Jerky Facts

7 Things You Didn't Know | Beef Jerky Facts

We think beef jerky is one of the greatest snacks of all time. High in protein, easily portable, shelf-stable, and downright delicious, it appeals to a variety of people for a variety of reasons. In fact, we are living in a bit of a jerky renaissance. Even with growing popularity, there’s a lot of things you may not know about this amazing snack.

Here are 7 of the most interested beef jerky facts.

Did you know...

1.   Jerky has been around for a VERY long time.

  • The word “jerky” can be traced back to the ancient Quechuan word “ch'arki.”

  • Native Americans brought along jerky on long journeys for a protein-rich food.

  • Check out our History of Beef Jerky to learn more about jerky's rich and storied tradition. 

2.   Beef Jerky is an EXCELLENT source of protein.

  • Beef jerky was used in the military after World War I as a source of protein for soldiers.

  • Women’s Health ranks beef jerky as 1 of 7 High Protein Snacks that "can help you lose weight."

  • Our Old Fashioned Original has 40g of protein per 2.5 ounce bag (16g of Protein Per 1 Ounce Serving).

3.   Beef Jerky is a well-traveled snack.

4.   Jerky and dried meats are a global culinary phenomenon.

    • Dried meat and jerky can be found around the world from Biltong in South Africa, Bakkwa in China, Carne Seca in Mexico, Dendeng in Indonesia, Sukuti in Nepal.

    5.   Jerky has even been a star in a movie (well, sort of).  

    • Jerky was seen in the film “Dances With Wolves.” In one scene, Lt. John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) can be seen giving his wolf friend, Two Socks, what appears to be a piece of jerky.

    6.   Beef Jerky shrinks in size up to 3-1.

    • The process of dehydration can reduce the weight anywhere between 1/2 to 2/3 of the original weight. For example, 3 pounds of raw meat can shrink down to 1 pound.

    • The yield (going from bigger - smaller) is one of the reasons jerky can be so expensive, but also so nutritionally dense. 

    7.   Beef Jerky is big business.

    • The dried meat snack category (which includes beef jerky) is a $2.5 billion industry in the United States and continues to grow!

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