Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
17 Sep

Have a Picnic. Win a Cow. The 2013 Grokfeast Challenge.

It’s cow time. US Wellness has long been a favorite meat spot for MDA readers. A few years ago they donated pemmican and the popular 5 gallon bucket of fat. The last few years they’ve gone whole hog. And by hog, I mean cow. And they’re doing it again this year. US Wellness has generously offered up a cow to the winners of today’s contest, the Grokfeast Challenge. (More specifically, enough gift certificates to buy an entire cow.)

For those of you with raised eyebrow, they won’t actually be delivering a mooing, cud chewing, udder dangling live cow to your doorstep. But you will receive the delicious meat that once was that cow. And I’m not just talking about a bucket of chuck. The winners will receive sirloin, brisket, short ribs, back ribs, rib-eye steaks, T-bone steaks, NY strip steaks, Delmonico steaks, filets, bottom round roasts, center cut roasts, chuck, tongue, liver, heart, kidney, beef tallow, marrow bones, beef stock, and an oxtail. Heart and tongue not your thing? No worries. This year’s winners will get to choose exactly what they want as they’ll be receiving $1500 worth of US Wellness gift certificates they can use to order hundreds of pounds of their preferred bovine cuts – all grass fed, grass finished. Check out this Grass Fed Goodness video where you can watch your prize/meal grazing around in sweet Missouri pastures.

But winning won’t be easy. It’ll take work. And friends…

To Win the Cow, Host a Grokfeast

What’s a Grokfeast? It’s a picnic! A Primal Picnic. It involves three things:

  • People: At least eight.
  • A Feast: Food for those people. Primal food.
  • A Primal Activity: Fun for those people. Primal fun.

What exactly constitutes “Primal fun?” Any group form of Primal Play could work, like Ultimate Frisbee, a group hike, or Grok Tag. But less traditional options are welcomed as well. Maybe your group wants to shop a farmers’ market before the feast, or build the picnic table you eat the feast on, or host the feast on top of Half Dome. The idea is to capture the Primal spirit. Because going Primal doesn’t have to be a solo operation. Health isn’t a man alone on a treadmill; it’s a group of people enjoying each other’s company, eating healthy food, and maybe breaking a little sweat.

Check out last year’s winning Grokfeast, and select videos from 2010-2012 Grokfeasts in the following playlist:

How to Enter the Contest…

Read carefully, because this bit is important. In previous years, a whole host of things were required to enter this contest: a list of participants, a list of Primal dishes served at the Grokfeast, at least one Primal recipe from those dishes, photos of the festivities, and a full summary of the event. And submitting a video was optional. This year we’re trying something different. This year, for a valid entry, the only thing you need to submit is a video of your Grokfeast. What should that video include or be about, you ask? Well, much of the same:

  • The tribe. This contest is about bringing people together for a day of Primal food, fun and sun. Show us your beautiful mugs. Capture a group shot. And tell us who you are! Are you the Smiths from Tennessee, party hosted by forum member JLSmith82? Let us know. It’s great to be able to finally put faces to familiar names and handles. There’s no upper limit to the tribe size, but the minimum is eight.
  • The food. It wouldn’t be a Grokfeast without incredible Primal grub. Show us the spread. Optional: Show or tell us how you prepared one or more of the dishes (preferably the tastiest). But if you do, keep it brief. Full on recipe tutorials should be reserved for the upcoming Primal Blueprint Recipe Video contest.
  • The activities. Express your inner caveman and have some fun! Whether you go on a group hike, hold a Grok costume party, put on a friendly game of Ultimate Frisbee, or come up with something completely new, be sure to capture it in your video. Past years’ participants have done some really interesting things. See what you can dream up.

Whatever you do, be creative! Other than keeping it Primal, there are no limitations on how to have your picnic. Did you convince your entire group to go barefoot? Did you make up your own Primal hunting/gathering game? Is your main dish a Grok-shaped meat cake? Did you have one final water balloon fight before the cold set in? Did you realize the cold had already set in and shivered miserably while building a campfire (to cook your meat on)? Did someone trap, skin, and cure a wild boar hide to use as a picnic blanket? Okay, that might be a little extreme.

But there really aren’t too many restrictions on how to do this. Whether during the day or night, by the ocean or on the roof of a parking garage, at a park, or even in Milwaukee, the possibilities are endless. And it’s not a numbers game. With coworkers, gym buddies, your college dorm cluster, eight people or eighty, the winner isn’t the group with the most people, but the group that throws the coolest Grokfeast. If your friends are all busy, remember there’s a forum filled with other Primal folks who might be in your area.

Last bit of advice, use brevity to your advantage. Submitting a 3o minute video won’t give you a better chance at winning than someone who puts together a brief and entertaining reel, and fewer people will watch it. So keep it short (5 minutes or less is probably best) and sweet.

How to Submit Your Grokfeast Video

Once you’ve had a blast and captured up the evidence, upload your video to YouTube and then email me the link.

On YouTube, please title the video “Grokfeast in X” where X is your home state or country.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Include “Grokfeast Submission” in the subject line of your email. I receive hundreds of emails a day. If the subject line isn’t correct, there’s a chance I may miss your submission entirely.

The video needs to be an original creation made for the purposes of this contest.

Deadline for Submission:

October 1, midnight, PDT. That’s right, less than two weeks away. I said it wasn’t easy, so hustle!

