When most people think of eating local, they think of local farmers’ markets with fruits and vegetables. In Alabama, the State Department of Agriculture has a very effective “Buy Local” campaign encouraging the use of locally grown foods.
By Marisa Futral
Wild game meat is better for you than most processed beef and poultry. The majority of grocery store beef comes from commercial operations where cattle are housed in mass quantities. When many animals are kept close to each other they are prone to sickness. To prevent sickness, cattle producers give the animals antibiotics whether they are needed or not. Most are also given growth hormones and large amounts of grain to speed up their weight gain so they can go to the slaughterhouse quicker.
However, when you hunt your own food you know that the animals you harvest have not ingested antibiotics or artificial hormones. This translates to healthier food for the family table.
Venison, wild turkey and other game meat is lower in fat than commercial poultry, pork and beef. For example, 3 ounces of venison contains only 3 grams of fat, while 3 ounces of commercially raised beef contains 18 grams of fat. This means that venison is also lower in calories.
That same 3-ounce serving of venison has only 134 calories, while 3 ounces of pork has 214 calories and beef has 259 calories. Even if you eat the same portion of meat, you are eating fewer calories with venison. Wild game may even help you lose weight!
As an added bonus, wild game meat contains omega-3 fatty acids, which some studies show are beneficial to the heart. These compounds also play vital roles in every cell of the human body, and wild game meat is loaded with them. Omega-3 fatty acids form in the chloroplasts of green leaves, a big part of the diet of many game animals.
The meat of commercially raised beef that does not have access to pasture grasses lacks other beneficial vitamins and nutrients that are present in wild game. For instance, most game meat is higher in protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins than commercial meats. Some people experience vitamin deficiencies because they are living on mostly processed foods. By including wild game meat as a part of your diet, you can help eliminate vitamin deficiencies and enjoy better health.
When you consume wild game meats, your food will be healthier for you and as close to natural as possible. Become part of the “eat local” movement — go hunting!
Marisa Futral is the Hunter Education Coordinator for the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
CROCK-POT VENISON ROAST
1 large venison roast
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
1 large onion, sliced
1 package of Lipton’s dry onion soup mix
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 to 1 soup can of water
Season roast liberally. Place onion in bottom of crock pot and place roast on top. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Makes 6-8 servings. You can thicken the gravy after it’s done and serve with rice or pasta. Egg noodles are excellent with this.
Process Your Deer Quicker and Easier With This Great Kit!
Sure, you can skin a buck (and run a trotline) with Grandpappy’s old knife that has worked for years. But add a few more helpful tools to the mix and things may run a little bit more smoothly the next time you’re working on a couple of does or a big buck. That’s where the Eastman Outdoors Wild Game Processing kit comes into play. You’ll get an array of well-designed knives that can help with skinning, trimming, cutting and carving, along with durable scissors, a bone saw and a sharpening tool for the knives. Plus, it comes in a great sealable box for storage and transport.
This is a great kit and would also make a great Christmas gift! BUY IT HERE NOW