EPIC foods begins with a living animal
Since our company’s inception, EPIC Provisions has championed the belief that transparency and honesty aren’t just industry ideals—they are necessities for a healthy society. By fostering a safe space for honest dialogue and shared information, we have pushed for more involved, informed, and conscious meat consumption. It is in this spirit that we are proud to present the EPIC Honesty Pledge, which provides a candid look at our company sourcing standards and how we are working tirelessly to improve industry practices as a whole. In doing so, we hope to continue injecting truth and clarity in a realm of business known all too often for murky, inaccessible, and misleading information.
In an effort to shine a light on our supply chain processes and how we source animals for our products, we are revealing our supply chain as it stands. This will help consumers understand where things currently stand and, more importantly, where EPIC is headed. Specifically, we want people to know what they’re eating and what our supply chain looks like—both the pros and the cons—while providing the context essential to understanding the strides EPIC has made in pushing for improved industry standards. Although not every aspect of our sourcing is perfect, the fact is building out quality supply chains takes significant time, effort, and patience. Rather than letting the golden standard (which currently only exists on a small scale) stand in the way of advancement, we are instead focused on climbing the mountain to the highest quality sourcing one step at a time.
Select an Animal to Learn More About Our Proteins
Hint: Click on an Animal to Learn More About Our Proteins
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Dating back thousands of years, cattle have long been fixtures in nearly every agrarian civilization. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that it is one of the animals that EPIC utilizes most. They are also a model for our entire business, as our cattle sourcing is among the most high-quality of any animal supplies we engage with. Similar to our pigs, EPIC’s cows are key drivers in our Whole Animal Project and directly fuel products that make use of their muscle meat, trim, fat, bones, and organs!
All beef is 100% grass-fed, grass-finished on pasture. Cows are raised without antibiotics and hormones. All beef products are GAP Step 4 or above, with the exception of our traditional jerky. We’re working tirelessly to reach our next landmark: ensuring all cattle used in EPIC products are holistically managed by family ranchers who are conscious of how land management and animal impact have lasting effects on future generations.
Our Wagyu beef (used solely in our strips product line) is 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised.
To improve our supply chain of beef, EPIC is working to transition to fully “regenerative” beef protein, ensuring all suppliers are measuring outcomes of positive impact on soil and the environment.
ALL CATTLE ARE SOURCED FROM THE UNITED STATES, NEW ZEALAND, AND AUSTRALIA
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The pig is a great example of EPIC's commitment to utilizing every part of the animal, which inspired our Whole Animal Project. In doing so, we are able to use nearly every piece of the pigs we source, including their muscle meat, pork belly, pork fat, and pig skins. As with our bison, we always try to source from the highest quality source available. Unfortunately, oftentimes we are simply unable to procure enough of it and therefore must supplement the remainder with the next highest quality source available. We are always looking for opportunities to incentivize farmers, ranchers, and suppliers to elevate their operations to more EPIC standards. These operations look different for each animal and region but might include things like improved animal welfare standards, holistic management, access to pasture and outdoors.
A prime example of this supply chain challenge is with our pig skins: we source and blend skins from two different “qualities” of pig. We utilize a combination of 1) certified organic and certified humane, 2) certified humane. Both sources are antibiotic and hormone free and GAP Step 1. The feed for the organic pig supply is a blend of organic barley, wheat, pea, soy and corn. The feed for the certified humane pigs is also a blend of barley, wheat, pea, soy, and corn, though it is not organic. Due to EPIC’s desires and pressure, this particular supplier is currently in the process of converting the feed for the second tier of pigs to fully organic over time—which is a major step in the right direction for them and speaks to EPIC’s commitment to working with suppliers to improve industry standards.
Our supply of bacon and pork muscle meat are Certified Humane and consume a blend of barley, wheat, pea, soy and corn. This feed is being transitioned to 100% organic over time as well.
To improve our supply chain of pork we are looking to improve animal welfare standards (particularly pertaining to outdoor access and living conditions).
ALL PIGS ARE SOURCED FROM THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA.
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EPIC currently sources Gap Step 3 turkey meat. The turkeys are offered a free choice diet where they are offered grains and the ability to engage in their favorite activity: foraging. The grain offering is comprised of soybean and corn, which is not currently non-GMO verified. Redman’s salt is added into feed as a mineral. The Gap Step 3 birds are offered outdoor access with plenty of space to forage. All turkey is raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones.
The turkey bones are Certified Organic, a blend of Gap Step 1 and Gap Step 2. The turkey are offered a free choice diet where they are offered grains and the ability to forage. The grain offering is comprised of organic, non-GMO soybean and corn. The turkeys are free range with outdoor access.
To improve our supply chain of turkey we are taking the following steps: transition turkey meat feed to non-gmo grains, secondly, transition to fully pasture-raised birds. Our current limitations are efficiencies in pricing (due to volume) and supply availability.
ALL TURKEY IS SOURCED FROM THE UNITED STATES
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The bison has been one of EPIC’s most beloved animals since we were founded. When EPIC first launched its original three products (the Bison Bacon Cranberry bar, Turkey Almond Cranberry bar, and Beef Habanero bar), the Bison bar immediately became a top seller.
