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Archive for April 20th, 2005

What would Jesus eat?

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Imagine… Marshallese are considered very religious and are known to have a very set ideas about the do’s and don’ts of a Godly person. To be in “good” with most of the Church society, DON’Ts include: smoking, drinking and fooling around, as these habits do not edify the body which is a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Now, there is a new DO in Church circles. Do eat alot! When you have parties, don’t just have “cow and bao,” but lobster, shimp, sashimi, pork, etc. Also, don’t forget the potato salad, the cold-slaw salad, the fruit salad, along with traditional pumpkin, all piled on top of a heap of rice, with lukkor on the side.

We tend to be excessive when it comes to serving food at special occasions. It’s not just in church circles, but also in all areas of community life. Visitors at these occasions often report that
“they have never seen so much food!”

Anthropologists say this can traced back to the times of feast and famine in our ancestors atoll life. They learned to preserve foods and be without, and then in seasons of plenty, to eat well.

We once ate breadfruit, Pandanus, swamp taro, and arrowroot, which was called the famine food, but imported foods are the mainstay today.

Special occasions in the village life would call for celebration, and everyone would bring a basket and go home with a basket.

Unfortunately, now everyone goes home and eats just rice and something canned (jelele) for the rest of the month. Our children suffer the most from this rice obsession. While our bellies fill out with all the starch, our children’s bellies bloat with malnutrition.

Imagine…life without rice.

Even in the States, where healthier foods are available, the daily diet still centers around rice to the detriment of our health and future.

The dependence on rice which is pure carbohydrates, turning to gluclose (sugar), has cause much diabetes, heart disease, and death among our people. Why so much diabetes? Our lives are less active, we eat the wrong foods, and we our overweight.

According a nutritional study, 50% of Marshallese men over 18 y in the sample were overweight (29%) or obese (21%). We found similar rates of overweight in women (29%), and even higher rates of obesity (31%).

This is how bad it is. Today, if there is no rice, people will go hungry. Even if there was fruit on the trees, plenty of fish in the water, and store shelves are stocked with other foods, when there is no rice, people will consider it a famine.

So, I’d like to add one more DON’T to the list for Godly and Healthy Marshallese. The Church should add rice to its list of sinful things! Why not? Just like smoking and excessive drinking, eating a ton of rice is bad for you.

Along with Godly living, our pastors should preach healthy living for the body.

Save Yourself – Don’t Eat Rice!

Imagine that!

Written by Aenet Rowa

April 20th, 2005 at 7:46 am

Posted in General