPC. 

FF: Tell us about your business and work, and any ways that nutrition/your book tie in... 

PP: Currently, I work with Generations Radio as their Program Director. I also have some small musical endeavors, such as a fife and drum corps I helped start and performing folk music most Saturdays with my mom at a local coffee house. The various local community events have helped inform my understanding of culture (of which food is an important part). My time with Generations Radio and interning with the director (and my pastor), Kevin Swanson, has certainly taught me much about applying the Bible to day-to-day culture.

FF:  How did you first become interested in food and nutrition? 

PB: Important for my getting involved in the subject of food is the heritage of my father and grandpa. Both have a Ph.D., both have worked in the scientific aspect of the food industry and agriculture, and both have been fairly innovative in their fields. My father has a great love for beauty and God’s creation, and this has been reflected at our family table as I have grown up (both in what has been on the table and what has been discussed around it). Especially in the homeschool community, we have noticed much attention paid to the subject and it has been the subject of many conversations with our friends. We have noticed much confusion and chaos when it comes to this subject. I wrote this book both to carry on my heritage and to root our understanding of food as Christians in the basic principles of God’s word. Without understanding biblical principles, our more specific food discussions will be off to a bad start. To be honest, I do not see food and nutrition forming my main calling in life (I aspire to be a pastor), but I do see it as something that needs to be reformed by Christians, and I hope my contribution has helped. 

FF: How do you use what you've written about practically in daily life? (in what you eat, etc.)

PB: Well, for example, we generally do eat a plant-based diet, with Biblically “clean” meat in smaller proportions than are average, and “unclean” meat only when offered it by others. We do have times of celebration where we are not afraid of thanking God for good tasting food we enjoy, food we might not normally eat. My mom has done a great job in preparing beautiful food in our house. I do sometimes fast in accordance with what I have written, as a way of rest, self-control, and preparation for prayer, recognizing that I can’t rely on fasting for sanctification instead of Christ. We also have a good-sized garden, especially for the area in Colorado where we live, of which we enjoy the produce. 

Thank you, Peter, for contributing to the literally world with your book and being willing to be interviewed for this blog post.

Monday, July 8, 2013


The concept of balance is an important one -- for health, for food, for life. So while I place a high value on proper nutrition and healthy eating, balance is a key for success in a nourishing diet. By and large, if most of us were to try and eat totally and completely healthily 100 percent of the time and never splurge, we would fail miserably. (Or at least feel a little deprived sometimes)

I like to live by the 80/20 rule. That is, 80 percent of the time you're eating nutrient dense, healthy food but the other 20 percent of the time it's OK to "cheat" a little. Yes, I will eat an occasional bowl of store-bought ice cream. Yes, I will drink the occasional cup of non-organic Starbucks coffee with non-organic half-and-half in it. Yes, I will enjoy a few of those natural-but-still-have-some-poor-ingredients-in-them chips.

Now, I'm not asserting that you throw out your good sense during your "20" time. There are some things I just downright won't ever eat. (MSG, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, red food dye, processed soy, etc.) I also don't think that purchasing "junk food" and bringing it into the home is wise. Use this "20" rule when you're at a friend's house, eating out, traveling, etc. for bringing junk food into your home can quickly become a trap. But, to be able to ENJOY that treat during your "20" time is, in my opinion, important.

In theory, if you're consuming a healthy and nutrient dense diet, your cravings for these unhealthy foods will become much less frequent and intense. I know this is true for me. When you don't eat processed foods or drink soda for an extended period of time, you'll find they're hardly even appealing anymore. But come on now, don't all of us just need some ice cream every now and again?

This article is a great expression of what I'm talking about.

What do you think?

Nutrition for Sports and Activity

My post for Modern Alternative health this month is about sports nutrition. Check it out here.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

10 Ways to Eat Well and Frugally

Renee from Culinary Reformation has been kind enough to allow to contribute to her blog about once per month. Check out my first post here.