I was tickled when I discovered Ezekiel 4:9 in my local grocery store. Finally, two of my favorite things—contemporary religion and whole grain cereal—were combined within one scripture-clad box. With a recipe inspired by the corresponding biblical passage, Ezekiel 4:9 cereal combines the ingredients—wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt—directed by God to the prophet Ezekiel. Had I found the true “staff of life,” as advertised?
Of course, I had to take it home and see for myself. Little did I know that only a few weeks later, New York Magazine would give the cereal a four-out-of-four star rating, and that I would be regularly enjoying the breakfast product. To learn more about Food for Life, the company behind the Ezekiel 4:9 brand, I spoke with Gary Torres, Food for Life’s Marketing Director.
How did Food for Life come up with the Ezekiel 4:9 brand, and what was the development process like? The people of Food For Life have always had a passion for natural foods. As bakers and believers in scripture, we felt it necessary to produce the nutritious bread described in Ezekiel 4:9, as well as many other products, such as 7-grain and other whole grain breads and granolas. The first breads were produced in the mid 1940s.
What was it like to take a recipe found in the bible and to turn it into an actual, marketable product? Did you run into any obstacles? Making Ezekiel bread came naturally at Food For Life. We were immediately convinced of the nutritional value of this unique yet timeless bread. Although this bread is now widely distributed, marketing Ezekiel bread over the years has not always been easy. Because of the Biblical/Scriptural reference, it has definitely experienced its share of both good and bad attention. Not everyone agreed that a bread product named Ezekiel 4:9 was a smart idea, nor did everyone agree that a bread should have scripture on it. We believed that both were appropriate.
So Food for Life sees the brand as fulfilling a specifically religious purpose, as well as a nutritional one? Ezekiel 4:9 bread has never been produced to fill a religious purpose. Rather, it's a nutritionally superior bread produced by divine inspiration.
Have religious groups generated any particular interest in the product? Since we are a Jewish site, I have to ask if there is any Jewish connection—have you had any requests from Jewish or other religious groups or vendors? Yes, of course, some have… the Kashruth kosher supervision, Kof-K of Teaneck, NJ as well as other religious communities and organizations have generated support for Ezekiel bread. Though Food For Life has no religious affiliation, we are ever-anxious to serve our customers. Specifically, we have been asked to produce this product under orthodox designation pas yisroel which we have done.
The Ezekiel 4:9 cereal was described as “righteously tasty” in New York Magazine last week. Do you think part of the cereal’s high nutritional value and good taste can be attributed to the fact that the recipe came from the bible? Was this cereal destined to be? Absolutely! Ezekiel 4:9 cereal is made with only simple ingredients and contains only the specified grains, legumes, and seeds as God gave to Ezekiel (documented in the Holy Scripture verse: Ezekiel 4:9). It is quite amazing to experience its uncommonly good taste and nutritional profile. Since this product is not fortified with additives, we can draw no other conclusions for the basis of its nutritional value and flavor.
Speaking of how God directed Ezekiel, you don’t cook it the same way (over burning animal waste) as Ezekiel did, do you? Surprisingly, we receive that very question quite often. It seems that many are curious to find out just how authentic our Ezekiel 4:9 bread really is! However, please be assured all Food For Life products, including Ezekiel 4:9 bread, are baked using modern or conventional baking methods.
Thank goodness! Readers will be happy to hear that. Food for Life also has a Genesis 1:29 brand, inspired by the passage in which God instructs Adam and Eve to use “every herb bearing seed…for meat.” You guys obviously took a few liberties with the recipe. How did you go about choosing the ingredients for this product? Yes, we've taken some common and other uncommon grains and seeds from nearly every continent on the earth and combined them together in Genesis 1:29 bread. Through the inspiration of the verse Genesis 1:29, we have developed a bread after the original grain-based diet given by God which features "A world of nutrition in Every Slice". This bread is packed with grains and seeds!
Sounds great! Does Food for Life have any upcoming plans for additional varieties of biblical food? Perhaps, you never know what is coming next! Stay tuned!