“Need Food”

by Laurel McHargue “NEED FOOD,” read the cardboard sign held by a woman who appeared to be in her 70s. It’s hard to gauge the age of homeless people, as most do not age well. I was returning from a weekend conference in Denver and stopped by our local Safeway for a few things before …

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Colorado Food Facts

Compiled by Mike Rosso Veggies, Fruit, Meat and More • The San Luis Valley is the largest and highest alpine valley in the world capable of producing crops. Elevation in the valley ranges from 7,400 to 8,000 feet. It is also the main supplier of barley for the Coors Brewing Company. • Colorado produces more …

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By Mike Rosso

Once a year or so, we like to devote an entire issue of Colorado Central to a specific topic, and what could be more interesting than the subject of food? Food growth, preparation, distribution, consumption – all things edible.

What you may notice throughout this issue is a common thread: local foods. Unprompted, many of the writers took it upon themselves to highlight the benefits of a local foods economy – not just the financial advantages, but the health benefits as well.

The “eat local” movement has taken hold in other parts of the country, but Colorado seems to be front and center, despite the limitations of high-altitude production. From cattle to wheat, peaches to peppers, the state grows an extraordinary amount of food, and it would take a whole lot more than one issue to cover just Central Colorado’s contributions to the state’s foodshed.

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Food: Local or Fast?

by Allen Best

Being a male of a certain age, I’m sometimes distressed to catch sight of an individual in surveillance cameras and mirrors that looks familiar but strange. It’s me, and I must pay closer attention to my diet.

I’m not alone. While people living in the West tend to be leaner those than in other parts of the country, our padding has been growing. The gymnasium helps, but everything starts with your diet. I need a bracelet to jolt me electronically when I grab a bag of chips on my last lap in the grocery store. That same bracelet should zap me for the mere glance at a fast-food joint. In metropolitan Denver, that would require tunnel vision: just one chain, McDonald’s, has 85 stores within a 15-mile radius of where I live.

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Lightening the Carbon Footprint of Our Food

by Susan Tweit

After a holiday weekend spent cooking for a house full of visitors from age 10 to 81, I have food on my mind, in particular, ways to lighten the carbon footprint of what we eat. According to Stephen Hopp in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, agriculture consumes about 17 percent of the United States total energy use, second only, Hopp notes, to our gas-guzzling vehicles.

Producing our food is energy-intensive for three main reasons: the distance it is transported from farm to table – an astonishing average of 1,500 miles, how much processed food we eat, and our energy-intensive farming methods, especially synthetic fertilizers.

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Local food gets on mountain menus

Brief by Allen Best

Food – October 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

From Whistler to Aspen to Vail, food continues to be at the forefront on the minds of many people in mountain towns. Of great interest in recent years has been the idea of eating local.

In the Eagle Valley, where Vail is located, a local book club chose Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-mile Diet as the book for common reading.

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Downhill pull, part 2

Column by John Mattingly

Food – March 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Wheat traded at over $10 a bushel last week. It dipped into the mid-nines during the stock market flurries, but rebounded quickly. Farmers are wondering if these high prices are new tops, or new bottoms.

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The meat was quite good

Letter from Dick Stacy

Food – July 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine


I enjoyed the essay by Sharon O’Toole on horses (mostly dead ones) in your June edition. I guess that I was surprised about the current status of dead horses and what happens to them.

I grew up in a small town in southwestern New York State during the years of World War II. The town is on the Alleghany Indian reservation. During my high school years, I worked in a small, locally-owned grocery store, where I was apprenticed to the butcher, who was teaching me the trade.

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Eating local hard to practice

Brief by Allen Best

Food – January 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Environmentalists for several years have been arguing the virtues of consuming food that is grown locally instead of being hauled 1,600 miles -the average distance between producers and consumers in the United States. But a project underway in Durango illustrates just how difficult that concept of think global, eat local can be when applied to fast-growing, high-elevation mountain valleys choked by mountains.

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Mountain towns aren’t even close to sustainability

Brief by Allen Best

Food – December 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

While there is a great deal of talk in mountain resorts about “sustainability,” virtually none of them are remotely sustainable. From the tourists who arrive by jet planes to the big logs hauled hundreds of miles to create the “natural” look in homes, life depends on using vast amounts of fossil fuels.

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A possible definition for ‘High Country’

Brief by Allen Best

Food – September 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

Many enterprises in Colorado use the expression “High Country,” as in High Country News of Paonia and High Country Bank of Salida. However, they have never specified where “high” begins. Does “high” begin at 5,000 feet, 8,000, or 10,000 feet or more?

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A regional answer to the food-supply questions

Column by Hal Walter

Food – February 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

IN MY OTHER PROFESSIONAL LIFE, the one in which I actually make a living off my writing, I’ve spent half a decade researching and writing about food and nutrition. Most of this has been as editor of a newsletter called The Maffetone Report which reports on health and nutrition as it relates to the philosophies of Dr. Phil Maffetone, health/nutrition expert and author of In Fitness and In Health.

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Sautéed beet tops

Sidebar by Hal Walter

Food – September 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

If you live near an agricultural area I highly recommend getting to know an organic farmer. The nutrition and taste simply can’t be beat. And it’s nice to know where at least some of your food comes from.

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What to do with a buffalo in your freezer

Column by Hal Walter

Food – February 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

COOKING, IF YOU REALLY LOVE FOOD, is almost certain to take on a regional flavor. In Central Colorado, this brand of culinary snobbishness is known as cuisine opportunisme, which roughly translated means “eat well when you have the opportunity.” It has occurred to me to do as dead comedian Sam Kinneson suggested and “live where the food is,” but then I realize that there are better restaurants in Salida than there are in Pueblo, a town 15 times the size. Incidentally, nobody in Pueblo can muster a cup of coffee that compares to anything Bongo Billy’s brews up either.

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One Pot, Three Meals

Sidebar by Rebecca Wood

Food – May 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

One Pot, Three Meals

by Rebecca Wood

Here’s how to daily enjoy food that’s freshly prepared and therefore more healthful and satisfying. Simply cook a pot of grain in the morning and it’s the base for that day’s breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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