Since my first post about eating meat, I’ve continued to ponder the subject of ethical eating. I’ve been giving wild meat a thought (maybe it’s the constant cooing from the pigeons in the trees overhead), Why aren’t we eating more of it?
‘Good game, Good game’: The benefits of eating wild meat:
- Wild meat is the ultimate free range food. The animals are living as they should, naturally and all that hopping, flapping and running means very lean meat. Wild meat is typically lower in fat than traditional farmed meat and rich in protein, making it a healthy choice.
- Eating wild meat ensures that you are eating with the seasons, natures way, therefor putting less strain on natures resources that go in to unsustainably producing intensively farmed meat.
- Less CO2 emissions. Sourcing local wild meat or even getting it delivered from another part of the country is much better than buying cheap meat shipped in from the continent or that New Zealand lamb you’ve had your eye on
- It’s full of flavour! absolutely packed with it. It’s fresh, which means it’s tastier (if you get good quality meat from a reputable butcher or game dealer then it’ll be much fresher than that sheep shipped over from NZ) and you can’t beat that gamey flavour. It’s versatile too!
- It’s cheaper than you think. Typically, 4 wild wood pigeon breasts are cheaper than a pack of 2 free range chicken breasts and a wild rabbit (yep, a whole Thumper) is cheaper than a farmed chicken.
‘Run rabbit – run rabbit – Run! Run! Run!’
Wild rabbit is a great example of why wild meat is a good choice, especially as an ‘entry level’ for new converts to wild meat. It tastes like chicken! It’s a white meat from a healthy, free range animal and a whole one will cost around a fiver, whereas it’s chicken equivalent (free range, organic) would cost upwards of a tenner.
Rabbit used to be a staple food in Britain but fell out of fashion. It’s time we revived the rabbit pie! (heck, throw in some Bambi whilst you’re at it). It’s such a logical choice of meat, those critters are everywhere! They’re always in season (whereas other wild game have certain seasons in which they can be killed for meat) and the population of our fluffy friends could use some control. Wild rabbit is the ultimate in free range food and if they keep breeding the way they do then it’s a fairly sustainable food too.
Many supermarkets stock farmed game. This is meat from animals that have been reared in a similar way to their domestic cousins. Some won’t live as naturally as they should (like the wild game does) and aren’t killed in sync with natures seasons. Take farmed rabbit for example. Some farmed rabbits are shipped in from as far afield as China and have been reared and killed in hutches. This is akin to battery hens. This (IMHO) is a big no no. It’s always best to buy from a butcher who knows the source of his stock. In the end it’s all about doing your research and having a chat with your local meat suppliers. Wild meat is perfect as part of your balanced diet and a great addition to the ‘good quality meat, less often’ option.
So, see that hopping rabbit? That’s dinner.