Dija Know… Joe’s Restaurant Newsletter -61 NOV 2011

Here it comes again, Thanksgiving – our opportunity, as a nation, to give thanks for all things great and small. And Joe’s opportunity to make Thanksgiving Day festivities simpler for you to enjoy. “Let Joe do it”, and you can take credit! We are again offering our Thanksgiving take home menu. The dishes are par-cooked in oven-ready containers. Just heat and serve. Ask for the order form and choose à la carte items or the entire meal from soup to dessert. If you are considering it, we urge you not to delay. The last three years we have sold out and it is heart breaking to have nothing left for “last minute” customers. And while on the subject, Roland and Sheila wish to express our deep gratitude for you our guests, especially our regulars who stand by us through good days (and the other days!) who give us the chance to do what we do, and to each of our dear staff members who work cheerfully often under stress day after day; and to God/Spirit/Divine Intelligence guiding and protecting all.Free food! With a Joe’s gift card for $100 (when you pay with a check or cash) it is programmed to give you an additional $10 worth of food free. This is our “frequent diner” card.

We are now making all of our pizzas with our own fresh made mozzarella. What a difference!

If I could shout out any single message that I have learned (the hard way, btw) it would be, “It’s the food, stupid!” It’s always the food.

In the human body, nutritional deficiencies can take a long time to show up. Our bodies have amazing compensatory mechanisms and humans have a relatively long life span. But show up they do.
A friend of mine raises chickens. She frequently gives me updates on their health and their egg production. Over the years she has learned that when she cuts corners and feeds them nutritionally inferior scratch, they soon exhibit chicken diseases (whatever they may be) and their egg production goes down or the shells are thin or the yolks don’t hold form. Now a chicken population is a nearly perfect population to observe. With a relatively short life span and high metabolism, health issues quickly show up. Now let’s make the leap to humans. For over a decade I have been asking myself why so many people nowadays are not well? Many people think they’re just getting old – but I maintain that is not normal or acceptable. What happened to vitality and robust health? When and why did this epidemic of degenerative diseases (I prefer to call them syndromes) begin? Even in young people, certain chronic diseases are alarmingly prevalent. Many young people now carry unhealthy fat deposits – a sure sign that health is out of balance. And furthermore, it is now commonly accepted to use antibiotics and drugs as routine therapy, rather than getting to the real CAUSE of health problems.
Cut to the chase — In my not so humbIe opinion, I can only conclude “It’s the food, stupid!” When my chicken farmer friend improves the quality of what she feeds her hens, egg production 
returns to normal and her hens are healthy and happy. Although it takes much longer to see results in humans, food, real food has remarkable regenerative properties.

And fortunately humans have more control over their food choices than do chickens. Our choices are narrowed by monopolies and agribusiness, but we still do have choices. The best is of course to grow your own – you control the soil, the seed, the fertilizer and the harvest. More practical for most of us is to Know Your Grower. Get to know the farmers. Visit the Farmers Market. Buy at the local LaMontanitas CO-OP. Visit farms. Ask questions. Avoid processed food, inferior quality food, GMO food, irradiated and food shipped long distances.
There is a price to pay for cheap, agribusiness “food” and I assure you, you do not want to pay that price.

We at Joe’s are by far, not the only voices advocating taking back control of our food supply. There is a growing army and network of passionate voices standing for our rights to grow, eat and distribute clean, whole, real, health supporting food. Some have been prosecuted for doing so but that is a subject for another time. In our local scene Rob DeWalt writes the following in a recent The New Mexican article. He was commenting on the multi-agendae Occupy Wall Street movement’s demands for political accountability and transparency. One area of protest is the “undermining of our farming system through monopolization” and the “poisoning of our food supply through negligence.” Rob continues, “I firmly believe that those who control the food supply eventually control it all.” (Wed Oct 5, 2011). And he quotes another advocate, Justin Berkey, founding member of the popular Slow Money sustainable investment movement, “Problems in the global food system parallel those in the global financial system. Investing in small food enterprises begins to fix many of the problems literally at their roots.”

Meet the farmers at Joe’s — Every Saturday afternoon after Market (after 1 or 2pm) we invite any and all of our local farmers and ranchers to have lunch with us (we’ve offered them a small bribe!) You’ll see a sign on their table that will identify them and invite you to meet and chat with them. Ask them questions about their farms and growing practices. This is a relaxed forum for everyone to enjoy a meal, “put a face to a vegetable” and become acquainted with WHO GROWS YOUR FOOD.

Speaking of farmers, we recently catered (with all local products, of course!) an event for the National Young Farmers’ Coalition. Getting young people aware of and committed to farming as a career is essential to providing for our longterm food security. Here’s a sobering fact – in the US today for each farmer under 35 there are 6 over 65. The ever-growing success of the Santa Fe Farmers Market should encourage any young person or couples who may be searching for career and real purpose in their lives. If you know possible candidates for this “position”, do talk to them about the viability and importance of farming as a career. There is now increasing support for “beginner farmers”. Start by visiting youngfarmers.org. And of course talk to our local farmers.

Your positive response to and support of our local food buying efforts is tremendously encouraging. Joe’s continues to increase its Farmers Market buying. Currently well over 1/3 of our food budget goes to local farmers and growers alone. In a commercial operation, that is astounding – it surprises even us! What that means is this – your support of the local farmers encourages them to take more risks growing a bigger variety of foods for a longer season. Additionally, local food producers (like Ed from Old Windmill Dairy) try more exotic products because they know they can sell them. These are huge steps in taking back control of our food supply.
u Are you on Joe’s check list? Are you using your credit cards less frequently? I know we are and somehow it is liberating. Far less paperwork and fees and more fees. Then there are the regulations – they change frequently and always in the BB’s (big banks) favor. We as taxpayers have contributed generously to the BB’s bailouts and their CEOs’ mega bonuses. Well, enough is enough. Here at Joe’s we are going retro and will do what we can to encourage guests to pay by personal check and of course time-honored cash and precious metals! So if you are a regular and wish to pay by check, please ask your waiter to get on Joe’s check list.

What we are doing here at Joe’s, what drives and inspires us? Roland and Sheila established Joe’s (2002) as a diner – our intent being to offer an unpretentious comfortable atmosphere for locals who demand high quality local food and uncompromising quality of ingredients offered at a fair price. To that end, since 1996 we have dedicated ourselves to utilizing Farmers Market products. The farmers say we are Santa Fe’s leading restaurant purchaser and our expenditures prove it. In 2010 we spent well over $80,000 on locally produced food. What you our guests are demanding is clearly in line with our passion for a local healthy sustainable food supply. This is what drives us to continue in this direction. Here is a partial list of local ingredients we use: grass finished NM Sweetgrass Co-Op ground beef, lamb, bison, chicken livers, chile, eggs, NM organic flour, feta, house made mozzarella, fruits, veggies, sprouts, wines, beers and breads.

Breakfast at Joe’s is a great and nourishing way to start a chilly morning. We start serving at 7:30 every day except Monday. And if you read The New Mexican newspaper you could be lucky enough to find a breakfast coupon good up to 11AM !

Joe’s hand-made French chocolate truffles. They are close to divine. Who do you know who would love a little red bag of truffles? $1.99 or 5 for $8.99.