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Counsels on Diet and Foods

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    Chapter 21—Fats

    Part 1—Butter

    Progressive Reform

    579. Let the diet reform be progressive. Let the people be taught how to prepare food without the use of milk or butter. Tell them that the time will soon come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream, or butter, because disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men. The time is near when, because of the iniquity of the fallen race, the whole animal creation will groan under the diseases that curse our earth.CD 349.1

    God will give His people ability and tact to prepare wholesome food without these things. Let our people discard all unwholesome recipes.—Testimonies for the Church 7:135, 1902CD 349.2

    [Health Educational Efforts of James and Ellen White in which “Positive testimony” was borne against “Tea, coffee, flesh meats, butter, spices,” etc., in 1871—803]

    580. Butter is less harmful when eaten on cold bread than when used in cooking; but, as a rule, it is better to dispense with it altogether.—The Ministry of Healing, 302, 1905CD 349.3

    [Hot Soda Biscuits and Butter—501]

    Replacing With Olives, Cream, Nuts, and Health Foods

    581. Olives may be so prepared as to be eaten with good results at every meal. The advantages sought by the use of butter may be obtained by the eating of properly prepared olives. The oil in the olives relieves constipation, and for consumptives, and for those who have inflamed, irritated stomachs, it is better than any drug. As a food it is better than any oil coming secondhand from animals.—Testimonies for the Church 7:134, 1902CD 349.4

    582. When properly prepared, olives, like nuts, supply the place of butter and flesh meats. The oil, as eaten in the olive, is far preferable to animal oil or fat. It serves as a laxative. Its use will be found beneficial to consumptives, and it is healing to an inflamed, irritated stomach.—The Ministry of Healing, 298, 1905CD 350.1

    583. The health food business is in need of means and of the active cooperation of our people, that it may accomplish the work it ought to do. Its purpose is to supply the people with food which will take the place of flesh meat, and also milk and butter, which, on account of the diseases of cattle, are becoming more and more objectionable.—Australasian Union Conference Record, January 1, 1900CD 350.2

    [Replacing with Cream—586, 610]

    Not Best for Children

    584. Children are allowed to eat flesh meats, spices, butter, cheese, pork, rich pastry, and condiments generally. They are also allowed to eat irregularly and between meals of unhealthful food. These things do their work of deranging the stomach, exciting the nerves to unnatural action, and enfeebling the intellect. Parents do not realize that they are sowing the seed which will bring forth disease and death.—Testimonies for the Church 3:136, 1873CD 350.3

    [Butter a Stimulant—61]

    [Free Use of Butter by Children—288, 356, 364]

    [Discarding Butter from Principle—389]

    Free Use Obstructs Digestion

    585. Butter should not be placed on the table; for if it is, some will use it too freely, and it will obstruct digestion. But for yourself, you should occasionally use a little butter on cold bread, if this will make the food more appetizing. This would do you far less harm than to confine yourself to preparations of food that are not palatable.—Letter 37, 1901CD 350.4

    When the Purest Butter Cannot Be Obtained

    586. I eat but two meals a day, and still follow the light given me thirty-five years ago. I use no meat. As for myself, I have settled the butter question. I do not use it. This question should easily be settled in every place where the purest article cannot be obtained. We have two good milch cows, a Jersey and a Holstein. We use cream, and all are satisfied with this.—Letter 45, 1903CD 351.1

    [Use of cream in place of butter in White home-Appendix 1:20, 23]

    [Use of butter in the White home-Appendix 1:4]

    [Butter not on White table, but used in cooking-Appendix 1:14]

    [Butter not on table in White home, and not used by E. G. White-Appendix 1:5, 8, 9, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23]

    Not to Be Classed With Flesh Meat

    587. Milk, eggs, and butter should not be classed with flesh meat. In some cases the use of eggs is beneficial. The time has not come to say that the use of milk and eggs should be wholly discarded. There are poor families whose diet consists largely of bread and milk. They have little fruit, and cannot afford to purchase the nut foods. In teaching health reform, as in all other gospel work, we are to meet the people where they are. Until we can teach them how to prepare health reform foods that are palatable, nourishing, and yet inexpensive, we are not at liberty to present the most advanced propositions regarding health reform diet.—Testimonies for the Church 7:135, 1902CD 351.2

    Allow Others Their Convictions

    588. We must remember that there are a great many different minds in the world, and we cannot expect every one to see exactly as we do in regard to all questions of diet. Minds do not run in exactly the same channel. I do not eat butter, but there are members of my family who do. It is not placed on my table; but I make no disturbance because some members of my family choose to eat it occasionally. Many of our conscientious brethren have butter on their tables, and I feel under no obligation to force them to do otherwise. These things should never be allowed to cause disturbance among brethren. I cannot see the need of butter, where there is abundance of fruit and of sterilized cream.CD 351.3

    Those who love and serve God should be allowed to follow their own convictions. We may not feel justified in doing as they do, but we should not allow differences of opinion to create disunion.—[Letter 331, 1904] Medical Ministry, 269CD 352.1

    589. I cannot see but that you are trying your best to live out the principles of health reform. Study economy in everything, but do not withhold from the diet food which the system needs. With regard to the nut foods, there are many who cannot eat them. If your husband enjoys dairy butter, let him eat it until he is convinced that this is not best for his health.—Letter 104, 1901CD 352.2

    Caution Against Extremes

    590. There is danger that in presenting the principles of health reform some will be in favor of bringing in changes that would be for the worse instead of for the better. Health reform must not be urged in a radical manner. As the situation now is, we cannot say that milk and eggs and butter should be entirely discarded. We must be careful to make no innovations, because under the influence of extreme teaching there are conscientious souls who will surely go to extremes. Their physical appearance will injure the cause of health reform; for few know how to properly supply the place of that which they discard.—Letter 98, 1901CD 352.3

    591. While warnings have been given regarding the dangers of disease through butter, and the evil of the free use of eggs by small children, yet we should not consider it a violation of principle to use eggs from hens that are well cared for and suitably fed. Eggs contain properties that are remedial agencies in counteracting certain poisons.CD 352.4

    Some, in abstaining from milk, eggs, and butter, have failed to supply the system with proper nourishment, and as a consequence have become weak and unable to work. Thus health reform is brought into disrepute. The work that we have tried to build up solidly is confused with strange things that God has not required, and the energies of the church are crippled. But God will interfere to prevent the results of these too-strenuous ideas. The gospel is to harmonize the sinful race. It is to bring the rich and poor together at the feet of Jesus.—Testimonies for the Church 9:162, 1909CD 353.1

    592. The poor say, when health reform is presented to them, “What shall we eat? We cannot afford to buy the nut foods.” As I preach the gospel to the poor, I am instructed to tell them to eat that food which is most nourishing. I cannot say to them, “You must not eat eggs or milk or cream. You must use no butter in the preparation of food.” The gospel must be preached to the poor, and the time has not yet come to prescribe the strictest diet....CD 353.2

    God Will Guide

    But I wish to say that when the time comes that it is no longer safe to use milk, cream, butter, and eggs, God will reveal this. No extremes in health reform are to be advocated. The question of using milk and butter and eggs will work out its own problem. At present we have no burden on this line. Let your moderation be known unto all men.—Letter 37, 1901CD 353.3

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