What is Paleo?
The Paleo lifestyle is a way of eating and living that brings us in-tune with the ways of our healthy hunter-gatherer ancestors using the foods that are available to us today. This means emphasizing combinations of whole, natural foods: meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts; as well as taking into account the importance of sunshine, activity and rest! In short, it’s all about getting back to basics. These basics have helped countless people lose weight, heal metabolic issues, and even combat autoimmune disease - not to mention the positive effects on athletic performance. Our products reflect this commitment to basic, natural, whole, healthy foods with a long history in the human diet. (See our article on Jerky for more - believe it or not, humans have been eating jerky for thousands of years!)
What is Zone?
The Zone Diet, as written by author Barry Sears, means combining protein, fats, and carbohydrates (preferably in the form of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits) in a 40%-30%-30% ratio: 40% of calories from protein, 30% of calories from fat, and 30% calories from carbs. The goal of the Zone diet is to maintain hormonal balance and balanced blood sugar levels by managing the "storage" hormone insulin (secreted by the pancreas in response to rising blood glucose; as in, after a meal) and the hormone glucagon. Glucagon is also secreted by the pancreas, but has the opposite job of insulin: It is responsible for stimulating the liver to release stored glucose (called "glycogen") back into the bloodstream to prop up blood sugar when it begins to drop to levels the body isn’t comfortable with. Maintaining a balance between the two hormones (insulin and glucagon), according to Sears, is achieved by maintaining the above macro-nutrient ratio. In particular, it can be defined as keeping the blood sugar in a tight zone: not too high, not too low. The Zone Diet has been called a life-long hormonal control strategy, and it can be followed using “Paleo” foods! While not everyone chooses to eat in Zone proportions, it is an effective strategy for many - that’s why we offer zone “blocks” for many of our PaleoGoods.
Our grass-fed option is USDA certified Grass-fed, and meets all specifications of that qualification. The USDA certification means you know exactly what you’re getting, and it’s not just marketing jargon! Additionally, although we believe the USDA Grass-fed standards are exceedingly high, we have still taken the time to source the best, most ethically produced 100% grass-fed/grass-finished beef that exceeds even the USDA minimum requirements.
Original PaleoKit vs. Loose Kit?
We want to assure you that there's absolutely NO difference in the quality of the jerky (or other ingredients) that go into our Original and Loose Pack products. The difference is simple: the tight seal on our Original packs allows the ingredients to come into tight contact, and often the strips of jerky - and other ingredients, if applicable, like nuts and berries - meld together. This requires you to separate each bite manually from the rest of the pack as you eat it, leading to what we affectionately call "Paleo Kit Fingers" - where a bit of marinade sticks to your fingers as you enjoy the kit. While many people prefer this pack, some folks wanted a different experience - so we created the "Loose Pack!" While all ingredients are the same, the Loose Pack does not "meld" in the same way as the Original, and each bite is easier to pull from the pack (no "PaleoKit Fingers") and the jerky reflects a more dry-rubbed texture.
We use NO preservatives in our jerky. Ever!
Smoke in the Jerky
We do not use any natural OR artificial "smoke" flavoring in our jerky. It is marinated with a select blend of spices and fruit juices to achieve our signature flavors.
Curing Process of the Jerky
Curing is a process of preserving, which is the nature of Jerky itself! Jerky is a cured meat, but that doesn’t mean we use “preservatives.” It means we use traditional processes (jerky has been made by traditional cultures for thousands of years) to bring our customers a portable, whole-food source of complete protein that can be taken anywhere, any time. There are several ways to cure meats. It's really a fascinating topic! Some companies choose to "cure" with synthetic nitrates - we do NOT use these. Traditional charcuterie (prosciutto, for example) is often cured ONLY with salt. Curing can also involve smoking - for example, the making of homemade bacon often includes a salt & sugar "cure," followed by smoking to augment the curing process and flavor. Point is - there are many unique product with highly individualized curing and preservation processes. Our bottom line is: we keep it natural, use no synthetic nitrates or artificial preservatives, and use only ingredients that we all know and recognize (like spices and salt). Can you tell we're fascinated with this stuff? Please also be sure to check out an article about the topic HERE <<LINK>>
While ALL of our products contain NO gluten, dairy or soy, they are not made in an independently certified/dedicated gluten-free facility; nor are they made in a facility free of nuts. If you want more information on the ingredients we use, you can find them on our site under each product's individual listing in our store.
PaleoKits have a shelf life of 12 months. We guarantee our unopened and sealed bags of PaleoKits will remain safe to eat for at least 12 months when stored at room temperature. Once opened, it's meant to be enjoyed right away.
PaleoStix have a shelf life of 12 months. We guarantee our unopened bags of PaleoStix will remain fresh for at least 12 months when stored at room temperature. Once opened, it's meant to be enjoyed right away.
