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Davis Journal

Fightback Foods — giving hope, tools to those fighting cancer

Jul 20, 2023 09:07AM ● By Braden Nelsen

WOODS CROSS—Something amazing is happening in Davis County. In a nondescript warehouse and storefront, a small group of people are producing foods that may seem ordinary, but, in reality, are far from it. With their products, the people at Fightback Foods are actually putting tools back in the hands of those fighting cancer and their work is nothing short of astounding. 

It was clear that not only is John Hastings, founder and CEO of IndulgeRx and Fightback Foods passionate, but that those working with him, Joe Darnell and his son Austen Hastings, are equally as driven and passionate about the product. Throughout the conversation, each would chime in and support one another’s comments about what they do. Each person involved believes in the cause and the product.

“All of us have been touched by someone with cancer,” said Hastings correctly, explaining how his own mother had been diagnosed in the late 1980s with breast cancer and later on, his father-in-law with esophageal cancer. Hastings, who had a background in large-scale food distribution, wanted to do something more, something to help.

That’s where IndulgeRX, the parent company and brand behind Fightback Foods, came in. For 13 years, Hastings, his family and his team have all dedicated themselves to copious amounts of research and development working together to create intentional foods for those fighting cancer. “There is no traditional meal plan with cancer,” said Hastings and that has led to some major issues.

Depending on the treatment, many people suffering from cancer can lose up to 10-15% of their body weight. The illness itself and the treatment both can affect appetite and even the way that food tastes, but as Hastings pointed out, “This isn’t the time for weight loss.” For many, the fight against cancer can feel hopeless, with the windows where food actually sounds good being narrow and sporadic, which is what Fightback Foods is all about.

The challenge was to create foods, particularly snacks, that had “calorie density and nutritional intensity.” It wasn’t enough for Hastings and his team to just find and create snacks that had the right ingredients, they wanted to create snacks that were palatable and what’s more, there had to be a variety for those whose tastebuds changed during treatment. They needed to “create a product that tastes good and is good for you.”

To that end, IndulgeRX compiled one of the most comprehensive collections of studies on cancer-fighting foods in the world, (all of which are available on their website). They looked at not only different types of foods that proactively fight cancer cells but also the best kinds of those foods as well. They examined each ingredient with the goal of “What is proactively and intentionally good for you in the fight against cancer?” in mind. 

Each product Fightback Foods has created reflects this in every detail. From their small, calorie-dense “bites,” loaded with cancer-fighting nutrients, to their Brazil nut butter packed with cancer-fighting selenium, to the delicious, but sugar-free chocolate hearts specially designed for children with cancer that taste great, but provide actual nutrition, each product is what Hastings has said: intentional and purposeful. 

With as much leeway as the FDA and USDA give for the term “Organic,” it might be tempting to cut some corners, add filler here and there and just get the product to market. This is not the case with Fightback Foods, “It’s different when there’s a purpose behind it,” said Hastings, as he pointed out where they get their sustainable, fair trade ingredients. “We truly look at it from seed to stomach.”

From their carefully sourced ingredients to their business model and their passion for the work, it was plain to see that the people at Fightback Foods care about the people they help. What’s more: they’re just getting started. Hasting elaborated on the many new and exciting plans that Fightback Foods has in store and while the details aren’t available yet, just like the snacks, each is geared towards helping people in the fight against cancer. 

Of course, Fightback Foods are not intended to replace treatment and that is not the intention. Hasting was clear in saying that cancer treatment and recovery is not a “one size fits all” situation and that theirs isn’t to judge what people do to fight it, but simply to help people be active participants in their own fight. “You need the mental and spiritual health to match the fight,” he said, explaining that the strength people can get from tasty, nutritious food can help those fighting cancer do just that.  

For the time being, you might not be able to find Fightback Foods on the shelves of your grocery store, but, the products are available both online, on Amazon and their website:, as well as their storefront in Woods Cross. What’s more, interested parties can also find a free, detailed shopping list, complete with foods that help fight and prevent cancer on their website, along with the collection of research that has led to the creation of their products.