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Why We Exist

Why We Exist

The Short Answer:

Purpose: To create new standards in a dirty industry that forces all other participants to level up while encouraging a holistic approach to health for people who want to improve.

Vision: We have created a world class brand of real food supplement and food products that are simple, clean, high-quality, delicious, tested for purity and transparent, utilizing trusted marketing partners and education to scale, setting a standard for all other brands to aspire to.

Why: The supplement industry is dirty and people are getting robbed. Our food system is bereft of nutrients and toxic. People who give a damn about their health need support and alternatives on their journey. No one else is doing it, so we will.

The Long Answer:

“If you wait for the customer to tell you what to do, you’re too late.” - Yvon Chouinard

The supplement industry is dirty…

Supplements are a $167 billion per year industry. It’s also a BS industry. Up to 58% of supplements are under-dosed and roughly one-third don’t have any of the ingredients that are listed on the bottle. Many of the supplements that actually have what’s on the label just use traces of those ingredients to make egregious marketing claims with completely ineffective doses.

What’s the point?

It’s no different from big food: huge companies want to sell people things they don’t need for profit. It’s just another way to extract money from vulnerable people. I don’t know about you, but this pisses me off.

Why is this a problem?

People genuinely buy these products because they have a desire to positively change their lives. How many businesses truly exist to make people healthier? Instead, they are sold a lie.

People are hooked by crazy marketing claims while they are seeking a solution to a problem. They jump from pill to pill or powder to powder, promised as the magic elixir to solve all their energy, libido, weight loss, inflammation, gut dysfunction, mitochondrial, metabolism, hormone, immune system, focus, mood, or longevity fears. And what do they actually get? Weird processing aids and flow agents, artificial flavorings and sweeteners, gums and fillers, pesticides and herbicides, microplastics and PFAS, mycotoxins and heavy metals. This type of toxic burden only poisons them further.

Many of the brands that say they are “all-natural” are frankly BS. They all still do the same old party tricks we’ve seen for decades, using ingredients that serve no purpose other than to make marketing claims all while adding xanthan and guar gum, lecithins, silicone dioxide, and other processing aids.

Why is no one doing anything?

Maybe it’s because all anyone cares about is money. Maybe it’s because they are misinformed. Maybe it’s intentional. Maybe (hopefully) it’s because they don’t know any better. At the end of day, it doesn’t really matter.

It’s up to us to create a standard for other brands to live up to and inspire a new wave of supplement products that actually help people with their goals without all of the trash and misleading marketing claims.

So what is the solution?

(Spoiler: Clean, high-quality, delicious, real food supplement products)

The truth is, no supplement is a cure all or magic pill. They don’t exist. Real food does the work. If you can’t get everything you need from real foods, the best thing to do is supplement with… more real foods. After all of that, adding in isolated nutrient supplements can be done in a strategic way. 

There are absolutely some cases where isolated compounds can be beneficial to buffer missing compounds in our food system. These tend to be mineral compounds (ex. magnesium, sodium, etc), but consuming isolates from real foods can actually create additional problems. 

If you supplement with zinc and don’t also include copper in the right amounts, it can lead to a deficiency in copper which can cause anemia and neurological issues. Shellfish and meat have the perfect ratios of zinc and copper. Isn’t that weird?

If you supplement vitamin D without vitamin K2, this can lead to excessive calcification of calcium deposits in the arterial walls. Whoops! Eating fermented foods, egg yolks, dairy, and meat will give you the right proportions of vitamin D, K2, and calcium. Real food wins again.

It’s almost like being highly integrated within nature for the last 250,000 years led us to being adapted to consuming real foods...

At Equip, we believe in the power of real foods. We believe in tried and true nutrition. We believe that there are no secrets to health.

Weird coming from a supplement company, I know. They are called supplements for a reason and are meant to supplement a real food diet. And the best way to supplement real foods is with more real food.

Real food doesn't have glyphosate in it.

Real food is not ultra-processed with tons of chemicals and solvents.

Real food is not a processing aid so machines produce finished products more efficiently.

Real food is not devoid of nutrients.

Real food nourishes us.

Real food tastes great.

Real food makes you feel better.

Real food is powerful

Why even supplement?

