3

votes

Is kangaroo a good meat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 15, 2011 at 9:53 AM

My local supermarket sells kangaroo meat, it's cheap and it's delicious. As I understand from a Google search, kangaroo is a wild, hunted meat, so even though it's not able to be labeled "organic" (because they may have grazed on farmland that was sprayed) it's free from hormones/antibiotics etc. There is plenty of hype about how it's more environmentally sustainable, more ethically sound and involves less animal cruelty than most other meat sources. It has been a staple food of the Australian Aboriginal people for 40 000 years, so that's some serious paleo meat, right? I have two questions I'd like to get some ideas on

1) How does the nutritional value stack up, and is the fact that it's wild and not farmed important? If it's good I imagine eating kangaroo three times a week as part of a "balanced paleo" diet ie also including fattier meats, fish, vegetables, nuts, some fruit, no dairy. This is the company that makes the meat I buy http://www.macromeats-gourmetgame.com.au/Nutrition/ProductNutritionInformation.aspx

2) Is the way kangaroo is hunted, gathered and managed as environmentally friendly and cruelty free as the company says? How does it compare to Australian beef and lamb? If it is better, that would make a big difference for me and my family. This is the most balanced link I could find, but I'm just hoping an Aussie Paleo might have done some more thorough research http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/kangaroos.html

Abc0bc75cc91a0e753accc4b21015cf9

(140)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:35 AM

I'm far from an expert, Patrik, and I know a lot of people do use it as a protein rich food for their dogs, but it is far too lean and the vitamin inbalance can lead to breakdown of the immune system.

Abc0bc75cc91a0e753accc4b21015cf9

(140)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:18 AM

Can't cook it as steak? Are you kidding? BBQ'd roo is too tasty for words...just try to find fillets and don't overcook. Alternatively, cube it and marinade in cajun spices, then toss in a wok with some rough cut veg. If you don't overcook, you can let it sit till it goes stone cold if you want. Will still be tasty and will still be tender.

Abc0bc75cc91a0e753accc4b21015cf9

(140)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:17 AM

I mentioned the humane aspects because it was one of the questions raised by the OP. Licences have to be purchased from the government and there are strict guidelines for the culling. I don't expect many paleo people to have an issue with it but I wanted to differentiate between abatoir stunned and killed vs killed in the field.

Abc0bc75cc91a0e753accc4b21015cf9

(140)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:15 AM

Can't cook it as steak? Are you kidding? BBQ'd roo is too tasty for words...just try to find fillets and don't overcook. Alternatively, cube it and marinade in cajun spices, then toss in a wok with some rough cut veg. If you don't overcook, you can let it sit till it goes stoneif you want. will still be tasty and will still be tender.

Bee33f6da1beec1cf15e3e7003f0120d

(351)

on July 15, 2011
at 08:10 PM

Thanks for pointing out that roo wasn't a major part of the Aboriginies diet. From the paleo perspective I find that really interesting. I like the leaness of roo. It's not steak, so you can't cook it as steak, but very thin slices in a stir-fry are great. I also like to slow cook it until it starts to break down, gonna add some paprika next time.

Bee33f6da1beec1cf15e3e7003f0120d

(351)

on July 15, 2011
at 08:06 PM

A long answer is good, thanks for taking the time. So the positives are the same things that are the negatives? ie we can't control what they eat and can't fill them with antibiotics. I'm interested that you still raise humane concerns. Is that compared to abattoirs, or is it compared to no meat? For many Aussies I think there's still the Skippy issue, but I also think for most of us we're so disconnected from how our meat is killed that we think hunting is cruel. Like sheep and cows just magically die on the kill-floor. I don't know anything about hunting either, just wondering.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 15, 2011
at 06:31 PM

+1 for Hungarian Goulash reference. Also, what are the effects of too much roo meat on cats & dogs?

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on July 15, 2011
at 01:56 PM

+1 for the sheeple reference ;)

76ecae8a243b4e152a8dd6e8754f9628

(85)

on July 15, 2011
at 11:23 AM

It is a great tasting meat, similar taste to lamb but super low fat, high in iron and protein. To purchase a kilogram of Roo fillets is roughly $18 per kilogram. The mince is even cheaper. Roo's are generally good for the environment - much better than the imported stock of beef and lamb - but as a well protected species in some areas they have overbred and damage themselves and the land. Sorry I haven't done a lot of research but there are strong opinions both for and against Roo eating in Australian society. http://www.ecosmagazine.com/?paper=EC145p26

Bee33f6da1beec1cf15e3e7003f0120d

(351)

on July 15, 2011
at 10:20 AM

I also read that study about returning to a traditional diet and improved health, but I suspect that the issues of endemic poverty, institutionalised racism and poor education had far more to do with it than the kangaroo meat. If someone could find the links it would be great.

Bee33f6da1beec1cf15e3e7003f0120d

(351)

on July 15, 2011
at 10:17 AM

Cheap enough that people buy kangaroo mince (ground meat) for their dogs. I don't recall actual per/kg, but mince was a few $ cheaper than (non-organic) beef mince. "Fillets" are about the same price as stewing steak. Kangaroo can be tricky to cook because it's so lean, and I think that puts people off. If they have a shoe-leather experience they won't go back. My rule with fillets is "very fast or very slow", mince is just the same as beef mince.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 15, 2011
at 10:04 AM

Also, wasnt there some natural experiment where Aussie Aborigines went back to living in the bush and their health markers improved rapidly? Anyone? Bueller?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 15, 2011
at 09:56 AM

Out of curiosity, how much does it cost relative to Aussie beef & lamb?

