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January 7, 2024 — Christina Ward with Tim Swartz

And now for something completely different: Gene and cohost Tim Swartz present Christina Ward, an author, editor, and seeker. She is also the Vice President and Editor of Feral House, a publisher noted for their books on outré topics. The main topic of discussion is her book,  “Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and New Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat.” Religious beliefs have been the source of food “rules” since Pythagoras told his followers not to eat beans (they contain souls), Kosher and Halal rules forbade the shrimp cocktail (shellfish are scavengers, or maybe God just said “no”). A long-ago Pope forbade Catholics from eating meat on Fridays (fasting to atone for committed sins). Rules about eating are present in nearly every American belief, from high-control groups that ban everything except air to the infamous strawberry shortcake that sated visitors to the Oneida Community in the late 1800s. Even the followers of the Heaven’s Gate cult had specific rules about food consumption. Ward’s book also features over 75 recipes from religious and communal groups tested and updated for modern cooks.

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