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minasoliman
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« on: September 22, 2008, 01:31:52 AM »

So, St. Paul says somewhere that one can't eat things strangled, offered to idols, or in blood.  I heard a priest that seems to include anything less than a well done steak (such as medium well or medium rare is not allowed to be eaten by a Christian).  What say some of you?  Is there any other interpretation possible?

God bless.

PS  My favorite steak is cooked medium well  Wink
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2008, 02:23:12 AM »

Greetings minasoliman,

The strict Orthodox Old Believers have always understood the command of abstaining from blood mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles ( I think it was the first Church Council ) that meat must be bled from the right side of an animal, before removing the head, as is often done with chickens. References to this centuries old practice are in the book titled, "In the Shadow of Antichrist" and the National Film Board of Canada documentary video called, "The Old Believers".

Today, at least in America, Cattle are most often herded into slaughter houses which are a very shallow pool of water, and once corralled into the water they are electrocuted. This keeps all the blood inside, which is desired by most Americans today, they think it more juicy. If we look at the meat in a market the package will have a lot of blood flowing around inside it. Basically, all the meat at all the restaurants (with perhaps the exception of Jewish and Islamic eateries) makes use of this ungodly form of food.

Really, all the food in America is either poisoned, defiled, toxic, genetically altered, or cloned. Cloned meat is not required to be labeled in the USA, and they say it is already in production. We are all in a lot of trouble if you ask me.

All the water and all the air is polluted as well.

My favorite food is god-pleasing food and am considerately attending to the task.

Forgive, John
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2008, 06:57:19 AM »

So, St. Paul says somewhere that one can't eat things strangled, offered to idols, or in blood.  I heard a priest that seems to include anything less than a well done steak (such as medium well or medium rare is not allowed to be eaten by a Christian).  What say some of you?  Is there any other interpretation possible?

God bless.

PS  My favorite steak is cooked medium well  Wink
The way I see it, St. Paul is advocating ethical treatment of animals. I buy meats from a natural foods market, and I specifically look for hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats. Whatever was injected into the mean is going to be absorbed when eaten, so it's important to me that my family not eat these hormones. I have friends who raise free-range poultry, from whom we also get our eggs, and my father-in-law raises free-range cattle.

That said, most of the time we eat vegetarian, from things grown ourselves or from local farmers. Where I live, we value food we've grown ourselves, and we'll buy local before we'll buy from a chain. In fact, in the town where I work, there are no chains of any kind; every store is owned locally.

I don't believe we are called to eat kosher still, but I do believe we have a responsibility to our world. We should eat naturally as much as possible. For myself, I'd like to do as little as possible to the food before consuming it, to preserve as many nutrients as possible. Why settle for packaged, processed foods, when I can have a tomato whose only processing is running water, and whose only transportation is my hand taking it from the yard to the house? I'll take the latter any time.
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2008, 06:27:10 PM »

Thank you both for your comments.  Hopeful Faithful, I do not mean to offend.  I simply wanted to state what I liked for so long.  If it's really wrong under Orthodoxy to eat the type of food I like, then I'd like to know (and I wrote that in hopes to see that I might not be the only one with such a preference, and maybe a fun side comment).  But I like the response of YBa.  It's sorta like the rules of fasting.  It's not obligatory, but it's recommended.

Anyone else care to comment from other dioceses or churches, including Oriental Orthodoxy, like the Armenians or Indians (I'm sure the Indians who live in a highly populated Sikh community have to deal with this, since Sikhs must eat with the blood of an animal)?

Did St. Paul have an intention or reason for prohibiting eating food with blood that doesn't apply today, or is this practice essential to Orthodox faith?

God bless.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2008, 06:27:33 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2008, 06:48:19 PM »

From a Jim Gaffigan show;  In a concerned citizens voice- "Do you realize what they do to those animals?"  To which Jim responds- "No, but it's delicious!"

