How many bites into the amazing new Lamb, Currant, and Mint EPIC Baaaaaaaahr can you go without making a lamb joke? Oops - apparently not even one sentence. Take everything you know about the best tender and savory meats you already eat - things like soft jerky, juicy sausages, even breakfast patties, and combine them into one travel-friendly bar. That's EPIC. Now, take what you know about lamb - that lean wildness - and add hugely satisfying nuggets of currants. Each bite is sweet and savory with a hint of spice (and yeah, that mint, too - but it plays a supporting role here - be not afraid of peppermint patty memories).
EPIC bars are an absolutely breakthrough food. They combine smoky meat, tangy fruits, and deep spices masterfully, for a total umami thrill with each bite. And their texture is amazing: tender, perfectly chewy. These are what soft jerky aspires to be, more like summer sausage than stringy dehydrated homework for your jaw.
The delicious Lamb Currant + Mint EPIC bar is loaded with currants - amazing amounts of currants - and it’s got an gentle warm glow from a layer of peppery spices. Not only are EPIC bars delicious, they’re made with ingredients so clean that they put most other protein sources to shame. From field to shelf, Taylor and Katie (the epic creators of EPIC bars) have done absolutely everything right.
Confession time: I used to be a protein bar addict. I even had a spreadsheet (nerd alert). I thought it was the best way to manage my calories, back when I thought calories were king. Running a lot made for times when I just wanted to eat something without buying takeout or cooking, so bars it was. Anything with lots of protein was a-ok, even those weird muscle building brands with more artificial sugar than you can shake an osso buco at. I loved those strange cement-texture bars the most because I figured if they tasted a little off it just meant they had extra super supplements in them (this was generally true).
But then. Calories regressed to where they should honestly reside - as a neutral measuring device, no more, no less. Nutrients are king, not calories. And when your mind shifts that way, you naturally will gravitate toward things like whole ingredients and foods like EPIC bars. Those store aisles with dozens of varieties of protein bars are no longer tempting, not when there's a space on the shelf for EPIC.
How EPIC bars taste: EPIC bars are their own category of meaty awesomeness. They’re like rustic charcuterie, primal sausages to be eaten nibble by nibble, no knives or napkins or toothpicks required.
The folks at EPIC are committed to personal health, animal welfare, and planetary sustainability, and they’re obsessed with sourcing their meat from small-scale ranchers who are doing it right. Yeah, you might aspire to hunt and cure your own meat, creating your own little charcuterie stash, but if you’re like most of us, you probably have trouble even fitting exercise into your all-too-busy days. EPIC is here for all those moments when you want to eat something amazingly delicious and healthy, something savory and meal-like, but have absolutely zero time to do anything but open a wrapper. It’s not easy being a postmodern primal, but EPIC is here to help.
About the new flavor, Lamb Currant Mint:
Newest to the lineup, the Lamb Currant Mint EPIC bar is one of the most inventive flavors but still comforting and delicious. The Lamb Bar is comprised of a select blend of 100% organic grass-fed lamb and sophisticated seasonings. To maximize the EPICness of this bar, we added both organic currants and splashes of dehydrated Spearmint Leaves, both of which are subtle, yet brilliantly harmonized. The finished product is a truly EPIC tasting bar, guaranteed to satisfy your highly evolved omnivore palate and leave you salivating for more.
Domestic sheep are versatile and amazingly practical animals valued for more than just their meat. They have played a important historical role throughout American History. The great President Woodrow Wilson once purchased a flock (also known as a "mob") of sheep to graze on the White House grounds in order to conserve groundskeeping costs during World War I. The sheep not only kept the lawn nice and trim, but also provided wool to be auctioned off to raise money for the American Red Cross.
The roots of EPIC were planted 5 years ago, when Katie and I decided to become vegetarians. While driving through rural New Mexico on one of our epic outdoor adventures, we witnessed the horrors of an industrial cattle feedlot off the side of an isolated country road. For the first time, we became increasingly aware of the large-scale industrial animal factories that supply the world's meat, but we never connected the dots to the animals that we consumed everyday. Immediately, we reconsidered our own consumption of meat to protest the unnatural and inhumane raising of animals.
As vegetarians, Katie and I continued our pursuit of epic adventure to new extremes. We raced marathons, trained for Ironman triathlons, and frequently entered the wild where we pushed our bodies and spirits to previously unimaginable limits. Sometimes we would be out for so long that we had to sleep in fields just to find the energy to drag our bodies the final few miles home.
Shortly after, we reached a point in which we were becoming increasingly fatigued, losing muscle mass, and suffering from symptoms of overtraining. Over time, we discovered that the problem was that Katie and I could not consume enough nutrient-rich protein and vitamins to keep up with our constantly recovering bodies. We both felt a sense that we were missing a fundamental element to our diets and we instinctively began reintroducing animal protein that we purchased from our local farmers market. At the time, this was the only available outlet for humanely- treated organic and grass-fed meats.
