Product Insights: Nicks Sticks
When I purchase packaged food products, I always read the ingredients. I look for simple, clean ingredients and, as much as possible, I prefer to avoid sugar, gluten, grains, nuts (because of the many nut allergies, most schools do not allow for any nuts), additives and preservatives. I also prefer low carb options. That’s why I find Nick’s 100% grass fed beef Sticks to be exceptional.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Nick, the owner and founder of Nick’s Sticks, and wanted to share the story behind the brand.
Erin: Like many people, I am busy with work and family life and I don’t have a lot of time to make everything from scratch (as much as I’d like to!). When I saw how simple the ingredients were in your products – I was very pleased.
Nick: Thank you! Yes, most of the beef sticks that I have seen on the market are either loaded with preservatives and sugar or the flavour is unappealing.
Erin: What a difference100% grass-fed beef makes! I truly appreciate that Nick’s grass-fed beef sticks are also dye-free, nitrate-free, hormone-free, sugar-free, and antibiotic-free. Even the seasonings in the spice blend are organic.
Nick: We were the first in the industry to not use red-dye casings. And it had to be organic seasoning to compliment the grass-fed beef, a lot of competitors don’t go the extra mile in this category.
Erin: I am super pleased to offer these to my kids for snacks. What inspired you to create Nick’s Sticks?
Nick: I was already selling frozen grass-fed beef and other pasture-raised meats directly to families when I had the idea. I was constantly on the move and rarely had time for lunch. Whether it was on the farm or doing a meat delivery, I had limited choices for jerky and other protein snacks. Frustration was the driver of invention, and I knew I could do better.
Erin: That’s usually how these things happen! So how long did it take from the time you had the idea to getting the product on the market?
Nick: It took nearly 2 years to perfect the recipe and process, but with a skilled sausage maker we finally made a batch that would stand apart from the current marketplace options. Once we had the beef perfected it wasn’t long before the turkey fell into place as well. We use true pasture-raised turkeys from Southern Minnesota. Most turkey jerky and sticks use large confinement birds even though they utilize the USDA loose standards for free-range. That’s why we win on flavor every time. Healthy birds fed on grass is a better eating bird, hands down!
Erin: Amazing. Could you talk more about the reasons for using Grass-fed beef in the beef sticks?
Nick: Cows are meant to graze in fields and eat grass; a cow’s stomach is a perfect environment for digesting grass. But starting in the 1950s, large feed lots and grain-fed techniques became widely popular as a means to increase quantity: quantity was traded for quality. Corn is not only cheap, but helps the cows gain more weight faster than grass ever could. But cows are not designed to eat corn!
Being high in starch and low in roughage, calcium, and magnesium, corn turns the cow’s stomach acidic, causing the cow intestinal distress, and also making the internal conditions perfect for pathogens, like e. coli, to flourish.
The sick cows are given antibiotics. And because the factory farmed cows are in cramped quarters with unsanitary conditions, all of the cows are given antibiotics whether they need it or not. Also, to help the animal grow faster, factory farmers give them hormones and steroids.
You are what you eat. We are part of a larger picture, a bioaccumulation of all the choices that have been made as we move up the food chain.
What these animals eat and how they are raised affect what they do in our body. The hormones/antibiotics/steroids given to the cows can cause hormone imbalances in humans. As well, they negatively impact our gut microflora, and also create antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria in us that can make us sick with infections that are difficult to treat. Finally, what the animals actually ate has a major effect on the actual nutrient composition of the meat that we ultimately eat. Quality makes a difference!
The quality of diet and life from grass fed/free range beef is reflected in the quality in their meat: it is leaner, tastier, and offers so much more nutritionally: it can have up to 5x more omega 3’s and 3x more CLA than grain fed beef (not to mention, significantly more antioxidants, vitamins, minerals).
Erin: Quality sure does make a difference! Another reason why I love Nick’s Sticks is their philosophy: the food that you eat should be straightforward and uncomplicated and should nourish your body and soul. That is my philosophy as well and it’s very true to my heart because I know that one of the biggest factors that contributes to good health is what we eat. If it’s unprocessed, quality, real food, then by default it will nourish your body and soul.
It’s also important to me to know that my children are eating nourishing and nutrient dense foods, so that their growing bodies are getting the nutrients that they need.
Nick: As we like to say, Nick’s grass-fed beef sticks are “full of sunshine and free-range living”.
Erin: As I like to say, eat healthy be healthy, eat healthy be happy. Thank you, Nick, for creating these awesome products – and for taking the time with me today.
Nick: Thank you! Enjoy!
About the Author: A Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Erin is a proponent for holistic and natural living. Her passion is guiding people to live healthier, happier lives: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.