Friday, June 25, 2010

Tonight's tangent......what does sparingly mean anyways????

I'm constantly trying to decide what to eat around here....there are sooo many different opinions and schools of thought. This is my brainstorm about MEAT! :) 

Last night we had perch with withered spinach, avocados and tomatoes. Tonight we had a vegetarian dish since I had tuna for lunch. We had peas, green beans, and onions with a small amount of rice pasta topped with olive oil and spices. I would have loved to eat it with with chicken, but in our home I try not to combine protein and starch because I have been learning about food combining and how it effects digestion.

As I was eating, I asked Patrick how he interpreted the word "SPARINGLY" as written in the word of wisdom. Being the logical creature he is, he went to google and typed in:

DEFINE: SPARINGLY. Google spat out:

Next I decided to put out the inquiry on Facebook. 

Seriously....anyone want to tell me how they interpret the word sparingly!?!? I'm pretty sure it means not to eat a T-bone every day, but aside from that, I'm perpetually stumped!

 I just am really interested in the word sparingly. To some it means...being a vegetarian which is over the top for me. To some it is meat a few times a month and for others it's probably only eating a 4 oz. steak every night instead of a 16 oz!

I'm still waiting for responses.

I'm sure my close friends saw the post and just thought to themselves, here she goes again! 

Whenever I hear the hymn In Our Lovely Deseret and we sing: And they eat but of very little meat, I always wonder what goes through the minds of the people in the congregation. ;)

Here are the lyrics:

That the children may live long,
And be beautiful and strong,
Tea and coffee and tobacco they despise, 
Drink no liquor, and they eat 
But a very little meat; 
They are seeking to be great and good and wise. 
          (Hymn #307, In Our Lovely Deseret, by Eliza R. Snow)

I have been thinking about this topic on and off for years. Sometimes I am what I would call and "eatlittlemeatarian" that means that I really eat very little meat. The only meat we got was when we were visiting family or went out to eat.


I think I just need to decide what is sparingly for me right now.Lately though, the word carnivore comes to my mind when I think about that yummy ribeye i ate (and really enjoyed) last week. Currently I eat about 3-4 ounces of animal protein a day. Sometimes it's far more. That's more than I've eaten in years! Right now, my freezer is overflowing with 1/2 of a yummy grassfed cow, so I've been a bit OVERLY excited about eating meat. I'm pregnant so my nutritional needs are different, but I don't want to overdo it either. I'm totally craving meat!!!

I guess after all of this research, I just need to listen to my body AND the spirit.... as it directs me what I should do and what SPARINGLY means for me and my family. :)

 Here are some excerpts from a google search and found insight from the articles I liked to below and highlighted key points in yellow. 

If anyone out there thinking about this topic would like to share what they have learned, do share. I would love to hear your comments! ; )
President Spencer W. Kimball noted:
"Regarding the eating of meat, the Church leaves that also to the discretion of the individual. What would be required by one person might be too much for another. It would seem to me that a man engaged in very heavy, physical manual labor would require more meat than one sitting at a desk.  If one's physical condition required an extra supply of meat, I would not worry about the breaking of the Word of Wisdom, in that matter especially, if this was on doctor's orders or if they felt that this was the thing to do. " (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.202)
Finally, one reason the Church has not issued more specific instructions regarding the eating of meat is because the proper amount of meat varies for each person according to their individual nature and circumstances.  Therefore, the Church teaches its members the correct principle (i.e., eat meat sparingly) and allows them the freedom to implement it in their own lives as their conscience so instructs them.
Ezra Taft Benson, 13th President
We need a generation of young people who, as Daniel, eat in a more healthy manner than to fare on the “kings meat”—and whose countenances show it.
     But what needs additional emphasis are the positive aspects...the need for vegetables, fruits, and grain, particularly wheat...We need a generation of people who eat in a healthier manner.
     In general, the more food we eat in its natural state and the less it is refined without additives, the healthier it will be for us. To a great extent we are physically what we eat….What needs additional emphasis are the positive aspects--the need for vegetables, fruits, and grains, particularly wheat. In most cases, the closer these can be, when eaten, to their natural state -- without overrefinement and processing -- the healthier we will be. To a significant degree, we are an overfed and undernourished nation digging an early grave with our teeth, and lacking the energy that could be ours because we overindulge in junk foods….we need a generation of young people who, as Daniel, eat in a more healthy manner than to fare on the "king's meat" -- and whose countenances show it.
- Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson , p. 476-77

D&C 89:12. Flesh Is to Be Used Sparingly

“The Word of Wisdom is not a system of vegetarianism. Clearly, meat is permitted [see D&C 42:18]. Naturally, that includes animal products, less subject than meat to putrefactive and other disturbances, such as eggs, milk, and cheese. These products cannot be excluded simply because they are not mentioned specifically. By that token most of our foodstuffs could not be eaten.” (Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, 3:156–57.)

