A few weeks ago, Snack Girl featured an alarming photograph of mechanically separated chicken. Is this what goes into our food?
Well, most jerky that you find at the convenience store is made of pork and mechanically separated chicken. And, it doesn't taste very good.
But, there is an alternative! I recently made a new pal, Rod, a rancher from Wyoming. He runs Rocky Mountain Organic Meats and he can be found fixing fences and making organic beef jerky.
The way he makes it is exactly the opposite of the way commercial jerky is made. First of all, the beef is organic - which means NO feedlots, NO antibiotics or hormones, NO animal by products in the feed. And it means plenty of grass, roaming, clean water (snow melt) and freedom (which cattle really like).
He takes muscle from one of the cows, mixes organic spices, coats the meat with them, and then hangs them in a smoker. The smoke is produced by hickory and apple wood. Then, he hand cuts it and puts in plastic bags for our consumption.
It is an INCREDIBLY inefficient way to prepare beef and that is the way Rod likes it. He believes food needs to be sustainable like water and air - and he just needs a few thousand customers to support his small business.
It isn't easy for cattle ranchers to get a USDA certified organic rating. So, when you see it, you know it is something special.
But, ORGANIC, isn't the reason why I love this beef jerky. This stuff tastes great! It is low in calories and a great source of protein. You can shove it in your backpack or purse and it will keep forever.
(Remember, people used to carry dried beef with them when they had to travel far without any refrigeration available.)
For one ounce of beef jerky, there are 90 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 11 grams of protein.
Also, you have to really chew it. This jerky can't just be shoved in your mouth. It will take you a while to eat it and it will keep you satisfied until your next meal.
Just to let you know, Rocky Mountain Organic Meats also features "beef sticks" which remind me of cheese sticks (see beef sticks). They are great to shove into a lunch box. My kids couldn't chew the jerky, but they loved these.
This product was received for review consideration. No other compensation was provided.