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Dija Know… Joe’s Restaurant Newsletter -100 March 2014 – Special Chocolate Edition

The Chocolate Challenge – tell me honestly, who doesn’t love chocolate?  One of Joe’s waiters, Mark Reichard, who has also been a chef, is kindly donating his time and skill while Joe’s donates the supplies and ingredients to create a chocolate sensation (wait ‘til you see it!) for La Familia Medical Center Benefit.  The Inn at Loretto hosts the event on Sat March 1, 2014 starting at 5:30 pm.  Enjoy music, hors d’oeuvres, champagne, and sample chocolate treats prepared and donated by local chefs and restaurants.   General admission tickets are $75, VIP tickets are $100.  Tickets and info: (303) 895-5367,  jo@pocomoon.com

I thought I’d married a German boy.  But when St. Paddy’s Day comes ‘round, chef Roland captures the magic of the Irish in his cooking. His now-famous corned beef, cabbage and boiled new potatoes is beyond mouth-watering.  It will be available, not just on March 17th, but the whole week prior – Tuesday March 11 through Monday March 17 (if supplies last!)  Same price as last year: $11.99/Lunch.  $14/Dinner. Grab yourself a pint of Irish Red Ale or Guinness Stout with your meal – 1/2 price ($2.50) all week long!

Continuing the GMO subject from previous newsletters — Nothing in our shared experience on this planet has prepared us for the global and cataclysmic effects of genetic engineering.  It trumps all other food issues.  It is the genie that cannot be put back into the bottle.  When first I was alerted to and started writing about GMO, I felt a little lonely.  Now, 5 years later, it is a household word!  Disturbing results are emerging from tracking generations of animals fed GM feeds.  The sad story of Indian farmers, whose livelihood has been destroyed by planting Biotech seed, is being reported.  Whole Foods (previously not one of my favorites for their claiming to but not buying local) has the clout to, and will require GM content in food be labeled within 5 years.  Voices like Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma, Cooked), Joel Salatin (Folks This Ain’t Normal and owner of Polyface Farms), Jeffrey Smith (Seeds of Deception, Genetic Roulette) and others are speaking out against Monsanto and biotech food. Despite neither CA nor NM passing a labeling bill, work goes on at grass roots levels that will ultimately enable or force the USA to join 64 other countries in either banning GM content or at least requiring GMO to be labeled.  In the US as much as 90% of corn, soy, sugar beets, cotton and canola is GMO.  Can you see how that impacts processed foods in your average grocery store or corporate food outlet?  Almost nothing is exempt.
Well, except locally grown foods when you know your grower (KYG)!  That is our relatively safe haven.  Why do I say relatively?  Because, even if your favorite farmers avoid GMO seed, perhaps their neighbors do not.  That is the insidious nature of this beast.  Seeds fly in the wind.  Birds carry seed.  There is no assurance that even an “organic” field of corn has not been contaminated with GMO seed!  The ultimate insult to a vegetarian – how do you know you are not eating a beef gene in your carrot?
Besides KYG (Know your grower) what else can the average non-activist do?   Monsanto has become the symbol for genetic engineering.  Avoid their products – seeds sold by biotech friendly companies (newsletter #84), Round-up and other Monsanto products.  When food shopping, ask your grocer when they are going to demand GMO labeling.   And because eating out is a way of life for most of us these days, choose restaurants that cook from scratch and who buy local foods.  I know it can be difficult with fast-rising prices.  And real whole clean local food is more expensive than corporate industrialized “food-like products”.  But as I have said for years, you either pay now (buying good unmessed-with food) or pay later (with prescriptions, surgeries and debility).   I paraphrase from Michael Pollan here – Food corporations buy the cheapest possible food, dress it up with lots of additives – they have to because it was cooked so long ago and so far away.  Darden and Yum brands are two of the biggest food corporations.  Darden is Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Long Horn and Yum is Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut.  McDonald’s is it’s own corporation.  They are so powerful and ubiquitous they have changed the way America grows food, views food and eats food.
All that said, being against something does not change it.  Being for something does.  Monsanto after all, is comprised of human beings too.  Aunts, brothers, babies, moms, nephews – all subject to the same environmental assaults as we all are.  Will Monsanto as a corporation ever see that profit is not everything?  I doubt it.  But the individuals that make up Monsanto will.  As individuals we can each do a little with our daily choices. Collectively it all adds up.  Awareness is the first step.

Here’s a personal experience with genetically modified cotton. Roland had stored his gym bag over the winter in a shed on our property.  There were 3 items in the bag.  Two were verifiably non-GMO cotton (a Joe’s tee shirt made with organic cotton and a pair of socks from Canada so old – 25 years old! – that they could not be GMO). These 2 items were chewed up and riddled with holes, no doubt enjoyed by the resident mice.  The third item was a newer cheap tee shirt made from conventionally grown GMO cotton.  It was not touched by the mice.  Very interesting.

