The origin of the word Jerky is from the Inca “Charqui” which means “to dry meat”. Inca Messengers would travel the Mountain trails between their cities carrying strips of beef that had been laid on rocks to dry by the suns rays. We Americans adjusted Charqui to trip off our tongues easier as the word "Jerky".
Common terms that have originated from beef jerky; Chewing the fat- Came from the marbling that remained after the beef was eaten. Picking and grinning- The happy smile and the toothpick used by the westerner after enjoying his jerky on the trail.
Jerky quality varies greatly and depends on the choice of meat, the preservatives, and the preservation technique.
A good jerky is very lean; fat usually causes spoilage. In cheap products with high fat and water content, many chemicals are added as preservatives to prevent spoilage.
Beef Jerky is astronaut food! NASA has been providing Space shuttle crews this lightweight high protein treat since the mid nineties.