RECENT developments in food technology have provided unique opportunities for acquainting many men in corporate board rooms with the beliefs and work of Seventh-day Adventists.
Circumstances of a wholly unprecedented nature have brought this about. Consider for a few minutes what these circumstances are. World population increases at an ever-accelerating rate. It is hard to say the word population" without immediately adding explosion." Arable land increases very slowly, if at all, through reclamation and irrigation.
Uneconomical Flesh Foods
Meanwhile, many millions of acres disappear under asphalt and concrete through urbanization and road construction. Domestic animals compete with man for the nutritious vegetation that the land can produce. Dependence upon animals as "factories" to convert vegetation to human food is increasingly uneconomical. Direct conversion to human food is at least three or four times more efficient.
At the same time, health sciences are demonstrating that some disadvantages are found in using animal produced foods for human consumption—a fact well known to Seventh-day Adventists, through the inspiration of the Spirit of Prophecy, but too often disregarded. Animal-borne infections, as well as degenerative diseases, are often attributed to the use of foods from animal sources.
Providentially, we believe, modern food technology combined with agricultural science has at least a partial solution. It is in this area that companies such as Worthington Foods and Loma Linda Foods are making a significant contribution. Attractive, convenient, pure, tasty, nutritious, and economical protein foods in a wide assortment to meet almost every taste are being developed.
And corporate planners as well as government experts are impressed! At Worthington we have received visitors from all over the world during the past few years —and they continue to come in increasing numbers. The interest in vegetarian proteins is phenomenal!
We Have an Answer
Officers and research personnel of Worthington Foods have met with the top management men of some of the world's leading corporations. There the question is invariably asked, "How did you get started with this program?" The answer we give runs substantially like this: "We are a Seventh-day Adventist organization, and Adventists from their earliest days have been vitally interested in health. They are indebted to their early leaders, notably Ellen G. White, whom we regard as having been divinely inspired, for a rational health program. This includes abstinence from the use of stimulants such as tea, coffee, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages. It urges the superiority of a diet that uses a wide variety of natural foods, limited amounts of highly refined foods, liberal use of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and grains, and suggests elimination of flesh meat. Pork is not used at all and is considered unclean.
"With this philosophy, it is only natural that we should give study to making vegetable protein foods that can satisfactorily replace flesh meat in the diet."
It has been our privilege to tell such people about the health and medical work of our denomination and it has thrilled our hearts to hear words of commendation from such industrial and government leaders.
Head, Not the Tail
Just as the Adventist Church pioneered in many fields in years gone by, it is possible we may once again show the way in another period of world need. Mrs. White once said that there is a great deal of religion in a good loaf of bread, and perhaps there may be some religion in the development of good, nutritious, healthful, and tasty meatless entrees. At any rate, it provides another means to witness for our way of life and our convictions.
We can thank God for His providence that showed the preferred way and shielded His people from soul-defiling habits and health hazards. We as a people are virtually free of lung cancer and emphysema. Perhaps with further acceptance of divinely inspired counsel we may experience less atherosclerosis and other degenerative diseases.