D&C 89:13. “Only in Times of Winter, or of Cold, or Famine”

This verse has caused some to ask if meat should be eaten in the summer. Meat has more calories than fruits and vegetables, which some individuals may need fewer of in summer than winter. Also, before fruits and vegetables could be preserved, people often did not have enough other food to eat in winter. Spoiled meat can be fatal if eaten, and in former times meat spoiled more readily in summer than winter. Modern methods of refrigeration now make it possible to preserve meat in any season. The key word with respect to the use of meat is sparingly (D&C 89:12).
What does sparingly mean? The World Health Organization says we only need 1 oz of
meat or poultry IF we have sufficient calories in our diet. The problem with a large part of
the world is they don’t have sufficient calories in their diet so the protein they eat must be
converted to energy, because the primary need is for energy.
However, most nutritionists say that the safer amount is about 3 oz of animal protein per
day. That is a piece of meat about the size of the palm of a woman’s hand, or the size of a
deck of cards., just as past members struggled as individuals and a group to keep some parts of the Word of Wisdom, it is arguable that some members today likewise struggle. As with the former members, the Lord is merciful and has not yet created a "standard" for meat consumption—each member and his or her conscience settles the matter with him or herself.
Joseph Fielding Smith seems to take this attitude:
While it is ordained that the flesh of animals is for man's food, yet this should be used sparingly. The wording of this revelation is perfectly clear in relation to this subject, but we do not always heed it.[1]
Thus, each member is encouraged to do better, but as in Joseph Smith's day we ought not to attack or dictate to others. If the Lord is displeased with us individually, he can make his will known by revelation. If He is displeased with the Church as a whole, prophetic authority will give the necessary correction.
To be certain, the last correction any Latter-day Saints needs is from a cynical critic trying to use this as one more chink in someone's spiritual armor. But, as good Christians, we can appreciate the reminder, examine our conscience, and pay the critics or their issues no further worry. They do not have our spiritual well-being at heart.
Meat sparingly. Again, sparing is a good word. It means "sparing Gods creatures." It is to be used with thanksgiving and not with gluttony, which is one of the national weaknesses. (Overweight is one of our national diseases.) That's gluttony, which is one of the seven deadly sins. You have a right to meat, according to the 49th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. The family who needs a deer to get through the winter have a right to that. The Lord will not deny them, but He is also pleased with those who forbear. They can eat meat only in times of starvation, winter, cold, famine. "Starve" means to die of cold as well as of famine. And the Saints need meat to see them through the winter and restore their fainting strength. Remember the miracle of the quails, for example. Game only in times of famine and excess of hunger. But the supplies are limited, and we cannot afford to hunt the year round, promiscuously. At the first sight of buffalo in Iowa—the plain was covered with buffalo as far as the eye could see—Brigham Young called the brethren together and told them not to shoot one unless they absolutely need it. And this turned out to be a great blessing for them.

 GREAT ensign article from 1977!!! 

The Do’s in the Word of Wisdom

By Lora Beth Larson
“Flesh … Sparingly”
The second general area for positive action deals with animals and meat:
“Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
“And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.” (D&C 89:12–13.)
We realize that the Word of Wisdom does not advocate total vegetarianism when we read another scripture:
“And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;
“For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.” (D&C 49:18–19; see also 1 Tim. 4:1–3.)
What is meat’s nutritional value? It contains good quality protein and iron. The general nutritional composition of eggs is enough like meat that they are considered a “meat alternate.” Milk and cheeses are also high in protein, but contain calcium instead of iron. Dried peas and beans such as pigeon peas, navy beans, and soybeans contain moderate to high quality protein as well as some iron, so these may be used as meat alternates.
Grains contain less protein than most of these other foods; it’s also of poorer quality. However, grain protein contributes to the day’s total, especially when eaten with meat or meat alternates. Vegetables contain only small amounts of protein, and fruits practically none at all. Thus a diet which relies totally on grains, fruits, and vegetables usually means protein deficiency.

