Jerky isn’t what it used to be. The high-protein snack is best known as the stuff of trail explorers eaten either during or right after a hike, usually with unseemly amounts of sodium, nitrates and unnecessary calories. Nowadays, health-consciousness has reached tastemakers in the jerky industry. But what makes some jerky “healthy,” and others not?

Hint: it’s not just about the calories on the package.

Jerky can be loaded with nitrates, nitrites, MSG and artificial preservatives, all of which are the last thing you want when energizing for that next thru-hike. However, finding the best jerky on the market is tough, with misleading marketing or packaging in nearly every store.

The Dyrt team checked out the healthy jerky from Country Archer at this year’s Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, to find out what they’re doing that’s different than other dehydrated meat on the market.

Country Archer Makes Jerky That’s Actually Good For You

 

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What makes a brand like Country Archer different from most “healthy” jerky is their honesty about how their jerky is made—without unhealthy additives since 1977. The ingredients include lean cuts of meat that are either grass-fed or antibiotic-free, and avoid heavy sodium, nitrates or nitrites, and gluten in the final product.

Country Archer offers a large variety of healthy jerky options, including countless flavor and portion sizes for their beef, pork and turkey jerky. If their options leave you overwhelmed, you can always check out the 20-piece variety pack, available on the brand’s online store for $75. If you’re looking to pick up a package on your next grocery store run, Country Archer offers information on stores carrying their healthy jerky.

Buy Now: From $6/pack
Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson

Kevin is the Assistant Editor for The Dyrt, with bylines in National Geographic Traveler and the Washingtonian. Although originally from the swamps of Washington, D.C., he's now based in the trees of Portland. He's been interested in geography and travel since seeing his first map as a kid, and is now working toward seeing it all in person. You can find him exploring the coastal beaches or a record store in his free time.