Food for Thought

Kangaroo meat – lean, green, clean and good for your heart
‘Kangaroos are of particular importance to Australia’s conservation and economic future, not only for their biological significance and iconic status, but because of their special value as a source of meat,’ says Prof Mike Archer, Dean of Science at the University of New South Wales.

Prof Mike Archer

‘Most of the world’s meat production is based on a relatively small number of species with a long history of domestication. Opportunities to introduce new species to the pantry of an increasingly hungry world are few, but kangaroo is definitely one of them. It is abundant – probably far more so than when Europeans arrived in Australia – and it breeds in perfect synchronisation with Australia’s drought-and-flood climate cycle. When things ain’t right, roos sit tight, but when good times come they breed prolifically.

The soft-footed, environment friendly kangaroo has a venerable and safe history of being a rich source of protein. It is a very nutritious and tasty meat which is 98% fat free. Even its very modest fat content consists mainly of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and it is very low in cholesterol. In a world increasingly worrying about food safety issues in relation to farming cattle, sheep and pigs, kangaroos have growing appeal – there is no such thing as ‘mad kangaroo disease’. As well, they are not only free-range in origin, but have never been dosed with antibiotics, hormones or pesticides.

If graziers (farmers), to whatever extent, could shift from total dependence on cattle and sheep, with their attendant economic and health risks, to committing part of their grazing lands to native bush and grasslands stocked with kangaroos, there should be benefits in all directions. Kangaroos would gain in population size, distribution, and security by being valued by graziers instead of being regarded as pests. Other native species should benefit, too, because the grazier needs a healthy, biodiverse bush to sustainably produce harvestable native resources. Graziers gain through a long-term broadening of their resource base, making their incomes overall more resilient to environmental and market disasters. Consumers gain because they have a wider range of healthy natural products available to them in the markets.’
– Excerpted from Prof. Michael Archer’s and Bob Beale’s (now out-of-print) book, Going Native


GI Group: A wide range of kangaroo cuts like fillet, mince, diced kangaroo and kangaroo steak are on the Australian Heart Foundation’s TICK Shopping List and available Australia-wide in supermarkets, and exported world wide (not to the US).

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