A12 Steps to Improving our Diet.

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Tarek Kareem Harris

Channel: Tarek Kareem Harris

Episode Notes

Fr TAYYIB Book, Forward by Mufti Menk

Episode Transcript

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Chapter 12 improving our diet

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if one wants to lose weight and do nothing else, but the weight still requires no particular changes to its ingredients. Because it helps us in two ways. The fasting part retrains the body to use its own fat burning systems. And the foods themselves are more feeling more wholesome, and less likely to provoke those insulin spikes that are so toxic for body weight and health in general.

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When we as Muslims think about what we can or should eat, much of our time is spent distracted with talk of what is halal or haram messages and rumors about which particular soft drink which restaurant or other food is halal or haram bombard us all the time.

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We surely are right to avoid foods which are Haram. But focusing just on that issue prevents deeper discussions as to the quality of our food.

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We associate halau foods with being totally fine to eat in any quantity. And this is a problem. It seems we spend so much time worried about the firearm issue that we have little attention left to think about its true nutritional content, the manner by which it was farmed, how it was brought to us and packaged and so on.

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So it must go deeper than halal and haram.

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Just because something is permissible, it doesn't mean that it's good for you as such, it just means that it passes the basic test of being edible.

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a halaal diet can technically consist entirely of sugar or ice cream. Surely this is not in itself enough. A true beneficial halaal diet has other qualities.

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Have you ever heard of a DBQ?

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Probably not. If you don't work in the meat industry.

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A d beaker is a very hot vertical plate. Its function is to flatten the beak of a chicken.

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The chicken's head is held in the hand and the beak is forced onto the plate, effectively melting and burning it away so that the bird now has a flat stubby beak charred. The animal is alive and can still eat.

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Well who would create such a grotesque device we might ask? What benefit could it possibly have? Well, the answer is uncomfortably close to home closer than you think. You have probably eaten meat from a DBQ chicken.

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When chickens are battery farmed in vast warehouses, they are placed right next to each other in cages, without any room to roam. And in terribly unsanitary conditions. This is immensely stressful and mundane for them. And they resort to picking up their neighbors in frustration and conflict. The packing hurts the flesh, reducing the growth of the chicken and the quality of the meat. And this astonishing machine of D beaker is marketed as something to reduce harm.

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Now I don't know about you, but it seems to be adding a cruelty to mask another cruelty. I'm led to think of other awful practices, such as when slave masters maimed or blinded their slave to prevent them from escaping.

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Let's set the debugger aside for a second. My point is that it's bad enough to put animals in cages where they are clearly in great stress, forcing them to eat excessively, where they enjoy nothing in their life and never get a chance to behave as they would be normally inclined.

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Chickens may not be as intelligent as us. But ask any farmer and he will tell you that they show affection, gratitude and bonding, and they even show concern and defense of their own community. A law tells us this to all animals have enough with similar instincts to our own. driven to socialize, seek status, find a mate, become angry and so on.

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Someone have deep and strict a man will avoid meat which is not from a happy or well treated animal.

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The principle of halal food refers to much more than just taking a last name. When an animal is slaughtered.

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The slaughter merely takes a few seconds to do

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true complete Hello philosophy is about ensuring the animal had a good life as well as a good death.

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When an animal is killed in our name, we are told that one day that animal will be asked by Allah, how and why it was killed.

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It may defend our honor by replying that we killed it in a halal way. And we didn't waste its meat. But it may also speak of how it was treated and you

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We know the facts about how animals are treated, and buy meat purely on cost without caring for how they were raised, then we become part of the problem.

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Battery farmed animals have a terrible and miserable life without any recourse to their natural instincts or habits. Research also tells us that they experience stress and fear. On top of that, they're fed foods which are excessive in quantity, and certainly not their natural diet.

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What if the animal speaks of these things against us? If we buy such meat because it's convenient or cheap, do you think we will not be questioned about it? And how will we answer?

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setting that aside, there's also nutrition to think of science also shows that the meat of these animals is poor in quality, not to mention not being as tasty as that of better treated livestock. We know for a fact that the meat from battery fed animals is higher in those low density fats, which are harmful to our bodies, type of fats, which settle in our arteries and cause us to have heart attacks and strokes.

