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Roam Sticks: Pasture-Raised Pork Snack Sticks  RSS feed

 
Destiny Hagest
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This Kickstarter is now live - back it here, and Permies will get a sweet kickback!

John and Holly Arbuckle are raising pastured pigs on Singing Prairie Farm in Missouri, where they live with their two kids in their own little slice of paradise. Together, they're putting together this Kickstarter to fun production of what they're calling Roam Sticks - completely pasture raised, non-GMO, toxic gick-free pork snack sticks.



You know those Slim Jim jerky sticks you see in gas stations everywhere? It can be a tempting quick and easy protein source, but packaged jerky sticks are usually full of some seriously questionable ingredients, not the least of which is factory raised pork.

What's really in jerky snack sticks?

Industry Secret: The red dye found in most snack stick casings does not have to be listed in the ingredients on the label. It is considered an “industry standard.”


Ractopamine is a growth stimulant given in most conventional factory farms. (Ractopamine has also been banned in 160 countries, including China and Russia because of its affects on human health.)


MRSA, a contagious infection that is a problem in hospitals, has been traced back to pig factory farms.



Despite their convenience, there's just no question that jerky snack sticks are just full of things we probably shouldn't be eating, and definitely shouldn't be raising.



Roam Sticks are going to offer for the first time ever, the only pasture-raised non GMO pork stick snack, shelf stable, and free of all of the junk you're so used to seeing in foods like this.

Roam Sticks will contain absolutely no:

  • high fructose corn syrup
  • MSG
  • dyes
  • artificial flavors, including liquid smoke
  • preservatives
  • gluten
  • artificial sweeteners





  • I was also really impressed to hear that Joel Salatin has endorsed this project:



    Roam Sticks will be available in two flavors:

    Hickory Smoked Pork with Uncured Bacon

    Hickory Smoked Pork with Pineapple

    You can back this Kickstarter here.
     
    Cassie Langstraat
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    We have an article by these guys in our upcoming issue of Permaculture Magazine, North America! It's the HOW TO on raising pigs in pasture. I am REALLY excited for everyone to read it because it's immensely practical and inspiring.

    Subscribe here to get the next issue, the one in which their article will be published.

    ALSO, I've exchanged a bunch of emails with Holly and John and they are super efficient, hard-working folks who I know are trustworthy of supporting.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Clicked "watch topic" over here! Looking forward to hearing when this is live!

    FWIW, when it is live, the link in this thread will give a little kickback to permies!
     
    André Troylilas
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    As it is not brown but somehow reddish, does it contains nitrites?
    I could be wrong but think so.
    My 0.02$.
     
    Dave Bennett
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    I posted this thread to my Facebook wall.  I have lots of "friends" that follow my dietary advice.  I also want to address the "nitrate controversy" which seems incredibly persistent.  Nitrates do in fact keep meats reddish or pink but what's much more important is that sodium nitrate kills botulism.  The choice is obvious.  It is important to understand that if you see a package of bacon that states "uncured" that just means that the bacon was brined with celery juice instead of a sodium nitrate brine.  The reason it is "uncured" is a Federal Regulation but doesn't mean it hasn't technically been cured. The FDA doesn't like "natural" alternatives to concentrated chemicals used as food additives.  I do agree to a point because how much sodium nitrate is in Celery juice?  I evaporate the Celery juice I use to cure my meats. I do not actually know the percentage of nitrate in my curing brine but my duck bacon stays red when I fry it up. Celery juice is full of natural sodium nitrate so if you want to avoid nitrates be sure not to eat any celery. I soak my duck sausage in celery juice before it goes in the smoker.  It keeps the sausage nice and red. 
     
    Destiny Hagest
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    Hey guys - in answer to the coloration of the meat and the question of nitrates, Holly got back to me with this response:

    Real quick, answer.
    No nitrite recipe. ( no nitrites  except for those naturally occurring in sea salt and celery powder.)
    No red dye. Most smokehouse use chemical smoke and the meat looks grey without dye. Our smokehouse uses real hickory wood, so the sticks turn deep brown as it is smoked.


    So yay! The meat is reddish because of the wood used to smoke it, and no nitrites are added to the meat at all.
     
    r ranson
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    Great news Destiny.  Thanks for the update.