Once again omnivores, we were consuming well- balanced diets of plant-based whole foods, with the addition of grass-fed and organic meat. We also recognized that we were eating how our human ancestors ate for over the past 250,000 years! Almost instantly, we experienced improved recovery, performance, and exuberance towards the foods we ate. As a result, we were having more epically glorious days!
Here's a cool video(and well-shot!) featuring Katie and Taylor and their thinking on Ancestral diet and health, and the genesis of EPIC bars.
We quickly discovered there is a lack of conveniently packaged grass-fed and organic animal protein in the market. This problem peaked when we would spend long days training or in the backcountry seeking adventure. In order to continue eating animal protein on the go, we were forced to choose between conventionally raised animal jerky and canned meats filled with preservatives. We refused to eat either and set out to create what would evolve into the modern day EPIC bar.
Due to an ingredient label unlike anything else, EPIC epitomizes REAL food. Based on our deep-rooted evolutionary biology, EPIC specializes in creating nutrient-dense animal based protein products for people on the go. EPIC foods will always be humane, pasture centered, and most importantly, delicious. May you fill your life with epic adventure and epic health!
EPIC foods begin with a living animal. We set the industry standards by sourcing our meats from ranchers that we deem EPIC. We mandate proof of certifications, which validate that our animals receive the utmost humane treatment. We believe that EPIC animals should always live pasture-centered lives where turkeys forage, pigs wallow, and buffalo roam. This is the way nature intended animals to be and we see ourselves as leaders in recognizing the value of sustainable and responsible animal welfare practices.
EPIC cattle: The Global Animal Partnership 5-step Animal Welfare Program has rated our cattle a Step 4. This ensures that every EPIC cow has had continuous and unconfined access to pasture throughout its life cycle. Additionally, our beef is certified NOP 100% organic.
EPIC pigs: Our pigs are certified by the Humane Farm Animal Care Program standards. This ensures they are raised with shelter, resting areas, and sufficient space to engage in natural behaviors!
EPIC turkey: All our turkeys are raised on small family farms that are 3rd-party audited. Our turkey farmers are all approved by Whole Foods Market and meticulously track each bird throughout its life cycle. Although they are not 100% grass fed, they are fed a nutrient dense diet that is relatively low in corn when compared to other turkey farms. Additionally, our turkeys are provided shelter and sufficient space to engage in natural gobbling behaviors! It is our goal to find a steady source of 100% pastured turkeys within the next year.
EPIC buffalo: Our bison are 100% grass fed on land that is free of synthetic chemical sprays throughout their entire life cycle. Both the bison and the land they graze are certified organic by CCOF.
EPIC lamb: Our Lamb is 100% grass fed throughout their entire lifecycle. The flocks are raised on family farms and rotated through a series of pastures throughout the year (rotational grazing) and have unconfined free range to a diverse blend of nutrient dense grassland and fresh water. The USDA has certified our lamb to be 100% Organic.
Not only do humanely-treated grass-fed animals live better, more natural lives but they place less stress on the land they inhabit. Our animals live on EPIC lands. When properly managed, grass-fed animals can produce a net benefit to the environment. Pasture grazing requires significantly less fossil fuel than a feedlot diet consisting of corn, soy, antibiotics, and hormones. Pastured animals fertilize the land they graze on, which eliminates the fossil fuels required by conventional fertilizing practices. Lastly, grass-filled fields not only hold on to topsoil and moisture but also more effectively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than any other use of land!
We believe that epic foods should inspire epic health. For that reason, our ingredients are sourced exclusively from farmers and ranchers that we deem epic.
All EPIC bars are soy free, dairy free, no added nitrates or nitrites, low glycemic. All epic animals are vegetarial fed, humanely treated, hormone-free, antibiotic-free.
Perhaps the most compelling argument for consuming grass-fed meats comes from the EPIC nutrition that is passed on from animal to human. The brilliance of this nutrient transfer is based on how the animals are raised. Grass-fed animals are loaded with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are better for both cardiovascular health and contain anti-inflammatory properties. They also have significantly higher values of vitamins A and E as well as antioxidants.
For athletes, grass-fed meat is particularly favorable in that it contains up to twice the levels of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which promotes the development of lean muscle tissue and lowers the risk for a myriad of other health problems.
By combining delicious tasting and lightly smoked animal protein with savory nuts and dehydrated fruits, EPIC foods taste amazing! EPIC foods are unique in the sense that they are more savory, tender, and flavor-forward than jerky without the high carbohydrate and sugar load of other bars. Reconnect with your ancestral diets and enjoy every bite of it!
EPIC is for everyone! Long lasting satiety comes easily with EPIC's nutrient-dense protein content and the absence of grains. This makes EPIC a great option for on-the-go healthy snacking.
Additionally, EPIC bars are loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3's, muscle-building CLAs, and antioxidant-rich vitamins A and E, thus also making EPIC a perfect fuel for athletes.
