|Make it made in
the USA! Celebrate the Fourth of July
with beef, pork, poultry and more from American farmers and
~ JULY 2009 ~
Ranch Foods Direct is helping sponsor and providing
beef for the 69th annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Days. The
traditional ranch rodeo on Fourth of July weekend kicks off a full
week of activities. For a schedule of rodeo events,
in a pickle
Here’s pickling made easy.
Gourmet magazine offers a simple stovetop technique for
“pickling” summer vegetables. Try it as a colorful
accompaniment to grilled steak or burgers. CLICK HERE for the recipe.
Life began in a garden
| For one Ranch Foods Direct customer,
local music teacher Roann Keen, the garden became the perfect
backdrop for a summer class. CLICK HERE for her story and photos. For
more resources on growing young minds by teaching them
about growing food, CLICK HERE.
||Did you know?
... Americans represent 4 percent of the
population, produce 21 percent of its output, consume 25
that output and earn 26 percent of the world’s
A new season blooms at Windsor
Some of the best and most authentic cheeses are
being made just up the road where Colorado’s artisan
cheesemaker Meg Cattell is creating many fans in the food
community. Her cheeses are seasonal: imbued with fragrant
winter hay or lush wildflower-studded pastures. The seasonal
variations end up rich and complex, but they are especially
sweet in the summer since her pastures are filled with fresh wild
geraniums, clover, turnips, kale and much more.
“It’s a total salad out there,” she
enthuses of the irrigated pastures set against distant blue peaks
at her family’s farm just a stone’s throw from the
neighboring Windsor subdivision.
As 1,200 chickens in an assortment
of colors scurry around the farm, vying for attention with the
goats, the sheep, the horses and, of course, the multi-colored
Brown Swiss cows, Meg introduces slices of some of her newest
cheeses. There’s a new spring cheddar. There’s
also a European monastery-style cheese, rind washed with cider
made from local apples. There are also golden curds of fresh
mozzarella, just yearning for an accompaniment of summer basil
“The springtime Colona is really, really sweet.
The Buckhorn is another good choice at this time of year
because it’s made in the winter and aged to
perfection,” she says as she cuts thin slices from a wheel.
“We get some of our best cheeses from winter
Located just across the fence from fancy homes and a
manicured golf course, the dairy barely skipped a beat after last
year’s tornado, thanks to their traditional production
methods. CLICK HERE for more.
|Make your own: Dips and
One tip for healthier eating is to make
your own salad dressings or dips at home. CLICK HERE for some simple recipes for
adding popular cheeses to dips and dressings.
How to make better bread
In the warm yeasty air of Shawn’s
Bakery, participants in Ranch Foods Direct’s June artisan
bread class followed loaves of French country bread from a
simple mixture of flour and water in the bottom of a giant
mixing bowl to fresh-from-the-oven goodness. Participants
were invited to take home warm loaves to share with family and
The tour through Shawn’s
bread-making process included examples everywhere of the
high quality ingredients that go into every loaf.
Here’s a great place to start: the real
sourdough starter mash Shawn includes in all of his breads. He
explained that this fermented grain begins the breaking-down
process, making the carbs easier to digest, a benefit for
diabetics and pre-diabetics. “Sourdough is like an acid.
You can feed it and keep it in the refrigerator for weeks, even
years,” he explained as he passed around the fragrant
pail. It takes about seven days to make your own sourdough
starter from a simple mix of grain and water.
CLICK HERE for more pictures
and a continued report on the class.
The bibles of baking
Shawn’s recommended reading on
Shawn keeps several reference books handy on a
nearby shelf at his bakery. Among them:
The Bread Bible by Rose Levy
Artisan Baking Across America by
Maggie Glezer, CLICK HERE,
Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice,
also from Peter Reinhart, CLICK HERE,
Bonus bake session
See Shawn’s demonstration at
Fiddles, Vittles and Vino later this month!
Shawn Sanders will conduct a bread-making
demonstration during the annual Fiddles, Vittles and Vino
fundraiser Saturday, July 25 at local heritage site Rock Ledge
Ranch. “I’ll be doing the demonstration in their
really neat earthen oven made out of red clay,” Shawn
explains. For more information or to purchase tickets for this
popular event featuring great food and wine and organized by
local chefs, CLICK HERE. Funds raised are used to
help support the ranch.
Did you know? … Fully 90
percent of the items on grocery store shelves contain corn in
some form or fashion, according to Robert Kenner, director of
Food Inc., which is expected to open in July at the Peak Theatre
Springs, CLICK HERE. More than 40 agribusiness
companies were contacted about being included in the film but
all refused the invitation, Kenner says.
Other startling facts from the film:
In 1972, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
conducted 50,000 food safety inspections. In 2006, the FDA
conducted only 9,164.
In 1996 when it introduced Round-Up Ready
soybeans, Monsanto controlled only 2 percent of the U.S.
soybean market. Now, over 90 percent of soybeans in the U.S.
contain Monsanto's patented gene.
||A FRESH take on
Film offers refreshing thinking on what we’re eating
Ana Sofia Joanes’ documentary FRESH, now screening
across the country, stars a similar cast of characters and tackles
many of the same issues as Food Inc. but brings another
perspective to viewers. The young filmmaker strives to
“celebrate farmers, thinkers and business people across
American who are reinventing our food system.” The
result is a full hour of inspiration for food lovers everywhere,
with beautiful scenes of pastoral farm life plucked from the
midst of an increasingly mechanized world. Ranch Foods Direct
owner Mike Callicrate says, “Ana nailed it. She makes this
film uplifting by focusing on solutions to the problems with our
industrial food system.
