What’s Up With Our Beef?

Is regenerative ranching just a buzzword, or is there a lot more to it than that? Let’s take a deeper look into what regenerative practices are all about.

Just another day at Wrich Ranches, one of AUPA’s sources for grass-fed regenerative beef.

Beef is one of the most popular meats consumed around the world, but not all beef is created equal. In recent years, there has been a growing movement towards regenerative beef, which offers a host of benefits over conventional beef production. In this blog post, we will explore the nutritional differences between grain-fed and grass-fed beef, as well as the environmental benefits of regenerative ranching. I’m hoping to convince you its more than a mouthful of buzzwords!

Nutritional Differences

Grain-fed beef is typically raised in feedlots and fed a diet of corn and soybeans. This diet is high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, while omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. This imbalance can lead to chronic inflammation in the body, which has been linked to a range of health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The two fatty acids are shown below and are identified by their different double bond locations.

Omega-3 (linolenic acid) and Omega-6 (linoleic acid) molecule structures with different positions of their first double bonds.

Grass-fed beef, on the other hand, is raised on pasture and fed a diet of grass and other forage. This diet is high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in omega-6 fatty acids, which helps to balance the ratio of these fatty acids in the body. Grass-fed beef also contains higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of healthy fat that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

In addition to being higher in healthy fats, grass-fed beef is also higher in vitamins and minerals. Grass-fed beef contains higher levels of vitamin E, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants than grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is also a good source of vitamin K2, which plays an important role in bone and heart health.

Environmental Benefits

Regenerative ranching, which is a type of farming that focuses on restoring the health of the soil and the ecosystem, has a range of environmental benefits. One of the key benefits of regenerative ranching is that it sequesters carbon. When ranchers use regenerative practices such as rotational grazing and cover cropping, they help to build organic matter in the soil. This organic matter contains carbon, which is taken out of the atmosphere and stored in the soil. In fact, regenerative ranching has the potential to sequester significant amounts of carbon, which can help to mitigate climate change. Below is a simplified illustration of how this process works.

Illustration of carbon sequestration. The carbon is pulled into the plants, then micro-organisms pull that carbon and locked it in deep beneath the soils. Thanks to calrecycle.ca.gov for the graphic.

Regenerative ranching also promotes biodiversity. When ranchers use regenerative practices, they create a diverse ecosystem that supports a range of plants and animals. This diversity is important because it helps to create a more resilient ecosystem that are better able to withstand disruptions such as droughts or floods. Regenerative ranching also provides habitat for many insects and animals, including pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Optimizing Diesel Usage

Another benefit of regenerative ranching is that it can help to optimize diesel usage. Ranchers who use regenerative practices such as rotational grazing can reduce the amount of diesel they use to transport feed and water to their livestock. This is because rotational grazing allows livestock to graze on different areas of the pasture, which means they don’t need to be transported as often. This can help to reduce the carbon footprint of the ranch and save money on fuel costs.

Healing the Soil and Land

Regenerative ranching is an agricultural practice that focuses on restoring and healing the soil and land through sustainable and holistic management. This approach aims to promote the health and well-being of the ecosystem by regenerating natural resources and creating a thriving and resilient environment. Regenerative ranching involves the use of techniques that increase soil organic matter, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration, while reducing soil erosion and nutrient loss.

One of the primary ways that regenerative ranching heals the soil and land is by implementing rotational grazing. This involves dividing a pasture into smaller paddocks and rotating livestock through each paddock in a planned sequence. This allows the land to rest and recover between grazing periods, which stimulates plant growth and increases the diversity of plant species. This, in turn, promotes the regeneration of soil health, as the plants provide the necessary nutrients to feed soil microbes, which play a critical role in soil health and fertility.

Regenerative ranching also emphasizes the use of cover crops and reduced tillage, which help to improve soil health by increasing soil organic matter, reducing soil erosion, and promoting water retention. Cover crops are planted in between cash crops and provide a living cover for the soil, which protects it from the elements and helps to retain nutrients. Reduced tillage practices reduce soil disturbance and prevent soil compaction, which can help to increase soil water infiltration and promote healthy root growth.

Overall, regenerative ranching is a sustainable and holistic approach to agriculture that promotes the health and well-being of the ecosystem by restoring and healing the soil and land. By implementing practices such as rotational grazing, cover cropping, and reduced tillage, regenerative ranchers are helping to create a thriving and resilient environment that benefits both the land and the people who depend on it.

AUPA sources it’s beef from two top-tier grass-fed & regenerative ranched here in Colorado; Wrich Ranches & Flying B Bar.