    Personally, I feel the nitrate/nitrite things is deliberately over-stressed.  The diseases we attribute to nitrite/nitrate today are mostly ones our ancestors didn't have trouble with (or had it, but at a much older age than we do) - yet, looking at recipes of the day, they used up to 20 times the nitrite/nitrate that we do now.  What's more, they ate one heck of a lot more cured meats than the modern 'recommended dose'.  Perhaps the nitrate/nitrite controversy is simply deflecting the real issue from other additives in processed foods?  Funny, the same source that tells us not to eat bacon also tell us to eat more spinach, nettles, celery... and other sources of these salts.  But I digress.

    The point is I'm really happy to hear about this snack.  It's exactly what we need.  A healthy snack made from healthy animals.  I'm very excited.

    Will they be available in Canada?
    Do they contain soy?
     
    John Polk
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    Real quick, answer.
    No nitrite recipe. ( no nitrites  except for those naturally occurring in sea salt and celery powder.)
    No red dye. Most smokehouse use chemical smoke and the meat looks grey without dye. Our smokehouse uses real hickory wood, so the sticks turn deep brown as it is smoked.

    That is NOT a no nitrite recipe.  The telling phrase is: ...naturally occurring in celery powder.

    That is part of a marketing hoax here in the US.  People asked for bacon without nitrites.  The industry complied by adding celery juice, or powder to do the nitrite curing.  All vegetables contain nitrites, celery more than most, and imparts minimal flavor to the meat.

    Each batch of celery will have a different level of nitrites, so to be safe, many meat curers add extra celery powder 'just to be safe'.  The USDA will not allow it to be sold across state lines without enough nitrites to make it safe.

    Some lab tests have shown that some 'no nitrites except...' products actually have more nitrites than conventionally cured bacon.

    If you wish to remove nitrites from your diet, you will need to cure your own meats, and avoid eating any vegetables.

     
    r ranson
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    John,  I agree there is a concern with how the governments want this sort of thing labeled.  It's like that in Canada too.  Vegetable based nitrites are still a kind of sodium nitrite - they are there to keep the food safe!  Without them, there is a much higher chance of bad things happening with meat.  The way it's labeled and the way the public has been trained to perceive nitrites/nitrates as a threat is the problem.  Not, in my opinion, that it includes vegetable-based nitrites. 

    I can go on about how much I agree with you, but I wonder if that wouldn't be better in its own thread?  That way it can get the attention it deserves. 

    Stinging nettles are supposed to be high in nitrite, not to mention a much better nutritional source than celery.  I wonder if there could be future sticks using organic stinging nettles. 
     
    John Polk
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    If/when I see Roam Sticks in the market, I will buy some to try out.
    I'm certain that they are made with more care and concern than most 'industrial foods'.

    I am not concerned with nitrates/nitrites in my diet.  Many people are concerned about them, and I feel sad that they are being manipulated by the Hormels, Libbys, and Campbells of industry.  It seems as if the USDA is not as concerned about our health as they are concerned about boosting sales for the industrial food giants.  They make it very difficult for the 'small players' to even get into the game.

    I wish well for the people behind Roam Sticks.  I think that they are providing us with another option with our food dollars.

     
    Dave Bennett
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    Destiny Hagest wrote:Hey guys - in answer to the coloration of the meat and the question of nitrates, Holly got back to me with this response:

    Real quick, answer.
    No nitrite recipe. ( no nitrites  except for those naturally occurring in sea salt and celery powder.)
    No red dye. Most smokehouse use chemical smoke and the meat looks grey without dye. Our smokehouse uses real hickory wood, so the sticks turn deep brown as it is smoked.


    So yay! The meat is reddish because of the wood used to smoke it, and no nitrites are added to the meat at all.

