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I’m MH, founder of Steadfast Provisions.
This story starts ten years ago, when I had the dream summer job: Wilderness Ranger. Basically, I got paid by the U.S. Forest Service to hike long solo backpacking trips in the northern Cascade Mountains. I counted birds and flowers, greeted hikers, and dug toilet pits. It was beautiful. But after a month of long hikes, my energy started to flag.
It seemed like no matter how much I ate, I wasn’t satisfied. I would eat until I was full, but then I was hungry again, 45 minutes later. This made it hard to enjoy the beautiful landscape around me, and slowed down my hiking pace — until one day my supervisor came out hiking with me, to see what was holding me up. This guy was a great "boss," always having a blast in the wilderness, never daunted by the long miles.
We sat down for lunch on a high mountain ledge. I started chewing on the trail mix and crackers that I usually had for lunch. My supervisor, on the other hand, pulled out summer sausage and a half stick of butter. Literally, butter on a sausage. My mind was blown. Wasn’t that supposed to be “a heart attack waiting to happen”?
I had grown up being told over and over that fat was bad, especially saturated fat: it made you fat and caused heart attacks, everybody knew this! But my supervisor just laughed when I brought that up. “It’s a bunch of B.S.,” he said. Only some kinds of fat are bad. And some fat is good. Really good.
I was inspired to try eating good fat. Lots of good fat. And in a matter of days, my summer was vastly improved. I hiked dozens of miles per week, in the gorgeous mountains, without constant hunger. My paths went up and down, but my energy stayed steady. But there was a problem: I couldn’t eat just summer sausage, on a longer trip. It was too heavy, and would spoil after a few hot days. On top of that, most cured meats have nitrates or other additives that I didn’t want to consume in huge quantities. So how could I get enough good fat, on the trail?
That’s where pemmican came in. I discovered pemmican in a book about the “mountain men:” rugged individuals who explored the American West 150 years ago, trapping beavers and selling their pelts. Now I’m no fur trapper, and I wouldn’t call myself a rugged individual — I prefer to have community, around. But I love to be active and healthy, most especially in the wilderness, and I was intrigued by the mountain man’s food of choice: dried meat mixed with animal fat. The main selling points? It was the only food they needed on their extended backcountry adventures, and it never spoiled, when properly stored.
But I couldn’t travel 150 years back in time, so I couldn’t get my hands on any of that legendary, semi-mythical food of those mountain heroes. Until I moved to a pasture farm.
Working at a family farm changed my life. I saw how much rigor and care it takes to properly nurture the earth. I learned the importance of human-scale, humane livestock husbandry, for human and ecological health. And it introduced me to the wonders of pasture-raised beef tallow and pork lard: underrated true superfoods. With access to these premium ingredients, I decided on one fateful autumn evening to make my first batch of pemmican.
And that first experiment turned out… well, it was terrible. I made classic beginner mistakes: I overcooked the meat and added too many berries. Worst of all, I didn’t add enough fat. But I didn’t give up on pemmican. I made more and more, and each batch was better than the last.
I started to gift pemmican to friends before they left on trips, and when they got back they would ask for more. One friend of mine even decided to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail with pemmican. By the end of the trail, he still had strong, healthy muscles — in contrast to the skin-and-bones hikers that finished beside him. They asked him: Where could they get some of that pemmican? But it turns out that, ever since the 1880s, pemmican has been hard to find.
That’s when I knew: people need more good fat and protein. We need it to be convenient and delicious. We need it to be shelf-stable for years, and ready for adventure at a moment’s notice. We need more pemmican.
As more and more people seek a healthy lifestyle with low sugar and no toxic industrial seed oils, more and more people are turning to the timeless tradition of good animal fat. They are seeking steady energy, fast: Steadfast.
This little story is part of much, much larger stories: the story of a nation that produced more bountiful healthy fat than anywhere else in history, but lost its way by following profit-driven pseudoscience. The story of people seeking obsessive control via our own ideas, rather than living with faith in the natural world. And the story of each individual human heart, where every little decision and attitude influences the way all of these stories will end.
I founded Steadfast Provisions to concentrate the bounty of lush green pastures into the one complete, nutrient-dense, shelf-stable food that’s always ready, anywhere: pasture pemican. You can pack Steadfast pemmican to the top of high mountains. You can gift good fat to adventurous friends. And you can effortlessly fuel the everyday tasks that people rely on you for.
Steadfast pemmican is a concentrated food, with dense nutrition and flavor. If you don’t like the flavor of meat or rich animal fat, or if you aren’t willing to try increasing your saturated fat intake, then Steadfast Provisions probably isn’t for you. However, if your life demands steady energy, fast, or if your life takes you far away from refrigerators, then Steadfast offers you the best source of complete, satisfying, shelf-stable, nutrition-tested food that you can find.
The apocryphal book Wisdom of Sirach advises to “Set thy heart aright and be steadfast.” My goal with Steadfast Provisions is to help you do just that. As the path ahead grows more uncertain, it becomes more and more important to find the foods that you can rely on, no matter what happens. Steadfast Provisions can help you prepare to do more than survive the wilderness of the future — it helps prepare you to thrive.
So I invite you to try Steadfast Provisions pemmican for your next adventure, or as a daily staple. I guarantee it’ll give you satisfying steady energy, fast. It’s a perfect natural addition to any ketogenic or carnivore diet. And let me know what you think of Steadfast pemmican — we are always striving to be more perfect in our service to the world.
Cheers to a healthy, steadfast journey of life. Be strong in the wild!