By Cindy Koch –
Once upon a time, I ate pizza and enjoyed every bite of it. My favorite part, of course, is the crust. Hot, buttery, perfectly tender, melt in your mouth pizza crust. The layers of cheese and sauce and amazingly endless toppings were a world of flavor on a soft bed of delicious gluten.
But now I have ascended in knowledge, and I have learned that these beautiful bites have done my body more harm than good. More than just the occasional pound or two, I have actually experienced what it feels like to remove gluten from my daily diet. It feels good. My head is clearer, my stomach handles other simple foods with ease, I’ve helped my leaky gut to heal, and the scale is not as wrong as it used to be.
And then I wonder, is this how God really created me to be? Not able to enjoy my literal daily bread?
I know what you will say. Well, the wheat we grow today has been modified from its natural state. It’s changed from the harmless organic grain of yesteryear. There are more chemicals that we use to preserve our wheat products which are harmful to humans which we never ingested in the past. Our society is largely based on fast and easy foods, which is the bread and butter of our Wonder Bread world. These convenient gluten-filled products have taken over home-cooked dinners and home-made treats. We, and our food, are getting worse by the year.
As far as I can tell, our food has launched a major attack against its consumers. Quiet and stealth, it has allowed itself to be genetically mutated to harm those who try to eat it. It attracts an unsuspecting 3-year-old, munching on Cheerios, and follows to assault with an addiction to pasta and pizza. We are just now receiving word of this with the rise of Paleo and Gluten-Free foods. We have realized the ever-present terror of the modern doughnut staring us right in the face.
This is not how God created me. Prized above all other creatures, man was given the gift of dominion over the plants and animals of the earth. This means we are created to care for and rule over even the stalks of wheat. I guess you could make the argument that it’s all our fault; we didn’t do a very good job, mutating the plants, and all. You could also make the argument that the creation itself is broken and disfigured by sin, and our world is groaning and dying right alongside us. But the fact remains, we are in a strange battle, and our plants are killing us.
Today the chosen few answer boldly, “but I am Gluten Free!” And we have lost. We have seen the whites of the enemies’ eyes and run away screaming. The plants have us right where they want us. Fear, obsession, reconfiguring our everyday lives rather than living in their painful chains. But Gluten Free living isn’t fixing this problem. We are not launching any counter-attack against our out-of-control society or uncontainable enemy. We actually just hide from the evil foe, protect our own, and we cower in secret waiting for a great tasting pizza.
Our created bodies are no longer on the top of the food chain, as they were designed to be. Something terrible has happened and now these wheat plants have dominion over our gut health. We are less than our Creator intended. We are defeated by roots and soil and seed. Our proud cries of “gluten free” should only remind us about the dysfunctional relationship we now have with our food. Yet somehow we pitch this as an elite lifestyle choice.
To ignore our disgrace, to hide away from our failures, to mask our shame in victory – is poison. We might never long for real bread again.