 All kidding aside, I thought I read concerning food, St. Paul said (paraphrasing) "all things are permissable, just don't offend your brother."
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2008, 07:09:51 PM »

Just finding locally produced honey is a chore where I live I can't imagine having the luxury of specialty shops that sell anything antibiotic/pesticide/hormone free.  And the few pieces of meat they would sell "organic" cost twice as much as the beef that isn't "natural/organic."
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2008, 07:27:27 PM »

Twice? Ack. Around here, it's about 50 cents more per pound. Well worth it. And locally grown honey is pretty much all that is sold even in the supermarkets. In fact, I don't really know what national brands sell honey, they're that rare.
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2008, 07:46:11 PM »

I'm saying it'd be nice to buy fresh and local.  It'd be even nice to have specialty shops.  All we have are supermarkets that sell the same boring old food from mega-companies.  Ok, yes we have farmers markets but they aren't too impressive considering I have my own garden anyway Smiley
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2008, 07:48:27 PM »

Sorry for your plight. Fresh and local always beats mega-market for taste.

Okay, back to the topic at hand.
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2009, 04:26:09 AM »

I have never heard of electrocution to kill cattle. But stunning
is done before they are yanked up by the heels by chains,
and the throat cut and then gutted. The amount of blood
you find in meat packages is just the small amount that
will always be in flesh. When that first Church Council in
Acts said not to eat things strangled, it depicted a form of
death without a trace of effort to exsanguinate.

Washing out excess blood, maybe squeezing the meat if
it looks suspicious, and praying offering the blood which is
or was its life to God, should be good enough. Blood sausage
would be a no no. But apparently a lot of Orthodox have lost
this consciousness, though centuries ago, the laxity of the
Roman Church in allowing the eating of blood sausage and
meat from animals that had not been exsanguinated (dead
of an arrow and no effort to clean the meat?) was one of
the points of difference from the East.

The prohibition on eating blood predates Moses, and is not
part of the superseded ritual law.

The practice of some African cattle herders, during a drought,
to draw blood from a living cow to drink from a bowl, without
killing it, and the eating of the Blood of Christ, would not
fall under this rule, because in both cases it is blood from the
living, not from the dead.

Mary Christine Erikson
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« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2009, 04:51:28 AM »

I was just wondering about this not too long ago.  I wish we could get a more thorough treatment of the subject with patristic references and the Church's dietary practices throughout her history.  Should we be refusing to eat bloody meat?
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2009, 05:17:24 AM »

Should we be refusing to eat bloody meat?

At least the Quinisext council forbade it:

Quote from: New Advent
Canon 67

The divine Scripture commands us to abstain from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. Those therefore who on account of a dainty stomach prepare by anyart for food the blood of any animal, and so eat it, we punish suitably. If anyone henceforth venture to eat in any way the blood of an animal, if he be a clergyman, let him be deposed; if a layman, let him be cut off.

Personally I've never understanded this. How the Church can forbid eating blood since the Christ (Mark. 7: 18-19) and St. Paul (Rom. 14) seem to allow eating any kind of food.
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2009, 05:58:40 AM »

Should we be refusing to eat bloody meat?

At least the Quinisext council forbade it:

Quote from: New Advent
Canon 67

The divine Scripture commands us to abstain from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. Those therefore who on account of a dainty stomach prepare by anyart for food the blood of any animal, and so eat it, we punish suitably. If anyone henceforth venture to eat in any way the blood of an animal, if he be a clergyman, let him be deposed; if a layman, let him be cut off.

Personally I've never understanded this. How the Church can forbid eating blood since the Christ (Mark. 7: 18-19) and St. Paul (Rom. 14) seem to allow eating any kind of food.
Really? Huh  St. Paul was an active voice in the Council of Acts 15 that specifically listed the eating of blood and of things strangled as something the Church would continue to forbid.  St. Paul was also one of the apostles delegated the task of taking to the Gentiles in Antioch the letter written to communicate this conciliar decision.  In this letter we see the following statement: "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us."  Maybe Jesus did not Himself forbid the eating of blood while He walked this earth, but it appears from this statement that the Holy Spirit, who shares the mind of Christ with no disunity whatsoever, certainly did.  I think we therefore need to read the word of Jesus Christ in the Gospels and the word of St. Paul in Romans 14 within this context (of Acts 15).
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« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2009, 08:42:50 AM »