Currently, we source our grass-fed bison products from a select network of ranches. These suppliers raise their 100% grass-fed bison on pasture year-round and without the use of growth hormones. These are all ideal treatment practices. Routine mineral and vitamin supplementation may also be included in the feeding. Subtherapeutic antibiotics may be used only when absolutely necessary to maintain the livelihood of the herd (for example, to treat life-threatening illness). Some suppliers are currently practicing holistic land management, collecting vital data that tracks their soil's carbon sequestration from the earth's atmosphere.
While we never intended to source anything but 100% grass-fed bison, we quickly realized that their supply is extremely limited and difficult to access. As a result, we have made it one of our main company missions to continue showing the industry that consumers want grass-fed bison. Along with our personal sourcing preferences and efforts, we know this will strengthen this supply chain and increase the availability of 100% grass-fed bison. We are actively working with our suppliers to transition all “natural” bison supply to grass fed. We have a goal to source 100% grass-fed bison by the fall of 2021.
To supplement our bison supply, we also source from a network of bison ranchers for our natural bison products. All natural bison are raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones. The all natural bison are pasture-raised, grass-fed during their first year of life, then are transferred to pasture paddocks and offered a “free choice feed program,” given options to eat pasture or supplemental feed. The supplemental feed offered is alfalfa, corn, soy, wheat, barley hulls, grain, or forage (hay) none of which have been Non-GMO project verified.
The bison is a great example of EPIC’s commitment to utilizing the “whole animal”. We currently utilize roughly 85% of the bison carcass with use of muscle meat, bones, and fat. We are currently working with ranchers to identify opportunities for them to utilize the remaining 15%.
As stated above, we have a company goal to build the supply chain of grass-fed bison large enough to meet our volume needs by 2021. Until then, we are committed to helping our “natural” suppliers transition their supplemental feed to non-gmo verified feed.
Further reading: EPIC Blog - The Evolution of Sourcing.
ALL BISON ARE SOURCED FROM THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA
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All lamb is 100% grass-fed, grass-finished on pasture, GAP Step 5, Certified Humanely Raised, Non-GMO Project Verified protein. All lamb are free from antibiotics and hormones. The lamb are all managed by family ranchers conscious of how land management and animal impact have lasting impacts on future generations.
ALL LAMB IS SOURCED FROM TEXAS
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Similar to our turkey, we currently utilize two different "tiers" of chicken protein for our chicken meat products. We utilize a blend of Gap Step 4, Certified Humane Raised, pasture-centered, Non-GMO project verified chicken, AND cage-free, antibiotic-free, Certified Humane Raised, and Non-GMO project verified chicken. All birds are fed a diet of Non-GMO feed consisting of corn and soybean meal and are raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones.
The chicken bones are Certified Organic. They are offered a diet of non-GMO feed consisting of organic corn and soybean meal. Although the birds are kept in barns, they are offered outdoor access.
To improve our supply chain of chickens, we are taking the following steps: (1) transition all chicken feed to non-GMO grains, and (2) transition to fully pasture-raised birds. Our current limitations are efficiencies in pricing (due to volume) and supply availability.
For our egg whites used in performance bars, we currently use egg whites from cage-free chickens. All birds are fed a diet of Non-GMO feed. There is currently a lack of large-scale supply of pasture-raised egg whites, but we are committed to leading the development of a pasture-raised supply chain.
ALL CHICKEN IS SOURCED FROM THE UNITED STATES.
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The new kid on the block, venison is quickly becoming one of EPIC's most popular protein sources! All venison is 100% grass fed, grass-finished on pasture and are free from antibiotics and hormones. All deer are raised on open pastures and are based on broad acreage free-range principles-including the ability to wander and graze freely. Deer raised on farms are not confined to pens or barns, though they may be held in yards for minimal periods of time for husbandry purposes like animal health checks. If a deer needs to be treated due to illness or injury (occurrence is less than 1%), antibiotics may be administered, in which case they are placed on a “withholding period” where they cannot be slaughtered for human consumption. After the 91 day minimal holding period, the animal may be released back into the herd.
All venison is sourced from New Zealand
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In many ways, our introduction into the wild boar market sums up our company's core values: do more with less, respect nature, and feed others the way you wish to be fed. EPIC currently sources wild boar solely from the great lands of Texas, which has been overrun by these invasive hogs. When we realized there are millions of them running wild statewide and destroying valuable and crucial land, we decided to step in and help create nourishing food while helping address a serious local issue. Rather than engaging with the wasteful campaigns that kill the pigs in masses, we believe using them as a product supply chain will help regulate their teeming population while ensuring quality food is not put to waste. They are Texas Animal Health Commission approved.
The wild boar live and forage in non-restricted environments. The wild boar are trapped and then transported to a USDA slaughtering facility. They are not confined except during transportation and prior to slaughter.
All wild boar is sourced from Texas
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EPIC Salmon is 100% wild-caught (line caught) from all the waters of Alaska. The salmon eat whatever is available to them in the ocean (typically plankton, krill, other small fish). The salmon is Marine Stewardship Council Certified.
All salmon is sourced from Alaska
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The EPIC duck is cage free, living in open spacious barns. The ducks are free from antibiotics and hormones. They consume a diet of corn and soy, not currently non-gmo verified.
EPIC is currently working with the supplier to improve animal welfare conditions and transition feed to non-gmo verified grains.
All duck is sourced from the United States