The New Primal Original 100% Grass-Fed Beef Jerky
Historic Range: $2.50-$6.99
Great flavor and texture from a responsible company.
- Responsible production
- Good flavor
- Real ingredients
- Similar nutrition profile as commercial brands
- I don't have ten more pounds
I really like outdoor foods which are responsibly sourced, artificial ingredient free, and have short ingredient lists. I think that food is getting too far from its roots and I believe that, while most health problems are induced by sedentary lives, overly processed foods also play a small factor in the overall decline in American fitness.
Because of this and my inherent frugality I have made my own jerky ever since I was old enough to carry a bow/rifle and hunt my own deer. I also make my own sausages, bacon, and a lot of my own energy/granola bars.
One of the best options in the hiking food department is jerky. You have dried meat, salt, and some flavor. What could be simpler?
The New Primal has taken this approach and pared the ingredient list down even further, removing meat grown with antibiotics, hormones, grain (except with the turkey variety), and soy.
Paleo/primal enthusiasts will also appreciate that these products are paleo-friendly and gluten-free.
So, with all this wholesome goodness is it good to eat? I took the challenge. I sampled their plain beef, spicy beef, and turkey jerky flavors. For my test I consumed all three packs (6 ounces total) for breakfast and gauged the energy and fullness I felt from them during my day. (Please also see my reviews of the Spicy 100% Grass-Fed Beef Jerky and Turkey Jerky.)
This looks like very plain beef jerky in fantastic 2x3 inch strips, perfect for snacking. No shocks or surprises here. Tiny salt crystals sparkle on top of very dark beef strips.
This is a basic beef jerky. Basic like Ugg boots with tights and a black TNF jacket basic. Basic like a Toyota Corolla; nothing fancy but this allows the beef taste to shine through showing the palette that this is no canner-grade meat spruced up with some spices and honey.
Great pure beef flavor for those who don’t enjoy pepper, pineapple, garlic or whatever. This is slightly confusing since the ingredient label mentions pineapple, coconut, cider, lemon, paprika, ginger, honey and others yet I and my fiancé, Jen tasted none of these, but were nevertheless pleased with the jerky.
Solid. The pieces took some tugging to tear off, like good jerky should in my opinion. The meat then softened during chewing and the experience was in line with the best jerky I have had. Solid performance.
After eating all three packs (I shared a little of each with Jen) at about 7 a.m. I consumed roughly 500 calories in mostly pure meat. This calorie bill is in line with what I’d eat for a typical morning meal on a hike. Since it's also 72 grams of salty protein, I also chased it with a cup of black coffee and a pint of water.
By 10:30 a.m. I was already rabidly hungry, which is nothing new to me. I am almost always hungry at this time so I’d say that satiety is no different than if I had eaten a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar and fruit, the difference being the protein load in the jerky was WAY higher and the carb count was WAY lower.
Some people fall flat if they miss out on carbs and others crash from them. Me, I can burn either carbs or protein even though I crave carbs (pretzels and crackers mostly) ALL THE TIME. Overall the effect of the Primal jerky on my energy level was that I had more even energy levels and didn’t sprint off in the morning only to hit a wall shortly after. This was my first jerky breakfast and I admit, I’m a fan!
Basic color coding and clear nutrition and health claims make these products a winner in this category. The New Primal packages have little clear windows on the back to let you see what you are getting. I do wish that the tear-off top had some kind of litter leash like some energy goo packets to limit the possibility of accidental (or deliberate) littering.
Before you jump on the bandwagon that automatically believes that grass-fed must be healthier, consider the following comparison of The New Primal Basic Beef jerky to Oberto:
Oberto Original beef jerky has:
- 10 less calories
- 1 gram more protein
- 1.5 grams less fat
- 15 mg less cholesterol
- 170mg more sodium
- 2 grams more sugar
Oberto All Natural Jerky beats The New Paleo jerky in all categories.
I don’t usually eat jerky for breakfast. I eat it at the end of the day for recovery. It’s a great source of protein for recovery and salts that you sweat out during the day.
I like the responsibility movement in food. Many people today are trying to pay more attention to how their food is produced and are demanding more humane treatment of the animals they eat. If you can afford a little more price you can get a lot more responsibility and quality with The New Primal Jerky products.
For those who believe in grass-fed, hormone-free foods, this is a great option. Personally I am much more afraid of the natural hormones in soy than the man-made ones fed to livestock and The New Primal jerky also has no soy. If you have a choice and low cost is not your primary concern, try The New Primal.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Samples provided by The New Primal for testing and review)