Over 30 years ago, Garth McLean moved from New Brunswick and got his first job working in a Federal meat plant as a truck driver. Eventually working his way to sales, Garth was dismayed with all of the chemicals and preservatives used, Garth then developed Canada’s first nitrate-free deli line called Natural Farms. In 2003, Garth’s friends Michelle Neilson & Deanna Bell joined Garth and together they rebranded the company as McLean Meats, drawing inspiration from the words “CLEAN” and “LEAN” in Garth’s last name. In 2006, Garth’s eldest son Justin McLean joined the company on the production floor. Working from the ground-up like his father, today he is in charge of supply management and logistics. McLean Meats follows the original principles and values that inspired Garth to launch his own company: clean recipe development, animal welfare and building a team that shares the same passion. McLean Clean & Lean jerky is distributed by McLean Meats Inc. based out of West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The next review on McLean Clean & Lean will focus on a 1.76 ounce/50 gram bag of their traditional flavored beef jerky. This will be the third review on this traditional flavored beef jerky, where the ingredient list and bag design has since been tweaked. The jerky was graciously submitted by the Director of Sales, Eastern Canada, Gina Lipton.
Ingredients: Beef, Evaporated Cane Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Sea Salt, Spices and Spice Extracts, Green Tea Extract, Garlic Powder, Yeast Extract, Smoke.
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. As a result, the highest ingredient awarded can be Very Good (9/10).
The liquid marinade is comprised of only super healthy apple cider vinegar.
There are some healthy ingredients added such as spices, garlic powder, and spice extracts (coriander, white pepper, rosemary).
The sugar level is great at 0 grams of sugar per 15 grams of jerky. The salt level is decent at 170mg of salt per 15 grams of jerky.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similarly unhealthy preservatives, Instead, apart from sea salt, the interesting choice of green tea extract is also used as a preservative, and apple cider vinegar to a lesser extent. Admirably, this jerky also qualifies to have no MSG added.
Very Good (9/10) – Ingredient Rating
These strips of jerky are small in size, and mostly sliced thin. The texture is somewhat soft and tender, requiring a normal amount of effort to chew. There is an aroma of apple cider vinegar.
The first tastes detected are natural beef flavor, saltiness, and a delicious tasting light seasoning. There is hardly any sweetness present, which allows for a great deal of natural beef flavor. That is just the way it should be for an Original based jerky flavor, and is a refreshing change.
There is a light level of garlic present, along with a decent level of acidity from the apple cider vinegar. This whole flavor profile is well balanced between the saltiness, acidity, natural beef flavor, and a faint smoked flavor.
Paul is in agreement with this to say: “I have eaten 1/2 of the bag already, and I cannot keep my paws off of it. Just the right amount of salt, just the right amount of sweet, just the tiniest little kick, just the right amount of juice, just the right amount of natural beef flavor, just the right amount of everything to warrant a 10/10 rating from me gentlemen. I have no complaints…”
This traditional flavor was shared between four different people. A common theme between all of us is that we could not identify a single fault. It’s the type of flavor that grows on you, and the bag is empty is no time. While the flavor initially sort of comes across as nondescript tasting, we have no choice to award this Traditional flavor an Excellent (10/10) taste rating.
This 1.7 ounce/50 gram bag sells for $5.99, which works out to $3.40 an ounce. That translates to an expensive price.
Excellent (10/10) – Taste Rating
This non-resealable bag has everything imprinted on both the back and front, with no labels attached. The McLean Clean & Lean logo is a farm on top of a scenic picture showing the surrounding land. To illustrate that further, a fairly high resolution picture of a farm is depicted on the front.
Some slogans printed on this bag are “Clean & Lean Foods”, “Embrace Food With Gratitude”, and “Eat Healthy – Be Kind To Animals”. Some facts printed are “Beef Raised Without the Use of Antibiotics”, “No Nitrites Added”, “Soy Free”, “Gluten Free”, “No Celery Extract”, “Low Fat Protein Snack”, and “No Preservatives”.
All bag categories are covered here. There is a short blurb printed on the back briefly explaining McLean Meats Inc. As per Canadian law, French translations are required.
Excellent (10/10) – Bag Rating
Check out their web site: www.mcleanmeats.com
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