Ranch Foods 
J A N U A R Y   2 0 10
Get the New Year off to a healthy start
with a renewed focus on health, nutrition and wellness!


Eating in more? Find gadgetry galore at downtown kitchen store

Except for the countertop infrared cooker that takes a steak from frozen to fabulous in 20 minutes, Ranch Foods Direct sells mostly meats, cheeses, produce and ingredients rather than the cookware and gadgetry for preparing it. For that, shoppers who want to keep their business local can head downtown to Sparrowhawk Gourmet Cookware, the fabulous local “toy store for foodies,” independently owned and operated since 1979.

Owner Sam Eppley points out that for the price of an expensive dinner at the Broadmoor, shoppers can go to Ranch Foods Direct for great meat and then visit his store for the right cookware and equipment and have control over what’s in their meal and how it is prepared. “We send people down to Ranch Foods Direct all the time,” he says. “Likewise, if they care enough to buy good meats, they want to cook it right. People right now want to make sure their money is well spent. They want to know that what they buy is going to be exactly what they were thinking it would be.”

Sam and his wife Christine follow two main guidelines when it comes to healthy eating.

“We don’t have any problem eating steaks or pork chops, but we do stay away from processed foods,” he says. “Also, portion control is a biggie.”

Sparrowhawk stocks a wide selection of food scales to help insure judicious servings.

“We eat a lot of beef.  A ribeye steak is probably our favorite,” Sam adds. “We love prime rib as well. My wife is British, so Sunday dinner is big with us.”

Sam loves to grill outside on the deck virtually year-round. His store has a huge selection of grilling utensils, including an increasing number of grill pans, grids and woks especially designed for smaller vegetables.

“If someone is spending a lot of money on a steak, often they will want to grill it,” he says. “And if they are having vegetables, that smoky flavor makes it more appetizing.”

At his store, Sam also sees evidence of a food trend toward the desire for more purity in foods and appreciation of quality in small things. Take salt, which is popular now. “Salt is something that people don’t realize takes on the flavors of where it comes out of the earth,” he says. “Sea salt was an early push toward something more natural with less chemicals. But now we are seeing more grinding of salts. It’s a control thing again. It allows you to have different consistencies of grind. These are finishing salts, not just for throwing into a pot of soup. On a steak, it’s great because you can really taste it.”

Sparrowhawk is a local downtown institution. A year ago the store moved a block away into a larger space at 120 N. Tejon that triples the room they had before, proving that there will always be demand for quality and a great shopping experience.

Shopping local is about more than getting healthy food or quality items made by reputable companies, Sam says.

“Approximately 65 percent of the money spent at a store like this or at Ranch Foods Direct stays local,” he notes. “At a chain store, only about 15 percent stays in the local community. That’s a huge difference.”

He points out that there’s a price for quality, always has been, always will be. “We have a lot of U.S. and European products,” he says. “But it’s a fact of life that manufacturing is going to cheaper labor markets.”

Sam is generally supportive of international trade as long as it is fair and includes necessary quality and safety standards.

“What really matters is that something is well- made,” he says.

He points out that a cheaper product, thrown away and replaced often, quickly becomes more expensive in the long run. The same could be said of the long-term investment inherent in buying healthy nutritious food or supporting local merchants.

Sparrowhawk Gourmet Cookware is at 120 N. Tejon downtown or call (719) 471-3235.

Hours of operation:
9:30 to 5:30 Monday through Saturday
12:00 to 4:00 Sunday

To visit their website, CLICK HERE.

Hethyr Pletsch

Simple, healthy, tasty

Colorado Springs personal chef Hethyr Pletsch is a fabulous cook, but also a health conscious one. She helped us put together some recommendations to get your new year off to a healthy start. And she gave us a couple of great recipes for wonderful meals that are simple, nutritious and affordable.

“Healthy food doesn’t have to hard,” she says. “The flank steak recipe is an example of that. There’s 3 minutes of preparation time. It’s absolutely easy.”

The flank is a lean cut, and Hethyr also provides some tips for how to use the right preparation to make the most out of it.

Like Sam Eppley of Sparrowhawk Gourmet Cookery, she mentions taking special care with portion sizes. “We’re so used to going out to restaurants and getting a huge plate of food,” she says. A 6-ounce portion of meat is usually plenty for an average size person. She recommends adding generous servings of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables, grown locally if possible.


veggiesHere are more healthy eating tips for the New Year!
· Get with a CSA/Home Delivery Plan

CSA stands for community supported agriculture, a program that allows you to buy shares in a farm in exchange for the regular delivery of what is produced throughout the growing season. “Having a CSA practically forces you to use fresh fruits and vegetables,” Hethyr says. “I plan our menu around it.” Though gardens are mostly dormant now, your winter diet can benefit from vegetables harvested in the fall that store well, such as squash, onions and other root vegetables, Hethryr points out.