Personally I've never understanded this. How the Church can forbid eating blood since the Christ (Mark. 7: 18-19) and St. Paul (Rom. 14) seem to allow eating any kind of food.
Really? Huh  St. Paul was an active voice in the Council of Acts 15 that specifically listed the eating of blood and of things strangled as something the Church would continue to forbid.  St. Paul was also one of the apostles delegated the task of taking to the Gentiles in Antioch the letter written to communicate this conciliar decision.  In this letter we see the following statement: "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us."  Maybe Jesus did not Himself forbid the eating of blood while He walked this earth, but it appears from this statement that the Holy Spirit, who shares the mind of Christ with no disunity whatsoever, certainly did.  I think we therefore need to read the word of Jesus Christ in the Gospels and the word of St. Paul in Romans 14 within this context (of Acts 15).

I'd turn this other way around i.e. we must read Acts 15 in the context of St. Paul and Christ. Since they say that any food can't be spiritually harmful and doesn't mention exception it would feel more natural to interpret Acts 15 as a kind of compromise in order to maintain peace between the Gentile and Jewish believers. Even though food isn't harmful the Gentiles should keep kind of minimum of the Law so that the Jewish Christians could regard them as legitimate believers. Kind of Noahidism out of love for peace. Since Church's Jewishness was not a problematic issue in the Roman Church there wasn't any need to that kind of compromise there so St. Paul didn't include any prohibition of blood in his epistle to them.

Or that's how I'd interpret it without the Church. Since the Quinisext Council i.e. an Ecumenical council has infallibly settled the issue I refuse to eat any blood even though I find that canon a little puzzling. It's not a big issue however since I've never eaten blood and I don't have any urgent need to eat it in the future either. Tongue
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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2009, 11:51:41 AM »

Blood is not a variety of animal. The vision of St. Peter
and the food laws about clean and unclean meats
dealt with types of animals, birds and things that
live in water.

Blood is not prohibited as unclean but as sacred to
God, "the blood is the life" and should not be taken
with the meat but poured out, returned to God.

It is interesting that there was never a prohibition on
eating fish that was cooked whole, and fish has a kind
of blood in it, sometimes red, which serves the same
purpose as animals and birds. Ditto shellfish, though
it is never red.

It may be, that we were originally allowed to eat fish,
and scavenge things that died of themselves, but
once allowed to kill land animals and birds, the blood
prohibition was added. It seems to be a claiming by
God perpetually of some things that we would be
tempted to play God in our attitudes about. Modern
mankind may be distant from the life and death
procedures of food preparation except for a "special"
few, who do the dirty work, but that wasn't the case
in ancient times. And still isn't many places.

St. Paul says to eat without question whatever is
sold in the shambles or bazaar (or Safeway) but
if something was loaded with blood it would be
obvious or it could be squeezed out. When eating
liver I wash off the excess blood that drained from
the blood vessels (there is always SOME blood
retained no matter what you do, that oozes out
later) and don't eat the congealed blood that
sometimes turns up in cooking. But when this is
invisible I don't worry.

Remember, "things strangled" is a more extreme
lack of exsanguination than even an arrow to the
heart, where the bleeding out is into the body
cavity, and still leaves the flesh a lot.

It is about an attitude issue, one more easily
avoided by right handling and one easily without
right handling held wrong in a hidden and therefore
unchallengeable way. The attitude of all for me,
while forgetting God and treating the animal as
totally a thing, and the attitude of carelessness
about the blood.

God says that blood is to be dealt with this way
because it makes atonement for us on the altar.
That was in Moses' time and the sacrifices to God
and use of special animals for this predates Moses.

All point to Christ, but blood is not to be treated
carelessly with disdain. Blood AS A CATEGORY
is what is important. Not the kind of animal it
comes from.

