It was the first day of combat medic training when I first heard those words "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast". I had no idea how profoundly they’d affect me across time. We had put away our EMT textbooks, pulled out our tourniquets and TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care) Cards and headed off to the dusty tree-line at Fort Sam Houston to torture our battle buddies with nasopharyngeal airways and very high and very tight tourniquets.
When you're watching someone you love get hurt, you aren’t much help to them. In fact, you’re more of a liability than an asset. I owe all of you the same emotional gravity as I do someone who requires my care, which is why I can’t let the magnitude of the responsibility I owe this community make me hesitate. It takes practice, discipline, and character to maintain one’s demeanor during a trauma. Going slow and therefore smoothly, actually gets the job done faster and with fewer mistakes. You have to silence the screaming anxiety and panic in your inner dialogue, and focus. Otherwise, you’re not helping your patient or your company.
So here it is: our freezer had an equipment malfunction and was not at the correct temperature, but it was cold enough to evade detection for several months. The worst possible scenario. Frozen solid food that’s safe to eat but of a diminished taste and quality. It was a slow and insidious degradation by tiny degrees over the last two months - it's impossible to detect in the short term, but now impossible to ignore. And now we have to be willing to sacrifice it in order to save The Carnivore Bar. Tourniquets by their nature are a brutal tool. When the damage to an extremity is too great, the best option for the good of the whole, is to cut off the blood supply to the entire limb. You are purposefully risking the limb in order to lower the risk to the patient’s life.
This is definitely a disaster, but I’m glad for the training that I received as a medic that helped prepare me for this moment. (In other words: good.) A medic doesn’t usually get to do his job unless it’s a disaster, so it’s a place that feels familiar to me. Though I never lost one of my friends and I won’t pretend I know what that’s like, I prepared to do my job as a combat medic for years. The whole job is based on the premise that we’d be having a really bad day.
Almost 2000 lbs of grass-fed beef is freezer burned on our watch. The faulty components have been replaced, but the damage is done. Although this batch of beef holds up to food safety standards, we consider those regulations appallingly low. It doesn’t hold up to our standard of quality, flavor, and nutrient density. We want you to have a great-tasting bar. Something we’re proud of, and something you’ll want to order again. Unfortunately none of the product we have created so far is usable as some of it was freezer burned. So we will have to start over. We are devastated by this revelation. We were finally on track to ship at the end of the month. But now that is in serious jeopardy. I don’t know how long it will take us to recover but we will put out another update shortly as soon as we know.
Just like with tourniquets, the worst thing for a mission is a quick fix that doesn’t solve your problem. A record breaking tourniquet application that doesn’t stop the bleeding, helps no one; likewise, there is no point meeting this deadline if we push out a product that doesn’t live up to expectations. I think of all the inferior versions of this bar we have scrapped. This new bar bears almost no resemblance to its predecessors. It is in a league of its own. We are not trying to only fulfill a Kickstarter, we are trying to enable you to take a low carb diet and lifestyle on the go with a preservative free, high fat, whole food product. We want to permanently fill a niche that no one thought was a viable market, until now. But it's a fragile market; we’re a small community. We can’t afford to launch with an amateurish product and disappoint our backers. We want to support the low carb movement and help those whose lives make it very difficult to give zero carb a try (like being a soldier). We have so many allies in the Paleo/Primal/Keto communities that all jumped at the opportunity to support this venture. Our combined families are all fighting for better quality of life through better food. There is a burgeoning network of people all over the world, that want to change how food is made, and what we allow in it. We can still do this!
We can make those changes. And with your help The Carnivore Bar can be a start to that. To show the world that there really is a market for zero carb foods. We can establish that there is a population out there that won’t compromise health for convenience. And that meat can be a healthy and viable nutrition source even in our increasingly chaotic and modern lifestyles. Thank you for entrusting us with this mission, helping us meet our funding goal, and driving us to push the boundaries of what is possible. Above all, thank you for your patience. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without you.
After our initial delay, we were able to essentially triple our production capacity.
Customizations with scaling up have been applied
Increased cooking capacity (doubled)
Tripled drying capacity (previous choke point)
Increased cooling capacity (better quality control)
Texture is stable and consistent for the first time at volume (new process)
Texture is the best it’s ever been by an order of magnitude (better crunch)
Production is ready to go at a much higher rate (most of what we accomplished isn’t undone)
The next batch of meat was already ordered and should arrive next week. (We should hit the ground running when it arrives).
We’ve made huge leaps forward. We’ve made at least three giant breakthroughs in the last month in the process. This latest stumbling block is a huge blow, but it will not stop us. We are bloodied but unbowed. And I won’t stop until you have the quality product I promised you. Not some sloppy rush job. That's who we are and what we stand for. With optimism, tenacity, and a fidelity to excellence in the face of daunting challenges.
This originally appeared on Kickstarter.