Why is Everyone Jonesing for Jerky?

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016 | Read time: 3 minutes

Jerky. It’s not just for cowboys anymore. This convenient cured meat snack food has a long-standing tradition on the open range, but jerky has recently gained favor in the nutrition world as well.


Healthy Beef Jerky Meat Snacks Arranged on Plate

Jerky was invented by Native Americans who relied on the method during harsh winters and other times when fresh meat was in short supply. It was once thought to be “junk food,” loaded with sodium and preservatives. But all that has changed.

Meat snacks have come a long way in recent years as manufacturers are turning to hormone-free animals, cutting back on salt, saying “so long” to artificial additives and experimenting with upscale seasonings. Consider that jerky is lean (excess fat is typically trimmed prior to drying), rich in zinc, packed with protein (an upwards of 10 generous grams per serving) and requires no refrigeration, and you’ve got the perfect portable healthy snack!

Chew on this

Those looking to sample the savory snack food will be pleased to discover the wide variety of meats and flavors currently available. Today’s new –and-improved jerky is made from beef, buffalo, bison, elk, chicken, turkey, pork and even vegetarian and vegan sources, such as seitan! And don’t even get us started on the fabulous flavor profiles! Following are some of our favorite traditional and jazzed-up jerkies.

For the traditionalist

  • Golden Valley Natural Organic Beef Jerky, Original. This low-fat, original-flavored jerky is made from hormone-free, organic beef, and doesn’t contain any gluten, preservatives, added monosodium glutamate (MSG) or artificial ingredients. In other words, it’s a satisfying snack you can feel good about eating!
  • Shelton’s Smoked Turkey Snack Sticks Gluten Free, Original. If you’re on the hunt for pure, tasty turkey jerky, look no further! This satisfying snack stick contains antibiotic- and gluten-free turkey and a deep, delicious smoky flavor to boot!

For the flavor seeker