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 criss.
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’ll start, as we always do, by rolling up our sleeves and learning everything we can about the sourcing of each product. In some cases, we’ll adopt the best practices already in existence; in others, we’ll have to find new ways of doing things, which, as we might have guessed, frequently end up being the old ways.
In the coming months and years, we’ll 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 or water 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."
Revolutions start from the bottom
Our food choices are deeply connected to climate change. Unbroken Ground, a compelling new Patagonia Provisions film directed by Chris Malloy, explains the critical role food will play in the next frontier of our efforts to solve the environmental crisis.
This film explores four areas of agriculture that aim to change our relationship to the land and oceans. Most of our food is produced using methods that reduce biodiversity, decimate soil and contribute to climate change. We believe our food can and should be a part of the solution to the environmental crisis – grown, harvested and produced in ways that restore our land, water and wildlife. The film tells the story of four groups that are pioneers in the fields of regenerative agriculture, regenerative grazing, diversified crop development and restorative fishing.