As a nation our food consumption varies along with the composition of the total population. When considering taste, African cuisine, Indian, Middle Eastern, North African, Indonesian, Nepali, Caribbean, Pakistani and Mexican, cuisines are best known for use of goat. Many immigrants from Asia and Africa have a preference for goat rather than other meat. It can be prepared in several ways, such as curried, stewed, grilled, baked, canned, fried, barbecued or made into sausage. It is considered a delicacy in Nepal. Here Julie Kendrick, Huffington Post.com, reflects on saving our food system with the use of goat meat:
“The rest of the world loves soccer. The rest of the world also loves to eat goat meat. Yet Americans remain lukewarm (at best) to both. Coincidence? Andrew Zimmern doesn’t think so.
The James Beard award-winning television personality and chef is a big fan of goat, and he can’t understand why his fellow citizens are decidedly unaware of the virtues of this under-the-radar animal protein, much in the same way we still cling to our beloved NFL football over actual football (soccer).
Goat accounts for about 6 percent of red meat consumption worldwide, with the annual per capita consumption for goat weighing in at 1.7 pounds. The highest level of goat meat consumption anywhere in the world is Sudan, where 8.6 pounds of goat is consumed per person annually. The industrialized country with the biggest appetite for goat is China, with 3.5 pounds eaten per capita each year.
Depending on your family’s heritage and the part of the country in which you live, you might have more than a passing familiarity with goat meat. You might have enjoyed celebratory meals of slow-roasted cabrito at your abuela’s house. Perhaps the Jamaican side of the family made the reputed-aphrodisiac Mannish Water (goat’s head soup). Your Greek γιαγιά might have insisted that it wasn’t a proper Easter celebration without a whole roasted goat. But if those culinary traditions are not part of your background, you most likely have never eaten goat.
Image courtesy of: wallyg
Based on numbers provided by Tatianna L. Stanton, the organizer of the goat program in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University, it’s estimated that we consume only 0.25 pound of goat meat annually per capita in the United States.
And that’s not because we don’t eat a lot of meat. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average consumer will eat a record-high 222.2 pounds of red meat and poultry this year. So, although many of us are hungry for meat in general, we don’t seem to collectively have much of a craving for goat meat.
What’s wrong with the United States? Zimmern thinks we’ve been woefully misinformed. “Most people believe goat is a tough, barnyard meat that is somehow less desirable than pork, beef or lamb. I just don’t get it,” he told HuffPost. As the host of Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods,” he’s traveled the globe and eaten plenty of goat.
“I’ve had superb goat curries in the Caribbean, roast baby goats with chile vinegar and onions in Venezuela, spicy wok-tossed goat and lemongrass in Vietnam, elegant Michelin-starred plated goat rib and loin plates in Europe, goat head soup in Argentina, raw goat in Ethiopia, goat with lemons and chiles in Cypress and goat cooked with yogurt and flatbread in the Levant,” he said.
Other in-the-know culinary professionals agree with Zimmern. “Goats are noble creatures of great utility, and it’s time someone put some work into their PR,” James Whetlor, chef and founder of goat meat producer Cabrito, said in the introduction to his book Goat: Cooking and Eating. Many people, including Whetlor, think we can reform our animal-based protein production process by switching our eating habits to goat meat. Not only is goat often referred to as the healthiest of red meats, but goats can also leave the land a little better than they found it, since they subsist on the weeds other animals ignore.
“The function of goats on a farm is really remarkable,” said Dan Barber, the James Beard award-winning chef-owner of New York City’s Blue Hill and Westchester restaurant and education center Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and the author of The Third Plate.
Image courtesy of: International Livestock Research Institute
“We have goats at Blue Hill Farm, my family’s farm in the Berkshires, and I’m always amazed at the role they play in the farm’s ecology,” Barber told HuffPost. “After the pigs scavenge through the woods, the goats come in and clear away brush and stomp down grass. Goats will eat absolutely everything. They’re like little lawn mowers.”
Image courtesy of: dkilim
Goat meat is a healthier option and almost always free-range.
Goat is considered to be a red meat, but, according to the USDA, it contains 72 percent of the saturated fat in chicken and only 16 percent of the saturated fat in beef. It can be kosher and halal. Better yet, it comes with a clean bill of health in comparison to the worries surrounding feedlot-raised animals, since hormones are not approved for growth promotion in goats. This chart from the American Goat Federation breaks down goat meat’s nutrition compared with other meats:
“It is difficult to factory-raise goat meat,” said Anita Dahnke, executive director of the AGF, a nonprofit national association representing those who raise goats for milk, meat and fiber, and for pack and grazing services. Dahnke, who also is a partner on a 100-head goat farm in west-central Indiana, explained: “Goats need to get out and ‘browse,’ not graze, so if you’re eating domestic goat, that animal was almost certainly free-range.” She says that most goat herds are definitely not big business in the United States: “The average herd size is 35 head, which is small, so they are not produced at a large-scale level.”
No, it doesn’t taste “gamey.”
Can something this better-for-you taste good? The answer is a decided yes.“
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/goat-meat_n_5bb64c71e4b028e1fe3bcfa2
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