I’ve written many times about good fats, bad fats, heart disease and cholesterol.  (See newsletter# 85 & #77.)  It appears that conventional medicine is catching up (meow!)  This month’s Journal of American Medical Association published findings from a study reporting the following from the use of statin drugs – 13% higher risk of sprains and dislocations, 19% higher risk of all musculoskeletal problems.  Statins are tied to muscle weakness, muscle cramps and tendon problems.  In the past the FDA has warned that statins raise blood sugar and there is a link to memory loss.
People, people – are you getting the message?  Don’t re-think Mother Nature.  There is a time and place for drugs (although at the moment can’t think of one … give me time, it’ll occur to me).  But the formula for good health is not new.  It’s always been the basics.  The hard work of good living practices — exercise (not avoidable, sorry), laughter, lots of water and sunshine, good hopefully meaningful work, a spiritual practice and of course, our favorite – good clean “un-messed-with” food. This is the time-tested recipe for robust health.  And I don’t mean only for maintaining health, I mean also for recovering health!
Dr. Daniel Cobb, Local DOM, discussed the whole subject of statins, fats and oils in relationship to coronary artery disease extensively on FM 101.5 the Voice of  Santa Fe.    Here is the link to his podcast.
http://www.santafe.com/the-voice/podcast/oriental-medicine-may-23-2013#

Dija Know?  Countries that have the highest fish consumption (Omega 3’s) have the lowest incidence of neurodegenerative disease and depression.

Dija Know?  Grass fed and finished meats have high levels of Omega 3’s.  Feedlot meats do not – that’s a high price to pay for denuded food. (hint: that’s what we serve at Joe’s!)

Dija Know?  Coconut oil is experiencing a revival and rightly so.  One widely publicized case of Alzheimer’s reversal has helped reverse the fortunes of this much-maligned whole food.  It has many applications, however. Coconut oil has been a staple in our home for years.  We first fed it to our horses in about 2001.  Recently I discovered it’s also great for the skin, helping with eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and fungal infections.

Why is locally grown food so very important to Joe’s?  Why do we keep hammering on this “buy local” theme? There are many factors that are out of our hands when it comes to our food supply.  Most of what ends up on the American dinner table derives from a shockingly few giant agribusinesses.  Their influence reaches from designing the (GMO) seeds to planting, harvesting, processing and shipping. We as consumers cannot with confidence hand over the entire stewardship of our food to these few multinationals. Our passion here at Joe’s is for a local sustainable food supply – food produced by growers who are accountable for what they grow.  KYG – Know Your Grower.  We are able to look our local farmer in the eye and ask him about his growing practices or even visit his operation. This gives us the confidence that we are eating food that is healthy, wholesome, non-genetically engineered, often better than organic, humanely treated and minimally processed.  It is grown with a smaller energy-use footprint and transported short distances. We cannot divorce human health, the economy, ecology, personal (perhaps spiritual) satisfaction or honorable work from food.Food is fundamental. What we eat, where it comes from, the stewardship of food animals, the nurturing and building of soils – all these factors affect us at a cellular and visceral level … whether we slow down enough to be aware of it or not. We are fortunate in Santa Fe to have a dedicated farm base producing a wonderful array of goods.  Here at Joe’s we do our best to offer this bounty to you, keeping dollars in the community.  In the interest of transparency, in 2008 Joe’s spent $30,000 on local foods.  In 2009 that increased to $60,000.  And for 2012 we exceeded $100,000.  During the growing season as much as 95% of our menu is locally sourced.
Land, economy, health – inseparable.

Here are some of the farmers/ranchers we have developed long-standing partnerships with – Monte Vista Organics (Dave and Loretta), Camino de Paz Farm & School (Greg & Patty), Shepherd’s Lamb (Antonio and Molly), La Mont’s Buffalo (Monte and Lana), Green Tractor Farms (Tom and Mary), Synergia Ranch (Mark), La Montanita Co-Op, Sweetgrass Co-Op, Matt Romero Farms.

Giggles:
And God promised men that good obedient wives would be found in all corners of the world.  Then He made the earth round…and laughed and laughed and laughed.
Police recently arrested a man who was selling pills that promised you eternal youth.  Police discovered that it was the fourth time this man had been arrested.  The earlier arrests were made in 1799, 1852 and 1921.

Joe’s
2801 Rodeo Rd (at Zia Rd) Santa Fe, NM   87507
505-471-3800       www.JoesDining.com
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