    There is a distinct difference in a "smoke ring" and cured meats that are uniformly reddish or pink throughout because they are cured before being smoked.  Hams and picnics that are thoroughly dried by packing them in salt turn a deep mahogany color because of a lack of sodium nitrate.  Ancient Greeks are credited with discovering sodium nitrate's effect on meats.  It has been used for centuries to cure meat.  I agree with the other comments suggesting that blaming nitrates is actually a smoke screen to deflect scrutiny of other more insidious additives that are necessary for the industrialized production of cured meats.  The necessity being speed rather than quality.  It has been pointed out that many "modern diseases" are blamed on a host of foods that were extremely rare before the food chain was industrialized.  I 52nd to believe that the "old ways" are best.  Science is certainly important but still the human species thrived before the modern food system was developed.  Generally food borne illnesses occurred from sanitation problems and of course the lack of refrigeration.  The upside was that much more food was consumed fresh.  Certainly preservation techniques existed but canning wasn't developed until Napoleon was ravaging Europe. 
     
    Destiny Hagest
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    R Ranson wrote:Will they be available in Canada?


    Just heard back from Holly, and unfortunately these aren't available outside of the US yet, people can only donate in that case Bummer! I imagine it's something to do with shipping food outside of the country, I'm sure there's a lot of red tape there.

    I've just asked about the soy thing - there isn't a list of ingredients on their Kickstarter page, and though I suspect the answer is no, I don't want to speak out of turn. I'll post here when I know for sure.
     
    Destiny Hagest
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    Woooohooo! And it's live! Here's Permies' Kickbooster link for the Kickstarter - we get a little kickback for every backer we send with this link, so please share it with your friends
     
    Thekla McDaniels
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    Thanks for getting all the nitrite thing cleared up, that if it comes from celery, it is still nitrite.

    I backed it, though I wish they had just listed the ingredients outright.  Do they have something to hide?

    I figure if they get here in December, they can be presents for people, (or perish the thought) if they don't taste good, I can use them as dog treats.

    I backed them because I want to encourage development of cleaner food products, even though I dislike all the packaging in packaged foods, and for that reason don't have much to do with them.  And mostly I backed them because Joel Salatin put his recommendation on the product.  Joel has a big reputation and therefore lots to lose, for absolutely clean farming practices and clean food.  If, when I get them they are a disappointment, I will also be disappointed in Salatin.

     
    Destiny Hagest
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    I'm not sure why there's not an ingredients list outright posted, but there is an image of it on the label in the pictures on the Kickstarter page.

    This is their first Kickstarter, so go easy on them guys They actually live in an Amish home, and are running all of this from computers at the library - and they've already met their Kickstarter goal not even two whole days in, yowza!

    I'm with you there on the packaging Thekla, snack food packaging is the bane of my existence as we try to reduce waste with a toddler in the house. But I am super excited to get a bunch of these, my son is in love with those organic fruit strips, and I'd so much rather he at least be getting some protein if we're going to be throwing away a plastic wrapper.

    Funnily enough, we just ordered a half of pasture raised pig today! I think come next payday, I'm going to go ahead and get a case of these bad boys too.
     
    Dave Bennett
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    The sodium nitrite in celery becomes sodium nitrate during the curing process.  If celery juice is used it will be stated on the label.  I sell meat direct from my farm because of the myriad hoops I would have to jump through to sell smoked duck off the property.  I do sell duck eggs at farmer's markets and one retail store called "The Locavore."  He specializes in products from local small family farms.  I happen to be the ONLY duck farmer that offers free range organic soy free duck eggs in the area. 
     
    Destiny Hagest
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    In response to a lot of the discussion taking place here on nitrates and nitrites, I've created another thread to really dig deeper into that topic on, so we can keep this one focused on the Kickstarter:

    https://permies.com/t/59471/kitchen/nitrites-nitrates-bad#505622

    Please feel free to add your two cents (and correct anything I've misrepresented, this topic is still pretty new to me)
     
    Mike Patterson
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    When I saw this in the dailyish email, I was worried Paul had started his own pork snack stick business. John and Holly Arbuckle are good friends and neighbors of ours, and I had no idea they were going to be promoting their kickstarter through permies. I do know they are both really amazing people who are totally committed to healthy food and farming in the most ecologically responsible way. I've been eating these snack sticks for years as they have worked with different producers and tweaked their recipies and really went all in for this business. Roam Sticks is the culmination of a long and thoughtful process, and I'm really happy their kickstarter is off to such a good start.

