Off to Italy…

I'm only on the plane and the gluten onslaught of Italian food has begun...

I’m only just on the plane and the onslaught of gluten via Italian food has already begun…

Armed with three packages of Quest Protein bars to fend off the oncoming gluten offensive that is otherwise known as Italian cuisine I’m off to Italy with the Oblates of the Virgin Mary for two months. I hear good things about the food there and I’ve never been to Europe so I’m pretty excited.  I may be able to do a Veritas Cibi vlog or two but I’m definitely blogging daily for the Oblates here at this address…


Applying The First Principle and Foundation of the Ignatian Exercises to Diet and Food

I offer my thoughts on applying the First Principle and Foundation of the Ignatian Exercises to food diet and food in this vlog.

Principle and Foundation (Spiritual Exercise #23)

Human beings are created to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord, and by means of doing this to save their souls.

The other things on the face of the earth are created for the human beings, to help them in the pursuit of the end for which they are created.

From this it follows that we ought to use these things to the extent that they help us toward our end, and free ourselves from them to the extent that they hinder us from it.

To attain this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, in regard to everything which is left to our free will and is not forbidden.  Consequently, on our own part we ought not to seek health rather than sickness, wealth rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, a long life rather than a short one, and so on in all other matters.

Rather, we ought to desire and choose only that which is more conducive to the end for which we are created.

(from Stretched for Greater Glory by George Aschenbrenner)

The Power of Food: Reflecting on “Babette’s Feast”

I watched the foodie fave “Babette’s Feast” this past summer and again a couple weeks ago on the newly released Blu-Ray.  It inspired some thoughts about the power of food.  Check out the vlog above.  Here is a link to the Wikipedia article on the film…’s_Feast

Thoughts from Watching the Documentary “Statin Nation”

Summary:  There are huge conflicts of interest when pharmaceutical companies sponsor research with the massive financial incentive for people to keep buying their drugs.  There is little incentive for the people taking the drugs to get better (only to keep living in a state where they continue to need the drugs).  This leads to some incorrect conventional thinking within the world of health and nutrition.  One needs to really scrutinize each headline and study before taking these “common” conclusions to be truthful.

Here is the website of the documentary

Here is the link to the first thirteen minutes on YouTube

Joel Salatin is Catholic (He just doesn’t know it yet)

A link to Joel’s farm…

Here is a link to a talk he gave at the Ancestral Health Symposium in August of 2012.  It is one of the best talks I’ve ever heard.  If you watch it all the way through I ask a question at the end….

Here is a link to Joel’s book “Folks, This Ain’t Normal” 

Here are the quotes I reference in the vlog.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

339 Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness.  Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things, which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment.

340 God wills the interdependence of creatures.  The sun and the moon, the cedar and the little flower, the eagle and the sparrow: the spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities tells us that no creature is self-sufficient.  Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other.

1883  Socialization also presents dangers.  Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative.  The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”

1884 God has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of power.  He entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature.  This mode of governance ought to be followed in social life.  The way God acts in governing the world, which bears witness to such great regard for human freedom, should inspire the wisdom of these who govern human communities.  They should behave as ministers of divine providence.

1885 The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism.  It sets limits for state intervention.  It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies.  It tends toward the establishment of true international order.

From Joel’s book “Folks, This Ain’t Normal”

Each one of us, whether we like it or not, is utterly and completely dependent on an unseen community, an invisible world.  We pamper and primp to make the visible body more appealing, but what are we doing to beautify our unseen world? In our Western Greco-Roman compartmentalized fragmented systematized linear reductionist individualized disconnected parts-oriented thinking, we tend to disassociate the seen from the unseen.  We do so at our own peril.  We are all, every one of us, simply a manifestation of this invisible world.  (p. 108)

Couple more from the book which aren’t referenced in the blog but still cool…

That no life can exist without sacrifice is a profound physical and spiritual truth.  And the better the life, the greater the sacrifice.  (p. 25)

The ugly truth is that nobody goes hungry due to lack of food.  They go hungry die to lack of distribution. (p. 34)

That Jesus commanded the Last Supper to commemorate his death, until His return, is not just cutesy storytelling.  The togetherness enjoyed and enjoined in that traditional sacrament stands as a monument to purposeful existence.  (p. 90)

As a culture, we pat ourselves on the back for extricating our populace from farming.  I submit that better farming requires a more intimate acquaintance with the land, which in turn requires more eyes and ears and brains on that land….I argue that more farmers make better food and more people actively cooking make better dining.  (p. 91)

I’m not suggesting that we obsess about food, but there’s a long way between where we are and obsession.  (p. 91)

Charles Darwin: Not a Bad Guy! (More musings on evolution…)

Here is the quote I used from the catechism…

302 Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator.  The universe was created “in a state of journeying” (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it.  We call “divine providence” the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection:

Also here is a link to Karl Giberson’s website…

Check out his books…very interesting reads.

Can A Catholic Be Paleo? (Musings on Evolution…)

Here are the actual quotes I used in the vlog…

Quotes from the Catechism

159 Faith and science: “Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason.  Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth.” 37 “Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God.  The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.”

2293 Basic scientific research, as well as applied research, is a significant expression of man’s dominion over creation.  Science and technology are precious resources when placed at the service of man and promote his integral development for the benefit of all. By themselves however they cannot disclose the meaning of existence and of human progress.  Science and technology are ordered to man, from whom they take their origin and development; hence they find in the person and in his moral values both evidence of their purpose and awareness of their limits.

– Pope John Paul II

In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII has already affirmed that there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith regarding man and his vocation, provided that we do not lose sight of certain fixed points.

Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis.  In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned nor sought—constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.

-Pope Benedict Emeritus

Currently, I see in Germany, but also in the United States, a somewhat fierce debate raging between so-called “creationism” and evolutionism, presented as though they were mutually exclusive alternatives: those who believe in the Creator would not be able to conceive of evolution, and those who instead support evolution would have to exclude God. This antithesis is absurd because, on the one hand, there are so many scientific proofs in favor of evolution which appears to be a reality we can see and which enriches our knowledge of life and being as such.

-St. Josemaria Escriva  (

Every now and then, monotonously sounding like a broken record, some people try to resurrect a supposed incompatibility between faith and science, between human knowledge and divine revelation.  But such incompatibility could only arise –and then only apparently- from a misunderstanding of the elements of the problem.  If the world has come from God, if he has created man in his image and likeness and given him a spark of divine light, the task of our intellect should be to uncover the divine meaning imbedded in all things by their nature, even if this can be attained only by dint of hard work.  And with the light of faith, we also can perceive their supernatural purpose, resulting from the elevation of the natural order to the higher order of grace.  We can never be afraid of developing human knowledge, because all intellectual effort, if it is serious, is aimed at truth.

A Couple Interesting Links worth checking out….

An interesting site about evolution by a biology professor at Brown University, Ken Miller…

Here is the organization Karl Giberson works with…


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