Kickstarter Update: Low Carb Denver After Action Review.

We are 23% funded – thank you all so much! 

Seems like one tweet from Mikhaila Peterson is all the momentum we needed to get this off the ground! Thank you Mikhaila, we’re so glad you like it! We basically designed this bar around her version of the Carnivore Diet. Figured if she can eat it it’s probably safe for the rest of us. 

So we did a short run of samples for Boulder Carnivore Conference & Low Carb Denver 2019. I thought it was a wonderful set of conferences. We pledged to “inexorable courtesy” together, we learned a lot, had terrific conversations, and got candid feedback on our Carnivore Bar! Thanks to everyone we met and tried our bar!

So here’s the AAR:

Sustains:

  • People want a grass-fed meat bar
  • People like the high fat at the 80/20 split
  • The texture is great if you were expecting pemmican
  • Nothing like this exists and there is huge demand for it
  • Being transparent about challenges at LCD2019 was appreciated.

Improves:

  • People want a grain-fed meat bar.
  • A little too much salt.
  • Some don’t want it to be “greasy”, they expected it to be like jerky.
  • Texture is surprising and not what we were expecting, like a “fat crumble”
  • A few of the samples oxidized. As you may know, PUFAs like the Omega 3’s in grass-fed and grass-finished beef can oxidize. The bars weren’t spoiled but they did taste a little “fishy”, which definitely is something that falls below our standards. We will not deliver our Kickstarter product until that risk is fully mitigated.

Plan:

  • We will keep the grass-fed version of the bar.
  • We may offer a grain-fed version if there’s interest. I love the good ecology of grass-finished and I personally feel grass-finished is the future. But people come first. I want this bar to be accessible to the largest number of Carnivores possible.
  • We will tone down the salt just a touch. We will also make sure it doesn’t clump. We use Redmond Real Salt because it doesn’t have any heavy metal anti-caking agents. But without the anti-caking agents, sometimes you’ll get a clump of salt all at once. We will have to do an extra step to make sure that doesn’t happen again, but we are going to be mechanically dealing with the problem instead of adding chemicals.
  • We like the texture, and since jerky already is quite prevalent we will focus on doing what we do best; which is to offer a zero carb, high fat, shelf stable bar.

The most alarming feedback is that of oxidation. Fortunately, because we did samples before the Kickstarter fulfills, we have plenty of time to fix any issues that arise. A lot of our product development was done with grain-finished beef because of availability. We developed a unique way to make high-fat meat shelf-stable under normal grain-fed conditions, and we managed to do the same for (approximately 80%) most of the grass-finished beef. We, however, underestimated how differently the grass-finished beef would react to the shelf stability process. For the most part, it was a huge success, but we did run into a problem with one of the batches – we did 1000 samples and about 20% got a fishy odor, which we were informed by long term carnivores, is typical. So we defied that fate 80% of the time. But that’s not good enough. We will always be 100% transparent and being honest that we had this problem is important to me. Like a lot of you, Mikhaila Peterson is not the only Peterson I’m a huge fan of. I will never lie again if I can help it. Because no one gets away with anything.

So this is what we plan to do to fix the issue.

  • We will put an oxygen absorber in each wrapper
  • We will use a leaner cut of beef when cooking to isolate the protein better and only heat up the more heat-stable tallow portion of the bar.
  • We also are going to set strict timelines for the grass-fed bars from assembly to packaging to mitigate this potential oxidation from exposure.
  • We are going to redo our shelf stability assessment and will have hard numbers for nutrition facts and near-term shelf life by the end of the campaign. (long term shelf life pending)

Thank you all for your faith in this project. We ourselves depend of this technology… as long as I’m planning on eating food, I’ll be diligently working on this bar. For me there is no alternative.

This post originally appeared on Kickstarter.

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