This time of year is particularly opportune, once again, to draw attention to the positive aspects of game meat. Preparation of game at home remains a topic associated with negative preconceptions. Game has a bad taste because of its wild habitat or, as the French say, because it has a “haut gout”, or it is too expensive – these are just a few of the arguments put forward by consumers. These sentiments are confirmed by statistics which show that in Germany only 450g of game per capita was eaten in recent years. This equates to approximately two meals with game meat per year. It can be assumed that these meals are consumed in autumn/winter and in spring when the roebuck (Maibock) is hunted.
There are, however, plenty of arguments to support the enjoyment of game meat: the animals live freely, do not require any medication, are able to move without constraint within a natural environment and are even completely spared the unbearable transportation suffered by animals on the way to slaughter! Wild boars are the only exception here, and this is by no means their fault – parts of their environment are still radioactively contaminated following the catastrophic nuclear accident in Chernobyl. Even today, this meat is still thoroughly inspected before being made available for consumption, and only approved when it is completely safe.
The demand for an acceptable combination of “animal welfare and meat consumption” is met 100% in the case of game meat. Moreover, in nutritional terms, game is superior to conventionally produced meat from livestock in many aspects. This is no surprise as the quality of meat is greatly influenced by the life of the animal prior to its death. I would also like to use this opportunity to emphasise explicitly that professional hunting is neither a sport nor a hobby – it is an ancient art practised according to an established code of conduct. To shoot an animal accurately, so that it dies instantly, is the greatest responsibility of the hunter. This is not only for ethical reasons – which should always be paramount – but also for reasons relating to the quality of the meat.
By eating game you are supporting the demand for sustainability and regional sourcing of food as well as healthy enjoyment. To purchase fresh, locally-sourced game meat, it is best to contact hunters in your local area. This enables you to find out more information about the origin of the animal and the way it lived. Such contact promotes an appreciation and understanding of the animal and the hunter, and also creates a level of trust.
Do you have any questions relating to this topic? Please get in touch with us: leave a comment on this article (see below) or contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You will find the following recipes featuring game meat on our blog:
Venison medallions with celeriac purée by Eckart Witzigmann
Shoulder of venison with sweetheart cabbage and quark spätzle by Hans Haas
Haunch of venison with celeriac and chanterelle mushrooms by Herbert Hintner