Epic Review

Epic Review

When I first went Primal, I was always on the lookout for Primal snacks. It was tough shifting from burning carbs for energy to burning fat for energy at first. I would get super hungry between lunch and dinner on the way home from work. So I searched online for what would be a good Primal snack. As it turns out, jerky and nuts are a great source of protein and fat to hold you over until dinner. During that time I came across something called Pemmican. I so badly wanted to try making some but I was just too lazy. Then I came across Epic. They were basically a modern take on Pemmican, they had meat, berries and fat in the form of nuts. I had to order some.

I ordered a box of the Turkey Almond Cranberry bars and they were the perfect snack for in between meals, or hikes or camping. Perfectly Primal. Then not too long after that I noticed that Epic started branching out to jerky and trail mix packs. First of all, I was super interested to check out these new jerky and nut packs because they just looked so cool. Once again, being that I’m a designer by trade, I got enticed with all this amazing branding and package design. So I reached out to Epic to see if I could review some of their newer products since I was already familiar with their Pemmican-esque bars that you can check out here. Epic was kind enough to send me some of their Bites and one of their Hunt & Harvest packs. So as with any review I wanted to check out the three main categories: Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste.

Nutritional Profile

Epic has a bunch of different products and they just keep expanding. So Like I said I started with their bars, then they created some bites and bits, trail mix packs – and now they’re branching out to selling pastured cooking fats and bone broth. What we’re looking at today is their Bites and their Hunt & Harvest packs.

Epic Bacon Bites
Bacon Bites
Total Fat: 7g
Total Carbohydrate: 0g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 0g)
Protein: 10g
Ingredients: Uncured Bacon (Pork, Water, Sea Salt, Vinegar, Celery Powder), Natural Pork

What? Zero Carbs? Whats not to love about the nutritional profile of these. The way they get away with that is because there is no sugar used for curing or added sugar after the jerky is made. If you’re looking for a perfectly Primal snack, you can’t go wrong with these. Packing some fat and protein and zero carbs. You’re on your way to becoming a fat burning beast.

Chicken Sesame BBQ
Chicken Sesame BBQ Bites
Total Fat: 2.5g
Total Carbohydrate: 8g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 6g)
Protein: 9g
Ingredients: Natural Chicken, Organic Currants, Sea Salt, Garlic, Onion, Sesame Seeds, Sesame Oil, Ginger, Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Red Pepper

This chicken jerky comes in with a little more carbs and less fat, but it’s still a low sugar snack and perfectly Primal.

Epic Honest Harvest
Honest Harvest
Total Fat: 8g
Total Carbohydrate: 4g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 3g)
Protein: 9g
Ingredients: Jerky (grass fed organic beef, wildflower honey, water, salt, organic apple cider vinegar, yeast extract, organic black pepper, celery powder, organic garlic powder). Nut Mix (roasted almonds, roasted pecans, roasted Brazil nuts, pistachios).

This is such a great little package. Packing just the right amount of fat and protein for a snack or on the go meal. Low sugar and real whole ingredients with grass fed beef.

All of these products have an impressive nutritional profile. Epic really focuses on high quality ingredients, pastured raised meats leading to high omega–3 & CLA, gluten free, soy free and low glycemic, paleo friendly snacks. So it’s without a doubt that not just these but any of Epic’s products have an amazing nutritional profile. With their products you don’t have to worry about high fructose corn syrup or other weird ingredients that you don’t know how to pronounce. It’s all real ingredients, not something some scientist invented in a lab.

Affordability

Now this is where things get a little dicey. I love Epics products, but they can be a little pricey. It’s all about comparison though. If you compare this chicken or pork jerky with other jerky you find in the grocery store or gas station it will be filled with sugar and soy – cheap ingredients no doubt. So what happens when you remove the cheap ingredients and use high quality pastured raised meats? The product becomes more expensive, thus we have Epic coming in as follows:

Bacon & Chicken Bites
Price per pack: $6.25
Price per box of 8: $50

Honest Harvest
Price per pack: $3.88
Price per box of 8: $31

Oberto Bacon Jerky
Price per pack: $4.68

Now I put the price of a sorta comparable Oberto Bacon Jerky up there to compare and see that yea Epic is slightly more expensive for a comparable product and size (2.5 oz bag) but the difference is in the ingredients. Oberto’s Bacon Jerky is cured pork with sugar, unlike Epic’s which is uncured. So if uncured pork is a big thing for you, I would say Epic is the way to go if you’re willing to pay the extra money, otherwise Oberto isn’t necessarily a bad option if you’re not concerned with the quality of your protein, as I assume Oberto’s pork is CAFO.

