Just how good is Irish beef?

Well, if you really want to know ask the German government.

The late Shane McEntee TD told the Irish Echo when he was junior agriculture minister the story of how a German company wanted to use Irish beef in its baby food.

As per the regulations, they sent a sample off to the government for testing.

The government machinery was set up to detect trace elements of heavy metals which through of hundreds of years of industry have seeped into the soil and are picked up by grazing cattle.

The Irish beef befuddled their machines.

Never having had an industrial revolution, Irish cows feed on grass with a purity rarely found in western countries.

The German engineers hadn’t figured on zero levels - and the machines couldn’t cope.

This story goes to underline what increasing numbers of people around the world are coming to realize: Irish food is amongst the best available.

It is this growing appreciation that has seen one man take the family business and move it in a whole new direction.

Colm Connolly, a fifth generation farmer from County Monaghan, has taken hundreds of years of experience in farming cattle and packaged it as the original health snack – beef jerky.

But his product, “Rucksnacks,” is no ordinary jerky.

The hundred percent dried Irish beef has no added sugar, gluten or allergens, and is made from grass fed cows.

It was a round the world trip that inspired the 29-year-old to create the snack.

“Travelling was an amazing experience, but I always knew I’d come home here to the farm and live in Ireland where I have always enjoyed farming and continue on what has been a family tradition,” Colm said.

“I am very much into fitness and health.

“So I was really frustrated on my return to Ireland to find a lack of healthy, convenient snacks. That’s when I got the idea for Rucksnacks - a grass-fed beef jerky snack with only 89 calories per serving.

“With no added sugar, no gluten and no allergens, it is quality Irish food that ticks a lot of health boxes as a lean protein snack,” said Colm.

The healthy snacks are popular with sports enthusiasts such as professional football players.  One fan is Ireland soccer international Jonathan Douglas, who plays for Ipswich Town in England.

He said he used them as part of his athletic regime.

“I place a big emphasis on recovery and ensuring my body is right for the next training session or match. I am a strong believer that good nutrition is a key element of maintaining my body and ensuring I am ready for the matches.

“Having a ready to eat, lean protein source that is free from artificial preservatives and gluten free is so handy.

“Rucksnacks tastes great, contains one hundred percent Irish beef. It’s a must for my bag when we are travelling to away games and I love having it when in the morning between sessions,” said Jonathan, who has represented the Republic of Ireland at underage and senior level.

The Rucksnacks range is available for delivery worldwide from Ireland via www.rucksnacks.com