Money well spent: Beef jerky re­search and de­vel­op­ment

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - CHURCH NEWS - Outta Left­field

It is com­fort­ing to know that at least a por­tion of my tax dol­lars is be­ing used for some­thing that di­rectly benH­fiWV PH DnG WKDW I whole­heart­edly sup­port: beef jerky re­search and de­vel­op­ment.

That’s right, ac­cord­ing to some HlHFWHG RI­fiFLDl who re­leased some re­port on some­thing, our coun­try gives tax monies to the Army’s Nat­ick Sol­dier Sys­tems Cen­ter – which is re­spon­si­ble for re­search­ing, de­vel­op­ing, fiHlGLnJ DnG PDnDJLnJ IRRG, cloth­ing, shel­ters, air­drop sys­tems and sol­dier sup­port items – to, among other things, de­velop a beef jerky rollup for our troops.

I am be­hind this 100 per­cent be­cause the Nat­ick Sol­dier Sys­tems Cen­ter sounds like a cool place to work, the re­search is for the troops and be­cause I am a big beef jerky guy. Al­ways have been. If I was ever to run for pub­lic RI­fiFH, Py SlDWIRUP ZRulG be to put a beef jerky stick in ev­ery voter’s hand.

In fact, I have re­cently as a few weeks ago, con­sid­ered whether I could ex­ist on just a diet of beef jerky and salted cashews. Turns out that might not be all that great for my sys­tem.

And oddly enough, my at­trac­tion to beef jerky seems some­how to be con­nected to gas. No, not that kind of gas; the kind of gas that one puts into a car or truck. It ap­pears WKDW HYHUy WLPH , fill uS WKH tank at Wawa, I have to go inside and grab a small pack­age of Wild Bill’s Hick­o­rySmoked Beef Jerky Ten­der Tips. It seems to be a rule that some­body some­where at­tached to my car.

Gas? Check. Jerky? Check. Now we’re ready to go. And that Wild Bill’s jerky is ab­so­lutely yummy. There was a phase a few years back where I was in teriyaki jerky mode, but that passed and I am now fiUPly Ln :LlG BLll’V KLFNRry-smoked jerky camp.

(Here’s a fun fact: Go to www.wild­bills­food.com and check out Wild Bill’s story. Turns out the com­pany traces its roots back to 1955 in Lan­caster County, so I have WKH DGGHG EHnH­fiW RI VuS­port­ing an orig­i­nal Penn­syl­va­nia prod­uct, of which I am very proud.)

My jerky idio­syn­crasy goes way back, though. In fact, I used to get tuned up back in an­other life in the Mid­west when the credit card bill ar­rived and my busi­ness ex­penses were care­fully scru­ti­nized by bean coun­ters.

In­ter­roga­tor: “Did you go inside and get beef jerky afWHU yRu fil­lHG uS WKH WDnN?” 0H: “YHV , GLG.” In­ter­roga­tor: “Why did you do that? You know that beef jerky isn’t on the list of al­low­able jour­nal­is­tic exSHnVHV.”

Me: “But I like beef jerky and it makes me a bet­ter reSRUWHU.”

If one is catch­ing the dick­ens about one’s beef jerky habit, well . . . it might be WLPH WR finG D nHZ MRE. 2U start rid­ing a bi­cy­cle and not have to stop for gas.

But ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased last week by 5HS. 7RP CREuUn RI 2NlDhoma, the Nat­ick Cen­ter is in­volved in de­vel­op­ing D YDULHWy RI MHUNy flDYRUV, in­clud­ing salami, chipo­tle, tur­key, pork and smoked ham. There’s also talk of ZRUN Rn D fiVK-flDYRUHG jerky, but ac­cord­ing to de­vel­op­ers, “the recipe needs to be tweaked to make it lHVV fiVKy.”

Fish jerky? I think not. That vi­o­lates the spirit of the jerky.

In this same re­port, Rep. Coburn cited some other Depart­ment of De­fense ex­pen­di­tures that he con­sid­ered waste­ful spend­ing of tax dol­lars. These in­clude:

(1) The Air Force spent A300,000 study­ing a pre­hisWRULF fly­LnJ GLnRVDuU. (7KDW’V just silly. bvery­body al­ready knows that di­nosaurs don’t like beef jerky.)

(2) The Navy spent A450,000 to learn that an in­fant re­sponds to in­ter­ac­tive ro­bots bet­ter than non-in­ter­ac­tive ro­bots. (That’s even sil­lier. bvery­body al­ready knows that ro­bots don’t like beef jerky.)

(3) The De­fense Ad­vanced Re­search Projects Agency (I didn’t even know we had one of those de­part­ments) spent A100,000 on a plan­ning work­shop for the 100Year Star­ship Project that in­cluded a dis­cus­sion called “Did Je­sus Die For hlinJRnV, 7RR?” (BHDP PH uS, Scotty. Be­sides, ev­ery­body al­ready knows hlin­gons don’t like beef jerky.)

2n Dll RI WKHVH HxSHn­di­tures, I agree with Rep. Coburn. It’s a waste of my tax money. But I draw the line just be­fore we get to the beef jerky part. In fact, I think we should take the com­bined monies from stud­ies on pre­his­toric di­nosaurs, ro­bots and hlin­gons – a to­tal of A850,000 – and put it di­rectly into the beef jerky stud­ies. That other stuff is just stupid. The jerky stuff, well now that’s a le­git tax­payer ex­pense.

I, for one, am happy that my tax money is be­ing spent wisely. But if the Nat­ick Cen­ter re­searchers in­sist on SuUVuLnJ WKLV fiVK MHUNy LGHD, I may just with­draw my sup­port of the project.

Be­cause when it comes to fiVK MHUNy, ,’YH JRW D EHHI. Be­sides, Wild Bill would never hear of it.

Mike Morsch is ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor of Mont­gomery Me- dia and au­thor of the book, “Danc­ing in My Un­der­wear: The Sound­track of My Life.” He can be reached by call­ing 215-542-0200, ext. 415 or by email at msquared35@ ya­hoo.com. This col­umn can also be found at www.mont­gomerynews.com.

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