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Run Oregon Test Kitchen: Patagonia Provisions

It’s easy to turn the other cheek about many issues plaguing the world right now and in order to maintain our own sanity and have energy left to live life a little, we have to pick and choose the battles that hit closest to home for us all as individuals. The folks at Patagonia have fought long and hard to bring attention, resources, and change to the climate crisis and protecting the planet. Their commitment to environmental and social responsibility is inspiring and respectable. For the past few years, Patagonia has stepped into the food industry with their Patagonia Provisions brand of beer, snacks, pantry staples, and full on meal kits.

Focusing on organic, sustainably sourced, and low in sugar, among other things, Patagonia Provisions isn’t just about camping food or adventure fueling, but about lifestyle changes to diet and relationships with nutrition. Because the food industry is such a massive contributor to climate change, it’s in Patagonia’s crosshairs to spark change.

I tried out the Taste of Provisions Gift Box and opened it like it was my birthday. Everything sounded delicious – wild pink salmon, red bean chili, buffalo jerky, mango bars…and plenty more! I handled each one, reading ingredients (I could recognize and pronounce each one!) and preparation instructions, scouring nutrition facts, and admiring the simple and beautiful packaging.

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It hit me, though, that some of the items were heavy. I grabbed one of my standard backpacking meals and compared the weight of the dried chili mix to my “Chili Mac” dehydrated meal and the the difference was stark. In the backpacking world, ounces are everything. I made that chili for dinner, just at home, and the quality far surpassed the backpacking meal. I know that dehydrated meals are tasty on the trail because they have 3 years worth of sodium per serving, but to have something just as delicious and hearty with far more nutritional value, I’d be happy to add the ounces to my pack. My husband and I easily split one package, bringing the cost per meal down, and we were both impressed. It’s easy to make: just add the contents to some boiling water (though arguably you now have a dish to clean instead of just a package to throw away while you use your pot for other things on the trail, in the kitchen, it’s actually an easy one pot meal and is full of flavor).

My favorite item from the box has been the Wild Pink Salmon. Patagonia Provisions’ website says:

Our Wild Pink Salmon is harvested from abundant, sustainable runs off Lummi Island, Washington, using reef-nets, an ancient selective-harvest technique. Our sourcing on Lummi is a collaboration between Provisions, Lummi Island Wild, and the Wild Fish Conservancy.

Reef-netting allows us to handle each fish with exceptional care for a delicious, mild flavor and firm, flaky texture. A light smoking process and cracked black pepper with a squeeze of lemon highlight the fresh pink salmon to create a true delicacy.

Each package contains two 4 oz packages and the filets are fully cooked. They can be eaten just as they are, or warmed up, or diced up to add to any dish. Again, perfect for some protein on the trail or campsite, or an easy addition to a breakfast bowl, salad at lunch, or evening meal. It’s not a dry salmon, so opening up the package can be messy on the go, but the preserved flavor of the black pepper and lemon – so good! The Sockeye Salmon is similar, but contains just one filet (16 oz). The only downside is that the packages are not resealable so leftover (what leftovers?) would have to be transferred into other storage containers.

As I mentioned earlier, Patagonia Provisions has gone light on the sugar, so the bars won’t be the sickly sweet, basically-a-portable-dessert-type bar. They are sweetened with dried fruit so the sweetness is subtle, rather than in-your-face. The mango almond bar was by far the best; the almonds and chia seeds help with hunger pangs and the dried fruits satisfy the snack craving.

I’m recommending a try of Patagonia Provisions’ food, not only for camping / hiking / running, etc. but to introduce it into your kitchen at home, too. While I’m not going to throw out every food item in my pantry and indulge in a Patagonia Provisions replacement, I agree with their efforts and mission to be more conscious, and contentious, about our food choices. I’ll still make chili in my Crock Pot and get my favorite granola from my local grocery store (though I’ll be perusing their recipe site for meal planning and ideas!). But where it matters most to me (buying fish from sustainable sources, chemical-free energy bars, non-beef jerky), it’s worth the effort to buy from a company who is doing so much good in the world.