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Their meat is also soaked in cortisol, the hormone of stress, and this means that the meat will have higher levels of sugar and less good protein in it. Not to mention that when we eat that meat, some of that very cortisol will have an effect on our own gut and body creating the same effect in us.

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If the crops we eat our farm from lands which are stolen, irresponsibly, or wastefully managed, or laced with pesticides, which harm other life, such as local animals and birds, and even us when we eat them, do we really believe that Allah will ignore such effects, he loaned us the earth as much as he loaned us our own bodies, we are created from the very clay from which the earth is made. Any right person thinking should realize that we have been falling far short of the mark

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Alhamdulillah we have access to Whole Foods, even in non Muslim countries, at a level previously never seen, we need to move the conversation more towards considerations of how that food was made, how it is packaged and presented to us. And we need to do so both for our own health and for the welfare of the animals we consume. And for the care of the world we share with them.

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Would we want to return the things borrowed from Allah in a poor, neglected or damaged state.

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The same concerns should go to all of our lives, whether it is the fuel we burn, or the packaging we use, or the countries and companies we support with our money.

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Take these things into account if you can, because allow will be immensely pleased when you do.

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Looking at the guidance from the prophets diet. And from guidance in the Quran, we can find that good food has the following qualities.

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It is say meaning wholesome, it is karoui meaning robust, nutritious, full of minerals and vitamins. It is much

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lower in sugar. It is leafy meaning higher in fiber, it is more the nutritious. It is manassa less processed, simply made. It is very straightforward. And it is mahali. Meaning local. And the word that sums all of these qualities up together is stable.

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In order to move towards this, we ought to think well before the food reaches us the decisions about what we eat and what people sell us, or based on what we decide to approve of given the choice. Would you approve of eating vegetables that were grown in another country and flown or shipped to your land? Just because you want them out of season?

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Or would you prefer to get things that were manually farmed local to you available in the season in which they naturally grow in your area?

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I'm sure you would now say the latter. But still, why do we seem to buy the former even when we know better?

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Well, there are strong psychological and environmental forces. There is a demand for urine supply from consumers which means retailers fly or ship foods in from wherever they are. Your mangoes and tomatoes could easily have come from halfway around the world.

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There's a convenience and cost huge agricultural corporations as big and as mighty as Apple and Sony control food production on a vast scale. They organize for food to be farmed in vast, almost country sized farms in far off lands.

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Labor is cheap, or vast, expensive machines do the work. This means they can sell these things in bulk, which makes it convenient for supermarket chains to buy them in bulk. And they arrive at your town either cheaper than the local farmer could sell them. Or they're more expensive but convenient in the supermarket, not the green grocer.

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We are too inconsiderate to spend another 10 minutes getting them from the green grocer. Some supermarkets have taken to selling local goods, but most still do not vote with what you buy.

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considerations of status and appearance and habits also come into our decision. We like to appear to be of high class to be able to afford foreign things to impress ourselves or our peers. We like to believe that exotic foods would seem more luxuriously packaged are better for us. We believe the hype of misleading bright packaging and glossy adverts, we fall for what the crowd do.

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Refined intense taste in processed food also takes a hold of our better judgment. The more we eat foods pumped up in sugar or artificial flavors, the less receptive the tongue is to the more aromatic natural flavors of truly nutritious food. Moreover, we avoid foods with natural fats, because we've been misled that high carb and low fat is better.

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For each of these reasons, you have to individually start making more thoughtful decisions, or else the changes will not happen. It's as simple as that. But simple changes, like any changes are not easy to do in the beginning. So it's better to approach the issue in a step by step manner. We go for the easier wins first, because they give us confidence and they give us early benefits.

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And all of these steps are optional.

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You could just start fasting and not do the dietary changes. Or you could do the dietary changes step by step where you buy what you choose to buy. Do what feels right or easy for you first, but try to stick to it gently and with acceptance that there will be ups and downs. Let the habit beddin so that you can build on it. And if you can't keep it up, move to another step.

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No need to get stuck in a rut.

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End of Chapter