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Tanka Bars: Try this ancient Native American recipe for modern energy and nutrition

Bison in Yellowstone National Park.
448 189 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Tanka Bars blend ancient recipe and nutrition with new packaging and marketing.

by Leon Pantenburg

Disclaimer:  Azure Standard is a Survivalcommonsense.com sponsor. I bought these products to test and try out. This is my opinion and nobody had any input into the content.

I want to know where my food comes from. And I want organic. Add some historic ingredients and sound nutrition and I’m sold. Tie all that up in with attractive, easy-to-carry  packaging and somebody take my money!

Bison at Yellowstone National Park.

Bison at Yellowstone National Park. (Bob Patterson photo)

Those are just some of the reasons I like the Tanka Bar. The Tanka Bar tastes good, and only has 70 calories for a one-ounce bar.

Slightly smoky tasting and sweet, this isn’t that chewy, tough jerky that requires good teeth and strong jaw muscles to eat.

The recipe goes back to prehistoric times: buffalo meat and berries. And like the original, the Tanka Bar has no nitrates, and no antibiotics or added hormones.

“We started with the traditional recipe for wasna and thought to modernize it. We tried all sorts of ideas to improve on wasna, but each time we added something to the mix, we went further away from what we intended,” the Tankafund.org website claims. “It could not be improved! We came full circle to see that the traditional flavors of meat with fruit were perfect.”

The bison was much more than a source of food for the Natives. According to Lakota elder Virgil Kills Straight, on the website:

“In the Lakota language, the word ‘tatanka’ is translated as ‘buffalo’ or ‘buffalo bull. However, according to native Lakota speakers, the literal translation is something more like ‘He who owns us.’

“The four-leggeds came before the two-leggeds. They are our older brother, we came from them. Before them, we were the root people. We came from them. We are the same thing. That is why we are spiritually related to them. We call them in our language “Tatanka,” which means “He Who Owns Us.” We cannot say that we own the buffalo because he owns us, ” Kills Straight explains.

The Tanka Bar is a traditional recipe energy bar.

The Tanka Bar is a traditional recipe energy bar.

Here are the Tanka Bar specs:

Calories 70
Calories from Fat 15
Amount/Serving %DV
Total Fat 1.5g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 15mg 6%
Sodium 260mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Sugars 6g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 0%
Iron 4%


  • buffalo
  • dried cranberries (cranberries
  • sugar)
  • water
  • salt and less than 2% of flavorings
  • red pepper
  • granulated garlic
  • granulated onion
  • lactic acid starter culture

If you’re looking for a trail food that supplies quick energy and are tired of the whole grain commercial brands, take a look at the Tanka Bar. They go for about $2 each, which is a steal for a nutritious snack. (Lays original potato chips go for $1 per bag in the vending machine outside my office.)

Put these in a kid’s lunchbox and maybe they won’t be tempted to go after the junk food.

I like the whole concept of Tonka Bars. You might like them too.

Read the story of the bison and its connection with the Indian people.

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