Patagonia Provisions — a initiative from conscientious outdoor apparel brand Patagonia aimed at rethinking our food chain — has launched a groundbreaking partnership with family-owned meat company Wild Idea Buffalo to conserve and restore the grasslands of South Dakota, while producing a sustainably sourced Buffalo Jerky. This is the latest addition to the company’s food line designed to create positive change in the food industry.
Grazing naturally and roaming freely, the buffalo help nurture the prairie back to health by recycling nutrients and tilling the soil as they roam. The bison are slaughtered humanely in the prairie where they roam and graze — avoiding the need for crowded, stressful slaughterhouses.
Wild Idea rancher and co-founder Dan O’Brien says: “We want to live up to the Patagonia creed that produces the finest product while causing no unnecessary harm. What we now know is that delicious, sustainable buffalo meat is the byproduct of our conservation of the prairie."
“Patagonia got into the food business because it’s a direct and fundamental way to protect and restore the planet,” said Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario. “We want to support farming and ranching that puts food on the table without poisoning the earth. Wild Idea is part of a movement to regenerate grasslands and help sequester carbon. I believe that business can be an agent for change and deliver great food to our customers.”
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Wild Idea’s humane ranching and harvesting practices result in the highest-quality buffalo meat that is tender; considerably lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than beef, chicken, turkey, and pork; and higher in beneficial nutrients such as protein, iron, Omega-3, and vitamins A and B-12. And because they are slaughtered in the prairie, Wild Idea’s buffalo are low in the stress hormone cortisol.
"The American bison are indelibly linked to the survival of our prairie ecosystem and communities who depend on them,” said Birgit Cameron, Director of Patagonia Provisions. “We believe by eating humanely raised and harvested bison, we protect them and the sensitive prairie environment.”
The 100 percent grass-fed, free-range, antibiotic-, pesticide-, and hormone-free buffalo is lightly seasoned and dried for a flavorful, hearty snack that’s both portable and nutritious. The convenient 2oz. package requires no refrigeration (prior to opening), and is backpack-, boat bag and shelf-stable for one year.
Buffalo Jerky can be purchased in all 30 Patagonia retail stores and online at patagoniaprovisions.com and at patagonia.com. More information, including a list of ingredients, can be found on Patagonia Provisions’ website.
Back on the apparel front, earlier this month Patagonia announced it had partnered with chemical company Archroma to change the “filthy business” of denim production. The result is a new denim collection — which is Fair Trade certified and said to use 84 percent less water, 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less CO2 compared to conventional denim dyeing processes.