Dija Know… Joe’s Restaurant Newsletter -162 Spring 2023

“Dija Know…”
Joe’s Newsletter #162, Spring 2023
Sheila (archives available at JoesDining.com)

Mission: to strengthen our health, to protect our land,
to grow our economy by serving local sustainable food.


Lunchables – coming to a school near you


DiJa Know? Is Richard Eeds your favorite local broadcaster? Well you can watch him live at work here a Joe’s every 1st Friday of the month from 1PM to 4PM. 1260 AM Radio.

DiJa Know? Joe’s showcases a new set of local-only artists every six months. In the main dining room, we have Nancy Nickerson showing her beautiful NM landscapes. In the Red Room Bill Todino’s elegant, lean black and white photos grace the walls. All are for sale.

DiJa Know?  Joe’s now serves cocktails. All are made with locally distilled spirits. Roland’s favorite is an Old Fashioned made with Dry Point Bourbon. Sheila’s is Wheeler’s Gin and soda with a splash of tonic. Customers are loving our Bloody Marys and of course what’s a New Mexico bar without a good Margarita? Enjoy!

DiJa Know?  Lunchables, not so sweet for our kids.
The USDA business deal is very sweet for Kraft Heinz.  For our kids?  Not so sweet.  Suzanne Burdick writes for the Defender, and I paraphrase here.  Starting this fall, more ultra-processed foods will be in the lunchroom for children in public schools thanks to a very big deal to get Kraft Heinz’ LUNCHABLES into public schools.  The National School Lunch Program provides 30 million school children with meals.   John Fagan, Ph.D. a leading authority on biosafety, food authenticity and sustainability in the food and agricultural system — says he doubts the nutritional value of the products and the deal is “disappointing”.
Disappointing?? John!

I’m happy that these kids will have calories to put in their tummies.  I’m mortified at the disease-causing composition of these chemical bombs.

Lunchables is the poster child of the industrialized food system gone horribly wrong and busy and overwhelmed parents wholly out of touch with how to nourish their children.

When you’re young, your engine can run on almost anything.  But your cells and organs are keeping track. Why do you think there is so much obesity, diabetes,
auto immune disease and even cancer now in younger
and younger people?

Remember the old ad, “you can’t fool Mother Nature?”  Well you can’t fool your body either.  Our gov’t has a perfect opportunity here to insert into school children’s diet some real whole truly nutritious food.  Something they may or may not get at home.  Thereby supporting local farmers and ranchers in the school districts’ regions as well.  Win-win!

But…nope!  Let’s make a Big Food Deal!  On the childrens’ backs.  If I sound jaded, I am.  But not hopeless.

Even the creator of Lunchables does not allow his children to eat them.  Bob Drane has admitted his own upper-middle-class children don’t eat what Daddy created for “other” children.  Drane’s own daughter confessed: “We eat healthy.” As consumers, we should not be surprised by the behavior of of Big Food executives.  After all, their job is to sell lots of stuff and make lots of money.

‘Our government is not recognizing … the school lunch opportunity to strengthen our food system, but instead providing a sweetheart deal to one of the big players in
Big Food,’ Fagan said.

Fagan is CEO and chief scientific officer of Health Research Institute, which conducts testing on the nutrient and pesticide levels in foods and recently published a report on school lunches.    He said ‘it’s well established that highly processed foods like Kraft Heinz’s products increase inflammation and free radicals.   With such highly processed materials, you also are missing a lot of the
really important nutrients that are just naturally present in real food,’ Fagan said.

So beyond sanctions and boycotts … what can we do?  And yes it could be at additional cost – who said raising kids was cheap?!  Here’s a start – parents and grandparents can meet with school authorities to ensure that their kids can bring and eat their own homemade lunches.  As well, re-establishing the partnership (which may have faltered during covid) with local Farmers Markets.  In NM, parents and school admins are implored to insist this legislated partnership is implemented. Additionally, to restore to the school curriculum nutrition education tailored to various grades.  I asked Sofia, my big-brain-neighbor-new mom-wife-former-military and nutritionist-to-be for a good primer on current nutrition.  Here is her recommendation:

DiJa Know?    Good news for real possible meat.
The European Patent Office has revoked the European Union patent held by Impossible Foods, maker of the ImpossibleBurger.  In the U.S., Impossible’s fake meat products are manufactured with GMO yeast-derived soy leghemoglobin, a controversial ingredient that makes the fake meat look like bloody undercooked real meat, and may not be safe to eat.  The news about Impossible’s patent fights comes in the wake of a Bloomberg article describing the rapid decline in the fake meat industry, which it branded ‘a flop.’ The article ‘Fake meat was supposed to save the world.’  It became just another fad. Impossible shares have fallen significantly.  And more recently Bloomberg reported that Impossible is preparing to lay off about 20% of its staff, following another round of cuts in October when about 6% of its staff got laid off. The latest patent wars will add to its woes.”  The fake meat maker is facing patent challenges here in the USA as well.

