Wild Game Nutrition

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I’ll be honest, I actually didn’t even like the taste of meat growing up… let alone experimenting with eating wild game.  As an adult, learning to cook and season meat to my preferences has helped me to now enjoy meat dishes but I do love some meatless meals as well.

After getting married, my husband started hunting and providing wild game meat for our family.  I’ve grown to feel more connected to our food source and really appreciate knowing where our meat is coming from.  Also, we have learned to process the meat and I actually feel better doing this ourselves as we waste very little, we are overly cautious with sanitization, we choose the cuts we prefer and what goes into the ground meat.  We have an extra deep freeze for the meat and I rarely have to buy meat from the store.  We have processed deer, elk and moose meat so far.  Currently, I have to say our family favourite is Elk meat as it is so lean and tender at the same time but also it has a milder flavor than other game so it is so versatile for any dish.

Since I didn’t grow up eating game meat, I have been challenged with the task of learning how to cook it.  (Actually I tried poorly made deer sausage once when I was little and thought it was gross.)  I think it’s important to note that wild game does not have to taste “gamey”.  You just need to know the best way to prepare and cook it depending on the type of game and different cuts.  I have made stew, burgers, tacos, spaghetti sauce, roasts, steaks, kabobs, chili, chorizo, smokies, jerky and pepperoni so far.

Nutritionally wild game meat is a great source of lean protein which is typically lower in total fat, saturated fat and calories than other red meat (See Nutritional Comparison below).  It’s suggested that the nutritional difference is due to game animals eating their natural vegetation and being more active in their wild habitat compared to farm raised animals.

Nutritional Comparison:

Meat

Quantity Calories Protein Fat

Saturated Fat

Deer (venison), roasted

100g

158 kcal 30.2g 3.2g

1.3g

Elk, roasted

100g

146 kcal 30.2g 1.9g

0.7g

Moose, roasted

100g

134 kcal 35.0g 1.3g

0.3g

Beef loin, sirloin, lean roasted

100g

178 kcal 29.3g 5.9g

2.4g

Beef loin, tenderloin, lean roasted

100g

194 kcal 30.9g 6.6g

3.0g

*Data from the Canadian Nutrient File

If you don’t hunt (or know someone that does), many farmers markets, specialty butcher shops and local restaurants carry game meat if you want to give it a try!

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