Again, there is no conflict between this and
eating Christ's Blood, because He is alive, not
dead.

Mary Christine Erikson
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2009, 12:37:00 PM »

Black pudding is so common among Orthodox believers in Finland (mustamakkara), Romania (sângereţi) and Russia (кровяна́я колбаса́), including a great many priests who eat it with relish, that I don't think you can make much of a case against it.
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2009, 01:11:01 PM »

I don't understand the concern about not consuming blood in light of the fact that other food items, once strictly prohibited (for ex, pork) became totally acceptable. How the distinctions of what aspects of the law we retain versus drop?
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2009, 04:25:40 PM »


PS  My favorite steak is cooked medium well  Wink

You know that's an insult to any chef who's worth his salt, right? Wink
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2009, 04:49:03 PM »

What, it's the fault of normal people that chefs like to eat raw meat?  angel
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« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2009, 04:50:14 PM »

So, St. Paul says somewhere that one can't eat things strangled, offered to idols, or in blood.  I heard a priest that seems to include anything less than a well done steak (such as medium well or medium rare is not allowed to be eaten by a Christian).  What say some of you?  Is there any other interpretation possible?

God bless.

PS  My favorite steak is cooked medium well  Wink

I would say that if the raw or medium rare meat contains no blood (all the blood has been drained) then it's permissable. There's no mitvah in the Torah (don't know about the Talmud) that states that meat must always be cooked as far as I'm aware.

If you don't know whether all the blood has been drained (like in a restaraunt) then I say eat it with a clear conscience.

But me personally I only buy kosher/hallal meat, not only because I know it contains no blood, but also because IMO it tastes better and I think it's healthier too.

PS my favourite food on the planet is sushi.

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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2009, 05:04:04 PM »

I agree with the comments of HopefulFaithful and Ytterbiumanalyst in replies #2 and #3.

Selam
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2009, 05:17:28 PM »

The way I see it, St. Paul is advocating ethical treatment of animals.

The Apostolic Canons (LXIII) also mention the prohibition of blood, excommunicating any lay person, and defrocking any priest that eats the blood of any animal. It doesn't seem to mean anything other than "don't eat blood." Whether the method of draining the animal's blood is important (e.g. Kosher/Halal slaughter methods) is another matter I suppose.
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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2009, 05:21:18 PM »

I agree with the comments of HopefulFaithful and Ytterbiumanalyst in replies #2 and #3.
Why?
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2009, 05:51:55 PM »

Right, as I am reading the 6th Canon 67 and the commentary in the Rudder, it seems to be referring to eating raw blood "even if it is mixed with other food" and then mentions, as a primary example "suntzukia," a dish made with raw blood.   It also specifically mentions it as eaten in avoidance of meat by those of a "dainty stomach."    Thus, it appears that this canon interprets it as eating of raw blood.   However, as I recall (someone else help me out as I cannot place it and you can), that another patristic interpretation that we find of this passage is that it forbids only the drinking of blood offered to idols (i.e. not all blood, but blood offered to idols).   If I find this reference I shall post it. 
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« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2009, 12:59:24 AM »

I agree with the comments of HopefulFaithful and Ytterbiumanalyst in replies #2 and #3.
Why?

For many of the reasons they mentioned. Also, I have articulated my dietary views at length on other threads, such as this one:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22012.0.html


Selam
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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2009, 07:08:31 PM »

Right, as I am reading the 6th Canon 67 and the commentary in the Rudder, it seems to be referring to eating raw blood "even if it is mixed with other food" and then mentions, as a primary example "suntzukia," a dish made with raw blood.   It also specifically mentions it as eaten in avoidance of meat by those of a "dainty stomach."    Thus, it appears that this canon interprets it as eating of raw blood.   However, as I recall (someone else help me out as I cannot place it and you can), that another patristic interpretation that we find of this passage is that it forbids only the drinking of blood offered to idols (i.e. not all blood, but blood offered to idols).   If I find this reference I shall post it. 

Please do!  That would be quite an interesting viewpoint.
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