Barbell Foods is your one-stop shop for buying biltong and other dried meats in Australia. Coming from South Africa — the home of biltong — we’re on a mission to introduce more people to our healthy meat snacks with the ethos to KEEP IT REAL.
To us, keeping it real is a promise to stick with the tried and true whilst embracing the authentic and natural. It’s our self-talk whenever we’re making food choices but it is also our motto for a good life.
One of the first questions people ask when they first encounter us is “WTF is biltong?”. Well, it’s a dried meat snack that’s made by air-drying delicious chunks of beef steaks. But there are some key differences between biltong and jerky. While they’re both dried meats, biltong isn’t cooked and our biltong contains no preservatives or sugars. Rather, it’s air-dried. There are no BS ingredients! Most commercial jerky on the market is full of artificial ingredients and preservatives, making them unhealthy options for snacking and not real food. So if you’re looking for food that’s high in protein and good fats but has zero carbs, you’ve found the right place.
This commitment to keeping it healthy is crucial to all of our products here at Barbell Foods. Helping people access good-quality, high-protein snack food is a critical part of our mission.
All of our meat at Barbell Foods is ethically sourced from grass-fed and finished Australian beef. In addition to this, we buy from farmers practising regenerative agriculture who manage their cattle holistically. So when you buy biltong online from us, you can be sure that you’re buying the best biltong in Australia but you’re also helping to look after the land and ensure our future harvests.
Barbell Foods was the brainchild of two South African expats, and a couple of our local Aussie mates. Having grown up with the delicious taste of biltong and other dried meats, we realised that it could be a great healthy option for people who were looking for high protein meat snacks but had previously been relying on protein bars or cans of tuna.
A stall at the Canberra markets later and Barbell Foods was born. The name of the company came from our shared interest in exercise and working out. We thought it was a great fit for our ethos of keeping healthy while doing good.
It’s a combination of factors. The first and foremost is the source of the meat. Here at Barbell Foods, we only utilise ethically sourced, sustainable beef as opposed to factory farming that relies on fattening up cattle with grain and other unnatural diets. As we’ve learnt more about the beef industry we’ve come to believe that regenerative agriculture is the way forward and one of our missions is to promote quality over quantity when it comes to meat and how it’s farmed.
Regenerative agriculture is a method of farming which improves the health of the land by absorbing carbon back into the soil rather than releasing it into our atmosphere. This method of farming is relatively small scale but is growing in popularity as more people and farmers become aware of it. There’s still disagreement about what practices are considered regenerative but for us, the most objective method is to measure the carbon content in the soil and to track this over time to see if more carbon is being captured.
We’ve partnered with a handful of small farmers who do this in Australia and we pay a premium to source beef from these farms. However, the majority of our beef comes from organic grass fed farms whose cattle are managed sustainably but as far as we’re aware, there’s no objective measure of their soil carbon capture. As regenerative agriculture gets more support in Australia, one day we hope to source all of our beef from farmers practising regenerative agriculture - helping to rejuvenate the land and ensure our future harvests.
We live on the earth, after all, and we can’t exist without it but first and foremost, we live in our bodies and if you’re healthy and happy it’s likely the case that you’ll be more effective at whatever it is that you do. We see these processes as deeply interlinked, which is why we make healthy meat snacks for busy and active people.
Our philosophy is to do our best, embrace challenges and to try to leave the world in a better place than we found it, because if it's not about the journey, then you probably haven't thought enough about where we're heading.