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.

Where We’re At


Sitting on the couch with the kids watching Back to the Future makes me think about the future, the present, and the past, and when it comes to AUPA we’re constantly thinking of all three. New flavors, larger quantities, and sources straight from farmers we call friends make up some of my dreams of the future. The past is a checklist of tasks, hurdles many small businesses have to jump to move forward in what often feels like a race. But in the words of Alan Watts, “the past and future are real illusions that exist in the present which is what there is and all there is.”

So where are we at present? As one of our first pioneering allies in this endeavor, an endeavor to create long lasting real food that you can trust, we want to give you a status update.



We rented and moved into our commercial kitchen out of our home kitchen at the beginning of the year and have spent the time to clean it up and figure out our flow. We’ve invested in equipment and tested out various methods to get all the ingredients and bars exactly the way we want with numerous test batches.

We’ve jumped through all the city, county, and state hoops and as you may guess the bureaucracy of the federal government is slow and archaic but we’re on the path to fulfilling our USDA inspection currently. Once we get the approval from them we can start cranking out some bars. Of course we need to be realistic here. We’re two people who also split the job of raising two miniature humans, a dog, and flocks of chicken and quail. A work life balance is something we strive for but don’t always hit, either the living room is in disarray or our inbox is left unread, we are imperfect after all.

Besides the status of our new kitchen, inspection, and highly anticipated batches of bars soon to be handmade and hand wrapped, we’ve got a few more exciting tidbits rolling in.

Our shirts have arrived, 3 simple T’s we designed ourselves.

I Eat Vegans, Chad and the Vegan, and a little less cutting, Live Untamed.



Our hats have shown up too. Pretty exciting times for a small business.



Our interview with the Boulder County Farmer’s Market staff just went down and our samples are being reviewed by their judges to see if we earn a guest spot at their market this season. It would be a huge boost in getting AUPA in front of new eyes and samples to the health conscious community of Boulder County.

Oh and get this awesome news we received today: The test batch samples we sent in for lab analysis prove that our processes leave our bars free and clear from all the contaminates meat based businesses have to be aware of. And our water activity tests came back so low that we believe shelf life of our bars is impeccable if stored properly. Tell your prepper friends!

With all this good news, Rob and I keep reminding each other that we need to keep moving forward. Have we made a bunch of money? No. Have we put thousands of dollars and hours in to make AUPA into something? Yes.

After starting innumerable businesses both on our own and together, we really do believe that finding something you love, believe in, and can stick with will help you keep getting back up and trying trying again. And it’s really just part of who we are to question everything. To question the system. To question society. To question what true health is. And to seek the answers, even if it means testing it out ourselves.

For the present time we’ve got big dreams for the future of AUPA and we can’t wait for you to realize them with us. Check out the website and try out some bars.

Thanks for being Visionaries & Truth seekers with us.


-Jay Jay

AUPA! Who We Are & Why We Are!


We’re Jay Jay and Rob of AUPA! We’re just starting out and want to tell you a little about our mission. 


AUPA’s mission is to provide our customers with the modern convenience of on-the-go meat-based snacks that are completely free from industrial sludge and loaded with dense ancestral nutrition. 

Reclaim your food intelligence through carnivory!

Give your body the needed fuel to power your modern life free of the the processed sugars, preservatives, and seed oils that litter food today. 

We dream to empower the efforts of small local regenerative farms and ranches by sourcing our ingredients from these hard working Americans. 

Our efforts are not a virtue signal but instead a plan to be a part of the change that will heal our health and our food system. 

And we believe that the answer is “Simply NOT Vegan”. This mainstream idea of veganism is simply not a whole natural system the way nature intended. Without including animals in our diets and in the regeneration of the land we are stuck in these modern industrialized systems that feed us unnatural foods pretending to be healthy. 

That’s why we started making the AUPA Bar right here on our mini farm in Colorado. 



What is an AUPA Bar?

An AUPA Bar is a meat based snack densely packed with nutritious fat and protein to help heal you and keep you full for longer. They contain high quality, American raised, grass fed and pastured meat, assorted fruits, herbs, and honey from American family farms for flavor, and are held together by rendered animal fat also raised in the USA. It provides optimal and complete nutrition for the human body no matter the activity or task. Pack an AUPA Bar on the trail, take one to work for a quick and filling lunch, or stock the house to prep for emergencies (like a financial crisis, food shortages, or supply chain issues). 


We wanted something we felt comfortable eating ourselves and feeding our children too. 

And we made enough for you.

"Simply NOT Vegan"