Have a Picnic. Win a Cow. The 2012 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. Last year they went 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 all the rest from 2011 for ideas:

How to Enter the Contest…

Other than having a great time, you’ll need to email me a few of your Grokfeast highlights. For a valid entry, the following are required…

  1. A list of participants. There’s no upper limit, but the minimum is eight.
  2. A list of dishes made for the feast and one recipe of one of those dishes (preferably the tastiest).
  3. Photos of the Grokfeast, including at least one group shot, one shot of the feast, one shot of the recipe dish, and one shot of your Primal activity. Of course, you aren’t limited to four photos. The more pics you send us, the better!
  4. A summary of the day. Tell us how it all went down, did something taste great? Taste awful? What was your Primal activity? Was it enjoyable? A complete failure? Did hilarity ensue? Must be at least two paragraphs. Can easily be more. But use brevity to your advantage. Writing a 15,000 word summary won’t give you a better chance at winning than someone who writes a single, well written, entertaining page.
  5. OPTIONAL: Video of the Grokfeast. It’s not required, but certainly couldn’t hurt.

Finally, 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.

Once you’ve had your fun and gathered up the evidence, email it to me.

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. You can attach pictures or Word docs to the email. If you made a video, please include a link to the YouTube or Vimeo page.

Deadline for Submission:

September 24, 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. 24. Semi-finalists will be chosen by me and the Worker Bees later that week. Readers will then have a chance to vote on their favorite. The winner will be announced by the end of the Challenge, Sep. 30.

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 page views a 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 2012 Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge Contest Page for daily updates.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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69 thoughts on “Have a Picnic. Win a Cow. The 2012 Grokfeast Challenge.”

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  1. I am on it here in the UK, hope the weather holds for us.

  2. Any MA/New England/Boston area folks want to do something? Those are some pretty major Grokfeasts to beat from last year, but it would be fun to get together with some like-stomached folks for once!

    1. I’m interested! I live in Newport, RI with my husband. There’s some gorgeous wilderness around, and I agree, I’d love to find some like-stomached people!

  3. I really don’t have room for a whole cow. ( yes I read that it’s gift certificates.)

  4. This sounds like a lot of fun. Shame I don’t know that many paleo/primal folk here in the Raleigh area. 🙁

    1. The great thing is that the participants don’t need to be paleo/primal. They just need to be people who like good food and fun and won’t miss the potato salad or hotdog buns for a day.

      1. Normally I would agree but most people I know who would entertain the idea of activity side of this are either carb whores or vegetarian and don’t like being around meat.

    2. I’m about 45 min south of Raleigh and work with another Primal! We might be game. I’ll ask her tomorrow at work. That would be us 2 plus at least my two primal kiddos and possibly my husband… I’d be down for a Primal/NC style pig pickin’!

  5. Anyone game for a grok feast in the Toronto area?
    If interested, please reply directly to this comment.

    1. I’m in Boise and would love to cook up something along the river, or maybe up at Bogus — are you anywhere near?

  6. Hi! Anyone in the East Bay or San Francisco want to get together to plan something? I’d love to have a Grokfeast!

  7. North Virgina/DC area here! I would love to host it at my house, I will even BBQ the food (its kind of my thing). Let me know if you are interested.

  8. dang over labor day weekend we camped in a “hike in only” site up in the rockies with some of out closest friends (only 6 ppl but 3 dogs) we ate homemade jerky (from the last cow we bought) and nuts and chz- everyone had vibram soles on their feet (except one) played in a super cold river, hiked a lot – even made some huaraches in some of the down time- now back to work with no time or money to try and win this cow…sob…haha 🙂

  9. This sounds like a blast! And I totally want to play tag in the huge meadow by my house. Plus – yummy food. Always the yummy food.

    The hard part will be to get eight of my friends together without them fussing about the menu – not because they would be opposed – but because they like to complain.

  10. Can it be a potluck?? I’m kinda low on funds and not sure I’d be able to supply that much meat for that many people…

  11. This is one challenge I’ll be passing up. As a social phobic the thought being surrounded by at least seven people other than close family for more than a few minutes is horrifying! And unfortunatly my family isn’t particulary supportive of my Primal lifestyle so there’s no way they would join me on a Primal picnic. Except my sister, who is amazing. Hmmm… perhaps my sister and I could dress up as eight different people and then I could photoshop ‘the eight of us’ all together into the same photo… Do you think Mark will notice?

  12. …well. This gives a whole new meaning to this Sunday’s natural movement meetup “Tree Climbing Day.” Tree climbing plus picnic, I guess.

  13. Any one in LA area, I guess will need more then one person. Any 7 others in Los Angeles metro?

  14. Anyone in the (North) Houston area? I would love to do this but just moved here and I don’t even think I know 8 people here yet! Would love to meet other Primals!

    1. I’m in the Medical Center area, and would be game. Although, I’m new here too, so I don’t know many people either. Could try to recruit though…

      1. Is that downtown? I have been hoping to find a Primal subgroup around here… no luck so far!

    2. I live an hour north (I’m at least an hour from everywhere ha ha!)of Houston, so if you or anyone else wanted to put together a Grockfest, I’d be one of your eight!

  15. Anyone reading this in the East Kootenay area of British Columbia? Would love some help with having a picnic!

  16. This is genius. Simply genius. I actually had a primal potluck planned the second weekend in October. Maybe its time to have a “practice” potluck. For a cow? Worth it!!

  17. Anybody from the Denver/Boulder Metro Area? I can’t host but I would definitely love to be part of it and bring food!!!!!

  18. I wonder what the equal value prize would be for a Canadian resident? I’d love to introduce my family to this way of life and they’re quite a big group so this would be perfect timing! 😀

  19. Kalamazoo anyone? I have been gluten free for years but primal is pretty new to me.

  20. Any body in the Watertown SD area? My family of 3 would like to join in. Not very fit but would love to join in on a hike or something in the slow moveing catagory. I love to cook for people that eat like me too.

  21. I like the contest, Even thou it seems like alot of work. I think i would take everyone for a hike.Hiking is a lot of fun. Great workout! You Burn a good amount of calories.