Naturally Chicago on March 5 introduced PREVAIL Jerky — a Fellow company in the current cohort of FamilyFarmed‘s Good Food Accelerator — as an example of a product that evolved from a founder’s search for delicious snack food that addressed their personal health issues. Shortly thereafter, the COVID-19 crisis weighed upon us, and we bring PREVAIL co-founder Ashley Kohn back to discuss the importance of health-forward snacking when most of us are stuck at home (and maybe tempted to binge on not-so-good-for-you food).

As SRW Agency emphasized in a post we published on March 25 that Good Food businesses “have a responsibility and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to arm consumers with knowledge about how to eat food that makes them feel good.” We thank PREVAIL Jerky for taking the lead on this, and invite other Naturally Chicago businesses to share their own stories about staying health conscious in a crisis. Enjoy this informative story by Ashley Kohn. — Bob Benenson, Naturally Chicago

Public Service Announcement: Healthy food is comfort food.

Whaat? How can that be? Aren’t canned pastas and canned vegetables the perfect item for the Stay-at-Home rush to stock the pantry?

                     Ashley Kohn

Not so. During this wild run on grocery stores to stock up on everything they can get their hands on, our generation is facing a crossroads when it comes to food.  If we don’t fill our bodies with healthy, immune-boosting real food now… then when?

I am the co-founder of PREVAIL Jerky, an emerging brand that currently is engaged in a six-month intensive development program with Family Farmed’s Good Food Accelerator. Many of you know about the origin of PREVAIL Jerky and how it grew from my own health issues along with those of my children. And now, in the midst of COVID-19, we wanted to share why we need a renewed focus on healthy pantry staples.

At PREVAIL Jerky, we are committed to nourishing the body and the palate of the health-conscious consumer by creating crave-worthy, satisfyingly delicious, real food with no compromises.

We redefine snacking as it should be, by offering a snack that is flavorful and memorable, yet nourishes your body from the inside out. We mindfully choose every ingredient —including only things that nature provides.

We believe that when you feel good about what you put into your body, you can do anything.

Jerky as a pantry filler? YES! Is it shelf stable? YEP, up to one year from the “born on” date.

Jerky of old got a bad rap due to its gas station ancestry. Commodity jerky has been around since the early 1900s, and until recently it was filled with all sorts of preservatives, additives and nitrates. Jerky was made the same way for so long that consumers — and we — were looking for more: a high-protein, low-sugar, low-sodium alternative protein snack that tasted amazing and was good for us.

Jerky, when done right like our ancestors made it, can be an amazing high-energy healthy snack or meal replacement.

To truly call our jerky a “functional food,” we use only the best ingredients such as Organic Ginger, Cardamom, Matcha Tea, Garlic and 100% New Zealand grass-fed/grass-finished beef. Plus we ACTUALLY smoke the meat with real cherry wood — absolutely no “smoke flavor” added, period.

What are some of the possible benefits of eating the real food ingredients in PREVAIL Jerky?

100% grass-fed/grass finished beef: We source our beef from generational family farms in New Zealand, where cows are pastured in entirety. Grass-fed beef helps support healthy blood sugar levels. Beef from grass-fed cows contains a certain beneficial fatty acid called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which can help prevent several diseases and conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

Grass-fed meat contains roughly twice the amount of CLA than beef from grain-fed cows. Most naturally occurring nutrients containing anti-carcinogenic properties are derived from plant foods, but CLA is unique because it is one of the only anti-cancer nutrients derived from meat.  

Grass-fed meat also has ample amounts of all three essential electrolytes: sodium, potassium and magnesium. It provides up to six times more omega–3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef. Grain-fed beef, on the other hand, contains higher levels of omega–6 fatty acids, which are already eaten in surplus in most standard American diets. (Read more about the benefits of grass-fed beef.)

Garlic: This vegetable of the allium family, familiarly used as a spice, gives our jerky just the right amount of flavor. But did you know that garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese? It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. It is known to boost the function of the immune system, and the active compounds in garlic can reduce blood pressure. Read more about the health benefits of garlic.

Matcha: This powdered green tea is a unique ingredient that gives our jerky its amazing flavor, but it is known for so many other amazing things. Matcha has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea; is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg; boosts metabolism and burns calories; detoxifies effectively and naturally; is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins; enhances mood and aids in concentration; provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium; and helps lowers cholesterol and blood sugar. Read more about the health benefits of this superfood.

Ginger: We use it because it helps give our jerky a flavor we love, but it also has several health benefits. Ginger reduces inflammation, has several anti-bacterial properties, is a blood sugar regulator, and has several others that you can read about here.

By using these and other organic spices in our jerky, we are on a mission to help you break away from sugar-spike snack time mediocrity, to feel healthy, and fuel yourself deliciously — ready to take on the rest of your day or whatever lies ahead. Feel comfort in knowing that by fueling your health now, you’ll feel better tomorrow and beyond.