Mark J. Wagner Dear Friends,
Most if not all illnesses, which affect society is the result of environmental threats, such as food, air, water, stress, diet. Environmental cancer it’s a proven reality.
Mark J. Wagner For example extensive use of antibiotics, hormones affect not only human health but also is causing “superbugs syndrome”. Any physician in the world would tell you that the spread of superbugs, often untreatable by antibiotics, is a tragic and can cost countless preventable deaths.
The quality of life depend on all above factors. Statistics indicate that human is living longer, yet, living longer should be parallel with healthy living, quality of life, de facto. Human is living longer, and this is good news, yet, man is living longer, and healthier and this shall be the best news … .
Countries, which address these issues are, de facto, progressive in terms of welfare, commonwealth, yet the most precious wealth is health, for example Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden or Norway and perhaps many more, health oriented governments not only inform, but implement programs to protect its citizens.
In some parts of the world, people live longer and healthier, due to the life style and diet. Apparently, it seems, that genes, which are “responsible for the disease” somehow are not existent, or very rarely cause illness. At those locations, people live not only longer, but they rarely experience diabetes, cancer, heart problems or even depression, memory loss, obesity, and many other ailments human society accepted as an integral part of human existence. It is wrong assumption, and needs appropriate attention. Not only physicians express those reservations, but Bible as well, most profoundly (for example diet of Biblical Jews).
World Health Organization is providing good information on the subject:
Mark J. Wagner Provided article from US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health is good reference when it comes to the common knowledge as well as a social awareness, demand to live a healthy life, great article indeed.
Mark J. Wagner While working on my book “Trial” I also studied diet of common Jews, and I was profoundly surprised about their culture of eating:
“a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity.”
Out of these items – all native to the region in which Jesus would have been living – what could have been on the table?
Wheat and barley might have been on the table, depending on the harvest from the year before (the grains would not have been ready to harvest at the time of the Last Supper, so any grain present would have had to last through the winter). Grapes were also not yet in season, but wine was present. Figs could have been eaten dried. Pomegranates, though, are a fall fruit and therefore would not likely have been present. However, olive oil and honey would have been at the ready.
Mark J. Wagner Here is the list of ancient Jewish groceries:
Common foods in times of Jesus.
The cake of barley bread baken on hot stones or baking pans coated, anointed with olive oil, bread leavened and unleavened.
During Pascha Jews were not allowed to consume leavened bread but unleavened, tradition maintained since the time they fled from Egypt.
fish sea bream, grouper, meager and gray mullet
milk, butter and cheeses
grapes ( fresh, raisins, syrup, wine and/or vinegar)
apples, almonds, melons, pistachio nuts, dates, sycamore fig
apple cider vinegar
figs dried fig cakes were baked for travelers
Lamb, calf, goat, cattle, geese, chicken, quail. Roast or stewed lamb, either hot or roasted in an oven, boiled in water, fried in oil, cooked in a spit or griddle. Calf, oxen and venison are also mentioned and so are fowl, quails, pigeons, turtledoves, cows, camels, sheep
Cheese, yogurt, butter.
Pigeons. At the Masada, during King Herod, pigeon-keepers developed a new breed of pigeon.
Eggs ( geese and chickens)
sheep milk meat and cheese
cucumbers and gourds
parched grain, beans and lentils, curds
oxen, and twenty pasture-fed cattle, gazelles, fowl
roasted grain (popcorn)
“bitter herbs”: chicory and endives, radish, mustard seed, mandrakes and many others, eaten raw or cooked. There were five kinds of herbs which might be used for the frugal Passover meal: lettuce, chicory, peppermint, snake root and dandelion
pepper seeds like coriander, black cummin, oregano or nigella, played an important part in recipes. Caperberries were eaten as an appetizer before meals and also used as a condiment. Other herbs were grown, notably mint and rue, which was used mainly for medicinal purposes.
Pine nuts, pistachios, almond, walnuts spice, carob beams, persimmon.
