It doesn’t really matter where I choose to shop, I still always have to go to Whole Foods for some ‘nitch’ item. Today it was about finding pure apricot oil, which I didn’t manage to find and then a coconut yogurt that I was testing out for a few friends, which I didn’t like for the record. It never fails though as I go in looking for one thing, I always end up with a bunch of others and a huge $100 grocery bill.
Someone mentioned this “Primal Strips” vegan jerky on the “Veganism” facebook group page. Usually someone kills an item there within minutes due to some ingredient issue but I didn’t see anything in the minute or so that I scanned the comments. If it’s not the vegan police, then it’s the GMO police! It’s cool, I’m a vegan warrior with a pba card and I work moonlighting as a GMO undercover rep lol. Can it be true? Is there a vegan beef jerky? The company name is Primal? I thought the “caveman” people owned that word! I’m intrigued. I see it. I buy it. I eat it. Then I go home, read the label, have some google time and write this blog.
The most important thing is that it’s vegan and non-gmo right? Well, I completely forgot that I was a beef jerky addict. It’s all coming back now. I had the addiction in college and then years later when I was a BJs member. I would buy them in bulk. They would disappear in seconds. What was in those? What’s in these for that matter?
For now though, this is my only comparison: a Slim Jim. Now I’m not even talking vegan I know but I am talking addiction to those who relate with me on that level. After I ate this, it all started to come back to me. Why do I do this anyway, I experiment far too much with foods “just because they are vegan”. I guess that is the risk I take as a vegan blogger. Mind you, I am only eating this because we had a discussion about it in the Vegan for Lent group too. I was curious.
Well now I do my research – I did promise to blog every day during lent! Besides, the Food Babe’s new book is right next to me on my desk so I almost feel guilty if I don’t. (The Food babe Way). I already know what she would say.. um no. lol. I’m guessing because it has a bunch of ingredients, a fancy way of saying soy isolate and then the word natural. Personally, I don’t like the word natural very much. At least with “artificial”, I know it’s bad but with natural – now I have to play the game and find out. There is no “natural” agency and even if there were, what do they know or do anyway? The agencies we have now don’t even protect us as it is.. aka the FDA and USDA. I do appreciate the organic label although many doubt it as well and I live by the non-gmo label.
Believe what you want and I will do the same. “Natural” is over-rated, over used, and means nothing. State the natural vegetarian spices that you use – what’s the problem lol?
I can only speak for the one I tried: HOT & SPICY.
Yes it was very good. It did bring up bad binge moments for me though since I used to eat those Slim Jims by the box. I don’t even know how I wasn’t a million pounds, a diabetic and a high risk heart patient – between my candy and pasta addictions alone and then this one which I had all but forgotten. Thanks vegan friends for reminding me.
It passed the taste test. I’m impressed. I guess this can be classified as Reinventing Indulgence, which is what it’s all about for me now. It’s a previously binged item.. “reinvented”. The feelings it brings up though are still weird for me so maybe I will just stay away.
Could this be an occasional vegan snack? Yes, absolutely for someone without addictions. If you are addicted to these types, watch out for the salt. I just took a look at the Slim Jim label – disgusting! I don’t know and I don’t want to know what mechanically separated chicken is. Urgh.. corn syrup, dextrose, natural flavors, textured soy flour, caramel, hydrolyzed soy, beef, pork (I’m crying now.. my poor lil’ pigs); stop.. I can’t even read it anymore.
I am so blessed I changed my lifestyle.
Back to the Primal Strips. Ok at first glance the ingredients here looked good to me for a snack.. a vegan snack.
[Shiitake Mushrooms, Water, Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce (Water, Non-Gmo Soybeans, Sea Salt), Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Licorice Root, Non-Gmo Vital Gluten (Wheat Protein), Seaweed Extract, Unrefined Evaporated Cane Juice, Non-Gmo Isolated High Fiber Soy Protein, Sea Salt, Natural Vegetarian Spices. No Msg Added.]
I don’t have a problem with soy like some do but it must be non-gmo. The same goes for the soy sauce in here and the canola oil. I do avoid gluten in breads but not so much for straight up seitan or ingredients like this one. I do not have a sensitivity to gluten, obviously if you do, you can’t have this. I like their wording “non-gmo isolated high fiber soy protein”. Is that soy isolate? It may be non-gmo but it’s sure super processed like most soy products. If you are going to eat tofu frequently (like i do), I suggest you let that be the soy intake and minimize all the other commercial products. Fermented soy of course is beneficial being tempeh, miso and natto for the most part.
I like that the first ingredient here is mushrooms. On the others, it’s either gluten or soy isolate. I do have a few questions on my second glance: is the soy sauce fermented? (That would be the healthier one). What is the seaweed extract? Carrageenan is a seaweed extract and happens to be in a lot of vegan foods. There are issues with it in regards to intestinal problems and inflammation; many say it’s not a great ingredient. I like that it says no MSG added but one of the other sticks says “yeast” and another says “smoke flavoring” so is it no msg or no msg added? For that matter, does the soy isolate have msg? I’ll give the benefit of the doubt here. It looks like this company really went out of their way to make a good product.
- ALL NATURAL
- VEGAN / KOSHER
- NO CHOLESTEROL
- NO PRESERVATIVES
- NO ARTIFICIAL COLORS
- HIGH ENERGY – HIGH PROTEIN
- SOY, SEITAN & SHIITAKE MUSHROOM
All in all, it looks ok to me as a vegan snack. I mean there has to be some substitution. I still say to make your own but for a processed snack, it’s pretty dam good, a far cry from my Slim Jim days.
Now I must head to Pinterest to learn how to make some vegan jerky from scratch. Time to break out the dehydrator!
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.