A. For health reasons, members should not eat Biblically unclean food (Leviticus 11:1-47), and should not serve it in the Home or order it in restaurants. (Two exceptions to this rule are ham and thoroughly cooked bacon.)

1. There are times when it may be necessary to eat such food, especially when you are a guest in someone's home, in which case you may "eat what is set before you, giving thanks."
         It is a Family belief that it is unhealthy to eat Biblically unclean foods. There may be times when people will serve Biblically unclean food to you as their guest, and in such a case it would be unkind and unloving to your host not to eat it. There may also be times on rare occasions that a provisioning team is given something that is unclean; for instance, a pork roast. If your Home is in agreement, then you may proceed with serving it in your Home, but be sure you have the faith for it and that you faithfully pray a cleansing prayer over it (1Timothy 4:5). Another example might be if you are eating pizza on a special occasion that had some pork sausage on it.
Occasionally eating pork sausage on a pizza would be quite different than regularly eating pork sausage.
         As explained before, exceptions for rules can be made "only in a rare situation when warranted or in an unavoidable circumstance." If once in a great while an individual or Home eats something unclean, it would be considered "rare," which is defined as "occurring infrequently," so in such a case it would be permissible. However, if your provisioner was
asking your meat contact for pork, or if your Home was requesting your provisioner try to provision unclean seafood, or if you have a choice between clean and unclean foods, and you choose the unclean, then this would be disregarding the rules.
         Each Home should do its best to provide a nutritious, well-balanced diet for all of its members, taking into account the special needs of babies, growing children, nursing and pregnant mothers, the elderly, as well as the sick. They should avoid serving foods that the Bible teaches are unclean to the Home.

         It's against God's Bible laws to eat all that unclean meat, because they contain poisons and dangerous diseases that can sicken you, paralyze you, give you cholera and multitudes of other diseases that can kill you! (ML #609:85.)
         Of course there are times when you may have to eat [unclean foods] (1 Corinthians 10) for courtesy or when there is no alternative. (ML #609:P.S.)
         Out in evangelistic work we ate all kinds of things that people fed us, and we couldn't just sit there and turn up our noses at it, or it would have been a very insulting, ungrateful thing to do, discourteous to our hosts. ... So if for some reason you have to eat unclean food some time, just really pray over it! (ML #2347:80.)

B. Avoid eating foods and drinks with high sugar content, white sugar, bleached flour or rice and products made with such, and "junk food," except when unavoidable or on appropriate occasions.
         Family members should
avoid, which means to shun, as much as possible the eating of any kind of unhealthy food. This means you should not only shun Biblically unclean foods, but also avoid foods and drinks with a high sugar content or other unhealthy or non-nutritious foods such as bleached white flour, white sugar and white rice.
         This is oftentimes more difficult when you get something to eat or drink when outside the Home. Ideally, you should not consume any foods outside your Home that your Home would not have the faith to serve in your Home. Of course, if you are extremely thirsty and the only thing available to drink is a Cola, then you might have to drink it. But if there was something else available and safe to drink, which didn't have a high sugar content, then you should choose that instead. This is
not a license to regularly eat food containing refined and bleached white starches or sugar, or drink beverages with high sugar content, either at Home or when out.
         There are appropriate occasions for having foods that have sugar content or are made with white flour; for example, on a birthday you might have store-bought cake and ice cream. Ice cream, unless it's homemade, definitely has quite a bit of sugar in it, and would fall under the category of food that has high sugar content. However, it would be acceptable, because it is an
appropriate occasion.
         The key word pertaining to this rule is "unavoidable." Remember the rule is to
avoid unhealthy foods. If you are regularly eating and drinking such things, and are making an insufficient effort to acquire the proper types of food, you are breaking this rule and are subject to disciplinary measures.

