Quoting Quiverfull: Disease Caused Only by What You Eat?

Quoting Quiverfull: Disease Caused Only by What You Eat? April 4, 2017

quotingquiverfullby Anonymous at Crown of Beauty Magazine – Skinny Girls Eat

Editor’s note: Found this bit in a long posting about accepting yourself the way you are and giving dieting advice. I was looking for something on the subject of modesty since it’s almost bikini/modesty verklempting time in fundytown. But I stumbled instead on this piece that actually had some decent advice for young gals about their bodies and healthy eating. Pleased to see that for a change instead of the usual shaming and blaming. But then I saw this — another not entirely truth and sometimes harmful idea of health that loves to float around the Quiverfull Evangelical world — that all illness can be overcome with natural foods. Sure, eating unprocessed foods can help your health, but it’s not the be-all, end-all, cure every disease that these people claim. Reality is a bit more complex than live on lettuce and live forever.

Here’s a thought, how about allowing people to eat the things that make them feel the best, and not judging or making health claims either way. What you eat is really your own decision, and just about the only person besides yourself whose words should have any weight in that decision is your doctor. What is all this food control on yourself and others really about in Evangelicalism?

Let’s think about what we know. We’ve all been feasting on the standard American diet. We’ve grown up in homes that serve us chemical enhanced foods everyday. It’s the norm for us. But if we go back to Little House on the Prairie era, we see that it wasn’t always like that. All this “fake food” is new…and dangerous, and our generation is consuming it. Cancer is out of control. So is diabetes, lung problems, liver problems, depression, panic attacks, allergies and all sorts of “plegs.”  (sic – think the original author might mean plagues.)

We believe these things to be normal and good for us, and don’t think for second about the fact that maybe…just maybe…the food we are consuming has something to do with all this illness.

Some might argue that cancer and sickness has been around forever and there’s nothing to worry about. Okay, these illnesses have always been around, but right now our country has an overwhelming epidemic of sick people. Our generation is being poisoned in so many ways. One of those ways is from the foods we eat.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

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  • Hannah

    No, it’s evolution. We’ve eradicated​ so many diseases in the modern world something has to keep the population down. (I seriously think a massive​ pandemic is due, cheerful thought there, antibiotic resistant bacteria spring to mind.) Of course things aren’t helped by the rubbish that’s been spewing into the atmosphere and the oceans over the past few hundred years.

  • Nea

    1) Illnesses have been around forever. They are discussed in ancient texts and depicted in ancient art.

    2) An all natural diet was the norm during:
    – all occurrences of the Black Death
    – almost all occurrences of smallpox worldwide (which was not eradicated by organic food)
    – the majority of occurrences of polio in the western world (ditto)

    3) When a population grows exponentially, so do the number of cases of illnesses, even if the actual percentage of people affected by said illness decreases. That’s math, not nutrition.

  • Saraquill

    Re: chemical enhanced food. Water is a chemical. It helps keep vegetables from dying before harvest, and essential for creating my beloved tea.

  • AFo

    Well, these QF writers sure love to use some questionable science to back up what they have to say. It’s obvious reading this post that the writer(s) didn’t get much more than a rudimentary education on the subject. Yes, the foods we eat can increase the risks of some diseases, and if you eat absolutely nothing but junk all the time, you’ll probably be unhealthy overall, but that doesn’t mean one is causing the other. There are so many more factors at play, including family histories, access to healthcare, access to healthy foods, and so on.

  • SAO

    Much as it’s comforting for healthy people to think they will never get sick, thanks to their healthy habits, it’s just not true. Certainly, diabetes and cholesterol problems are strongly influenced by diet, but most of the rest isn’t. And bad genes can give a healthy person some of those problems. My BIL is active, the right weight for his height and suffers from high blood pressure, a problem that his slender father had, too.

    And it’s worth remembering that in the Little House on the Prairie, the whole family got quite sick. Probably malaria. In Plum Creek? Or Silver Lake, Mary gets strep throat, which turns into scarlet fever and meminigitis and goes blind. The Ingalls had a son, who was never mentioned in the books because he died in childhood.

  • A. Noyd

    Pretty ironic to mention cancer since we actually see more cancer the healthier we are as a population. You don’t see it nearly as much if people aren’t surviving long enough to get it.