This movie and Food Inc. compliment
each other perfectly.”CLICK
HERE to watch a preview of the film or to read articles
Watch FRESH at Ranch Foods Direct this
Ranch Foods Direct will show the documentary FRESH
in the multipurpose room at the store on Saturday, July 18 at 10
a.m. Stop by to watch Ana’s take on the revolution
happening in the world of food. Ranch Foods Direct pork
supplier, Russ Kremer of Heritage Acres, is one of the farmers
Where, oh where, is Emerald
The name brings to mind Black Angus cattle grazing
peacefully in the lush grass beside a quiet stream.
Unfortunately, you’ll have a hard time finding the
Emerald Valley Ranch if you go looking for it. The beef
doesn’t originate there, because it doesn’t exist.
Many companies create brand names and logos to make the
customer imagine they are getting meat right from a specific
ranch. In fact, the huge majority of these brands are pretend
“zombie” brands, pulled directly out of the mass-
produced flow of ordinary commodity products. (Niman Ranch
meat products, for example, no longer have any association with
Bill Niman, their famous founder, and Coleman Natural Beef is no
longer affiliated with Colorado’s Coleman ranch
For more about the phenomenon of the
“zombie” brand, read award-winning food writer
Betty Fussell (author of Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of
American Beef ) as she explains this common marketing
ploy on her blog, CLICK
Did you know? … Only two
cents out of every $1.50 spent on a serving of fast food French
fries goes back to the potato farmer. Farmers on average get
only 7 to 8 cents of every retail food dollar and the amount
continues to diminish. “If current trends continue, by
2020 there will be no farming in agriculture,” says Joan
Dye Gussow, nutrition educator and author of This
Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader.
Meanwhile, 15,000 new processed food items are introduced
every year, meant to be a flashier substitute for boring old REAL
food, she adds. (CLICK HERE for more on
Joan’s book, published by Chelsea Green.
Meet the guajillo chili
Local Baja Salsa introducing a new
variation featuring guajillo chilies. Guajillo chilies [gwah-
HEE-yoh] are thick, dark reddish brown chiles that contain mild
to moderate amounts of heat. The flavor of the guajillo is said to
be distinct, slightly fruity with a strong piney, berry under-taste.
The guajillo is one of the most commonly grown chiles in
A full range of popular Baja Salsa flavors are available
at Ranch Foods Direct. Use the one you like to make poor
man’s caviar for parties or as an appetizer. CLICK
HERE for more about how and where fresh Baja Salsa is
made. CLICK HERE for the caviar
|A beef version of a pork
Marcy Nameth provides produce for
Ranch Foods Direct, as well as coordinating deliveries from
neighboring farms on behalf of the Arkansas Valley Organic
Growers. The Callicrate Beef chuck roast is one of her favorite
items at the store. She writes, “I picked up a chuck roast
last night and just put it in the oven using a porketta recipe that
I usually use a pork shoulder or butt roast. I’ve used it on
beef chuck years ago and thought I’d try it again. I was
introduced to it by a Scandinavian lady I worked with who was
from Minnesota. She didn’t have a clue what was in the
spice mix but finally got the recipe for me.” CLICK HERE for the
||Try this at home
Food writing duo Jane and Michael Stern recently
made a discovery while visiting the Western shores of Lake
Superior. At the legendary café in Two Harbors,
Minnesota, called Betty’s Pies, they were introduced to a
“pie shake.” The concoction is made by blending
together an entire piece of pie with a splash of milk and ice
cream (vanilla is a favorite.) They recommend using a cream pie
for the best results.
IF you prefer your pie a ’la
mode the traditional way, you can look forward to Western slope
fruits arriving this month from Glenn Austin family orchards in
Paonia (CLICK HERE for more about
them) — starting with cherries, apricots and various
berries, leading up to the highly anticipated peach season. Then,
pick up a pint of ice cream from a wide selection of locally made
Anne and Mann’s flavors.
Alcohol can be a gas
Should farmers produce
America’s fuel as well as its food? Controversy over the
benefits of ethanol erupted last year in response to surging food
prices, as ethanol plants competed with livestock producers for
grain. Many came to believe the ethanol industry was simply
fueling the growth of high input, government-subsidized,
industrial agriculture while contributing to world
David Blume, author of Alcohol
Can Be a Gas and a long-time self-proclaimed
“permaculturist,” hoes a middle row. He believes
American farmers can (and should) produce energy as well as
food in a sustainable, environmentally responsible way. Ethanol
is one of cheapest and most efficient renewable fuels to make
and can be produced from a range of crops, including
perennials, which means it fits into diversified farming systems
that build up the soil and work with — rather than against
— nature, he says.
He also opposes the way large oil companies like
Valero have bought up smaller ethanol plants to feed their
pipelines. He believes such consolidation undermines the
country’s fledgling independent renewable fuel and
Multinational oil companies have used the
Commodities Futures Trading system to artificially drive the
price of corn up while depressing the price of ethanol,
essentially gaming the futures market, he contends. “The
impact of artificially high corn prices is that plants like VeraSun,
that aren’t built and supported by farmer-owners, but
rather by capital investors, had to pay high prices to compete
with Big Oil to buy corn and make fuel,” he said.
“Meanwhile, the futures price of alcohol was driven down
by Big Oil’s fuel monopoly—easy since they buy
over 99 percent of alcohol fuel produced.” The result is
market dominance by a few large companies. For more on David
Blume’s unique perspective and his work with rural
revitalization and renewable fuels, visit his website by clicking
“We must involve our hearts in
... Your local source of natural beef, poultry, buffalo,
pork, lamb, eggs, wild seafood, deli meats
and cheeses, meals and more!
Member, Peak to Plains Alliance (www.peaktoplains.com)
Store and Meat
2901 N. El Paso, Colorado Springs 80907
Retail Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sunday
(719) 473-2306 or 1-866-866-6328
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