Salt was plentiful, coming from the vast salt pans of the Dead Sea. Because of its function as a food preservative, it was a symbol of permanence.
Quince, sycamore or fig-mulberry, varieties of almonds and walnuts.
John the Bapstist lived on locusts and wild honey in the wilderness. This sounds grisly, but in fact the head, wings and legs or the locust were removed and the body fried in rendered butter, or preserved in salt.
Fish were salted then cured in the sun. Fish would be roasted on a charcoal fire, generally using a wooden or iron spit, although the fish eaten by the disciples of Jesus was cooked directly on the charcoal meal were baked on hot stones and covered with embers. Thin wafers of dough spread with oil, sometimes strewn with seeds, were baked in an earthenware oven. Sometimes cakes would be baked with honey. In general, meat was either boiled in a stew in an earthenware pot or roasted over an open fire.
Food was cooked in the open ‘before the tent’. Later, when people lived a more settled life, cooking was done in the closed courtyards of houses.
Pancakes made of flour dough and filled with a tasty mixture were fried in oil or baked on hot stones pulled out of the embers of a fire.
When Gideon wished to honour his angelic messenger he prepared a meal of unleavened cakes made of flour, boiled meat, and broth in a pot. Cereals like wheat and barley were roasted on an iron plate or in a pan to make the parched ‘popcorn’ mentioned above, or they might be boiled in a pot to make a coarse porridge.
Meals: breakfast did not call for any cooking and was simply a light meal of bread and olives, with an onion or any other fruit or vegetable which might be in season. The midday meal was eaten at noon in the fields or at home, and consisted of bread soaked in wine with a handful of parched corn, a pottage of bread broken into a bowl, or bread and grilled fish.
According to the Bible and also to Josephus, the Jewish historian, the main meal of the day was eaten in the evening, usually a little before and after sunset, before it became pitch dark.
Ordinary people sat on the ground to eat, on cushions, mats of straw or woven rugs. For the wealthy, food was served on low wooden tables with people sitting around on couches or divans:
dried or fresh fruit
fish, eggs or chicken
Bible meal: flat bread or a plain biscuit.
Bible feast: main course of lamb; first cut the meat into small pieces, marinate meat in oil, vinegar, salt and some herbs like oregano and thyme (many marinades have pretty much the same ingredients, eave it soaking in the mixture overnight. Cook it lightly in a frying pan, tossing it around so that all sides are seared; a spoonful of honey added just before you finish cooking lends a stronger flavor, serve this with flat bread (unleavened bread), goat cheese and olives.
For sweets, you could have figs or dates served with yogurt and honey, light wine mixed with water.
Garlic, onion, leeks; herbs and spices such as anise, coriander, cinnamon, mint, mustard, nut and nut oils , aloes, anise:
Bal or Balsam
Lettuce, endive, coriander seeds, horehound, tansy, horseradish
Lentils, broad or fava beans, chickpeas and peas were the main element in the diet, and were the main source of protein, since meat was rarely eaten.
Legumes are mentioned frequently in other texts as “wife’s food basket”.
Squash, leeks, garlic and onions, black radishes, net or muskmelons, watermelons, carob, mulberry,
Spices and other other ingredients were added directly to the wine to improve the aroma, such as honey, pepper, herbs and even lime, resin or seawater. Wine was also sweetened by grape juice syrup. Wine was also sometimes given an aroma by rubbing the winepress with wood resin. On the other hand, wine could also be added to drinking water to improve the taste, especially towards the end of the summer when rainwater had been standing in a cistern for at least six months.
Beer, produced by brewing barley, was another alcoholic beverage.
Capers, coriander, dill, dwarf chicory, hyssop, marjoram, mint, black mustard, saffron, thyme. Seasonings were imported, such as myrrh, galbanum, saffron and cinnamon, pepper, and ginger but their high cost limited their widespread use.
10 necessities of life: Chief of all needs for human life are water and fire, iron and salt, the heart of the wheat, milk and honey, the blood of the grape, and oil, and cloth, shelter … .