Dija Know… Joe’s Restaurant Newsletter -90 July 2013



Local artist Nancy Dean Kreger’s works are on Joe’s walls for a return engagement.  Her use of vibrant watercolors and solid composition seduce the viewer into her world.  We hope you enjoy them.  All works are for sale.  Credit cards can be used for art purchases.


Nancy Dean Kreger

What would you say if I told you I tip my hat to 3 of the giant fast food chains?  Say what?!  Yeah, I know, hard to believe.  Let me hasten to say I still would not eat their products, for multiple reasons.  But…I have to give credit where it’s due.  I’m talking about animal welfare in the restaurant industry.  Farm animals are bred and brought into the world by us and raised for a single purpose. The unpleasant details of their short lives have been observed and documented and I will not describe that here.  For many it’s a hard topic to discuss and even to think about.   If you’re sensitive, don’t read further.  Many decades of education have gone into raising awareness about the lives and welfare of these dear sentient beings.  By 2010 in a marketing survey, it was reported that 77% of women and 64% of men believe humane standards should be applied to farm animals.  I would guess and hope that by now those percentages have risen.  In recent years consumer demand for higher standards of farm animal treatment has created enough pressure that 3 fast food giants – McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s – took action.  They looked into their contracted slaughterhouses.  One supplier was dropped and several were suspended.  Now that’s clout!  When lions roar, industry changes.  And I am grateful for the action they took.  I would not expect that the improved plant practices come anywhere near the already good practices of our local ranchers and farmers, the ones* we deal with face to face.   But things are moving in the right direction.
One of the more troubling issues in animal welfare is confinement.  Consumer pressure on suppliers of meat, egg and dairy  (not to mention Premarin & Aprela Rx producers!!) has made it increasingly uncomfortable for these suppliers to continue to run “close confinement” operations.  The severely restricted housing** of many animals comes to mind – veal calves, stockyard cattle, hogs, chickens and mares.  There is reportedly a down side to releasing animals from the super confinement of tight cages and stalls.  Giving them more room to move around and more sunshine and fresh air apparently affects production.  Slightly fewer piglets are born, fewer eggs laid (I won’t mention why that happens) and animals intermingling can cause injury.  In our opinion – even though implementing more natural conditions brings some minor risk, the reduction of the stress of extreme confinement must certainly have an effect on the overall health of the animal and the nutritional value of the animal protein.  Some good news is a few of the big pork producers have responded to consumer pressure promising that by 2017 the stalls for sows will be phased out in favor of group housing.  In the production farms where these changes have already been implemented, workers report that “animals able to move freely are calmer and there is less noise and disruption in the barn.”   We are nowhere near where we need to be with animal welfare but our continuing consumer pressure and demand for humanely and naturally raised animals will change the industry.  I still recognize the action taken by the 3 fast food big boys, but I’m not deluded that it was for altruistic reasons.  Consumer demand and fear of boycott are powerful motivators.

**(sows: 7’ x 23” for 4 months, chickens: 6” x 8” of space per bird, Premarin & Aprela hormone replacement drugs mares: 8’ x 3.5’ for 6 months.)

We’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 also mean for recovering health!

Dr. Daniel Cobb, Local DOM, discussed the whole subject of statins, fats and oils in relationship to coronary artery disease etensively on FM 101.5 the Voice of  Santa Fe.  VERY interesting.  Here is the link to his podcast.

Guests and especially regulars are starting to ask when we’ll be making our Margherita Pizza and Caprese Salad again.  Well if you are new to Joe’s you may not know the story.  Roland has been offering these two dishes since 1996 when he bought his first local heirloom tomatoes from Dave & Loretta Fresques of Monte Vista Organics.  That was for our first restaurant, Pizza Etc.  Also that year he started making his own fresh mozzarella, also called fiore di latte.   A tradition was started that we have followed ever since.  We do not offer these dishes out of season or made with any other than local luscious sun-ripened heirloom tomatoes and our own house-made fresh mozzarella.  It has paid off.  The dishes are truly memorable.  We have even had guests comment that they have not had a better Margherita Pizza even in Italy! So hold yer horses. The tomatoes usually ripen sometime in August.  On occasion, in July.  But I guarantee you it’s worth the wait!  Watch the tomatoes grow

LOMB.  What is Local Organic Meals on a Budget?  4 organizations have teamed up to present educational cooking classes to the community on how to cook local, organic meals affordably – Kitchen Angels, SF Farmers Market Institute, Home Grown New Mexico, and the Santa Fe School of Cooking.  The gorgeous new Santa Fe School of Cooking is hosting the classes in its brand-new facility.  The school has a beautiful kitchen, two video monitors, an overhead mirror, great acoustics, and comfortable table seating.  Just like the major TV cooking shows!
The classes, which started in 2011, consist of a demonstration by a volunteer local chef on how to prepare a meal using local and organic ingredients. Their challenge is to create a substantial, healthy meal for a family of 4 for under $20.
July 17th features Roland & Sheila of Joe’s Dining – Roland will make pizza from scratch and his famous fresh mozzarella for the pizza, just like we do here at Joe’s!
Wed. July 17th, 5:30 – 7:00 pm Location: The Santa Fe School of Cooking, 125 North Guadalupe Street.  For details go to joesdining.com  click on events.  Or to the LOMB site http://localorganicmeals.com/index.html

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, Matt Romero Farms, Sweetgrass Co-Op.

Joe’s “frequent diner” or gift card – when you purchase $100 gift card with cash or check, get a $10 card free!

Giggles:    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.

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