         Nearly all the food value is gone after they've processed it, bleached it, cooked it, doctored it up and put preservatives in it and everything else to keep it from rotting. If they doctor it up so even the germs won't touch it, what is it going to do to you?--Monosodium glutamate and all kinds of sticky gummy based poisons and whatnot in all those artificial foods. People eat all that artificial junk with all that artificial coloring, artificial this, artificial that, artificial flavoring, and by the time they're done they wonder if they ate anything that was real at all! (ML #353:117-118.)
         We've got to temper everything--like I put on the end of the "Food or Poison" Letter (No.609)--with a little moderation. There are always exceptions (ML #1236:4).

C. In order to be moderate in alcohol consumption and to avoid its various negative effects, only one of the following are permitted as a weekly maximum alcohol limit for members over the age of 18, where legally permitted:

1. 12 ounces or 37.5 cl of wine.

2. 8 ounces or 25 cl of sherry, port or vermouth or other drinks that are not more than 20% alcohol.

3. 28 ounces or 84 cl of beer containing not over 6% alcohol.

         These amounts of alcoholic beverages are the maximum allowed each week. This is not a recommendation for everyone to drink these amounts, it is just to establish the maximum allowable limits. All other alcoholic beverages, with an alcohol content of more than 20%, including whisky, gin, vodka, liqueurs, etc., are not permitted in a Family Home for the purpose of members' weekly ration, nor are they permitted to be drunk on special occasions or celebrations.
         This is not a right that gives you permission for weekly wine, but a rule letting you know that you cannot go over this specified amount. You'll notice that the drinking of alcoholic beverages is not listed under the Rights of the Individual in the Charter! In many countries, alcoholic beverages are very expensive and an unneeded luxury. If your Home doesn't have enough school supplies for your children, or enough tools for outreach, then you should question whether you could afford to buy alcoholic beverages for the Home.
         Those under the age of 18 are not permitted to drink alcoholic beverages; however, in your own Home, on special occasions or celebrations, the Home could decide to let the teens drink a glass of wine or a punch which has some alcohol in it. Of course everyone, no matter what age, can partake of communion wine.

4. On "special occasions," members are permitted to drink a maximum of 12 ounces or 37.5 cl of wine, 8 ounces or 25 cl of sherry (or similar beverage that does not exceed 20% alcohol), or 28 ounces or 84 cl of beer (that does not exceed 6% alcohol).

a) No more than two "special occasions" may be held per month.

         There also may be times when your Home has a celebration or a special event at which you wish to serve an alcoholic beverage, in addition to the standard weekly allowance which was or will be consumed on another occasion within the same week. These special occasions must be limited to not more than two per month. During these special occasions members are not permitted to drink more than 12 ounces or 37.5 cl of wine, or 8 ounces or 25 cl of port or sherry (or similar beverages which do not exceed 20% alcohol) or 28 ounces or 84 cl of beer.

         Anybody who is not willing to obey and be cautious and conservative in their use of wine (or other alcoholic beverages), after sufficient warning, you'll have to ask them to leave (ML #856:95).

D. In order to avoid the negative effect of caffeine, the daily maximum for any caffeinated beverage, such as coffee, tea or cocoa, is two cups. Caffeinated coffee and tea are only for those 16 and over.

         Because caffeine is a stimulant and too much of it can cause health problems, the daily intake for caffeinated drinks is two cups. If you find that you suffer some ill effects of caffeine, such as bad temper, hyperactivity, nervousness, insomnia, etc., you may want to consider abstaining from it.
Drinking all that coffee just exhausts your adrenaline system, so when you need it you don't have it, and it's too much of a strain on your heart burning up so much energy! You're dumping fuel on the fire immoderately and then all of a sudden you run out of fuel--and then when you need it for warmth and strength, it's not there! ... "Abuse not the temple of the Holy Ghost!" "Be temperate in all things!" "Let your moderation be known to all men!" (1Corinthians 3:17; 9:25; Philippians 4:5.) (ML #66:3,5).

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family