The 100-Year-Old Farm and Meats Company is Committed to Partnerships that Help the World Thrive from the Ground Up

Asheville, NC, April 20th, 2021 – Each April, as springtime erupts across Hickory Nut Gap’s Appalachian and Carolina pastures, we are reminded that this 100-year-old farm treats every day as Earth Day. This year, Hickory Nut Gap is proud to announce new programs with partners who share our values and care for the environment.

Hickory Nut Gap’s “Flavor RaisedTM” approach starts with a focus on healthy land and builds an intentional partnership with nature to strengthen the entire farming ecosystem. The result is healthier soils, richer pastures, happier, more ethically raised animals, more successful farmers and rural economies, and a cleaner, more resilient environment. Hickory Nut Gap was built upon an understanding that we all thrive from the ground up. While “big agriculture” focuses on high-volume and low-prices at any cost — Hickory Nut Gap focuses on the land as the foundation of our brand and business.

Hickory Nut Gap is grateful to partner with other organizations that are also deeply rooted in environmental stewardship and who honor their regenerative farming practices.

The Savory Institute, an organization whose mission is to facilitate the large-scale regeneration of the world’s grasslands and the livelihoods of their inhabitants through holistic management, has been working with Hickory Nut Gap since 2020. Their collaboration will lead to Hickory Nut Gap’s Fairview, NC, farm becoming a Savory Hub by the end of 2021. Savory Hubs are holistic management training, learning, and demonstration sites to help organizations or individuals create local solutions to land degradation. This is an incredible addition to the region, as there is not currently a Savory Hub within 384 miles.

Another partnership that supports Hickory Nut Gap’s regenerative agriculture mission is Earth Fare, a health and wellness supermarket located in 8 states throughout the Southeast US. In honor of Earth Day, Earth Fare is exclusively featuring Hickory Nut Gap 100% grassfed meat at their 20 newly opened locations.

Justin Betson, Earth Fare’s Director of Meat & Seafood, states, “When food is raised and produced naturally, the way Mother Nature intended it to be, the quality and flavor speaks for itself… Earth Fare’s mission aligns perfectly with that of Hickory Nut Gap, and we are beyond thrilled to continue to grow together, as we have for the last 15 years.”

The Earth Fare Day event showcasing Hickory Nut Gap mouthwatering 100% Grassfed Beef will run the whole week of April 19-25 and will feature:

  • Ribeye
  • NY Strip
  • Ground Beef 80/20 Blend
  • Chuck Roast
  • Skirt Steak
  • Flank Steak
  • Flat Iron Steak

Jamie Ager, Fourth Generation Farmer at Hickory Nut Gap, states, “We have been working with nature using regenerative farming practices that produce better tasting, healthier meats for over 20 years. It’s exciting to partner with Earth Fare on Earth Day to promote meat production that is healthy for the environment, healthy for livestock, and healthier for people all while strengthening rural economies and preserving local agriculture heritage!”

About Hickory Nut Gap:

Hickory Nut Gap harvests and markets crave-ably delicious grassfed and pasture raised meats that are unsurpassed in quality and nutrition. We are partners with the land – committed to renewing our soil and pastures, improving the health and happiness of our animals, strengthening rural farming communities and helping create a cleaner environment.

Hickory Nut Gap. Flavor Raised™

For more information visit our website or contact 828-628-1027 x305 / marketing@hickorynutgap.com. Find @hickorynutgapmeats on Facebook and @hickorynutgap on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Whole Animal Utilization, Regenerative Agriculture, and Common Sense Farming for Over 100 Years

Asheville, NC, April 14, 2021 – The city of Asheville has officially proclaimed April as Food Waste Reduction Month. Did you know that one-third of all food in the U.S. gets wasted annually? According to the nonprofit ReFed, that’s about $408 billion worth of food, grown on 18 percent of U.S. farmland with 4 trillion tons of water. At Hickory Nut Gap, we don’t take this lightly. Creating a sustainable food chain is the foundation of all our operations, and in honor of Food Waste Reduction Month, we want to speak up, raise awareness, and offer some tips.

According to Sarah Kaplan, writer for the Washington Post, “The carbon footprint of U.S. food waste is greater than that of the airline industry. Globally, wasted food accounts for about 8 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions… Meanwhile, a staggering 26 million American adults told the Census Bureau last fall that they hadn’t had enough to eat in the previous week.”