    It was their 8 year old son Noah's idea to try out pineapple in their sticks, and even though it goes against their bioregional  principles, I would highly recommend it. Also, I've tried a number of other similar products out there, and the Roam Sticks are very tasty. I'm not really their target market since I'd rather raise my own hogs and cure my own salami, but if I could afford convenience foods I'd totally buy these.

    In case you were wondering, they did not ask me to write this and I'm not sure they'll ever see this, but I will let John know he should at least give me some free sticks.

    -WY
     
    John Arbuckle
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    Good morning friends,  This is John Arbuckle from Roam Sticks wishing you a nice October day.

    I'm really pleased with how our Kickstarter is going right now.  Big thanks to everybody who has backed it!

    I have enjoyed all the thoughts people have about nitrites.  It really shows that the people involved are educated and paying attention!

    In all things we do with meat, we answer to the USDA.  They have exclusive authority over what we can and cannot put on our label (our very small label).
    We do use sea salt and celery juice powder.  Both of those things have some amount of nitrites.  Nonetheless, the USDA defines that as nitrite free.  I personally think that
    they should change their labeling requirements to say "synthetic nitrite free" just to be more clear.  More than anything its a weird labeling rule from the federal government.
    Funny story about working with the USDA on labeling:  Most snack sticks out there have red dye in the casing.  For some reason it is not required to put 'red dye' on the label.
    When we tried to write, "No Red Dye" on our label, and they wouldn't let me!  Go figure.  You are allowed to use it and not tell people, but if you go out of your
    way to not use it they won't let you.

    In terms of not putting our ingredients on the Kickstarter, that was my oversight.  We will put it on the FAQ page, which we weren't allowed put up until the campaign was live (which was Monday). We are super psyched about our ingredients, but in the rush of managing the campaign, I just plum forgot.
    We're remedying that right now.  Should be up pretty soon.  Its on our website it that helps anyone in the short term.

    Big thanks to Joel Salatin, who did on 2 occasions sell us some pork.  he was over stocked and we helped him reduce his inventory.  We met at a Mother Earth News fair where I was speaking about how to graze pigs and he was speaking about farming.  We gave him some sticks.  I guess he liked them because now we make sticks for him out of his pigs that he is selling locally to his customers.
    I should say that the resulting snack stick flavor and quality has little to do with him though.  We raise most of the meat ourselves.  Once we have the trim, we grind it twice, naturally ferment it, add some spices (like sea salt and pepper) and then smoke it using real hickory smoke, (at a USDA approved facility, not our kitchen). We hope you love them, but if you don't, blame us, not him.

    BTW, we are also homesteaders and live near other homesteaders. (Hi Mike!) Part of the reason we are started making a product is because we would like to see something that is controlled by farmers and not corporations. Most products are made by big companies who are not connected to the way the food was produced.

    I love to answer questions.  Please feel free to write to me if you need anything at Roamsticks@gmail.com
     
    Dave Bennett
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    John Arbuckle wrote:Good morning friends,  This is John Arbuckle from Roam Sticks wishing you a nice October day.

    I'm really pleased with how our Kickstarter is going right now.  Big thanks to everybody who has backed it!

    I have enjoyed all the thoughts people have about nitrites.  It really shows that the people involved are educated and paying attention!

    In all things we do with meat, we answer to the USDA.  They have exclusive authority over what we can and cannot put on our label (our very small label).
    We do use sea salt and celery juice powder.  Both of those things have some amount of nitrites.  Nonetheless, the USDA defines that as nitrite free.  I personally think that
    they should change their labeling requirements to say "synthetic nitrite free" just to be more clear.  More than anything its a weird labeling rule from the federal government.
    Funny story about working with the USDA on labeling:  Most snack sticks out there have red dye in the casing.  For some reason it is not required to put 'red dye' on the label.
    When we tried to write, "No Red Dye" on our label, and they wouldn't let me!  Go figure.  You are allowed to use it and not tell people, but if you go out of your
    way to not use it they won't let you.

    In terms of not putting our ingredients on the Kickstarter, that was my oversight.  We will put it on the FAQ page, which we weren't allowed put up until the campaign was live (which was Monday). We are super psyched about our ingredients, but in the rush of managing the campaign, I just plum forgot.
    We're remedying that right now.  Should be up pretty soon.  Its on our website it that helps anyone in the short term.

