EPIC is based upon the powerful and nourishing diets of our ancestors. However, it’s easy to forget that the meat and other foods that make up such an ancestral diet were originally hunted and gathered. Nowadays, we can buy encapsulated beef liver powder and dehydrated goji berries in bulk. While grateful for the access to high-quality foods (and also a provider of such foods), we also realize that it makes it easy for people to remain disconnected to the healthful food they are eating. That’s why we put realistic images of animals on our respective products. That’s why we are not afraid to offer classes to the public so that they can harvest their own meat from the land. And, that is why we hunt.
Not everyone in the office hunts, but our founders (Katie and Taylor) hunt off of their ranch regularly. In fact, their dogs survive exclusively on a diet of axis deer they have hunted from the land. Our meat sourcer, Kirk, has hunted since he was a child and recently went on his first caribou hunt in the Arctic Circle.
Hunting reminds of sacrifice. It reminds us the work that humans must put in to harvest an animal with true integrity. It reminds of the other plants and animals that are sacrificed to sustain human life.
If you have a chance to take a hunter education course, there is a section on being a responsible and ethical hunter. There are many hunting laws in place to preserve wildlife, and taxes and fees required to hunt actually support wildlife conservation programs. Licence sales from hunters brings in millions of dollars each year to fund important wildlife management activities. However, being an ethical hunter extends far beyond simply paying taxes on your gear and purchasing your license.
Hunters have a responsibility that transcends laws. This includes doing everything you can to ensure a quick, clean kill as well as to utilize all meat and usable parts of the animal.
Harvesting animals in a humane way requires similar intention and sacrifice. Instead of opting for the theoretically more efficient factory farming and cruel slaughter houses, regenerative farmers raise their animals on pasture, ensure the animals live full lives, and then harvest the animals with care and attention. Ethical farmers might sacrifice time and money when establishing or transitioning to a holistic system. However, like conscientious hunters, they are rewarded with more meaningful work, healthier animals, better meat, and oftentimes higher yield.
This holiday season, we are partnering with ROAM Ranch to provide an unprecedented opportunity to harvest your own Thanksgiving turkey. We love providing convenient, naturally raised meat to people year-round. But we also want to give people the opportunity to harvest their own food—to connect with the animals they eat in a whole new way.
If you are not local, we encourage you to purchase a turkey from our supplier White Oak Pastures. They were recently affected by Hurricane Michael and can use support right now. Plus their pastured, GAP Step 4 turkeys are delicious and can be delivered straight to your door!
Finally, if the intentionality behind hunting and harvesting animals inspires you be sure to check out Modern Huntsman Volume Two to learn more about hunting, land conservation, and beyond.
We know that getting more intimate with your food is a big call to action. But it’s one that can truly transform your relationship with the natural world. This holiday season, whatever you decide to eat, we hope you take some time to reflect on where the food came from and express gratitude for how it got to your table.