When battling food waste, Hickory Nut Gap believes supporting local farms and other local food businesses that are in line with the regenerative movement is an important place to start. This debate is bigger than just grassfed and pasture raised meats – it’s about learning how to prevent food waste and creating a more equitable food system for all.

At Hickory Nut Gap, our production practices focus on closing loops. Meaning, how can a waste product of one enterprise serve and benefit another? Here are just a few things we’ve been doing on our farms for over 20 years.

Utilization:

We’re a network of small family farmers, which means whole animal utilization is very important to us. We try to use every part of the animal, and when there is excess inventory, we donate it to MANNA Foodbank, the Rotary, and other local nonprofits so they can put it to optimal use serving the community. These organizations often take bones, offal, and other items that would become waste at the processor if we didn’t “rescue” them for other uses.

The farm also turns things like pork tails, skin and ears into dog treats, and we work with local companies that use our unconventional products and turn them into something completely different, like body care items and clothing. Stay tuned on this front – we’ve got some exciting news coming soon!

Composting & Redistribution:

Our farms also compost as much as possible, which in turn can be fed to egg laying chickens and breeding stock. Many of our partner farmers have vegetable crops that we also feed to our breeding stock when they have excess crops that aren’t fit to sell.

Eat less meat, eat better meat:

We raise our meat on the most nutritionally dense soil and high-energy pasture possible thanks to regenerative farming. It’s a beautiful cycle that gives back to the Earth, leaving land improved and rejuvenated for generations to come. In turn, our meats taste better than conventionally farmed meat, and are more nutritionally dense, too. 100% grassfed beef contains a higher proportion of Omega-3s and CLAs than grain finished beef along with higher proportions of Vitamin E and beta-carotene, a Vitamin A precursor. You don’t need copious amounts to enjoy the benefits, a recommended serving size of meat is only 5 1⁄2 ounces daily according to the USDA’s MyPlate Model.

We understand that not everyone is able to afford 100% grassfed and pasture raised meats when they shop, or maybe you choose not to eat meat at all. In any case, there are many ways to shift our behaviors, and in turn, help reduce food waste:

  • Support companies that are in line with the regenerative movement and who prioritize limiting food waste.
  • Love your freezer: Freeze fruits, veggies, bread, and meat that you know you won’t be able to eat in time.
  •  Prepare and cook perishable items, then freeze them for use throughout the month. Ex: Bake and freeze chicken breasts or fry and freeze taco meat.
  • Plan ahead. Think about what you’re going to cook and how you’ll use it for leftovers.
  • Buy only what you need and will use. Buying in bulk only saves money if you are able to use the food before it spoils.
  • Compost food scraps rather than throw them away.
  • Nutritious, safe, untouched food can be donated to food banks to help those in need.
  • Learn the difference between “sell-by,” “use-by,” and expiration dates.

…. And so much more! Check out this extremely helpful list from the EPA.

Here are a few individuals and organizations that are passionate about reducing food waste that we like to follow:

  • Mother Makings (Maggie uses our 100% grassfed tallow for her skincare products!)
  • The Zero Waste Chef – step-by-step zero-waste living tips and recipes
  • ReFed – national nonprofit working to end food waste and loss across the U.S.
  • MANNA FoodBank – involving, educating, and uniting people in the work of ending hunger in WNC.
  • Bounty and Soul – nonprofit providing free produce markets and wellness education in Black Mountain.
  • WNC Food Waste – a community of volunteers working to reduce food waste in WNC
  • The Food Matters Project at NRDC – partners with cities to achieve meaningful reductions in food waste through comprehensive policies and programs.

We hope that this blog post inspires us all to rethink the way we buy food. Every small step that we take towards reducing food waste matters.

About Hickory Nut Gap:

Hickory Nut Gap Meats is a leading producer of pasture-raised meats based out of a 100- year-old family farm in Western North Carolina. Hickory Nut Gap values and respects the complex relationships between humans and nature. By using regenerative agriculture and ethical animal welfare practices, Hickory Nut Gap produces extraordinary meats that are unsurpassed in flavor and healthiness – while making a net-positive impact on climate change and overall ecosystem health.

For more information visit HickoryNutGap.com or contact 828-628-1027 x305 / marketing@hickorynutgap.com. Find @hickorynutgapmeats on Facebook and @hickorynutgap on Instagram and LinkedIn.