This blog contains a video clip from FOX News which I would suggest that you not watch if you are nearing a meal time on your schedule. This item, sent to me by a reader, details the strange neurological case of a woman, who, after deteriorating neurological symptoms, was told she had a brain tumor after an MRI exam. During the surgery, the surgeon learned it was not a brain tumor, but rather a live worm which had taken up a parasitic existence inside the woman’s brain (the extraction of the worm from her brain is shown on the video clip). 

The interview with her surgeon shows him saying that such worms come from “eating undercooked pork,” and that these parasitic brain worms can also result from hand contact with someone who has the parasitic worms in their body or from eating food prepared by someone who has these worms in their body. Obviously, it can also come from eating pork products which are “undercooked,” according to the surgeon. Here is one more reason for regular and thorough hand-washing, especially on the part of those in the food-service industry. 

The fact that the brain worms were indistinguishable from a brain tumor on the MRI makes me ask a question: How many people are being treated by chemo or radiation for brain tumors when what they really have is a brain worm? This video indicates the surgeon was expecting to deal with a brain tumor based on the MRI exam, and was surprised to find a parasitic brain worm instead. The surgeon also stated that these brain worms are becoming “more common.”

This also makes me think of a biblical connection, and I’m putting this in the ten tribes blog as it relates to the food laws given by God to all the tribes of Israel when they were together after coming out of Egypt. These food laws are found in two books of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible written by Moses. Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 are the chapters which have extensive lists of animals, birds and sea creatures which God told Moses were “clean” to eat and which ones should be considered “unclean” and not eaten. Deuteronomy 14:8 warns that not only should swine not be eaten, but one should also avoid even touching their dead carcasses. Do you suppose God knew parasitic brain worms could be transferred from pork flesh to humans who ate (or even touched) pigs, and his law was based on both wisdom and concern for the Israelites’ well-being?  After all, some of God’s laws in the Torah were millennia ahead of mankind’s scientific abilities to catch up to the level of knowledge God conveyed in the Bible. In Deuteronomy 23:12-13, God told Moses to have the Israelites quickly bury their excrement. It was millennia later that scientists learned what a good idea this sanitary practice is in limiting the spread of disease. Leviticus 15 details the need to wash clothing and bedding contaminated by the body fluids of sick people. The sanitary need for this practice is now commonly understood by modern mankind, but God gave this instruction to ancient Israel’s tribes because he was sharing knowledge with them which was far ahead of mankind’s ability to understand the sound reasoning behind those instructions. Leviticus 13 ordered the practice of quarantining the sick to prevent the spread of disease. Again, the Bible was millennia ahead of mankind’s level of knowledge on such matters. If all of God’s these other sanitary and hygienic laws were given for reasons which were based on what we now know is sound science, do you suppose the same thing can be said for God’s food laws? Remember those brain worms from eating pork when you consider the answer to that question!

While Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 reveal that God designed animals and fish to have physical characteristics (cloven hooves, chewing its cud, fins and scales on fish, etc.) which indicate whether God considers them safe or not to eat, I think there is a “short-hand” way of determining whether animals and birds are on God’s “safe” or “unsafe” list. Basically, that unofficial rule is if a particular animal or bird will scavenge and eat roadkill in the wild, it is on the unsafe list. If you consider the list of animals and birds that the Torah warns against eating (every kind of pig species, ravens and crows, vultures, owls, hawks, eagles, lizards, ferrets are named and the “cloven hoof, cud-chewing” rule also means dogs and all canines, lions and all felines, etc. would be on the “unclean” list), all these animals in a wild state will scavenge and eat roadkill. Roadkill attracts flies, insects, maggots, worms, bacteria, parasites, etc. so any animal that will eat roadkill has a God-designed digestive system to handle such “yukky” stuff. Have you ever seen a “clean” animal (cows, sheep, deer, etc.) eat roadkill? Probably not.

Many Christians assume the New Testament said “God cleansed all meats to eat.” Actually, that is not the case when you look at scripture carefully. To begin with, Christ Himself said he had not come to destroy the law or the prophets (meaning the Torah and the prophetic books of the Old Testament). Many think I Timothy 4:4-5 permits Christians to eat any animals as food, but the exact opposite is true. This passage states: “For every creature of God is good and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (emphasis added). These verses follow verse 3 which identifies a commandment to abstain from meats (i.e.vegetarianism) as “a “doctrine of devils.” If someone wishes to voluntarily abstain from meats, it is not a sin to be vegetarian, but it is a sin to command other people to not eat meat. In verses 4-5, Paul was defending the right of Christians to eat meat at all! Paul, a trained Pharisee and very skilled in all Torah practices, refers to the biblical meat laws in verse 5. He writes that any meat can be eaten if it is “sanctified by the word of God.” What was the “word of God” when Paul first wrote this epistle? Obviously, it was the Old Testament! Paul was defending the right of Christians to eat meats as long as the “word of God” permitted a particular type of “creature” to be eaten. Paul was referring to Leviticus and Deuteronomy 14 in I Timothy 4:4-5 as the recognized parts of the “word of God” which lists which types of animal flesh are “sanctified” by God to eat. If you want to examine this subject in more depth, I refer you to the article, The Bible Diet, available at the articles link at this website’s home page.

Personally, I’ll opt for observing the biblical diet laws in my food choices, but I admit I’d have to be awfully hungry to eat a locust (which, surprisingly, is on the “clean” list of foods in Leviticus 11:22). If you do choose to eat pork, remember this video clip below and be sure it is cooked “well done.” The video clip confirms a risk in eating pork that is confirmed by modern medicine and science.