The Debate Over Eating Exotic Meat

  Janice  Ferdinand    March 19, 2022    52

 

Many chefs around the world, especially professionals and celebrity chefs in crisp white monogrammed chef coats, bib aprons and women’s or men’s chef aprons love cooking exotic meats. However, eating these is a topic that has been hotly debated for many years. Some people believe that eating flesh from animals that are not typically eaten is wrong, while others believe that it is a way to experience new and different flavors. So, what is meant by "exotic meats”, and why is there such a debate over them?

 

What is exotic meat and where does it come from?

These meats are those that are not typically eaten in America and other western countries. The term "exotic meat" is also used to describe those that come from animals that are not bred specifically for human consumption, such as wild boar or kangaroo. For example, the majority of people eating horsemeat are doing so in Asia, where it is considered a delicacy. Horsemeat has been consumed throughout history by many cultures around the world and continues to be popular today. However, while some people think eating these can be an interesting experience and offers different tastes from what they are used to, others believe it is wrong because we should only eat flesh from animals raised specifically for food purposes, like cows and pigs.

 

In America we have no problem with finding beef or pork at the grocery store, but if we wanted to eat venison for example, it would be a different story. Venison is from deer, and as you can imagine there are not many deer farms in the U.S. So where would one go to get their hands on some? Therein lies the rub, so to speak.

 

Some people feel that eating these foods is morally wrong because they believe that animals should only be killed for food purposes, while others think that consuming all types of meat, regardless of how "exotic" it may be, is fine. The bottom line is that this debate isn't going away any time soon, and will likely continue to rage on as more and more people become interested in trying to argue the cause for one side or the other.

 

The health benefits of eating exotic meat

The question that remains is whether or not these food items are bad for you. The answer isn't so simple, as there are many factors at play here. On one hand, some experts say that eating wild game can be quite nutritious and even provide health benefits such as improved cardiovascular function due to the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in these animals' flesh (as opposed to grain-fed cattle). Others argue against this idea by pointing out how difficult it would be for an individual with limited resources like income level or location accessibility (e.g., urban versus rural living) who wants to eat healthy but also doesn't want to spend too much money on food choices like organic produce which costs more than conventional foods do; therefore, they maintain that consuming wild game is a privilege of those who have the financial means to do so.

 

There are also environmental concerns about eating exotic food. For example, when North Americans consume bushmeat (i.e., flesh from non-domestic animals hunted in the wild), this can lead to the spread of diseases like Ebola and other zoonotic infections to humans. In contrast, some experts argue that by hunting these animals for food we can actually help to conserve them as populations because it creates an economic incentive for people living in or near tropical forests to protect these habitats. Ultimately, there is no easy answer when it comes to deciding whether or not to eat exotic meats and all sides of this debate have valid points worth considering.

 

Some health benefits of exotic meats include:

  • They are often leaner than traditional meats, meaning they have less total fat and calories.
  • They can be a good source of protein, iron, zinc, and other essential nutrients.
  • Many of these food items are considered "game" and are thus considered by some to be more ethically sound and sustainable options than factory farmed products.

 

On the other hand, there are several potential risks associated with eating exotic meats:

  • These can sometimes contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can make humans sick.
  • They may also be high in cholesterol and saturated fats, which could lead to health problems like heart disease if eaten regularly.
  • Some people argue that consuming such food contributes to the decline of endangered species populations.

 

How to cook exotic meat

Many restaurants and chefs are serving exotic meats. Here are some tips for cooking different types of these food:

  • If you are buying from a butcher or grocery store, ask them how they prepare the it so that it is safe to eat.
  • Cooking times may vary depending on whether you want your meal well done or rarer than most people prefer their steak cooked (i.e., medium rare). For example, ostrich steak should be cooked at a lower temperature and shorter time than beef because ostrich steaks can become tough when overcooked like other lean meats do (they do not have enough fat content) but should still be served pinkish inside due to its high protein content.
  • Many recipes call for marinating game before cooking; and for this, you should use the same marinade that one would use with beef, such as red wine vinegar mixed with herbs and garlic.
  • Poultry requires cooking at higher temperatures than beef because it is less dense (more air space between cells), so when roasting whole birds make sure they are completely thawed before putting into an oven preheated to 350°F/180°C for about 30 minutes per pound of weight plus another 20 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced through the thickest part of the flesh without touching any bones; rotisserie chickens need only 15 minutes per pound plus 50 instead.
  • If possible, try not overcooking these types of food so its texture will remain tender and moist rather than dry like jerky from being overcooked.
  • Rub spices onto them before cooking to give it extra flavor.

 

The environmental impact of eating exotic meat

Many people argue that game has a huge environmental impact in terms of endangering different kinds of species. They believe that eating domesticated animals is much more environmentally friendly because farming them produces fewer greenhouse gases and uses less land. Others argue that there are already many regulations in place to make sure hunting does not endanger any species, and properly managed game farms can actually have a lower environmental impact than traditional livestock farming.

 

Whether or not people should eat exotic meat

The question of whether or not exotic food should be eaten is not a simple one. On the one hand, there are those who argue that eating them is dangerous in two main ways; it harms animals and it threatens public health. However, on the other side of the argument are people who say that eating these is good for both conservation efforts and human nutrition.


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