The next logical question to ask is that if real food has all the answers that our bodies need, why should we even make, sell, or take supplements ourselves? Should we just work on some other business that helps people eat more real, whole foods? There are plenty of reasons why supplements are a great tool for modernity.

Our food supply is contaminated and contains things it shouldn’t.

We’ve poisoned our food supply. With countless pesticides, herbicides, and environmental toxins, it’s almost impossible to trust that we aren’t getting an overwhelming overload of junk when we eat our food.

Seven out eight samples of kale contained ‘disturbing’ levels of PFAs, with organic kale containing higher levels of the toxic compounds (link). Over one-third of chocolate tested is very high in heavy metals (link). Over 87% of avocado oil tested was found to be rancid or adulterated with other oils (link). And of course, up to 50% of supplement products tested contain either anabolic or prohibited substances (link).

Other than meat products regulated under USDA, all food and supplement products are self-regulated. It is very rare for brands to do their own testing. Even if real whole food producers wanted to test their crops or animal products, it is almost impossible due to the perishable nature of whole foods.

Being that we buy and produce shelf stable materials, we can, and should, test our products and have assurance that they are devoid of all the toxic burdens.

This isn’t meant to be a marketing gimmick. This is meant as a wakeup call to consumers. Why aren’t other brands testing? If people knew the truth, they would demand better from everyone. We need to set the bar.

On top of that, it’s our responsibility. If we’re going to be selling millions of units, it is our obligation to ensure purity in a very definitive way. We will not be part of the problem.

Our food supply is compromised and doesn’t contain things it should.

The massive commercial breeding of plants (and animals) to make them larger and have more yield combined with the idiotic way we farm and treat our soils have led to a significantly depleted nutrient base in our food.

A study published in the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition" analyzed the nutrient data for 43 garden crops and found significant declines in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, magnesium, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin A and vitamin C between 1950 and 1999. It is 2024. The trend has not improved.

A huge problem here is that almost all our NFP databases are from between 1920s to 1940s. This means we are benchmarking the nutrition of our food on values from a bygone era of nutrition that doesn’t exist anymore.

Put simply, people are not getting the nutrition they think they are. You need more food to get the same amount of nutrition we used to get. This is a key area where we can add in concentrated real food supplements to get people the nutrition they need to thrive.

Our lifestyles are very different than they used to be.

If we were still hunter gatherers, lived in agrarian homesteading communities, or even mostly lived in rural communities where we all grew our food locally, this wouldn’t be an issue. The lifestyle of modernity doesn’t allow for “slow food,” for the time necessary for sourcing real food, preparing it, cooking it, or even eating it.

Even though we have more time saving gadgets and tools than ever, we are left with less free time than any other time in human history. As much as I wish this weren’t the reality, it is what it is. Most people don’t have the time, energy, or knowledge on how to eat healthy real food meals at home for them and their family multiple times a day, every day of the week.

Having high-quality nutritious real food ingredients that people can supplement with can help fill the nutritional gaps in a convenient way so they can stay on track.

People are going to supplement regardless if we exist or not.

As a reminder, people spend $167 billion dollars on supplements per year. What bothers me the most right now is the lack of brands doing anything inspiring in the supplement space.

Again, why do people buy supplements? They are looking for a positive change in their lives. This makes it an incredibly useful wedge to sneak into someone’s daily routine, provide them with a product that will help them, but also educate them about the industry, purity of products, and why real foods are so important and how to complement that with a natural lifestyle that will actually solve all of their problems.

This is also why taste is such a critical component of how we build out our product portfolio.

Much like when Elon created Tesla, he sought to not just make an electric car, but to make the best car, period. If people are looking to make a switch, we need to make not just the best tasting “health” products. We need to make the best tasting products, period.

If people are buying supplements, they want to be better. Let’s help them be the best human they can be.

What does this all mean for Equip?

If we’re going to make a dent in this industry, provide the highest quality products possible and change people’s perception on what supplements and real food are, we are going to need to focus and execute at an extremely high level.

It’s not going to be an easy path, but we can do it. We can push forward, change the conversation of what it means to supplement, help educate, and improve people’s lives along the way.

Are you in?