Many years ago, while listening to and/or reading the teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we all became acquainted with his oft-used phrase “POISON ANIMAL EATERS.” Immediately, we assumed that he was referring only to eaters of the filthy pig, or “pork,” as they like to respectfully call it. As we matured in The Faith, however, the picture became clearer as we increased our study, to the extent that those of us who were both attentive and sincere reached a level of understanding which enabled us to recognize that he was referring to “The eaters of animals–ALL of which are poison.” Of course, some are more poisonous than others, just as some weapons are deadlier than others, yet they all are weapons.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (DOA), has identified salmonella bacteria as the poison most likely to be lurking in food which is not properly prepared, or which should not be eaten at all. For instance, many desserts call for uncooked or lightly cooked eggs, but the scientists at DOA warn that “even Grade A eggs with clean, uncracked shells can be contaminated with salmonella bacteria.”
Department experts further warn us to “Avoid licking the spoon or bowl used to make cookie dough or batters,” and “Always use recipes that call for thoroughly cooked eggs, never raw ones.”
Nutrition experts make the point that studies show most Americans eating less produce in winter–fewer high-nutrition, low-calorie fruits and vegetables at a time the body really needs something light and fresh. Eating fruits and vegetables consistently, research shows, is key to overall better health. According to a seven-year study of men and women, eating fruits and vegetables throughout the year appeared to provide more heart and cancer protection than eating them just in the warmer months.
Back in December 2002, TIME magazine reported that “Large-scale outbreaks of food poisoning from school meals have risen on average of 10% each year, from 25 outbreaks in 1990 to 50 in 1999, sickening a total of 16,000 children across the country with everything from salmonella to hepatitis A, according to a report released by the U.S. General Accounting –At a time when childhood obesity is skyrocketing–there has been an almost threefold jump in the number of overweight teens since the 1970s–some school cafeterias look a little different from food courts at the local mall. Many serve burgers and pizzas rife with full-fat meats and cheeses or simply turn the prep work over to franchisers like Burger King and Papa John’s, which have a burgeoning side business in catering school meals. Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University’s Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, is quoted as stating, “If nothing changes, a generation will be having heart bypasses by the time they’re 25,” and of adding, “The school cafeteria is a toxic food environment.”
As many of our readers know, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad used to make frequent references to “poison animal eaters.” As far as I knew, all of us who heard him thought the phrase referred to people who ate a particular class of meat, which came from a particular group of animals that had been singled out as “poison.” Thankfully, we have grown to recognize that his reference was to ALL animals–none of which are fit to eat!