In addition to protein, meats provide us with several of the vitamins in the vitamin B group: thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine. One member of this group, vitamin B12, is found only in meat, milk, cheese, and eggs; thus strict vegetarians must take a vitamin B12 supplement to avoid eventual irreversible damage to their spinal cord. Meats also contribute to a full feeling after a meal, because they contain some fat, which stays in our stomach longer than the other nutrients.

However, we are admonished to use meat sparingly. This caution is certainly understandable considering how heavily nineteenth-century Americans relied on meat when the Word of Wisdom was given. But even in our day of more balanced diets, we are aware of some problems when the meat intake is very high, as advocated by some dieters or by athletes who do not understand muscle physiology.
When meat makes up the main part of our food intake, we crowd out other foods and, consequently, their nutrients. In a recent extreme example, a widower had milk for breakfast, a hamburger for lunch, and steak for dinner. He disliked onions and other vegetables, thought potatoes were “fattening,” and was not interested in fruit. He developed scurvy! 5
Meats are also sources of fat, primarily saturated fat, and cholesterol. People who need to cut down their total calories may need to cut down on the total amount of fat in their diet. Individuals who have some of the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease may need to limit their intake of saturated fat and cholesterol as well as total fat and calories. Table 1 shows the fat and cholesterol content of some foods, but individual recommendations for intake vary.

Table 1: Calories, Protein, Fat, and Cholesterol in Common Meats and Alternates 6

Protein (Grams)
Total Fat (Grams)
Cholesterol (Milligrams)
Broiled hamburger
3 oz.
Broiled chicken
3 oz.
Broiled pork chop
3 oz.
Broiled halibut
3 oz.
Cooked dry beans
1 cup
Hard cooked eggs
2 med.
Whole milk
1 cup
Skim milk
1 cup
Cheddar cheese
1 oz.
Some researchers believe that a diet high in meat is linked with a higher incidence of colon cancer and diverticular disease. (Diverticula are small pockets on the large intestine which may become inflamed.) However, since it’s almost impossible to have a high meat diet without having a high fat and low fiber intake as well, it’s not clear what actually causes the intestinal problems. In Utah, where per capita beef consumption is slightly higher than the national average, the incidence of cancer of the colon still is less than the incidence among Seventh Day Adventists, even though many of the latter group practice a vegetarian diet. 7 Thus, the relationship between a high meat diet and cancer needs further investigation.
Another problem more clearly associated with a high meat (or a high protein) diet is the extra work placed on the kidneys. Protein not needed for building or repairing body tissue is broken down; part of the molecule is used for energy or stored as fat while the other part of the molecule is excreted as waste in urine.
Protein in the diet also influences calcium retention. Our teeth and bones need calcium throughout life, but the body doesn’t retain it well when the protein intake is considerably higher than necessary. Reducing meat intake might actually benefit those with limited calcium intake, although of course they’d need to be sure that their protein intake is still adequate.
How much do we actually need? The National Research Council estimates individuals need .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. 8 Thus a 70 kilogram man (150 pounds) needs approximately 54 grams of protein daily. Table 2 shows a combination of foods this man could eat to meet his protein needs. It is easy to make substitutions; for more detailed information on protein in foods consult a table of food values. In most states and countries a publication listing food values is available from government agencies.

Table 2. Foods Contributing to the Protein Intake of a 70 Kilogram Man

Food and Amount
Protein Grams
3 oz. meat (fish, poultry, etc.)
1 8 oz. glass of milk
1 cup cooked dry beans (pinto, navy, etc.)
4 slices of bread
1 potato
1 oz. cheddar cheese
* High quality protein
High-quality protein should provide approximately one-third to one-half of the recommended intake. Thus, someone could cut down on meat and milk by increasing consumption of beans, nuts, and cereal products. In making such substitutions, however, we should remember that meats are some of the best sources of iron, and that milk and cheeses are the best sources of calcium in the typical Western diet.
We are told in Doctrine and Covenants 89:12–13 [D&C 89:12–13] that the use of meats is more appropriate during times of winter, cold, or famine. Why? We’re not certain. Our present knowledge about the body’s protein requirement suggests that we need the same amount of protein throughout the year, although we can certainly emphasize different sources in different seasons. In this area as in others, there’s definitely room for additional research.