Traditional Jerky and Meat-based Snacks
• Virtually all jerky is made with conventional beef, even those touted as being “natural.”
• Jerky is loaded with fillers and toxins that are designed to fool our palette and brains into thinking that it
tastes good and is good for us.
Here is a breakdown of some common “natural,” “Organic,” and yes, even “Paleo” jerkies:
Why are there even sugars in a protein-snack? Usually for flavor and the sweetness buffers some of the more
dominant flavors. Did you see that in every Jerky sample above there is sugar? Can’t find it? It has many
• Organic Cane Juice: This is “unrefined” sugar. What does unrefined mean? Not much. “One hundred grams
of dried cane juice is pretty much the same thing as 100 grams of other sweeteners, no matter what you call
it,” says Vimlan VanDien, a nutritionist at Bastyr University, in Seattle, Washington. “When people call these
sugars something other than sugar, it’s deceptive in a way—if the market is uninformed. Because dehydrated
cane juice is sugar. It simply sounds like a whole food.”
• Juice Concentrates (i.e. “fructose”): “Juice concentrates” is another euphemism for sugar... Glucose is the form of energy you were designed to run on. Every cell in your body, every bacterium—and in fact, every living thing on the Earth—uses glucose for energy. But as a country, sucrose is no longer the sugar of choice. It’s now fructose.
• If your diet was like that of people a century ago, you’d consume about 15 grams per day—a far cry from the 73 grams per day the typical person gets from sweetened drinks. In vegetables and fruits, it’s mixed in with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and beneficial phytonutrients, all which moderate the negative metabolic effects. Amazingly, 25 percent of people actually consume more than 130 grams of fructose per day.
• Making matters worse, all of the fiber has been removed from processed foods, so there is essentially no
nutritive value at all. And the very products most people rely on to lose weight—the low-fat diet foods—are
often the ones highest in fructose.
• It isn’t that fructose itself is bad—it is the MASSIVE DOSES you’re exposed to that make it dangerous.
• There are two overall reasons fructose is so damaging:
• Your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose. The entire burden of
metabolizing fructose falls on your liver.
• People are consuming fructose in enormous quantities, which has made the negative effects much
more profound. (Dr. Joseph Mercola, “The Dangers of Sugar”.)
• Beet Juice: Beets have the highest sugar content of all the vegetables and are becoming popularly used as a
sweetening substitute. (Mountain Rose Herbs)
In addition to having a fake smoke flavor, liquid smoke is made by passing smoke through water. The danger
is that not all smokes are created equal. The kind used is usually just industry waste and may contain Primary
Product FF-B (under review by the European Food Safety Authority regarding it’s genotoxicity), vinegar,
molasses, and caramel coloring (meaning, “sugars, fillers and nastiness”).
• Table salt (or iodized salts) are quite harmful. Ordinary salt is chemically cleaned and causes
your body to accept more sodium than it can utilize, causing a retention of water in the body
that can lead to liver issues and rheumatism.
• Mineralized Sea Salts, however, are an essential nutrient for the body. But how much salt is
really necessary in a sustainable snack? If you have a lot of filler ingredients, you need more
salt in order for your product to be “salty.” Less junk means you need less salt.
According to the Code of Federal Regulations, Natural Flavorings are “the essential
oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or
enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or
vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs,
dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than
In English, you can put virtually anything in a product as “flavoring” so long as that is its primary function.
Only truly fermented soy products are healthy and most soy additives are not fermented. Soy has a long list
offenses and a great resource is an article written by Sally Fallon Morell.
Used to reduce oxygen in products to increase refrigerated shelf life, ascorbic acid breaks down VERY quickly at non-refrigerated temperatures. This negates it’s preservative qualities. Meats that use ascorbic acid MUST be kept cool or you risk very real exposure to harmful bacteria. Note this disclaimer on one of the packages:
Unfortunately, this makes it not only inconvenient but outright dangerous to take this snack with you on your
next hike, camping trip or long-distance run.
Only organic spices guarantee protection from genetic modification and have strict abstinence from harmful
pesticides and herbicides.
This should be enough to 'chew your cud' upon until the next post that will touch on the sustainability factor of grass-fed meats. Don't forget, if you need to catch up to speed, go back and read the last post. (Credit for these posts goes to Gourmet Grassfed Meat.)