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2 Answers

9
Abc0bc75cc91a0e753accc4b21015cf9

(140)

on July 15, 2011
at 11:05 AM

Hokay, this is going to get kinda long...

Roo meat has plenty of pro's but a few con's too. The aboriginies didn't subsist on it, they ate it at certain times of the year when the animals carried more fat. Roo is exceptionally lean (don't even bother trying to cook it past medium rare unless you're going to stew it) so you need to compensate for that with your meal. I'm hoping someone with a good link to nutritional values will jump in here because I know it is stupidly high in K? or something, which can be a problem.

Roo meat was once seen as a cheap pet mince here, as a by product of culling and the fur trade. (Yes, culling is very necessary in places.) It was not seen as a food for the dinner table because, let's face it, who wanted Skippy giving us the guilts at 4pm on the kids' channel? This attitude changed and you could buy it prepared at a stupendous price in a tourist restaurant, or at about a quarter of the price of beef at the market. It was then trialled at the supermarkets in vaccuum packs and failed to attract a market. There was enough interest that the fresh markets attracted more of a following and better cuts became available. You wouldn't see them on show but if you asked the right guy you got something better than dog food. The following grew, produce once again made it to the supermarket shelves and now we pay $20kg for roo fillet, $30 for beef eye fillet or lamb backstrap. Market pricing varies, of course.

One of the issues is our inability to control the level of nasties in the carcass. We don't control the feeding, they're not vaccinated and people get scared. Roo is not allowed to be hung in the same room as farmed meat. This makes it impossible to sell fresh in a butcher's stall. The flip side to this is that the pasture varies wildly. Noone's going to let a mob of roo near their prized canola or wheat. Not without a fight, anyway. This means they get a varied diet and they generally eat the parts of the plant they need. This can be tampered with to some degree, of course, but you're never going to force finish them on a diet of junk food and corn.

Culling is done as cleanly as possible but you're never going to find anything hunted wild killed 100% humane. Hell, abotoirs have enough trouble staying the right side of everyone even in this country. You're never going to have a completely clear conscience unless you're prepared to kill your own meat.

I'll add that I'm no expert in the field. I'm Australian, I've nursed and rehabilitated roo, I've created places where I can have mother and joey pull at grass next to my windows unafraid. I am also a great fan of roo meat as a part of the Australian diet. For environmental reasons, for health reasons ,and for economic reasons. More importantly, because it makes the best damned hungarian goulash you've ever eaten.

PS Too much roo meat is bad for dogs and cats. Balanced diets are not just for sheeple.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on July 15, 2011
at 01:56 PM

+1 for the sheeple reference ;)

Bee33f6da1beec1cf15e3e7003f0120d

(351)

on July 15, 2011
at 08:10 PM

Thanks for pointing out that roo wasn't a major part of the Aboriginies diet. From the paleo perspective I find that really interesting. I like the leaness of roo. It's not steak, so you can't cook it as steak, but very thin slices in a stir-fry are great. I also like to slow cook it until it starts to break down, gonna add some paprika next time.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 15, 2011
at 06:31 PM

+1 for Hungarian Goulash reference. Also, what are the effects of too much roo meat on cats & dogs?

Bee33f6da1beec1cf15e3e7003f0120d

(351)

on July 15, 2011
at 08:06 PM

A long answer is good, thanks for taking the time. So the positives are the same things that are the negatives? ie we can't control what they eat and can't fill them with antibiotics. I'm interested that you still raise humane concerns. Is that compared to abattoirs, or is it compared to no meat? For many Aussies I think there's still the Skippy issue, but I also think for most of us we're so disconnected from how our meat is killed that we think hunting is cruel. Like sheep and cows just magically die on the kill-floor. I don't know anything about hunting either, just wondering.

Abc0bc75cc91a0e753accc4b21015cf9

(140)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:18 AM

Can't cook it as steak? Are you kidding? BBQ'd roo is too tasty for words...just try to find fillets and don't overcook. Alternatively, cube it and marinade in cajun spices, then toss in a wok with some rough cut veg. If you don't overcook, you can let it sit till it goes stone cold if you want. Will still be tasty and will still be tender.

Abc0bc75cc91a0e753accc4b21015cf9

(140)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:17 AM

I mentioned the humane aspects because it was one of the questions raised by the OP. Licences have to be purchased from the government and there are strict guidelines for the culling. I don't expect many paleo people to have an issue with it but I wanted to differentiate between abatoir stunned and killed vs killed in the field.

Abc0bc75cc91a0e753accc4b21015cf9

(140)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:35 AM

I'm far from an expert, Patrik, and I know a lot of people do use it as a protein rich food for their dogs, but it is far too lean and the vitamin inbalance can lead to breakdown of the immune system.

Abc0bc75cc91a0e753accc4b21015cf9

(140)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:15 AM

Can't cook it as steak? Are you kidding? BBQ'd roo is too tasty for words...just try to find fillets and don't overcook. Alternatively, cube it and marinade in cajun spices, then toss in a wok with some rough cut veg. If you don't overcook, you can let it sit till it goes stoneif you want. will still be tasty and will still be tender.

0
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on November 08, 2011
at 04:46 AM

Kangaroo meat appears to be high in CLA.

http://www.csiro.au/files/mediarelease/mr2004/kangaroofat.htm

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