Lastly, the low-glycemic nature of EPIC creates the perfect snacking option for diabetics, Paleolithic eaters, and others looking for a pure form of protein, just the way nature intended.
The high protein and CLA content of EPIC makes our bars the perfect post-workout recovery meal for athletes. However, it is worth noting that a growing number of endurance athletes are experimenting and thriving with low carbohydrate fuel sources. Due to a uniquely low-glycemic index, our bars promote fat oxidation (your bodies ability to burn fat as fuel). As a result, EPIC is a great fuel source when doing low to moderate level exercise (>70% VO2max). Additionally, EPIC can be consumed pre-workout to top off energy stores and avoid a spike in insulin levels!
Venables MC, Achten J: Determinants of fat oxidation during exercise in healthy men and women: a cross-sectional study. J Appl Physiol 2005, 98 (1):160-167.
Goedecke JH, St Clair Givson A, Grobler L: Determinants of the variability in respiratory exchange ratio at rest and during exercise in trained athletes. Am J Physiol Endorinol Metab 2000, 279 (6):E1325-1334.
Achten J, Gleeson M: Determination of the exercise intensity that elicits maximal fat oxidation. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2002, 34 (1):92-97.
Fat is the ideal energy source for life's daily activities; whether walking, working, or running a 100-mile trail race, our bodies prefer to utilize fat as an energy source. Carbohydrates only come into play when you're doing repeated bouts of high intensity exercise like sprints or intervals. In those situations, it is helpful to supplement with a high carbohydrate drink or bar.
If interested in learning more about fat oxidation and low carbohydrate exercise we suggest reading the following book:
Volek, J. Phinney, S. (2012) The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. Lexington, KY: Beyond Obesity LLC
EPIC is 100% animal-based whole protein. It is minimally processed and contains all essential amino acids. Additionally, EPIC bars are much easier for your body to digest when compared to other bars. This results in superior protein utilization.
Other protein bars typically source either soy or whey protein isolates. These highly processed ingredients undergo toxic chemical treatments to create a protein source that is difficult for your body to recognize. Additionally, other bars have to rely on syrups and/or sweeteners to counterbalance the chalky flavor of protein powders. This results in an unavoidable and often unfavorable high sugar/carbohydrate load that is seen in every other protein bar on the market.
We believe that 100% grass-fed animals are beyond organic. 100% grass fed animals eat a nutrient rich, diverse diet of pasture, which creates a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients when compared to other forms of animal rearing. Keep in mind that current USDA regulations permit 100% organic animals to be feed a diet primarily consisting of only corn, soy, and other cheap fillers. These organic feeds lower the amount of omega-3's, CLA, and vitamin E in the animal. Additionally, there is no guarantee that a 100% organic animal did not live the majority of its life in a confined space.
To read more on farm animal welfare we suggest:
Friend, C. (2008) The Compassionate Carnivore. Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press
Salatin, J. (2011) Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People and a Better World. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group
Contrary to popular belief, fats are vital for optimal health. The fats present in EPIC bars are dense in omega-3 fatty acids, which are arguably some of the most nutritious foods in existence. Without fat in your meals, your body tends to avoid absorbing all the nutrients found present in other foods. Fats get a bad wrap, but are essential elements to our diets.
Taubes, G: Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It: Alfred A. Knopf; 2011.
Taubes, G: Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, And The Controversial Science Of Diet And Health: First Anchor Books; Sept 2008.
Volek JS, Phinney SD: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: Beyond Obesity; May 2011.
This is yet another myth that is often propagated by outdated medical dogma. In fact, most recent studies have concluded that saturated fat intake likely has no relation to heart disease! Here are some peer reviewed medical journals to reference:
Kuipers RS, de Graaf DJ, Luxwolda MF. (2011.) Saturated fat, carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease. Netherland Journal of Medicine, 9;11.
Kazumasa Yamagishi, Hiroyasu Iso, Hiroshi Yatsuya. (2010.) Dietary intake of saturated fatty acids and mortality from cardiovascular disease in Japanese: the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risk Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 8; 10.
Patty W Siri-Tarino, Qi Sun, Frank B Hu. (2010.) Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1;10.
Forsythe CE, Phinney SD: Comparison of low fat and low carbohydrate diets on circulating fatty acid composition and markers of inflammation. Lipids 2008, 43 (1):65-77.
Volek JS, Quann EE: Low carbohydrate diets promote a more favorable body composition than low fat diets. Strenth and Conditioning Journal2010, 32 (1):42-47.
Lactic Acid Starter Culture is a natural ingredient used to cure meat. The starter culture is derived from vegetables and is dairy free. By using a combination of age-old preservation methods with the addition of Lactic Acid Starter Culture, we can produce a high quality shelf stable product without any harsh preservatives!
Yes! As a matter of fact, EPIC produces the most Paleo-friendly protein bar available in the market!
There are numerous high quality peer reviewed research articles that confirm the health benefits of grass fed animals vs. grain fed animals.