    Big thanks to Joel Salatin, who did on 2 occasions sell us some pork.  he was over stocked and we helped him reduce his inventory.  We met at a Mother Earth News fair where I was speaking about how to graze pigs and he was speaking about farming.  We gave him some sticks.  I guess he liked them because now we make sticks for him out of his pigs that he is selling locally to his customers.
    I should say that the resulting snack stick flavor and quality has little to do with him though.  We raise most of the meat ourselves.  Once we have the trim, we grind it twice, naturally ferment it, add some spices (like sea salt and pepper) and then smoke it using real hickory smoke, (at a USDA approved facility, not our kitchen). We hope you love them, but if you don't, blame us, not him.

    BTW, we are also homesteaders and live near other homesteaders. (Hi Mike!) Part of the reason we are started making a product is because we would like to see something that is controlled by farmers and not corporations. Most products are made by big companies who are not connected to the way the food was produced.

    I love to answer questions.  Please feel free to write to me if you need anything at Roamsticks@gmail.com

    Those screwy rules are certainly designed to protect Big Ag.  I have little use for the United States Department of Monsanto err... Biotech.... Uhhh.... It's sad that the USDA bears no resemblance to the department's original focus.  I do know that my idea is to avoid dealing with them.   I will work around them if possible. 
     
    C Jones
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    For all of us over-optimizing nerds.....

    $25 for 10 sticks -- $2.50 each
    $38 for 18 -- $2.11 each average, $1.63 each marginal (vs. 10-pack)
    $48 for 24 -- $2.00 each average, $1.67 each marginal (vs. 24-pack)
    $95 for 48 -- $1.98 each average, $1.96 each marginal (etc.)
    $182 for 96 -- $1.90 each average, $1.81 each marginal
    $355 for 192 -- $1.85 each average, $1.80 each marginal
    $950 for 528 -- $1.80 each average, $1.77 each marginal

    Someone else can graph it for us .

     
    C Jones
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    Oh.....sigh.  Shipping skews my numbers a bit.  5, 8, 10, 12, 25.
     
    Destiny Hagest
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    Hey guys - John and Holly have a bunch of great YouTube videos up right now, I went ahead and posted them in their own thread here. Check them out!
     
    Destiny Hagest
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    Hey everyone, big news! John and Holly have just announced they're shooting for a stretch goal (since they kicked their initial goal's butt)!

    They're currently working on developing a new secret flavor, which will be some kind of delicious spicy something - if they can reach $30,000 by the close of their Kickstarter campaign on November 8th, they'll be including samples of the new flavor with every package they ship out to their Kickstarter backers.

    I'll be sending a few out as smaller gifts to friends (while hoarding the majority of ours for feeding our own faces) - I feel like this isn't just an awesome product, it's something that will get people to question what's in the other junk they were eating before this deliciousness crossed their path.

    You can back the Kickstarter here, and Permies will get a sweet little kickback!
    roam.jpg
    [Thumbnail for roam.jpg]
     
    Destiny Hagest
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    Destiny Hagest
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    Holly just sent me this photo of her husband John, and Joel Salatin - how cool is that!

    John had just delivered a presentation at the Mother Earth News Fair, "How Much Grass Can a Pig Eat", and Joel talked about his book, Salad Bar Beef.
    20161023_171258.jpg
    [Thumbnail for 20161023_171258.jpg]
     
    Destiny Hagest
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    Reminder: only 1 week left in this campaign!
     
    Ian Rule
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    As a vegetarian....

    This makes me so happy. The future is nigh!
     
    Thekla McDaniels
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    Just 10 hours left now, and less than $2500 from their stretch goal.  I doubled my pledge, don't know if anyone else wants to or can or was waiting....
     
    Destiny Hagest
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    They are just SO CLOSE to meeting that stretch goal! Let's make it happen for them guys! If you have the means...

    back the Kickstarter here.

    I put myself down for a case yesterday, I can't wait til these come out, yum!
     
    Destiny Hagest
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    Hey guys, I just got word from John and Holly that they'll be live streaming a video in 20 minutes -

    watch it here.
     
    Thekla McDaniels
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    8 hours, 2222 dollars to the stretch goal.
     
    What's wrong? Where are you going? Stop! Read this tiny ad:
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