It’s that time of year again when you’ll want to send packages to service members in our Armed Forces. Some of which may be overseas. We covered many of the basics about shipping last year, i.e., what is the difference between an APO, FPO, DPO; how to package; and how to correctly address the package. You can get that information and more atthis link.
This year we’ll look at a few other things to keep in mind as well as offer some links that may answer any other questions you may have – or do all the work for you if you desire.
While packaged, non-perishable foods (jerky !!) are great as well as personal hygiene products, there are some items you should not send as they are restricted. These restricted items are based not only on military guidelines but also on limitations placed by individual countries. To name a few:
aerosol can products
materials depicting nude or semi-nude persons
flammable items (fireworks/explosives)
pork or pork products
To view more items (approved and banned) please visit this link.
And, if you still need more information, you can phone the Military Postal Service Agency at 1-800-810-6098 or check with your local Post Office.
Not sure how to package your items. The PDF - ‘Adopt a Platoon’ – gives great information on packaging. Visit their information at this link.
Still needinig more information? Try visiting this site: Any Soldier . They offer assistance on:
what to send
who to send it to
how to send it
There are some sites that offer a service (paid) to ship pre-packaged boxes of assorted items overseas. The link at Troop Care is for your convenience, however, we are cannot recommend as we have not used their services. You should perform your own due diligence before making any purchase.
Taking a slight detour from jerky this post to look at jerky treats for dogs from China . . . again. This is because I recently read another article about how more pets (over 500) have died and many more have been made ill due to imported treats.
Rather than give your pet a jerky treat, we found an article that gave out several recipes for making various non-jerky treats for your canine friend.  All recipes using natural ingredients – no preservatives. The only thing we would change would be to replace the Canola oil with either Corn or Vegetable oil in the recipes that call for oil.
The recipes were:
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits 1
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits 2
Dog Treats 1 (w/oats, Cheddar cheese)
Dog Treats 2 (w/graham cracker, cheese)
Homemade Dog Biscuits (w/wheat, juice)
Dog Biscuits 1 (w/oats)
Dog Biscuits 2 (w/pork, carrot)
Doggie Biscuits 2 (w/bulgar, chicken broth)
Best Doggy Biscuits
Best Friend Doggie Biscuits
Brie’s Turkey & Cranberry Dog Bones (w/turkey, cranberries)
To get you started we’re posting the following simple recipe. We recommend that you check with your pet’s veterinarian before feeding them any treat.
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits 1 
2 cup whole-wheat flour (if allergic to wheat, use rice or potato flour)
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1-1/4 cup hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In large bowl, mix together the flour and oats.
Mix in peanut butter and hot water. If dough is too sticky, add flour a little at a time.
Knead dough well. (Flour your hands to keep it from sticking)
Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes
On floured parchment paper roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness
Cut with cookie cutters, small glass, or cut with sharp knife into thin rectangles
Place on cookie sheet (use left-over parchment paper so treats won’t stick). No need to worry about spacing as these will not change size.
Bake for 40 minutes. Turn oven off and leave in oven to cool overnight. (The dryer the better)
Remember pink slime? The beef additive consisting of extracted lean beef from the scraps that would have otherwise been trashed. Might add that it was treated with ammonia gas and as such was not allowed to be imported into Canada. 
The reason for pink slime was to produce a ‘leaner, less expensive beef’ . What about healthy? After treatment – that partly consisted of boiling, spinning and extruding – the end product was packed and shipped to grocers where it was added in the ground meat they sold. However, once the word was out, concern was voiced by most comsumers.
During the peak scandal, circa 2011-12, pink slime was found to be a regular ingredient in school lunches and in a large percentage (60%+) of the ground beef at the grocery store. The public outcry caused its use to diminish (2012), however, pink slime may be on its way back into some school cafeterias for 2013 (Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota) .
We could find no current reports of pink slime in ground beef sold at grocery stores today, or of any required labeling for packaged ground meat that may contain pink slime. However, if you want to make the very best beef jerky sticks – you may want to consider grinding your own fresh ground beef. Doing so ensures that the ground meat is free from any additives, fat or other undesireable meat products. This will result in the leanest ground beef jerky sticks possible.
Some beef cuts to consider for making your own ground beef are:
any beef that has little fat or marbling.
As always, when making beef jerky – ground or strip, trim the fat!