DSC05674 (800x781)And that snack better be loaded with protein. If it’s not a protein shake—an industry that has become a $500 million behemoth—it’s a protein bar, or better yet something beefy and chewy such as grass-fed meat jerky or at least an all-natural meat and vegetable jerky.

According to data from market research firm IRI, Jack Links, the largest jerky maker in America, sells more than $1 billion meat snacks a year. That’s a whole lot of “chew.” Jerky sales are up 13% since 2013, and 46% since 2009.

The demand for dried meat has risen to such heights that it now dwarfs that of other once comparable snacks,” declares an article in the Washington Post. “A recent report by market research firm Euromonitor found that jerky outsells seeds, party mixes, and pita chips combined.”

The rise of dried meat is no doubt linked to Americans’ penchant for snacking. It’s easier to grab something on the go than to take the time to set the table, sit down to a family meal and do the dishes after. While the diminishing family meal is a loss in ways too numerous to mention, snacking is the thing of “now,” and probably will be as time goes on.

With many people in the same household either working, driving to class, sporting events or appointments, or carpooling younger children to activities, it’s easier to eat fast food or, for the health conscious, to have nutritious frozen or already-prepared food on hand that is fast. A recent survey by Nielsen found that one in 10 people in this country say they eat snacks instead of meals, a number which the research company expects will increase.

Jerky owes much of its popularity to Americans’ obsession with protein. If it’s not animal protein, it’s plant-based protein. Even better a combination of the two. Jerky, whether all meat or a meat/veggie/flavor-filled variety is the quintessential moveable feast. High in protein, highly portable, long lasting shelf life, jerky is practical and healthy.

One of GreenAcres Market’s more popular brands is Wild Zora, a meat and veggie chew that is loaded with protein, is gluten free and made without added sugar, chemicals, preservatives, nitrates, nitrites, tree nuts, peanuts or soy. In other words, it’s a dream bar with just enough fruit to give it sweetness, and just enough spice to make you want more.

The Wild Zora website says unabashedly, “…we would fall apart without protein. Proteins are often referred to as building blocks of all lifeforms and we humans are no exception. Our body tissues are made of protein. Protein is also a source of energy, along with fats and carbohydrates. Unlike carbohydrates, protein helps you feel full longer and it doesn’t cause energy spikes and crashes. If you feel hungry often, consider a protein-rich snack. If you are trying to lose weight, a diet high in protein and low in carbs will help you lose body fat and keep the muscle.”

Sorry, Vegans, but Wild Zora is, well, wild about beef protein.

  • It’s needed to digest food, repair body tissue, and a “complete protein” contains all nine essential amino acids for well-being.
  • It boosts the immune system and helps the body perform its best. Grass-fed beef and lamb are rich in zinc that helps battle flu and colds.
  • It contains iron, a major component of hemoglobin, a protein responsible for oxygen distribution.
  • Lastly, it contains high levels of B vitamins (B1, B2, niacin, B6 and B12), as well as Vitamin D. (Vitamin B12 can only be found in animal-based foods.)

At GreenAcres, you’ll find Wild Zora in our “bar aisle.” It’s chewy without being tough on the teeth, satisfying without spoiling your dinner, but complete enough to act as a protein snack when you can’t find time for a full meal.

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