Note: For a more current taste review on a tweaked bag design and ingredient list, open up McLean Clean & Lean – Traditional Beef Jerky (Recipe #3).
This will be the second review on a 1.76 ounce/50 gram bag of McLean Clean & Lean traditional flavored beef jerky. The bag design has since changed, and this flavor used to be called old fashioned. This bag was purchased at a Fortinos grocery store in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
McLean Clean & Lean jerky is distributed by McLean Meats Inc. based out of West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The company was founded by Garth McLean who began his career in the meat industry as a truck driver delivering sides of pork. As Garth worked his way up into sales, he became personally involved in every aspect of the commercial meat industry. Dismayed with all the chemicals and preservatives found in food, he developed his own line of nitrite-free deli meat. In 2003, Garth partnered with Michelle Neilson, and together they rebranded the company in 2004 as McLean Meats. This jerky is manufactured by a private labeler named Made-Rite located in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, making this a stock recipe.
The cattle have free range access to graze on grass. They are also ethically raised, meaning no additional antibiotics or growth hormones are given. The beef is carefully sourced from selected farms in the USA and Canada.
The sugar level is very respectable at around 1.8 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is somewhat high at around 392mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. However, that is negated because minimally processed sea salt is used, which is high on minerals and trace minerals.
The preservatives used here are interesting with sea salt, ascorbic acid, and green tea extract. Ascorbic acid is a form of Vitamin C. Green tea has a very long history in medicine providing many health benefits. This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite. This jerky also qualifies to have no MSG added.
These pieces of jerky are small in size, with about a medium thickness. The texture is dry, but not too dry, which results in jerky that is relatively easy to chew. There are no signs of fat, and handling this jerky leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
No flavor jumps out at first other than a good deal of natural beef flavor. There is a moderate level of salt, accompanied with a light peppered flavor. It has a mild level of garlic, and there is almost no sweetness. There appears to be a light level of paprika. Overall, the light blend of spices is pleasant tasting.
This 1.7 ounce/50 gram bag was purchased for $3.99, which works out to $2.34 an ounce. That translates to a borderline average price. This jerky is recommended from a health perspective, and for people who enjoy the natural flavor of beef.
This non-resealable bag has everything imprinted on both the back and front. The McLean Clean & Lean logo is a farm on top of a scenic picture showing the surrounding land.
Their logos is “Clean & Lean Foods”. Other facts printed are “Beef Raised Without the Use of Antibiotics”, “No Nitrites Added”, “No Preservatives”, “No Celery Extract”, “Lean Protein”, “No Gluten, Dairy, Soy”, “Embrace Food With Gratitude”, and “Eat Healthy – Be Kind to Animals”.
Check out their web site: www.mcleanmeats.com