Outdoor Herbivore's Food Model
Nature Made Foods is a model that Outdoor Herbivore follows for Ingredient Selection that is Kind to Nature and Healthy for You.
Like you, Outdoor Herbivore is concerned about staying healthy and caring for the natural world. We are committed to making healthy food products that address your concerns regarding ingredient safety, pollution, and animal welfare. Caring for the earth and its inhabitants mean taking responsibility and creating as little waste and pollution as possible. That is why the majority of the ingredients we use are:
Most of us hikers share a sincere appreciation for the natural world. This admiration beckons us outdoors into the serene landscape of the mountains, the foothills, the woods, and the sea. These places need us as much as we do them. The organic food movement aligns with our views of treating mother earth responsibly and sustainably. As a result, Outdoor Herbivore supports farmers and producers who employ organic methods. We disagree with altering plant seeds; hence, we do NOT purchase GMO foods. The USDA organic label does not symbolize perfection, although it offers a better path to healing our planet and keeping us healthy. Accordingly, Outdoor Herbivore is a registered organic processor.
A diet based on natural, whole foods is vital to staying active and healthy. Non-natural substances function as extra toxins for the body to remove and interfere with the body's ability to produce energy efficiently. Eating clean foods will help keep your digestion and immune system at peak performance.
The most wholesome foods we consume come from plants. Natural plant foods are those coming directly from the plant, unaltered. In other words, it should undergo little to no processing after picking. Unfortunately, food manufacturers flood us with packaged foods touting "natural" that are unnatural. Many of these packaged foods are likely to contain artificial flavoring and color agents, additives, fillers, and other intentional modifications to condition the food for cheaper manufacturing, a longer shelf life, and altered taste. Unfortunately, many backpacking food brands fit these criteria.
Packaged food can never be as good as fresh. All packaged foods require some processing, such as drying, to make them suited for storage. Outdoor Herbivore believes minimal processing is better. That is why we use whole grains that undergo limited processing. Although a less processed food may have a shorter shelf-life, it retains more nutrients.
Any food product sealed up in a package loaded with ingredients to prolong its longevity and composition and improve its flavor, smell, appeal, and character will not do that for you.
Grown, Packaged, and Tested in the U.S.
Over 75% of our ingredients are from North America, and most of our food ingredients originate within the United States. 100% of our meals are assembled, tested, and packed within California.
We source some of our food from other places. For example, our Quinoa comes from South America (Bolivia/Peru), Coconut (Philippines), Olive Oil (Europe), Chia Seed and Mango (Mexico), Cocoa (Peru), and a few spices, such as Ginger (Sri Lanka), Allspice (Guatemala), Cinnamon (Indonesia), Cayenne and Coriander (India). These particular plants & herbs produce a superior flavor when grown in their native lands.
We purchase imported ingredients only from processors we trust and certified organic and fair-trade if available. Because China's manufacturing practices are notoriously questionable (given their history of producing tainted products), we do not purchase food from China. We recognize no country's manufacturing is perfect, but this avoidance best honors your (and our own) concerns.
As producers of vegetarian backpacking meals, we believe in lightweight and compact packaging. Most commercial backpacking food brands use heavy, bulky stand-up pouches with eye-catching graphics. While these fancy bags look sleek on retail shelves, they use excessive inks and materials. We do things a little differently.
Outdoor Herbivore believes that packaging should be compact, minimalistic, and multi-functional. The result is a waterproof pouch that protects the food, saves space, and minimizes weight. Our meal pouches function as a serving dish, so you can rehydrate the meal inside and eat from it, plus it is lighter on the environment.
As of 2020, Outdoor Herbivore's meals are packaged in a waterproof paper-based pouch with a thin plastic lining that is safe for boiling water and rehydrating the meal inside. About Outdoor Herbivore's meals sizing and packaging.
Prefer to use a container to prepare food? See our tips for cleaning dishes in the backcountry. Planning to make backpacking meals at home? You can purchase our reusable boil-soak bags separately and many bulk freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients.
Honesty about Food Ingredients & Claims
We are honest about every ingredient that goes into our meals. We do not play with words to make things seem better than they are. We do not use generic terms such as "spices" to cover up inferior ingredients. We tell you exactly what is in our meals on our website and packaging. In an age of rising rates of cancer, autoimmune disease, food-borne illness, and allergies, we are increasingly concerned that food ingredients remain natural and safe.