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The Organic/Paleo/Detox Movements and What They Reveals About Us … A Philosophical Musing

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Okay wow that was a long title. So I have been thinking—as I drink my single origin signature blend latte at my favourite coffee spot—is it just me, or is everything either organic or something like it these days? It seems paleo is the latest thing … well more like the latest thing to hit mainstream. From my understanding it has been around for a while in Europe  … according to some documentary I saw … so it has to be legit … it was a documentary … 

Anyway, I was wondering what it is it that drives us to go back to the original source? It doesn’t even have to do with food; I noticed recently that even old-school barber shops are back—places where you can get a razor–shave. Things have gone back to the good old days, even the bottles and marketing looks like you have stepped back into an era when things were less plastic. 

I wonder if there is a deeper philosophical statement being made: “this was how it was meant to be—clean and uncontaminated.” Maybe it’s an attempt to get back to the garden where it all began—where everything was organic, single origin …

I suspect we have a deep yearning for the simplicity of this first creation. And, as culture becomes more complicated and artificial, our hearts to recover that simplicity and cleanliness—the simplicity of the place God created for us. 

But it might be deeper than that. Surely there’s a place that is in our hearts and souls where we realise there is uncleanness in us. Perhaps we hope that living a more wholesome life will allow us to cleanse ourselves. That’s what some of these products promote. We talk about detoxing our bodies … I wonder if it’s really a desire to detox our souls.

We talk about detoxing our bodies … I wonder if it’s really a desire to detox our souls.

Yet, ironically, these attempts at clean living can make us more arrogant. They give us an excuse to think we are better than those sugar-eating, Nescafé-drinking suburbanites.  

This is why I love the raw, organic aspect of the Bible. It gets to the heart always, because it’s God’s word and when I read verses like those below, I’m reminded that I’m free, but that my freedom came at a cost. So whether I single-origin or not; whether I organic or not, it should all be done for the Glory of God—which makes it so much better because it moves things away from me and makes everything about God.  I can get off my single-origin high horse and stop judging others who have different tastes. 

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)

Finally, as a follower of Jesus I’m reminded that my hope isn’t to go back to how things were, but to look forward to what is to come. Because he made me clean by his life and death; because he detoxed my soul, I can live a life where I’m defined, not by what I drink, eat or abstain from, but by a person: Jesus Christ. 


Photos:pexels.com

Shebu John is a pastor at Canterbury Gardens Community Church. He previously served with Campus Crusade for Christ’s university student ministry and Student Life (now Power to Change). Shebu completed his Bachelor of Theology at Ridley College and is currently undertaking his Masters In Ministry. He is married to Bek, dad to three kids, a coffee snob and loves the Hawthorn Football Club.

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