Wrich Ranches

Best Beef in Colorado. Jason Wrich is a leader in the regenerative farm & ranch community, and devoted to building soil while growing the best animal protein on the planet. The proof is in the taste and texture – Grass fed and Grass finished. He also delivers to the Denver area and accepts bitcoin which is a plus! We are excited and proud to be doing business with such a leader in the space! Watch this cool video they just released and also check out their website.

Flying B Bar

Flying B Bar Cattle Ranch, located in Strasburg, Colorado, raises Black Angus cattle, and is the passion pursuit of the Buchanan family; Brad, Margaret, Grace and Will. Our cattle are all grass fed and grass finished, which means they are never fed any grains or corn.

Most cattle are sent off to feed lot at about the age of 6 months to “finish”, just after they are weaned from their mothers, and are penned up eating nothing but cracked corn, growth hormones and steroids. Cows in nature eat nothing but grass. In fact their stomachs aren’t even designed to process corn, but it sure will put the weight on quickly. This can get them to market in a little over a year old.

Beautiful day at Flying B Bar Ranch where the best grass-fed regenerative beef is produced!

At the Flying B our cattle spend their lives on grass pasture, and there they stay until they are ready to come home for dinner. And if the pastures need to be supplemented during the winter, we only feed hay farmed right here at the ranch, usually Sorghum/Sudangrass and alfalfa or hay from farmers we know and trust. Please check out their website.

Hopefully you now see the word ‘regenerative’ as more than just a buzzword, its the way cattle ranching was done in the old days and we need a return too the traditional methods as we’ve lost our way in industrials feed lots.

This post covers our beef sourcing, if you want to learn about all of our other ingredient sourcing, JJ has written an excellent post about that!

The Values Behind Fine Ingredient Sourcing

It’s a big deal. Where does your food come from? When we watch a Sysco truck pull up to a restaurant to unload food we just aren’t impressed. Are we hyper-critical? Some might say so. When we source food for our family, we look for local food, animals raised naturally on pasture by other families. At the same time we value balance and know that in this off kilter world today we have to be flexible in our own lives and we understand that for you too. I don’t know who needs to hear this but we don’t expect people to be perfect and don’t think you should either. We still eat bread sometimes (Don’t tell the carb-police), we still eat at some restaurants along a road trip that most certainly use seed oils, and if we feel like a coconut shipped from out of the country well, so be it. It’s the world we live in. And not holding some level of flexibility just doesn’t seem natural.

But when it comes to AUPA we decided we would not compromise. Could we get ingredients from outside of the USA? Of course. Would they be cheaper? On the wallet, yes. For our health, the health of our country, family farms, and the world at large, maybe not. And that’s one of the problems we see with the world. Money leads corporations around, rather than values. We want to see that change. And we also want to be ourselves while doing it. 

We’re homesteaders. Which means we value the ideas of sovereignty, permaculture, growing your own garden, raising your own children, and letting the eternal knowledge of the universe guide you. Building greenhouses and chicken coops, raised beds, and root cellars. And when you dive down this rabbit hole you find ideals, things like Bitcoin and watching seeds grow while your kids play with earthworms in the background.

Lets pull it all back in. Food. We like knowing where ours comes from. We can trust ourselves to grow our own meat, our own eggs, our own fruit and vegetables and it’s reassuring that we can feed ourselves with what we grow. But I’ll be straight with you. Raising your own food to feed your entire family all year is a lot of work. And we want community. A group of people who all want to help provide for each other.

I want to provide you good food. I want to support others in the community who want to raise good food. And to us, good food looks like pasture raised animals, raised on land being resuscitated from the last 100 years. To leave off the chemicals. To try to find a balance with natural cycles.

And so when we could choose to use dehydrated butter with things like maltodextrin, guar gum, or colorings in it, instead we choose to source minimal ingredients from good people, using good techniques, and good sourcing themselves. It was surprising to me that sourcing ingredients to the standards we want is a challenge. We need more people asking for these products.

Fruit and Berries

When we started AUPA we used berries sourced from the local grocery store which we then dried ourselves. It’s costly and time consuming at our scale. So we moved to pre-dried berries. Yikes! I’d like you to take a look at the ingredients. It’s tough to find dried fruit without added sugar. My daughter tells me, “Fruit is nature’s candy.” And I think we should take that advice from a 4 year old. We do not need to add sugar. I don’t need it on mine.

Nor do I need the seed oils! They’re bathed in it. They soak it up. If you don’t know much about seed oils and the whole history behind that you should really check out Nina Teicholz book The Big Fat Surprise. I’m sure there are others but hers is the book I read. It’s very compelling. Enough so for me to turn away from seed oils in my dried fruit. Eliminating added sugar and seed oils decreased our options considerably. 

