Opt for root sustenance of body and soul
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are,” penned the world-renowned chef, Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, in his 1826 volume The Physiology of Taste. German philosopher and moralist, Ludwig Feuerbach, also believed that “man is what he eats.” If we truly believe that the foods that we eat comprise our bodily constitution, then it follows that what we feed our minds is also what constitutes our moral beliefs and daily spirituality. In other words, we are what we watch, read, listen to, and think. If you watch sexually explicit television or read vulgarity, you feed your soul a diet of pornography.
While many suppose that the “duties of religion” are the responsibilities of priests, nuns, and brother monks, it is actually the responsibility of the lay apostolate to be salt of the earth – to infiltrate the nooks and crannies of daily life where the religious rarely trod. As laity, our daily spiritual diet must consist of wholesome reading including Sacred Scripture, maintaining holy friendships, and meditating on the lives of the saints, Jesus Christ, and His Holy Mother, Mary. We must emblemize the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love. We all enjoy the guilty pleasures of “junk food” for the body and the brain; however, it is up to each of us to evangelize the culture by being proponents of Christian values and morality.
“If they don’t stand for something, they will fall for anything,” wrote Dr. Gordon A. Eadie in the January 1945 issue of the journal Mental Hygiene. If we refuse to stand for truth and moral values, then moral relativism will continue to reign in movies, television, song lyrics, books, the Internet, rallies, medical facilities, politics, laws, and political correctness. We must understand that many evils are veiled in tolerance. As John LaBriola wrote in Onward Catholic Soldier, “Satan loves to spread the lie that tolerance is a virtue and intolerance is a sin. He wants to replace truth with tolerance. Tolerance is an affront to justice for justice permits only that which is God; tolerance permits everything except intolerance. Tolerance is one of Satan’s most effective lies.” At times, our missionary task of salvaging truth may seem overwhelming. We may feel “too small” to affect change in any measurable way. However, we must remember that like the Apostles who evangelized the world long before the digital revolution, we are fishermen for Christ.
While the nutritionist Victor Lindlahr strongly touted in the 1920s and ‘30s that food controls health, that same notion might well be first attributed to the Roman Catholic Church. Do we not nourish our bodies and souls on the body and blood of Christ at every Eucharistic Supper? Yes, we are what we eat; and, we are what we feed our soul.
CHEF JOHN D. FOLSE is an entrepreneur with interests ranging from restaurant development to food manufacturing, catering to culinary education. A cradle Catholic, Chef Folse supports many Catholic organizations including the Sister Dulce Ministry at Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center in Baton Rouge, LA.
Honey-Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables
Prep Time: 1.5 hours
1 1/4 pounds parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 1/4 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 (1 1/4-pound) celery root, peeled, quartered and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 1/4 pounds golden beets, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Steen’s cane syrup
6 thyme sprigs
salt and ground black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
2 tbsps sherry vinegar
Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss root vegetables with oil, honey, cane syrup, and thyme then season with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic to taste. Divide between 2 large, rimmed baking sheets. Cover with aluminum foil and roast 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender, shifting pans once. Remove foil and roast 10 additional minutes. Return vegetables to bowl, stir in vinegar then adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.