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Dija Know… Joe’s Restaurant Newsletter -101 April 2014

 

“Mick” – some of you have asked about our horse.  Here he is- healthy again and full of it!

Locavores, come celebrate Joe’s 2nd Annual Burger Week starting Monday Ap 7!  If taxes are taking a bite, bite back!  Enjoy a 2 topping Beef Burger on a fresh Fano bun all week long with homemade chips lettuce, tomato and red onion for the incredible price of  $7.99!  (Regular price 12.97)  This is top quality New Mexico beef raised and finished on grass and grass alone; making it sustainable, delicious and nutritionally far superior to feedlot beef.  Then add to that Joe’s unique mesquite open-fire grilling – yummy!  And there’s more – all during burger week take 20% off any of our premium burgers! Clearly this is a very special price for a limited time only.  So take full advantage of Burger Week – bring friends and family.  Good for eat in or take out.  Check out Roland’s delicious burger photos at joesdining.com

DiJa Know?  20% of all food processing companies control more than 60% of what we see on our grocery shelves and in fast food outlets.  These company names will be familiar to you.  But I’ll bet the endearing images that come to mind (a steaming cup of Nestlé cocoa) when you see their names, no longer symbolize what these conglomerates have become.  Nestlé, for instance, is the world’s largest food company.  Kraft is the world’s second largest food company.  And Pepsi is the largest U.S.-based food company.  DuPont and Monsanto dominate the farm production end with pesticides, herbicides and GMO seeds.  Cargill and ADM (prominent sponsor of PBS – that irony really irritates me!) process GMO grain into animal feed.

 

So why is it even important that such a small number of very large companies dominate food production?  I mean somebody has to produce food for us!  And I admit they do a terrific job.  However, here’s the rub – usually when the few make decisions for the many, the many get the short end of the stick.  In the case of food manufacturing, the consequences of this relatively new food production model are becoming in-your-face evident.  Choices and diversity have been drastically reduced (I’ll illustrate later).  Food becomes a line on a corporate spreadsheet. Shareholder and corporate profit takes precedence over sustainable farming and ranching, ecological harmony and the actual nutritional value of the end food product.

With regard to loss of food choices – the consumer gets what visually seems like many choices but on closer examination is actually a very narrow band of offerings.  Your tofu burger and feedlot rib eye are essentially the same thing – corn and soy (all GMO now).  There are many clever ways to disguise and present this narrow food base.  What appears as a good chunk of protein (a feedlot steak, for instance) has been fed corn and soy for the last several months before reaching market.*  The breakfast cereal or energy bar you enjoy or almost anything in a box from a regular grocery store can be reduced down to its essential ingredients – GMO corn, soy and wheat.  HFCS is frequently the sweetener and addictive artificial flavorings come mostly from the chemical and petrochemical industries.  I won’t even go into the “food” offered by chain restaurants.  Do you ever wonder how it can be so cheap?
The consequences – where to start?  Lack of competition, reduced product choice and the decline of excellence – what I call “commercial industry substandards.”  Not to mention the loss of pride of ownership of small and medium farms, ranches and businesses.  Then there are the health consequences of eating substandard mass produced food – the cascade of debilitating and expensive health conditions, resulting in loss of a work force, loss of jobs and loss of quality life.  A dire picture I know.  But have you travelled I-25 into Albuquerque (or any city) recently?  What was once diversified one-of-a-kind businesses, is now completely dominated by chain names.  One city cannot be distinguished from another.  All the signs are the same.  All the food is the same.
What do do? Same answers I always give.  We can impact the entire food industry with our actions and it’s surprisingly simple.  Start with yourself – treat your body with respect and care.  Develop your palate toward clean unmessed-with food.  Buy from local farmers and ranchers who you know by name, grow your own garden, avoid GMO food-like substances and of course eat in restaurants that celebrate real local food.
*feedlot meats are inferior nutritionally and can transmit to us unwanted hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals.

Every Tuesday is Spaghetti and Chianti Night at Joe’s.  Still $29.95 for two!  That will get two of you Caesar salad, Spaghetti Bolognese (made with our grass-finished local beef) and a ½ liter of great Chianti. Wadda deal! Finish your meal elegantly with a glass of Essensia orange Muscat dessert wine and homemade desserts.

u Thieves have now stolen credit card and other sensitive information from 1 in 4 Americans.  Luxury chain Neiman Marcus joins Target, Michaels and now gas stations as victims of, or unwitting agents for, hackers.  The convenience and safety once promised by credit cards now seems to be outweighed by the risks both to finances and identity.  What actions are we as individuals and as business owners taking?  I can tell you personally we are using our cc’s less often.  And at Joe’s we urge you join our checklist.  As anyone over 50 can tell you, checks and cash are still legal tender!  Once on our list you can write a good old-fashioned check with little fuss.  And of course we can bring back to the table Washington, Jackson and Benjamin.  Furthermore when merchants save on bank fees (thousands of dollars per year) we pass that on to you in quality of goods.  And one more suggestion, remember you get $10 extra value when you purchase our frequent diner card (aka gift card) of $100 or more.

DiJa Know?  The handicapped parking spots are for people who are actually handicapped.  There are many who truly need them.

Next newsletter – watch for “Superfoods, delicious and otherwise!”

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 since 2012 we have far exceeded $100,000 per annum. During the growing season as much as 95% of our produce 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.

Joe’s own “melt in your mouth” French chocolate truffles$1.99 @  or 6 for the price of 5  — $9.95


Tired of still paying for BB’s (big banks) bailouts? Tired of lining the pockets of the uber-rich Wall Street bankers? DiJa know…  in 2011 a congressional audit of the Federal Reserve found that the Fed gave 16 trillion dollars from American taxpayers to bail out the “too big to fail” banks with a hefty portion of it going to obscene CEO bonuses.  Can you imagine — had this staggering figure been re-directed to the people of the US, how different the picture could have looked today?  Manufacturing starts, job creation, skills training, roads and bridges repair, national parks, education, etc. Every time we use a credit card, part of that 3%-5% fee contributes to the BB’s.  Now let’s be real – in today’s world you cannot function without a cc, but there are still (legal) alternatives that can save money and reduce our dependency on and subsidies to the BB’s.  We have a couple of suggestions: (1.) Are you on Joe’s Check List?  If you are a “regular” and wish to pay by check, please ask your waiter to get you on the list.  (2.) Joe’s own credit card/gift card – purchase a $100 gift card with cash or check, get a $10 card free!

u Have you noticed the “covered wagons” on the patio? Ingenious for growing in New Mexico’s unique and rather harsh conditions.  You can get your very own – contact Ken at raisedbed.biz

Bumper Stickers seen in Santa Fe:
— Ascend already, the rest of us need the space!
— Real women don’t have hot flashes, they have
power surges.
— Learn from your parents mistakes – use birth
control!”

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