How a Winner is Chosen:

While I’m not sure how many entries I’ll end up receiving, I’m going to try to publish as many as I can, if not all of them. Entries will be posted during the Reader-Created Content Week, the week of Sep. 30. Semi-finalists will be chosen by me and the Worker Bees. Readers will then have a chance to vote on their favorite. The winner will be announced by the end of the Challenge, Oct. 7.

Fine Print:

  1. In previous years, $1500 of beef was shipped directly to the winners all at once (requiring a lot of freezer space!). This year the winning contestants will receive 12 $125 gift certificates to US Wellness.
  2. It is up to the participants to divide the gift certificates however they choose (and for those of you thinking about hoarding the beef and not telling your other participants, keep in mind your Grokfeast will be published live on a blog that gets millions of visits each month. They might find out.).
  3. Cow prize not available to residents outside the U.S.. In the event of a non-US team winning, a prize of equal value will be sent as substitute.
  4. MDA reserves the right to publish (or not publish as the case may be) any or all material submitted.
  5. Only one entry per group. Only one person needs to submit the entry. That person will be used as the sole contact for prize distribution.
  6. Depending on the number of entries, I reserve the right to adjust how and when the entries will be published and/or voted on. All rules subject to change.

To track all the contests visit the 2013 Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge Contest Page for daily contest updates.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Pah! If only I had 8 or more friends.

    Stevemid wrote on September 17th, 2013
    • ^^

      Stryder wrote on September 17th, 2013
    • Ditto. My whole immediate family would equal nine, but since half of them are vegetarians…

      Aria wrote on September 17th, 2013
    • Ha I feel you there!!!!

      Wildflower wrote on September 17th, 2013
    • Omg…so sad, we are. Maybe if there’s 8 of us without 8 friends, we could picnic together. :p

      Tara wrote on September 18th, 2013
  2. While I’m not in the running for the GrokFeast, this is timely because I’ve just started planning my Harvest dinner for the equinox on Sunday. I think I’ll gather things at the farmers market, go play with my capoeira club, and then cook a beautiful primal dinner, complete with the last bottle of local peach wine to toast the summer’s end.

    Good luck to all the tribes who enter, though!

    BarefootBodhi wrote on September 17th, 2013
  3. I can’t wait to see these videos! Still being a bit new to all this, I’m excited to see these picnics and see everyone in action! What fun!!

    Charlotte wrote on September 17th, 2013
  4. Unfortunately, a cow doesn’t come with $1500 worth of tongue, liver, heart, and all the fatty odd bits I like the best. All they have is 1 apiece.

    Wenchypoo wrote on September 17th, 2013
    • The prize is 12 US Wellness Meats $125 gift certificates. You can spend all of it on the bits you like.

      Julie wrote on September 17th, 2013
  5. I’m also not going to be able to enter, but I plan to organise a little picnic with my family – given the current weather, it will need to be indoors! Good luck to everyone entering the competition, I can’t wait to see people’s ideas and fun!

    Grokesque wrote on September 17th, 2013
  6. Already scheming how to win this. I love US Wellness, I love fun, and I love challenges!

    Vanessa wrote on September 17th, 2013
  7. I wish I could enter! Good luck to those participating :)

    Venus wrote on September 17th, 2013
  8. This Grokette lives in NH and is willing to be the 8th wheel for a Grokfest nearby!

    Maureen wrote on September 17th, 2013
  9. As one going it alone in my family I won’t be entering but like many others here I want to wish the larger tribes beautiful Grokfeasts whether they win, place, or show. Heck, showing up is what MDA & PB are all about!

    HeyDianne wrote on September 17th, 2013
  10. Time for my family’s September birthdays to unite and get this planned!

    Donna Hoffman wrote on September 17th, 2013
  11. I want a live cow =/
    Oh well, can’t throw a Grokfeast anyhow. I guess I’ll have to enjoy others’ entries 😀

    Shae wrote on September 17th, 2013
  12. Question. Can it be a bunch of pictures we take that we put together to make a video? Or does it need to be made with a video camera?

    Donna Hoffman wrote on September 17th, 2013
    • A bunch of pictures that you take that you make into a video is fine. Looking forward to seeing your submission, Donna!

      Mark Sisson wrote on September 17th, 2013
  13. I posted a feeler for arranging a Grokfeast in the San Jose/Santa Cruz area for 9/28, if anyone is interested please reply here:


    Josh wrote on September 17th, 2013
  14. Party-hearty all-y’all Groksters!

    On Saturday, I’m introducing 4 of my neighbors to the goodness that is grass-fed beef (plus chicken), both cooked to perfection in the *magical* Sous Vide Supreme — but my dining table only holds 6, so it won’t be an actual Grokfest. Still, I got one to read Mark’s blog, and another actually skipped the “Southern sweet tea” at a restaurant meal for lemon in water with Splenda. (Hey — baby steps!! Last lunch, he drank FOUR huge glasses of sweet tea!!)

    Good luck to all the entries!

    Elenor wrote on September 18th, 2013
  15. i suppose a picnic in the backyard would qualify? i didn’t see this until two days ago and really want to give it a shot.

    primal aly wrote on September 26th, 2013
  16. Where will be able to view video submissions?

    Dan Cenidoza wrote on October 1st, 2013

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