Finding a comparable product for the Hunt & Harvest pack is kinda difficult as there really isn’t any other product out there marketed like this. Sure you could go buy some grass fed jerky yourself and some nuts and come in less expensive, but you’re paying for convenience with this pack. It’s about having a nice little snack for when a craving hits or when you’re on the go – hiking, camping, running from meeting to meeting. For the price I think it’s a great deal to have for when that craving hits.

Taste

I’ve never really been a fan of sweet jerky or really tough jerky and that’s where Epics jerky really shines. They’re all low sugar and very moist so win win. Let’s take a closer look at all the flavors they sent me:

Epic Bacon Bites
Bacon Bites
Soft. Salty. Pork. Expect nothing else and expect nothing more. If you like salty you’ll love this. I really liked these bacon bites. Not tough at all and not sweet at all which is what I like. Pretty great.

Epic Chicken Sesame BBQ Bites
Chicken Sesame BBQ Bites
I normally am not a fan of chicken jerky but I really liked this one. It was just the right amount of sweet from the currants and has a pleasant sesame taste to the jerky. Both of these jerkys aren’t just straight dehydrated muscle meat. They’re sorta ground up and turned into strips and cut up. Sounds gross but it actually works for both of these jerkys.

Epic Honest Harvest
Honest Harvest
Now this is a cool little idea. There are two sides to this pack that have jerky on one side and mixed nuts on the other side. When you open the ziplock you open the divider as well and mix it all together.

Epic Hunt Harvest
Jerky and nuts separated for freshness

Mix Contents
Instructions on how to mix after you open up the bag

Mixed together
Voila, you have a nice little grass fed trail mix

The jerky is traditional grass fed muscle meat dehydrated and the nuts are simply mixed dry roasted nuts. Both of these together had a great trail mix salty taste. The jerky is much tougher than the other stuff but the flavor is nice and salty and peppery. Not sweet at all. I really like the idea of this pack and suggest having a few on hand just for emergency hikes or if you’re strapped for time and need some quick protein and fat.


Conclusion

Epic is onto some great things. They’re a promising company with some pretty amazing products and I look forward to trying out all their new stuff like their cooking fats and bone broth. I’m glad there are companies like Epic out there dedicated to making whole food snacks, with fat and high quality protein. Feel free to share in the comments what your favorite Epic products are. Thanks for reading.

Buy some for yourself:

Bone Broths Co. Beef Bone Broth Review

Bone Broths Co. Beef Bone Broth Review

The Bone Broths Co. Beef Bone Broth couldn’t have come at a better time.

My family and I were gone for the last holiday weekend and we’re pretty sure our daughter was getting sick, which eventually leads to my wife and I getting sick. This, coupled with a busy week at work, didn’t really lend time for me to make my own bone broth from scratch at an attempt to fight whatever cold might be coming our way. So the week goes by and my wife and I feel worse as each day goes on, leaving me wishing I had stored up bone broth in the freezer – which I don’t.

Jillian, aka Patient Zero
Jillian, aka Patient Zero, thought the whale wanted to be in the product shot.

Enter Bone Broth Co.

They are the first to sell a shelf stable grass fed bone broth. They were generous enough to send a box my way for review. At this moment I couldn’t be happier because this is where a product like this shines: you don’t have enough time to get ahead of a cold or sickness to slow simmer bones for 24+ hours. This product enables me to grab for some shelf stable superfood that I didn’t have to prepare myself.

Bone Broths Co. Beef Bone Broth Review

Superfood you say?

Why is bone broth a superfood you ask? Bone broth is unique among the typical stocks you find in your grocery store because of how long the bones are simmered for. Typical broth in stores or the broth you learn to make right off the bat in culinary school only simmers bones and vegetables for about 45 minutes – 2 hours. Stock, as opposed to broth, is simmered a little longer at 3–4 hours. But bone broth is normally simmered 24+ hours. The reason this is so beneficial for the body, especially when you’re sick is because of 3 main things that come out in the simmering process. Mark Sisson points out these three things in this post, but in short it’s this: Gelatin, Hyaluronic acid and Chondroitin sulfate. Not to mention the abundance of minerals, bone marrow and collagen found in the bones as well. These nutrients are all derived from the bones, joints and cartilage that you wouldn’t otherwise consume or eat necessarily. Being that this particular bone broth comes from grass fed cows, which increases the nutrient density of this particular animal, means that the nutrients you’re getting from these bones is that much better for you than from a cow not fed a pastured diet. The latter nutrient for example, Chondroitin sulfate, is normally what’s found in glucosamine supplements to help with joint pain. The most important nutrient in the bone broth, in my opinion, is the gelatin. Gelatin has been found to reduce joint pain and to improve your quality of sleep. And with how important sleep is overall, and when you’re sick in particular, it’s a great thing to incorporate gelatin into your diet when your trying to get over a sickness.