Once again – you can’t fool Mother Nature.  If it’s not natural, if it’s made in a lab, the body does not know what to do with it.  If the body cannot metabolize or excrete it, lab-created toxic substances get sequestered somewhere.  (Perhaps growths and anomalies? Just sayin’).

DiJa Know?   the carbon footprint of rice vs beef.
Take a guess!  Beef had the lower carbon footprint.  Kudos to regenerative farmers and ranchers.

DiJa Know?   The Brits are beginning to champion weeds, intertwining them intentionally into their famous flower gardens.  (This is an eye-opener for me.  I’ve waged war with goats-head and Russian thistle for decades.  Hmmm…going to have to re-think this.)

The facts are emerging – weeds give back far more than they absorb in resources.  They are intricate parts of the food web. They flower at the right time of year to be important sources of pollen and nectar for pollinators.  Their leaves, roots and seeds act as larval food for other insects. Weeds are characteristically resilient; often flowering repeatedly and growing in poor, thin, baked, compacted soils. Their buffet is always open and available to invertebrates, unlike hybrid plants that have lost their nectar and pollen.  Too often this breeding for our eye or our tastebuds is to the detriment of the wider food web.

Weeds feed the soil too. Deep roots break up compacted soils and pull up from deep subsoils minerals and nutrients, depositing them on the soil surface as their leaves die back.  Early spring weeds are the first protection for bare soil, their lifecycles timed perfectly to protect the critical biologically active top layers of soil so necessary for life on Earth, so easily damaged and eroded by weather if left bare. Though much-maligned, weeds protect, build and feed our soil system as they grow.  (Thanks to Ronnie Cummins* of Organic Consumers.org).    *Sadly Ronnie passed in early May.

Gluten sensitivities? Alleene, Joe’s pastry chef, is creating some wonders without gluten: Joe’s Morning Glory Muffin, Chocolate Ganache Torte and Carrot Cake – all gluten free! Also Richard Eeds favorite, Tres Leches Cake (not gluten free).

A Tuesday night tradition at Joe’s – it’s Spaghetti and Chianti Night. $54 for two will get you Caesar Salad, Spaghetti with homemade Bolognese and a great 1⁄2 liter of Chianti. The Bolognese sauce is made with our grass-fed-and- finished beef, slow-cooked in the traditional Italian fashion.

Joe’s will give you $10. What’s the catch? Well the way we figure it, if you cut out the middleman by NOT using a credit card, we can give that back to you and then some. Credit cards cost the retail merchant about 3-5%. Now in today’s world one cannot function without cc’s. But there are a few (legal) alternatives that reduce our dependency on the Big Banks and actually save us all money: (1.) 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 gift card – purchase $100 gift card with cash or check or silver or gold coin, get a $10 free bonus! Your $100 gift card will actually buy you $110 worth at Joe’s.

Some of the farmers & ranchers who supply Joe’s: They get their fertilizer from animals and compost and their agronomic advice from tradition: Monte Vista Organics, Mesa Ranch Beef and Liver, Jacona Farms, Green Tractor, Camino de Paz, Synergia Ranch, Romero Farms, Shepherd’s Lamb, La Montanita, Susan’s Sprouts, Maya’s Mushrooms and others.

Giggles – Funny signs
• Whatever you do today, do it with the confidence of a
4-year-old in a batman tee shirt.
• Japanese shop sign:  I open when I wake up and close when
I must go to sleep.  When I’ve had enough, shop is closed.
• Road sign in Utah: It’s a lane, not a birthright, Let them merge.
• Seen somewhere, sometime: What do we want?  Time travel!  When do we want it?  It’s irrelevant!
• On a public defibrillator:  Out of order.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Joe’s Dining
2801 Rodeo Rd  Santa Fe, NM 87507  505- 471-3800 www.JoesDining.com