And then if we take other values in mind we started analyzing the farms these berries come from. This led us to Hummingbird Wholesale where we were able to source fruit locally grown by small farms in and around Oregon’s Willamette Valley. If you haven’t been there it’s memorably beautiful. We spent a good amount of time there while WWOOFing out of our old VW Van (yeah we did that). They shared this awesome video of who they source their blueberries from, check it out.

On our summer road trip we plan to visit Hummingbird Wholesale and the farms where they source our berries. To get a “Shake your Farmer’s Hand” perspective. AUPA may be in Colorado but American is local to us. And these are American farms supporting local communities. And we just love that kind of thing.

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, or Youtube to get an inside perspective on these farms with us!


Did you know a lot of nuts are brought in from China? Yeah. I’m not interested in food from China (I won’t get into the why’s here). Again I want to support local American growers. Most local sources of nuts here in Colorado are disappointingly from China and when you move up to larger scale sourcing you might get some sourced from South America, Italy, or Mexico. No offense to these areas but our goal is to help support the American small farm economy. Researching companies price lists, country of origin lists, and ingredient lists (you never know what else is on a product labeled almonds). We found that when we asked about product sourcing we were told American farms and then received a box saying grown in Mexico. Company honesty is a value we hold close. Don’t believe that your companies are being honest unless they prove it.

Thankfully Hummingbird Wholesale was there for us on the nuts too. With high quality ingredients from American farms. We plan to visit our orchards this summer too.


You probably haven’t been paying much attention to the butter market these last few months but wow, the price on our butter has almost doubled since we started. We looked and looked for a cheaper source because we know our bars are more expensive then others on the shelf. But ultimately we wanted pure grass-fed butter from American cows and they were the only dehydrated pure grass-fed butter from American cows we could find! So we contacted them and were able to purchase large quantities at a wholesale price. Phew! What an important product to get right. 138 Foods Inc is the distributor of our grass fed butter powder and we’re hoping to visit their facility this summer too.


I’m happy to say there are some very awesome tallow companies in this country. We source our tallow from Sulu Organics in Illinois. As a consistently quality wholesale supplier we love their product but are continuing to test with other suppliers for considerably harder tallow. We know the quality is here and hope to learn more from Sulu about the American grass fed ranches they source from. But for now we are still settling on our best tallow source.


Oh the controversy we’ve stirred with adding honey to our bars. But we want kids to like them too. So if you’re a zealot and honey is off the menu then we highly suggest The Carnivore Bar. We want to help people on the Standard American Diet to regain their natural food taste buds and we want families, who may already make a lot of their own real food, feed their kids healthy foods that won’t cause a complete childhood meltdown. There’s a balance and why can’t our bars be an enjoyable snack with high natural nutrition, and a touch of sweet. We do have plans for savory flavors in the future so hold onto your butts.

Our honey is soon to be sourced from Bee Squared Apiaries. Beth has been beekeeping for 20 years and runs an apiary local to us with wholesale capabilities (the USDA has some requirements we all have to jump through, most of them make sense to us for keeping products clean and people honest). Her honey is raw and we have clover, alfalfa/wildflower, and orange blossom options we’ll probably try each of them and see if anyone notices a difference or raves about a different flavor. That’s part of the fun of running your own small business, experimentation.

Finally, Our Beef

Rob has written an extensive article about our beef here. So I suggest learning further details there.

But for a quick rundown, we really care about our main ingredient. BEEF. We want to eat animals raised on grass, in pastures being restored, and local to us. We certainly didn’t want to support the Big Four (Tyson, JBS, Cargill, and National Beef) meat conglomerates. And while there are arguments here and there on grass fed vs grain fed, we like the idea of grass fed beef. So that’s what we use.

Jason Wrich, a Bitcoiner and our rancher often says, “Shake your ranchers hand.” So we shook it for you. Wrich Ranches in Crawford, Colorado and Flying B Bar in Strausburg, Colorado are our current sources of beef. And we love our ranchers. They’re yours too. American raised cattle for reals, not like they label it in the grocery stores.

So enjoy your AUPA Bars! We’ve worked hard to source the simple yet not always easy to find ingredients that we want to feed our kids. And we want to give this not so simple simplicity to all of our customers too. We will continue to dig into the who’s and where’s of our products to make sure that our distributors are honest. We want to stand behind our ingredients and be proud that they are sourced from American farms, raised right, and have no weird and unnecessary additives. As we grow we want to be able to say we shook our farmers hands and truly know our sources. Follow our small business journey, eat an AUPA bar, and sit back for some road tripping come June. 

If you have suggestions for food sourcing that meets our standards and values don’t hesitate to contact us.