Christians, Science and Food

Evangelical Christians are frequently leaders in their communities regarding healthy eating. No problem here, but what do we do with the scientific manipulation of food?
I just came across this great article, Here's what 9,000 years of breeding has done to corn, peaches, and other crops, that shows how the human manipulation of foods through selective breeding have changed them. It is amazing! Foods that provided a little nutrition for a few people are now able to feed millions. Here is an example:


We Christians tend to relate "natural" to "good" or godly, but I think this is too simplistic. It is also too simplistic to argue that anything science does is "better" or "good." We must remember that even if the Garden of Eden was perfect, nature has in some way been cursed. Further, God gave us wonderful minds, creativity, and even the inspiration to pursue science. As a scientific person, next to the beauty of nature, the wonders of science and technology inspire me to worship God more than anything. Who would have thought that God created the world in such a way that a pile of rocks, wood, etc. could become a fighter jet?!

Christians must not throw the "baby out with the bath water!" We must discern how to rightly use science in agriculture. Some might limit genetic manipulation to what can be achieved through natural selective breeding… but is that God's limit? I don't have all the answers, but I've seen some persuasive arguments for genetic modification. For example, rather than using pesticides (bad… or good?!), a gene can be placed into a food crop that makes it distasteful to bugs. Or take the case of a Christian research botanist friend of mine who felt called to be a missionary to the needy parts of the globe. When hearing that delivery of medicines is one of the greatest needs in poverty stricken areas, he said, "Since many medicines come from plants, I can take those plant genes and insert them into the DNA of the local plants where there are needs. When someone needs a particular medicine, they can just chew on a leaf!" He was just brainstorming, but he was brainstorming with God! I love it!

No doubt there are dangers involved when we get involved in radically changing the fabric of the food web… but here, I believe there is also as much potential good as we have achieved in the field of medicine. Science is a gift of God to be used for good… That is why we need Christians in the field!

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