Bone Broths Co. Beef Bone Broth Review

I love this write up that the fat burning man wrote up where he analyzes the typical Campbell’s chicken noodle soup ingredients and he points out how un-nutritious all the things are: MSG, cornstarch, soy protein, wheat. It’s pretty terrible. The reality is, if your sick or getting sick you shouldn’t go buy some off the shelf stock chicken water. You should make your own bone broth or if you’re out of time you should buy some shelf stable grass fed bone broth.

Bone Broths Co. Beef Bone Broth Review

But you drink it out of a mug?

Now ideally we should be using bone broth all the time in various ways in addition to how I’m going to review it here by just drinking it straight out of a mug. You can also follow Bone Broths Co. Instagram where they post a bunch of recipes of how to use their bone broth. Or if you’re ok eating white rice you can use the bone broth as the liquid to cook it as The Domestic Man points out in his book The Ancestral Table. Essentially you can use this in any place a stock is called for in a recipe but it will just be a sort of superfood added to any dish.

Even Shailene Woodley, the actress from The Divergent Series, thinks it’s a superfood.

Got bone broth? #ShaileneWoodley shares her delicious recipe. #Insurgent

A photo posted by Late Show with David Letterman (@letterman) on

Now I’d still like to treat this as a regular product review where we look at the nutritional profile, affordability and taste. So let’s get into it.

Nutritional Profile

For those of you who know about bone broth, you don’t really pay attention to the nutrition facts label like you would other foods, like say cricket bars. You want to look at the quality of the ingredients that will be simmered for 24+ hours. That’s where Bone Broths Co. gets it right. Every batch of their beef bone broth is made with bones from 100% grass fed, pasture grazed cattle that are antibiotic and hormone free. They also use all organic vegetables, sea salt and herbs. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t get better than that. All that nutrition in that pastured animal will reveal itself in those slow simmered bones once the simmering is over.

As we’ve already covered. Bone broth and stock in your traditional grocery store are not the same thing. The stock in the stores is just flavored chicken or beef water. So to compare the nutrition of that to this bone broth is no competition. You just won’t find the Gelatin and minerals found in this bone broth in anything else in store shelves (unless of course your store carries Bone Broth Co.)

Affordability

So how do you really address affordability? Regular stock in the stores is about $2-$4 for a 32oz container. This bone broth is about $12 for 17.6oz. That’s about 3x more expensive than chicken or beef flavored water. But that’s not what you should compare this to. You need to compare the price of the bone broth to the time it would take you to slow simmer this superfood yourself. Sure you can make some bone broth yourself if you have easy access to pastured beef bones, and if you have the time on your side of stocking (no pun intended) up on bone broth.

You’re really paying for convenience and quality with this bone broth and you’ll need to take that into consideration to see if this fits in your budget for your family. Personally I see this as a valuable product to keep in my pantry as backup/emergency purposes. Why? Because I don’t always have bone broth in my freezer and because this is the only shelf stable grass fed bone broth out there. I think this is a great product and like I said it came at the perfect time for me and my family and I imagine it may do the same for you and your family as we go into the flu season.

The guys from Bone Broths Co. are great and offer a discount when you sign up for their newsletter and they ship out same day when you order, so I suggest you check that out.

Taste

Nothing like a warm mug of slow simmered beef bones. It’s a flavor and smell that tells my brain that I’m consuming something that’s good for me. As cheesy as that sounds it’s true. It’s kinda like when you drink kombucha you know there’s all these little Navy Seal like bacteria heading to your gut to wage war on everything that shouldn’t be in my gut… Or am I the only one who has that picture when drinking kombucha or bone broth? Ok maybe it’s just me. Nevertheless Bone Broths Co. hit the nail on the head with the taste of this. The taste of this bone broth tastes almost exactly like the batches I’ve made following the recipe in The Ancestral Table.

If you made bone broth yourself you might jack up the taste if you leave something out, but rest assured there’s no jacked up taste to this broth. You can enjoy it just like I did and pour it right in a mug, warm it up and sip away!

Bone Broths Co. Beef Bone Broth Review

Conclusion

I’m super thankful for the wonderful people at Bone Broths Co. for making this product and for getting it over to me when I needed it most. Definitely a valuable product in my home and I plan to line my pantry with a few just to have on hand. I suggest you do the same because you never know when your kids are going to try to pass on their mad cow bubonic plague flu to you.