In the event you’re ripping open a fresh bag of jerky in the woods…getting chased by a Sasquatch could very well be the least of your problems.
Beef jerky has long been deemed as a great low calorie, high protein snack that will fill you up and energize you on the go. It’s usually compact and travels well, making it a great snack for hiking, working out, flights etc. etc.
Now although the above is true, not all jerky is created equal - and by that I mean, not all jerky is a “healthy” snack. Yes it’s protein packed, yes its delicious, and yes it’s likely low calorie. BUT there is more to a healthy snack than protein and calories…Many of the mass produced jerky brands cut corners in order to charge lower prices and increase shelf life.
Sasquatches don’t eat a healthy diet but you should, here is what to look out for…
Sodium: Salt is necessary in the jerky process, it preserves the meat from spoiling during dehydration. So you won’t find jerky without sodium…but how much salt is necessary to bring the flavors out of the jerky?
Mass produced brands, like Jack Links, use 590mg+ of salt per serving. Right, what does that even mean? Let me put it in perspective for you. 590mg of salt equates to about 25% of the suggested daily value of salt and their average bag offers 3 servings of jerky, thats 75% of your suggested daily value of salt, IN ONE SNACK! I just hope you didn’t plan on eat much else today…
For comparison, smaller batch brands like Boston Jerky who focus on jerky being a healthy snacking alternative have roughly 16% suggested daily value of salt per serving (9% less) and only two servings per bag. So..when you consume a full bag in one sitting, you are consuming far less salt - about 30% of your daily value versus 75% from your lower quality, less health conscious mass produced jerky.
A lot of salt, so what? High salt intake is directly correlated to cardiovascular disease, reduced kidneys functions, stroke and potentially death. Doubt any of this needs a deeper explanation. The moral of the story is, there is salt in most foods, you simply can’t avoid it. But beware of the jerky and foods with way too much..because with too much salt comes other scary substances.
Food Additive: Hydrolyzed Corn Protein is a form of MSG. What is MSG? All you know is you’ve been told it’s bad and to stay away!
Chemically, MSG is a white crystalline powder that resembles table salt or sugar. It combines sodium and glutamic acid, known as a sodium salt. MSG is a flavor enhancer, not salty, sweet, bitter or sour MSG provides an extra savory flavor to foods like Chinese Food and Canned Soups. MSG has been linked to headaches, bloating, stomach pains and diarrhea. So the question is, if extra salt is already added to enhance the flavors, why add extra chemicals? SMH Mr. Sasquatch SMDH!!!
You don't need MSG to create a delicious beef jerky...we don't.
Main Ingredients: Beef, water, sugar, salt .. sounds healthy.. Where does the flavor come from? Additives, artificial flavoring…you know, the stuff your doctor says to stay away from. Yeah, got it.
Amazon Q&A: Pulled directly from Jack Link’s Amazon page…
Customer: “I wrote the company and asked. I specifically asked if it came from China, because I will not purchase food products from China if I find out that's where it comes from. The answer I got was: We purchase from a variety of USDA approved facilities and therefore, the specifics of meat purchases could vary by product and day to day.
Jack Links: Unfortunately, given the fact that our product is made from beef, we cannot control of how the cattle were raised, what grain, grass or feed they consumed, and/or the age of the cattle. All of these variables affect the final product
What’s your point? My point is, if you care about the environment, the treatment of animals, and eating a high quality product….don’t you want to know (and don’t you want the company to know) where the products originated? As mentioned before, to cut costs you cut corners which cuts quality. In doing so, the larger brands can’t and don’t want to control how the cattle are fed and raised - risking quality of life for the cattle and quality of product for you.
If you’re at a gas station rest stop and are grabbing jerky only because the donut options are picked over…then none of this is really relevant to you anyways…but if you are eating jerky as a healthy alternative to a not so healthy snack then it’s very important to do some research and label reading.
The jerky market has many many players. A lot of them are trying to change the way jerky is made by using higher quality ingredients and not cutting corners. Boston Jerky Co. does not use MSG, Nitrates/Nitrites and only uses 100% grass-fed beef. To us, quality is important and we refuse to compromise quality to sell more jerky.
Boston Jerky or not, just remember - All Jerky is Not Created Equal, especially if you’re eating jerky for it’s health benefits.