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Side Dish

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No Flavors saver

Just a year after it began developing a loyal breakfast and lunch following, Flavors on Tejon (321 N. Tejon St.) abruptly closed this past weekend.

"We're brokenhearted," says owner Sally Ierisi, who says she remains grateful to all the people who recognized that she and her husband Joe were trying to bring something special to the town's food scene. Inside a tasteful and airy dining room adorned with local art, their creative offerings included sweet potato pancakes and fine pastries.

"In a nutshell, we had a strong business and a good following," says Joe. "But this economy was just too rough. We simply needed more operating capital ... We put every penny we had into this — we're bankrupt. We're sad for everyone slighted in the end."

The Ierisis, who are uncertain of their next move, say they missed the chance to say goodbye to many of their new friends and patrons. If you wish to contact them, send a letter to P.O. Box 1327, Colorado Springs, 80901.

And, Joe says, "If you really love independents, support them."

In defense of (real) food

• If you'd like to stand up for local food by reading and adding your name to a petition authored by local rancher and activist Mike Callicrate, visit food.change.org/actions/view/protect_local_food_production.

In the open letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, members of Congress and President Obama, Callicrate accuses USDA inspectors of "sleeping on the job." He urges the government to "reverse the current pandemic of 'free trade' that survives only due to government support and the anti-competitive, abusive rules and regulations like NAIS [the National Animal Identification System]." Ultimately, Callicrate argues, it's independent, non-factory family farmers and ranchers who are producing truly safe and nutritious food.

• In other David vs. Goliath food news: According to the Organic Consumers Association, 70 to 90 percent of all conventional canola, soybean, cotton and corn crops are now genetically engineered. GE sugar from sugar beets has also crept into many brand-name foods. Next up on the list of "gene-spliced Frankenfoods" to be pushed by Monsanto and Co.: wheat. To sign a letter of opposition to GE wheat visit organicconsumers.org/wheat.cfm.

Berries and blends

• A new Colorado-grown farmers market will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays (through October) at the Chapel Hills Mall (1710 Briargate Blvd., 970/464-2223).

• Purchase a $20 bottle of custom-labeled Manitou's Classic Elixir wine at D'Vine Wine (934 Manitou Ave., manitouspringsheritagecenter.org) to benefit the Manitou Springs Heritage Center. Future blended batches with new labels will follow this first batch of 28 bottles.

— Compiled by Matthew Schniper

Send Frankenfood references and more to scene@csindy.com.

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