  • texassa

    It sounds like this fundie stumbled into some paleo advice.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    I’m guessing Weston Price Foundation. That cult is really, really popular among conservative Christians.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Yeah, also they often didn’t have enough food. And even when they weren’t starving, meeting your daily calorie requirements with salt pork and sourdough biscuits, as the family did in Silver Lake for a while, is nobody’s idea of a balanced diet. Things weren’t so great back in the The Good Old Days. Industrialization of food has caused a lot of problems and we need to work on them but people forget that it also greatly decreased the number of people starving or malnourished by making food cheaper and more available and addressing common nutrient deficiencies. Middle-class Americans are so privileged and sheltered that a lot of them don’t even seem to realize that not having enough to eat or not enough basic nutrients is A Thing.

    Hardcore crunchies freak out about iodized salt because it’s not “natural”–well it was “natural” for people to get goiter all the time in the midwest, where seafood was hard to get and the soil is low in iodine. I think I prefer the “unnatural” salt to the “natural” disease. Artificial lighting at the turn of the century allowed egg producers to produce much more–plenty of hand-wringing about this too, but back then it was common for people, especially children, to not get enough protein to grow properly or to repair muscle from hard work. Cheap eggs were a boon. The main reason people are taller now than they used to be is that our growth is not stunted by malnourishment.

    I’m pretty old-school when it comes to my pie crusts and my soup stocks and I buy a lot of foods from smaller producers that would be called “natural” (whatever that means). But I recognize that this is still an indulgence made possible by modern affluence and plenty. I really can’t stand when people romanticize the past when it comes to food. Shamefully, people still go hungry here but not as many as used to. That is a good thing!

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Crunchy extremists tie themselves into some impressive knots trying to come up with ways to explain away the eradication of smallpox through vaccination.

  • SAO

    People were often stunted by disease, too. Some of those diaries record measles, mumps, polio, scarlet fever, typhoid, just one thing after another. If you think about the Ingalls-Wilders, they lost a son to disease and both Alonzo and Mary suffered permanent disability from disease. Not good statistics.

    The back to nature/the idyllic past types are perfectly happy to drink Orange juice and eat seaweed snacks in the upper midwest in the winter and think it represents a natural/idyllic past diet. What they tend not to be doing is foraging for stinging nettles in March because that’s the first thing with vitamin C that’s available after a long winter. Stinging nettles are reasonably tasty and lose their sting in cooking, but it is nearly impossible to get them from muddy plants in the field to clean leaves in your frying pan without getting a lot of stings.

  • gimpi1

    Actually, in the “Little House on the Prairie” days, the life-span was in the 50’s. Cancer and heart disease – our two biggest causes of death – tend to occur after that age, which is why they appear to be increasing. We live long enough to get them. Also, we can treat so many diseases these days. This contributes to the belief that, “there are so many sick people today.” These are people surviving things they would have died of in the past.

    Now, I’m fine with a well-balanced diet of relatively unprocessed foods with an emphasis on plant-based foods being a good idea. However, someone who eats a vegan, all organic diet and exercises every day will still get sick. They will still need to see a doctor occasionally. They will still age and die.

  • gimpi1

    All really good points. People who revere those stories tend to forget what the life they describe was really like. And, in reality, it was even worse.

    Rose Wilder. a professional writer, cleaned up her mother’s stories to turn them into palatable and profitable books. That’s why the son is never mentioned, Rose considered his death too depressing for readers to include. Rose also re-arranged their lives a bit and left out some of their more extreme struggles with poverty. Even with her editing, the life described is far from blissful, especially Mary’s illness and blindness and the family’s isolation and poverty. Remember “The Hard Winter?” An entire town nearly starved.

  • gimpi1

    The Wilder family also suffered from nutrition-related dental problems, losing their teeth young. They suffered from all sorts of health problems related to childhood poor nutrition. If you haven’t read it, the book, “A Wilder Rose” by Susan Witting Albert is an interesting description of the later life of the family, the role professional writer Rose Wilder had in the development of the “Little House” books and the conflict between her and her mother, Laura. I recommend it.

  • gimpi1

    Right now it appears that by far the majority of cancers are “replication errors” that occur with age. Environmental and lifestyle factors exist, but they are nowhere as big a factor as we would like to think.*

    *I think we like to concentrate on lifestyle and environment factors because it gives us a sense of control. Cancer being a random genetic error is not very empowering.

  • SAO

    There are certainly people who argue that Rose Wilder did most of the writing. But Laura said in a lecture in 1937 that there were stories she wanted to tell but weren’t suitable for a book for children and in a letter to Rose vetoed opening Silver Lake with a true description of the state of the Ingalls family, which was debt, disappointment and Mary’s disability.