Hmmm…..would you eat this?
And it wasn’t half bad! Since I am a pescatarian, I have pretty much ruled out jerky for the rest of my life…until I ran into this at Trader Joe’s the other day. Naturally, I immediately bought it and brought it home for Mike to try first. His initial reaction was a long hesitation in deep thought, and then finally saying “I don’t like it, I’d rather have beef.”
Ok, ok, so he wasn’t the best taste-tester for me, but I gave it a go anyway!
Since I run a lot, I am always looking for high protein snacks to ensure I am getting enough protein. This MAY be a new routine snack once I start training again (Cherry Blossom 10-miler is quickly approaching!). Now granted this is high in salt and several people steer away from it, I tend to seek it out when I am running a lot. Have you ever noticed that runners have a white-film coating on their face and bodies after long runs? That is salt loss from sweating.
Since I have been eating completely organic lately (and loving it!) I don’t want to fool myself into thinking something is healthy when I truly don’t know much about it. Thus, the research begins! Let’s first discuss dehydrated foods; according to livestrong.com:
Dehydrated food is made by heating fresh food up over low heat for a long period of time, until the moisture level of the food has been reduced to between 3 and 5 percent. As a food preservation method, dehydration is one of the healthiest methods. When compared to canned foods dehydrated food has much more to offer.
Drying food is one of the oldest methods for preserving food. Originally the heat from the sun or a fire was used to dehydrate food. Now it can be completed with an oven as well as a food dehydrator. Native American’s still preserve food by drying it over a fire today and many Third World countries such as Africa have civilizations that still dry their food using the sun.
One of the biggest benefits of dehydrating food is the preservation of vitamins and minerals. Cooking food removes a large portion of its vitamins and minerals, but most fruits and vegetables are dehydrated without being cooked. As the food is dried out the vitamins and minerals remain intact, and you have a very healthy source of food that will last for years if stored properly.
I guess I should have remembered all that….from my days in elementary school 🙂
Since TJ’s advertises 360 mg of Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA/DHA per serving, I did some research on that since I know many healthcare professionals recommend 500 mg of EPA and DHA per day for a healthy heart to function. But let’s be honest, I am not too certain what exactly that (EPA and DHA) means.
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic ), two primary omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, are an important part of cell membranes and are necessary for maintaining the structure and function of cells. When it comes to health, EPA and DHA are most highly recommended for their role in heart health and reducing inflammation throughout the body, in addition to other health benefits, such as depression, anxiety and cancer.
Apparently, fish do not actually produce omega-3 fatty acids, but instead accumulate them by consuming microalgae; more than 50 percent of the world’s fish oil used in aquaculture feed is fed to farmed salmon. Fatty Prey fish like sharks, swordfish, tilefish, and albacore tuna may be high in omega-3 fatty acids, but due to their position at the top of the food chain, these species can accumulate high levels of toxic contaminants such as mercury, dioxin, PCBs and chlordane. For this reason, the FDA recommends limiting consumption of these fish.
The last item I wanted to reviewed, was the ingredients: salmon, brown sugar, molasses, sea salt, maple syrup, natural flavors, caramelized sugar….no chemicals or preservatives! In my book, that’s pretty great!
Thus, in conclusion, wild salmon jerky is healthy, natural and filled with protein and omega-3. I recommend at least giving it a try! I can’t give the taste 5-stars (more along the lines of 3 stars), but you can decide for yourself 🙂
Would you or have you tried salmon jerky? Did I mistake or miss any of the nutrition and health?