- No Peas and Rice
- By Barrington H.
Brennen, January 4, 2005, 2019
Bahamians love peas and rice. I do too, at least when itís cooked
wholesomely. We love it so much that we eat it every day of the year,
sometimes two and three times a day. Even on holidays and other festive
occasions, many Bahamians feel that if there is one dish that must be included
in the meal, it is peas and rice. But thatís not all. Peas and rice has a
few companions: potato salad, macaroni and cheese, and coleslaw. This dietary
quartet joins forces every day in Bahamian kitchens with cooks and chefs, moms
and dads, who work together to satisfy large appetites. Is it really a healthy
- DEADLY COMBINATION
- Peas and Rice.
It is my opinion that having this kind of meal
every day of your life is boring and unhealthy, especially when it is
prepared with little or no variety. Peas and rice can be a wholesome meal.
However, the traditional method of preparing peas and rice may prove to be
more of a nuclear bomb than a nutrition energy source. When a lot of fat
(often lard), pork, or crab is added to peas and rice, it turns this
potentially wholesome meal into a hard-to-digest substance that clogs the
plumbing systems of the human body. Loaded with a dangerously high level
of cholesterol and salt, Bahamians open their mouths every day to a meal
designed to put them prematurely in the grave. Thousands of Bahamian
hearts, veins, arteries, kidney, livers, and stomachs are screaming for
help to escape the daily onslaught of these enemies of the human body.
Ignoring the pains and aches, and being tantalized by the spices and
seasonings, many unashamedly keep on stuffing themselves and clogging
their system. Not even the traditional yucky castor oil, Mamaís powerful
annual purging medicine and natureís liquid plumber, can unclog the
We mistakenly think of societyís destructive forces only in terms of
guns, illegal drugs, premarital sex, teenage pregnancies, sexually-transmitted
infections, intimate partner abuse, incest, murder, rape, robbery, etc. But we
are oblivious to the fact that one of the greatest destroyers of the Bahamian
society is being cooked-up every day in our own kitchens. Our diet is clogging
our minds, preventing us from thinking clearly, responsibly and lovingly. It
is making us nervous, edgy, stressed, angry, and irrational.
Macaroni and Cheese.
Joining peas and rice on the path to destroying
the Bahamian society is macaroni and cheese. This is a really tasty but
unhealthy meal, at least when cooked the traditional way. Many Bahamians feel
that they cannot have tasty macaroni and cheese without whole milk, cheddar
cheese, whole eggs and butter. This extremely high cholesterol combination is
dangerous and joins the fat-laden peas and rise in keeping its victims
marching to the doctor for complaints of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart
Potato Salad and Cole Slaw. Completing this deadly dietary quartet is
potato salad and coleslaw. Once again, these can be healthy dishes, but their
potentially nutrition elements are destroyed with high cholesterol mayonnaise,
whole eggs, and condiments. A daily diet of traditional peas and rice,
macaroni and cheese, potato salad and coleslaw, is as bad as putting sand in
your carís gasoline tank or not changing the car oil and filter for years.
Compounding this great health risk that this dietary quartet brings is the
serious lack of roughage --fresh fruits or vegetables. This makes it even more
difficult for the greasy foods and high sugars to be scrubbed away from walls
of our digestive systems.
We eat too much. Not only do many Bahamians choose to eat a diet loaded
with grease and cholesterol, they indulge in too much of it. It seems as if
it is an honor or respect to create mountains of food on oneís plate when
being served. It is certainly an embarrassing and gluttonous habit that must
be broken. Many years ago, one of the worldís most respected non-academic
nutritionists, Ellen White, stated in the book "Mind, Character, and
Personality" these words:
- EATING TOO MUCH
"Overeating befogs the brain. The most precious words may be heard
and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. . .
. The health of the mind is to a large degree dependent upon the health of
the body, and the health of the body is dependent upon the way in which
the living machinery is treated. Eat only that food which will keep your
stomach in the most healthy condition."
White expands these thoughts as she talks about the use of tobacco. She
"Tobacco, in whatever form it is used, tells upon the
constitution. It is a slow poison. It affects the brain and benumbs the
sensibilities so that the mind cannot clearly discern spiritual things,
especially those truths which would have a tendency to correct this filthy
There is a myriad of studies supporting these teachings. Recent studies
have shown that high intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, and the use of
tobacco and alcohol, clog the arteries and are associated with higher risk for
Alzheimerís disease and damage to the nervous system.
The problems in our society are often very visible in our churches and
sometimes originate there. One of the main reasons for this is that too many
so-called Christians have poor lifestyles and diets, thus making it
impossible for them to become truly spiritual and responsible citizens.
Ellen White has something powerful to share on this point in her book
"Diets and Foods," page 32:
- DIET AND CHURCH PROBLEMS
"The abuses of the stomach by the gratification of appetite, are
the fruitful source of most church trials. Those who eat and work
intemperately and irrationally, talk and act irrationally. An intemperate
man cannot be a patient man. It is not necessary to drink alcoholic
liquors in order to be intemperate. The sin of intemperate eating, eating
too frequently, too much, and of rich, unwholesome food, destroys the
healthy action of the digestive organs, affects the brain, and perverts
the judgment, preventing rational, calm, healthy thinking and acting. And
this is a fruitful source of church trials. Therefore in order for the
people of God to be in an acceptable state with Him, where they can
glorify Him in their bodies and spirits which are His, they must with
interest and zeal deny the gratification of their appetites, and exercise
temperance in all things. Then may they comprehend the truth in its beauty
and clearness, and carry it out in their lives, and by a judicious, wise,
straightforward course, give the enemies of our faith no occasion to
reproach the cause of truth."
Dear reader, create a positive change in your lifestyle.
This will help you to become more productive, spiritually responsive, loving
and caring. Learn how to cook peas and rice, macaroni and cheese, potato
salad and cold slaw in healthy ways. Reduce the fat content, avoid the
yellow of the eggs, and eliminate whole milk. Additionally, avoid eating the
same foods every day. Have a great variety in your diet and eat an abundance
of fruits and vegetables every day. Next week I will present some simple
healthy recipes for these dishes.
- TIME TO CHANGE
I believe that more Bahamian families will be healthier and happier when
their diets and lifestyles are changed. Many of our family and national
problems start right in our cooking pots. Letís start to cook
wholesomely. Go NOW to the
Barrington Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and a certified
psychologist, USA. Send your comments or questions to P.O. Box CB-11045, Nassau, The
Bahamas; or email firstname.lastname@example.org
, or call 242 327 1980, or visit the web site www.soencouragement.org