National Jerky Day was created to celebrate the rich history, immense popularity and nutritional benefits of dried meat snacks.
“In many ways, jerky is an ideal snack. Naturally packed with protein, jerky will keep you satiated between meals; but since it’s low in fat, calories and carbs, it won’t sabotage a healthy diet,” said Jeff LeFever, director of marketing for Jack Link’s® Beef Jerky, the No. 1 U.S. meat snack brand.
This nutrient-dense meat has been made lightweight by drying. A pound of meat or poultry will weigh only about four ounces once it is made into jerky and it can be stored for months without refrigeration because most of the moisture has been removed. Salt is added to the meat, before it is dried, to prevent bacteria from developing.
“Jerky” is a word derived from the Spanish word charqui, which came from the Quechua (a Native South American language) word ch’arki, which means to burn (meat).
Traditional jerky is readily available in nearly every convenience store, gas station, supermarket, and variety shop in the United States.
Due to it’s light weight and high level of nutrition, since 1996, jerky has been selected by astronauts as space food several times for space flights.