Soy, MSG, and other surprises

“These you may eat…

that you may eat.”

Leviticus 11:9


I have two sisters, and while I can’t speak to what I am missing by not having brothers, there is so much to appreciate about the relationship that the three of us have.  Only five years separates us, and while there’s much we have in common, there’s plenty that keeps each of us independent in our thinking, too. 


Those differences of opinion can make for some very interesting and enlightening (and occasionally loud) conversations, whether it has to do with how we live out our faith, or who we back in politics, or who we think is the greatest Avenger.  And that’s fine.  We’re all comfortable with the art of debate and only once did a glass get broken at the dinner table. 


And that was Dad.  And he was just excited.


But I think our most beneficial discussions are not about our differences, but about ourselves.  Exercising, nutrition, health struggles or improvements…. in those areas, we have something to offer one another, and if you don’t need the information now, you very well might in a year or two!


Recently, we’ve had several conversations about labels.  Specifically, my older sister has discovered that she is sensitive to soy, so she has become very attentive to foods that contain soybean oil or soy lecithin.  Which is a lot of them.  I know this because I thought maybe I should start paying attention, too.  After all, a lot of our DNA is similar.  So while I don’t feel I need to eliminate it from my diet, I became curious about how much I’m eating. 


To be honest, it’s kind of a pain.  Trying to remember to read the label of everything that goes in my mouth is frustrating.  Sometimes they’re hard to read, if the print is small or the light is dim in the kitchen.  I can’t imagine if I had to be worried about me or my family having a serious allergic reaction to something. 


Reading labels is not entirely new for me.  We’ve known since she was a baby, that our daughter is allergic to shellfish and mollusks.  But that has never required constant, close attention to labels.  There are just certain foods that we know might have come in contact with shellfish at the processing plant, so we check those labels.  And some Asian foods can have oyster sauce in them, so we check those too. 


The truth is, we all should be frequent label readers.  We should know what we’re eating, and wonder what exactly those unpronounceable ingredients are.  You have no idea how many foods contain monosodium glutamate. 


And I believe we should be the same about the books we read and the movies we see and the ways we choose to spend our time.  The choices we make should be conscious and purposeful.  We should know what we’re taking in, whether it’s our bodies, our minds or our hearts.  As Socrates said, “A life unexamined is not worth living.”  And as the apostle Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world.” (Romans 12:2)



~ “Test all things;

     hold fast what is good” ~

1 Thessalonians 5:21


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