"They tried to bury us; they didn't know we were seeds." -- Mexican proverb   

Did you know? ... You can follow RFD on Facebook and get the scoop on daily in-store specials like Meatloaf Monday, Fresh Case Thursday and more!
Click the images above to go directly to the Ranch Foods Direct Facebook page.     
And yes, today is Meatloaf Monday...     
Get Callicrate ground beef meatloaf, stuffed with cheese and wrapped in applewood smoked bacon, for $9.99 each. 
Stop in everyday for new daily specials, and enjoy the hot soup and broth bar, with an ever-changing selection of fresh, delicious flavors. 

DID YOU KNOW?... A butterflied steak just happens to look like a heart. Need one for a gift? Just ask the butcher at the fresh meat case to cut you one. Or two. Anytime, for any reason!

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Callicrate steak!
Buy them by the bundle... The chef's steak bundle includes a selection of 4 boneless rib-eyes, 4 New York strips, 4 top sirloins and 4 filet mignon, all for $174.99. (Boxed bundles are even more affordable when you get all rib-eyes or all strips!)  

An update from Chef Aaron:
fresh offerings, new favorites     
Chef Aaron Miller (right) continues to coax delicious flavors from Ranch Foods Direct products in the store's in-house kitchen. Here, he talks about some of his latest prepared dishes and new favorites he's discovered while browsing the store.   
Q. According to a survey of more than 700 chefs conducted by the National Restaurant Association, the hottest new food trend of 2018 is new and unusual cuts of meat. What are some of your latest favorites at Ranch Foods Direct?   
The chuck-eye steak is the perfect size, six ounces or so, not too big and not too small. I just had to try it using the sous vide method: it really elevates it and makes it even more amazing. Another cut that is great prepared sous vide is the picanha, or sirloin cap, which is popular in Brazil.  
Our new smoked beef bacon, while fully cooked, doesn't have the fat rendered out of it. You can cook it in the oven or fry it in a pan; it'll be a little more lean than pork bacon, with a nice mouth feel. Smoked pork jowls (or cheeks) are something that is really popular in the South.
Something new we did for the SuperBowl was "pig wings." They're made from the shank of the pig and resemble chicken wings, but they're meatier. It started out in the South but now it's becoming a big thing on the East Coast too.   
Q. What's new with the sous vide items?  
I've introduced what I'm calling my sous vide 2.0 series. Instead of just boiling the meat in a pouch with sea salt, I've added fish sauce and garlic powder. It creates a chemical interaction that mimics the dry aging process. Dry aging in the bag keeps the meat juicier and accentuates the beefy flavor. 
Q. What other smoked meats are you doing these days?
We are creating a portfolio of smoked meats you won't find anywhere else! Whole turkeys and turkey legs, chicken, pepperoni, ham hocks... the list just continues to grow. One thing I'm really excited about are pieces of wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon, cured with sea salt and brown sugar and hickory-smoked in-house, a process that takes several days. They can be used for salads, dips and spreads, on pizza or in deviled eggs - the sky's the limit. 
Q. Have you discovered some other new favorite ingredients around the store?  
The dried beans... I've been using them in a lot of the soups we're making. The pintos and Anasazi beans in particular are really, really good! Papa Hill's popcorn... I'm addicted to it! If I don't get any, I start shaking. 
Q. Your chicken soups and broth are really popular. What's the secret to the bright delicious flavor?  
I use both coriander and cilantro to get an interesting balance of cilantro flavor in my white chicken chili; it's just not as good without the coriander. Other things I've been incorporating include fresh ginger, lemongrass and shiitaki mushrooms. 
Q. What do you plan to make this year for Valentine's Day at your house?
I'm contemplating doing Beef Wellington, but using a different piece of meat other than the tenderloin, sous vide first and then wrapped in puff pastry, and baked. I haven't had time to experiment with it yet, but I have reason to think it will work. 

In store now: New prepared dishes arriving weekly from Chef Aaron Miller, director of new product development. Follow the Ranch Foods Direct FACEBOOK page for the latest menu and product updates! CLICK HERE     

The search for a healthy (and tasty) cooking spray officially ends here...  
Putting a finishing sear on "sou vide" steaks requires oil with a high smoke point. Looking at various options to achieve this, Melissa (Ranch Foods Direct retail manager and procurement specialist) discovered an ingenious product invented and marketed in neighboring Nebraska. 
Gourmet Duck Fat Cooking Oil Spray, from Cornhusker Kitchen, puts the rich flavor of duck fat into spray form without artificial additives including - most impressively - no propellant (the oil is in a bag inside the can, and compressed air forces the oil out when you press the button.) Duck fat is a favorite of chefs and a staple of French cuisine, credited with the so-called "French paradox" (whereby the French enjoy rich and delicious foods but report half the heart problems of other geographical regions like the U.S.)
While duck fat spray is a handy solution for getting the perfect sear on meat, the potential uses don't stop there: it's recommended for everything from crispy golden French fries to omelettes and frittatas to savory baked goods. 

Fate of small farms depends on commitment  
to supporting them      
Organic farmer Demetria Stephens checks on a field of heirloom Turkey Red wheat planted this fall on her family's farm in Northwest Kansas, right. She was an instructor at January's "Grain School" hosted jointly by UCCS and the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance.      
Technical advances, whether in the form of bigger equipment, genetically modified seeds or ammonia anhydrous fertilizer, never held any appeal to her family, says the fifth generation Kansas farmer from the small town of Jennings. "My grandfather tried a pesticide on grain sorghum once, but the smell was so strong that he told his sons to stay inside the house for the next four days," she says. "That was the foundation for us to certify as organic as soon as they created a standard for it. It's just been part of our values as farmers for a very long time." 
Small farmers who grow heirloom varieties and use natural production methods would seem to have a leg up in a marketplace that increasingly values locally grown, fresh, healthy, unadulterated foods. But in media interviews, local op-eds and public presentations this winter, Ranch Foods Direct owner Mike Callicrate emphasizes that big corporations taking incremental steps - doing just enough to claim antibiotic-free chicken, "cage-free" eggs or organic milk - and dressing it up with feel-good marketing are draining opportunities away from the farmers who represent the true spirit of sustainable, organic, regenerative food production.  
"It's food fraud," he says."We fight every day to help create a market for REAL FAMILY farmers."
DID YOU KNOW? ... Only 11 cents of what you pay for a loaf of bread sold at retail goes back to the farmer who grew the grain to make it.
Similarly, a chicken is worth $7 at the store, but only 36 cents goes to the farmer who raised it. Rotten, a new documentary series on Netflix, pulls back the curtain on this and other eye-openers ranging from China's garlic monopoly to honey fraud to corruption in global meatpacking.
"This is the best food documentary series I've seen," says RFD owner Mike Callicrate.  CLICK HERE for more.