Product Review: Steve’s Original Paleokit

I have been on a quest.

Specifically, I have been on a quest for a Paleo-friendly version of that darling of the prepper community: the MRE (otherwise known as “Meal, Ready-to-Eat” in translated military parlance).

I mean, seriously, is there anything more convenient than a pouch of food that you can toss in a corner for five years with full confidence that it will taste fresh and provide adequate nourishment in times of crisis? I think not!

But here’s the problem with MREs. They’re…not healthy. Yeah, they provide a boatload of calories—averaging 1250 calories per meal—but they also average 51% carbohydrate, 36% fat, and 13% protein. The entrée almost always features a carb prominently in its composition, there are inevitably crackers or bread (accompanied by chemical concoctions known as “spreads”), and MREs also contain not only packets of CANDY, but also DESSERT! It’s the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) in one, easy-to-store pouch!

Now I will not discount the comfort and sugar-high such a meal will give a person. And if I were starving, yeah, I’d wolf down one of these bad boys in a heartbeat. But since we’re talking about consciously choosing what we put in our food pantries, such that we store items to promote optimal health…well, the MRE just isn’t going to cut it for the Paleo crowd.

Needless to say, I was excited—nay, ecstatic!—when I stumbled upon the Paleokit. The Paleokit, made by Steve’s Original, promises to be a full meal in a pouch. At last, the holy grail: a Paleo-friendly MRE!

Obviously, I wanted to love the Paleokit. Really, I did. After all, I had such a stellar experience with another Steve’s Original product, the Paleo Krunch bar. And the Paleokit had so much promise! With its blend of meat, nuts, and berries, how could it go wrong??

Except.

The Paleokit is a veritable sugar fest. The jerky, while admittedly delicious, is marinated in a bath of fruit juices. Likewise, the strawberries and cranberries are bathed in concentrates of apple and pineapple. Thanks to all these sugars, one Paleokit packs in 36g of carbs, 25 of which are (you guessed it) sugar. My fingers were actually sticky after fishing out the first jerky morsel! On the plus side, there are also 28g of protein riding side saddle…but on the minus side, the fat clocks in at a disappointing 12g.

Now, the Paleokit is somewhat filling. Well, for a few hours, at least. Between the low fat and the high sugar, I was ready for more food far earlier than the clock said I had a right to be.

The Paleokit should also have a reasonably long shelf life, thanks to its vacuum-sealed pouch. No expiration date is listed, but I’d feel pretty confident that you could store it for a full year with no worries of spoilage.

One other attractive aspect of the Paleokit: you can get it with grass-fed beef jerky. At least, in theory you can. I’ve seen it listed on the Steve’s Original website, but it’s never in stock. I contacted the company and was assured it’d be available any day now…but so far, no dice.

Overall, how would I rate this? Well, as stated earlier, it is a tasty treat. But that’s just it: it’s a TREAT more than a meal. If you need a quick burst of energy or you’re looking for a little something sweet to lift flagging spirits, this would be a decent option. But if you, too, are seeking that mythical Paleo equivalent to an MRE, the Paleokit just isn’t it.

STEVE’s ORIGINAL PALEOKIT RATING

Rating: ★★½☆☆