Organic All-Natural Jerky: What’s the Difference and Is It Worth It?

Conventional versus organic farming

Organic refers to the way farmers grow and process their products. Organic farming conserves soil and water and reduces pollution in the environment. Farmers use practices that include natural fertilizers. It is important to recognize that organic and natural do not mean the same thing on labels. So, is there a difference between organic, all natural jerky and is it worth it?

Top reasons to choose organic:

  • Avoiding pesticides – People choose organic foods to avoid pesticide residue in their foods.
  • Food additives – Regulations restrict the use of food additives, processing aids, and fortifying agents such as preservatives and MSG, so people choose organic to steer clear of these additives.
  • Environmental concerns – Some people purchase organic products because of their commitment to protecting the environment, which is a key piece of organic farming and food production.

Organic requirements when considering jerky products:

  • Produced without genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge
  • Managed in a way that conserves natural resources
  • Mammals must be managed organically from the last third of gestation
  • Poultry must be managed organically from the second day of life
  • Outdoor access must be offered year round except during inclement weather
  • Raised on organic crops and certified organic land
  • Fed 100 percent organic feed
  • No antibiotics, growth hormomes, or byproducts from mammals or poultry can be administered

All natural requirements when considering jerky products:

  • All natural is much more ambiguous than organic
  • Restricted from containing artificial flavors, coloring ingredients, chemical preservatives, or artificial or synthetic ingredients
  • The livestock and poultry does not need to be fed certified organic products, so they may be fed in pastures treated with pesticides

Is it worth it?

Deciding whether buying organic or all natural jerky products in a completely personal choice. Here is a list of pros and cons of buying organic and all natural jerky products.

Positive aspects of organic jerky:

  • No chemical fertilizers
  • No antibiotics
  • No hormones
  • No toxic synthetic herbicides
  • No petroleum-based fertilizers
  • No cloning
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • No artificial preservatives
  • No treated ingredients
  • No GMOs

Con of buying organic jerky:

The only negative we have found when purchasing organic jerky is higher cost: 20 to 100 percent higher cost than conventional jerky products.

Positive aspects of all natural jerky:

  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • No artificial preservatives
  • No irradiated ingredients
  • No GMOs
  • Lower cost than organic products

Cons of all natural jerky:

  • Synthetic hormones can be used in raising livestock and poultry
  • Animals can be fed toxic pesticides
  • There is no certification process to insure that the product is all natural
  • Cannot be sure of humane treatment of the animals
  • May be “finished” on factory feedlots

Overall, organic jerky can be trusted to provide you with unadulterated savory meat snacking, while all natural jerky is another option that minimizes your exposure to unwanted products and processing. The choice is yours. Which jerky will you choose?