Ranch Foods Direct Home Service is similar to a CSA in that you get an ample supply of healthy meats and U.S. organic frozen vegetables delivered to your door, meaning quality ingredients are always close at hand for making healthy meals instead of warming up processed foods or grabbing fast food on the run. You are less likely to resort to a frozen pizza if you have delicious healthy high quality food items right at your fingertips. Call Ranch Foods Direct to make an appointment to discuss this option and find out how it could work for you. You can customize for every family’s preferences, or for singles and couples too!

· Make your own soups and salad dressings

Most canned (and packaged) soups have high levels of trans fats, sodium and artificial preservatives like MSG. Just one cup of canned soup can have almost 1,000 milligrams of salt (and most people eat more than one cup), which is tons considering dietary guidelines recommend consuming no more than 2,400 milligrams for the entire day.

There are healthier options out there, but be sure to ask questions and read labels. The better alternative is to make your own homemade variety.

Shop Ranch Foods Direct for healthy broths and soup bones. It’s all the nutrition of the highest quality meat in a very affordable package!

· Speak up for nutritious food at your school

Did you know? … According to an investigative report, fast food chains including McDonald's, Burger King, Jack in the Box and KFC have much more stringent quality requirements for the food they serve than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school lunch program, with some of them testing meat for dangerous pathogens up to 10 times more a day.

· Eat more organ meats.
Liver is an excellent, very concentrated source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals. Gram for gram, it contains more nutrients than any other food. But it should be carefully selected. In an animal, its role is to filter and process the food consumed in addition to storing glycogen and fat-soluable vitamins. It’s important to buy liver from animals that have been fed a clean, healthy diet. Ranch Foods Direct is the ideal source for quality beef liver!

Liver with Sour Cream

Recipe courtesy of Weston A. Price Foundation

2 1/2 pounds beef liver, sliced
2 onions, chopped
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons dill, freshly chopped
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Wash, pat dry, and sprinkle each piece of liver with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, fry on each side in butter and remove. Sauté the onions until golden brown and then layer both liver and onions in a deep pot. Deglaze the pan with beef stock, stir well and add the sour cream, stir, then add to the liver and onions. Mix well and cover. Cook slowly over low-heat for 20 minutes. Uncover, stir well, re-cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove liver from pot, arrange on individual plates and pour sauce over the slices. Sprinkle with the dill. Serve with boiled or fried potatoes or rice.

CLICK HERE to visit “The Liver Files” for more on this organ meat, considered by traditional cultures to be a “sacred food.”

Did you know? … More than 80,000 new chemicals have been developed since World War II, according to the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai. Even of the major chemicals, fewer than 20 percent have been tested for toxicity to children, the center says.

Food the foundation of healthy economies

“There must be a U-turn to create healthy domestic markets… This is not romanticism of the past... When they consider the environmental destabilization, health hazards, and low-quality products that come with capitalist industrial agriculture, partisans of small-scale agriculture are convinced of its superiority.”

— Walden Bello

The Food Wars

Shouldn't plentiful fresh food form the foundation of a healthy economy?

Walden Bello, an internationally recognized sociology professor who spent his life working to restore democracy in his native Philippines, has argued just that in numerous books, including The Food Wars, an account of the effects of modern global economic development.

(Bello is co-founder and executive director of Focus on the Global South, an elected representative of the Philippines and a sociologist who has held visiting professorships at several prestigious U.S. universities, in addition to being a professor at the University of the Philippines. Among many other awards, he has received the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, for "... outstanding efforts in educating civil society about the effects of corporate globalization, and how alternatives to it can be implemented.")

Countries worldwide have produced abundant food for export while their own people starved; it’s happened in Ireland, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America — in fact, virtually everywhere. Bello’s writings detail the phenomenon, arguing it’s a faulty way to develop a sustainable economy.

“It’s the whole concept of globalization, whereby third world countries that have borrowed money to compete in the international market are forced to produce more for export in order to generate the cash needed to repay the banks, which exploits their land and people while extracting valuable resources,” says Ranch Foods Direct owner Mike Callicrate. “Awareness is growing that this is not an acceptable way for a nation to achieve long-term sustainability and prosperity.”

Nor is it healthy at the local community level, for similar reasons.

CLICK HERE to order this book.

Watch for details regarding a Colorado Springs local food forum in early 2010 to focus on building a vibrant regional food system.

Let’s resolve to achieve
healthy communities
and economies as well as
healthy families and individuals!

... 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 Plant
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

Mike Callicrate, Owner

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