Even if you don’t end up buying or trying, their website is full of other useful information about climate change, food sourcing, regenerative organic agriculture, and more.

Patagonia started their business making tools for climbers. They expanded and built on it by making quality products for “silent sports” – the ones that connect us to nature. And now their mission is literally “We’re in business to save our home planet”. And that includes taking care of the people, from the inside out, who also identify with that mission.
You can read a great, thorough article from Outside Online here. Other great articles from other sources can be found here. Or watch their film, Unbroken Ground, for a deeper dive into the critical role food will play in the efforts to solve the environmental crisis.

Company: Patagonia Provisions (Facebook | Instagram)

Products:

  • From Buffalo Jerky, to Wild Sockeye Salmon, coconut oil, and dried fruit, there is plenty to stock up your pantry, your adventure box, your emergency kit, or the snack drawer.
  • You can buy individual items or gift boxes, depending on your needs.
  • Check out their online store here for current availability and new items!
  • Shipping is free for orders over $49 and signing up for their email list saves your 20% off your first order.
  • Want to try before you place an order? Visit their store locator to find the place nearest you to get something for your next adventure (or meal at home!) to try for yourself. Their flagship stores in Portland and Bend, many REI locations, New Seasons, Market of Choice, Natural Grocers, and other outdoor stores are carrying Provisions.

More about Patagonia Provisions:

The tradition and culture of food have always been important to us at Patagonia. On our many travels, the meals—cedar-planked salmon with First Nations friends in BC, tsampa in yak-hair tents in Tibet, asado and chimichurri with Patagonian gauchos—become a vital part of the experience. What we eat does more than just fill our stomachs and nourish our bodies; good food lifts our spirits and helps us understand the world a little better.

So it only makes sense that we’d want to share some of our favorite food with our customers. But that’s just the beginning; we also believe there is great opportunity—and an urgent need—for positive change in the food industry. With Patagonia Provisions, our goals are the same as with everything we do: We aim to make the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and perhaps most important, inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.

And nowhere is the crisis more pressing than in the food industry. Today, modern technology, chemistry and transportation combine to put more distance between people and their food than ever before. We harvest salmon indiscriminately or farm them in open-water feedlots, putting wild salmon in peril. We overgraze our prairies, fill our livestock with antibiotics, and drain fossil aquifers to water unsustainable crops. Chemicals reign supreme to maximize production, and the unknown impact of genetically modified organisms hovers over the entire industry. In short, our food chain is broken.

Patagonia Provisions is about finding solutions to repair the chain. We started, as we always do, by rolling up our sleeves and learning everything we can about the sourcing of each product. In some cases, we’re adopting the best practices already in existence; in others, we’re finding new ways of doing things, which, as we might have guessed, frequently end up being the old ways.

In the coming years, we’ll continue to offer a growing selection of foods that address environmental issues, and continue to encourage support of local food producers. We’ll keep working with our favorite chefs to create the kind of healthy, nutritious food we like to eat on the trail and share with friends at home.

If we do our job, our success can help establish a model for a new kind of food chain, one where we, as the Zen master might say, “turn around and take a step forward.”


Thank you to Patagonia Provisions for providing us with samples. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Bobi Jo (211 Articles)
Bobi Jo has lived all over the midwest but moved to Portland in 2007 and now calls it home. She started casually running in 2012 and trained up for the "Run Like A Mother" 5k as her first proper event. She got a taste of the runner's high and is now a veteran ultrarunner. While running is her favorite sport, she is a "Jill of all trades, master of none" - her other hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and snowshoeing. On her elusive rest days, she is an avid bookworm and a Green Bay Packers fan. Her best adventure buddies are her husband and her Australian Shepherd.

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