Ever heard of . . . .
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) 
- Maltodextrin 
- Sodium Erythorbate 
- Sodium Nitate 
These ingredients are to be found in some processed jerky products out there on the market. And, while the jury is still out as to whether or not they are harmful when consumed, they are commonly used ingredients in a variety of processed foods. If you want to limit intake or have allergies to any of the above, check the labels on all purchased food items – especially those containing meat.
With jerky being sold almost everywhere – from gas stations to gourmet shops – one should to be aware of not only ingredients but also quality.
- How is it processed and packaged?
- Does it contain artificial ingredients or flavors?
- Do they use the best natural, healthy ingredients?
- Do they use the best meats?
It would be hard to answer these questions based solely on a visual assessment. However, if you take the time to make your own jerky, you’ll know exactly what goes into your meat snacks. You’ll know you’ve used the best cut of meat, the best spices along with careful handling.
For those who might think it takes too much time or costs too much money to make your own jerky at home, consider this. The basic Nesco equipment needed to make unlimited pounds of jerky , i.e., a Nesco dehydrator AND jerky gun can be purchased on Amazon for a base cost of under $65.00. While a one-time purchase of commercially processed beef jerky will set you back $83.40 for 1-1/2 pounds !!! *
Lifestyle and frequency of eating jerky will factor into determining which choice you’ll make. But for those who want to go ‘natural’ – homemade jerky can’t be beat. To see more jerky equipment and seasonings, visit this link – Top Jerky Equipment & Seasonings.
* These comparisons were taken off Amazon where 2 oz. of jerky sold for $6.95 as of 1/20/2015.
 Maltodextrin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltodextrin
 Sodium Erythorbate – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltodextrin
 Sodium Nitrate – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_nitrate