Our Jerky products have a shelf life of 12 months. We guarantee our unopened bags of Jerky will remain fresh for at least 12 months when stored at room temperature. Once opened, it's meant to be enjoyed right away.
PaleoMREs have a shelf life of 1 year. We guarantee our unopened bags of PaleoMREs will remain fresh for at least 1 year when stored at room temperature. Once opened, it's meant to be enjoyed right away.
Dried Fruit have a shelf life of 1 year. We guarantee our unopened bags of Dried Fruit will remain fresh for at least 1 year when stored at room temperature. Once opened, please enjoy within 1 week.
PaleoKrunch Cereal and PaleoKrunch Bars have a shelf life of 12 months (we guarantee our unopened containers of PaleoKrunch Cereal and PaleoKrunch Bars are safe to eat after 12 months when stored at room temperature). However, for SAME-DAY FRESHNESS TASTE, we recommend enjoying it within 1 month from the date you receive it. To prolong freshness, store your PaleoKrunch Cereal and PaleoKrunch Bars in the freezer. Once opened, please enjoy within several days.
PaleoChef products have a shelf life of 1 year. We guarantee our unopened bottles of PaleoChef dressings and marinades will remain fresh for 1 year when stored at room temperature. Once opened, please refrigerate and enjoy within 30 days.
Why is most beef jerky so expensive?
The main reason is that all REAL jerky is costly to make. Beef is about 60% water, so when it is dried most of the weight is evaporated. It takes about 2.5 LBs of quality beef to make 1 LB of jerky. We use NO preservatives, other than those naturally occurring in the beet powder, and we use the traditional smoking process to dry the meat. We only source our beef from the highest-quality meat we can find from cows that are raised responsibly. Keep in mind that whole muscle-cut jerky, which is what we make, provides the greatest protein content versus “chunked and formed” products, which are NOT technically “jerky.” If protein content is important to you, it’s critical to be an informed consumer. Read more on this topic here:
Sugar in the Jerky?
Our jerky is carbohydrate and sugar-free. We only use a very small serving of apple and pineapple juice concentrate in the jerky, which simply helps soften the meat while it cures so the final product is delicious and pleasant to chew. This apple and pineapple juice dissipates and evaporates during the curing process, so there is none left in the jerky when it gets to the customer. Because of this, the carbohydrate/sugar content in our jerky is zero - even though the apple and pineapple juice is listed on the ingredients label. (Transparency is important to us!)
Sunflower Seed Oil?
PLEASE NOTE: As of May 1, 2012, NONE of our products contain sunflower oil - but we are still working through the labels that were produced before we made that change. We don’t want any materials to go to waste, so we will continue to use those labels until they’re out. Sunflower oil is produced from oil-type sunflower seeds and was topically applied to the apple-juice-infused dried berries in our PaleoKits. While the amount we used in each batch was small enough to be considered negligible, we preferred to list it on our labels anyway for the sake of full disclosure.
Why the High Sodium in Jerky?
Compared to most commercial, store-bought jerky, the sodium content in our jerky is considered on the low side. To make clean and delicious jerky from whole muscle meat - jerky that’s free of nitrates, sugars and preservatives - we are unable to to reduce the salt content (salt is used to cure the meat and prevent bacteria growth) without negatively affecting its taste and texture. If you find jerky with significantly less sodium, it is very likely "chopped and formed" or “chunked and formed,” meaning it’s made from various trims of the cow (often the leftover, undesirable parts) or ground meat processed several times over, which can destroy its protein value. Learn more in our All About Jerky post. If you are concerned about sodium in the diet, you may be interested in our nutrition advisor’s post “Salty Situations.” Remember, we use sea salt in our jerky - which also contains other healthy minerals that the body needs. If you’re still concerned about salt content, you may opt for our Paleo Stix - which have far less sodium than our traditional jerky.
While our products are packed in a facility that handles tree nuts, our Jerky products are made prior to anything with nuts and before the nut containers are open. We are confident with our equipment set up, but with that said, nothing is impossible.
Our PaleoKrunch goodies are made in small batches and may vary in consistency. The weather can also have a major effect on its texture. For example, in warmer months, the hot weather causes the honey and coconut oil to melt making the bars soft and sorta sticky. We recommend storing the bars/cereal in the refrigerator or freezer for a few hours to harder the batch up and pack all the ingredients together.
How Do I Become A Steve's Original Sponsored Athlete?
Unfortunately, we are not in a position to sponsor events, athletes or local competitions. We wholeheartedly support your endeavor but our sale of PaleoKits go to fund our own non-profit (Steve's Club National Program) that brings fitness, nutrition, and personal development to at-risk kids in cities across the country. We would love for you to purchase another Steve's Club Sampler Pack to help support our cause! More about Steve’s Club here: http://www.stevesclub.org