SlantShack Jerky Research: Conducting Cross-Demographic Shelf-Life Studies

Over at the SlantShack, we’re obsessed with taste and quality. That’s why we cook jerky to order and try to deliver it to our customers as fresh as possible.

At the same time, we are interested in discovering how long our jerky stays optimally fresh and at what point in time it no longer lives up to our standards. Thus, we have a number of shelf-life studies going on. Some, of course, are more formal than others. In fact, some are completely unplanned.

Last October, I brought a few bags of jerky to my friend Juan’s apartment for his birthday. They were quickly devoured and Juan was left protein-less on his special day. Since Juan tries to stay rather “jacked” and “ripped”, this made him sad.

A creature such as this must consume protein at an alarming rate

Fast-forward 6+ months to April and Juan miraculously finds an extra bag of Hot & Smoky in a drawer in his living room. He is hungry, but nervous about eating 6 month jerky, so he asks me what to do. I tell him “This ain’t no April Fools, bro” and he devours. Little did he know that he was part of a cross-demographic shelf-life study designed by the cleverest of cleverers: Jerk McGurk.

This is how you generate unbiased studies: hide stuff in people’s drawers. Researchers, take notes. Juan also took notes, which included the following:

  • “My lats are starving” (reference to protein addiction),
  • “Ok, I’m eating it. NBD” (that means ‘No Big Deal’ for you laymen)
  • “The spice concentrates in localized spots” (the spice flavor seems to have marched like Napoleon’s infantry across the Soviet land, resting where it deemed most appropriate)
  • “Consistency was very brittle” (you betcha! That’s 6+ month old jerky that was already opened. It would probably be a little better had it not been opened already)
  • “Spice was still present, but didn’t get that smokey feel running through my nostrils as I usually do when gorging this specific blend”

There you have it folks. Straight from the cross-demographic horse’s mouth. SCIENCE.

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