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October 12, 2018 2 min read 5 Comments

Wild Game and Domestic Meat Nutrition

By: Cailyn Schroeder

As hunters we all like to think that eating wild game is better for us, but is that really the case?

Protein

Almost across the board, Wild Game meat is higher in protein content than domesticated meats, and the calories per serving stay relatively close between the different meats, with domestic meat often slightly higher in calories. This is due to the fact that Wild Game meats are generally leaner with protein containing 4 calories per gram and fats producing 9 calories per gram.

Fats

As you're probably aware, wild game meat is generally lower in fat, but you need to understand what that means to know how that may benefit you. There are many common health risks such as heart disease that benefit from diets lower in fat. There are two types of fat commonly come up when talking about food; Saturated fat and unsaturated fat. An easy way to think of the difference between the two is saturated fats are solid at room temperature such as coconut oil, butter, and the white marbled animal fat in meat. Common types of unsaturated fats are omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. Wild game meat has a higher omega 3 fatty acid content, and Omega 3’s have long been known for their benefits in brain and heart health as well as their anti-inflammatory properties. Grass-fed beef is one of the few meats that has a similar lipid (fat profile) to wild game meat. Bison meat, while considered domestic, is also a very lean meat compared to beef and can be considered wild game as well. Bison meat is highly regulated by the FDA and, though a little more expensive, is a great option as a meat you can purchase at the store. Wild turkey is also a much leaner choice than domestic turkey.

Other Considerations

Besides the easy to see differences between the two meat types you might think of the "quality" of meat and where it comes from. Domestic animals are often raised in a non free roaming environment and fed an assortment of grains from treated farm fields. Wild Game live off the land but often still spend time gazing those same treated crops, but don't have this as their primary food source. 

Overall, game meat is generally leaner with a better omega 3 profile compared to that of domestic meat and lives and feeds on the land instead of being fed grains from crops for every meal. Also, as we all know, there is a special respect and care that we as hunters take away from being able to harvest an animal and fill the freezer for our families, which makes Wild Game meat a lot more fun to go shopping for!

 

Article written by B2H Nutritionist and Editor: Cailyn Schroeder
Be sure to check out and follow her story in Instagram: @cailyn_schro

 

**Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information presented in this article is based on scientifically published literature and is not intended to be used for specific individual nutrition counseling needs. 


5 Responses

Paul Stid
Paul Stid

October 20, 2018

This was an informative article. I never knew the difference of the fat contents.

Luke VanDervort
Luke VanDervort

October 20, 2018

This was a very eye opening article. I’ve always been taught and raised that wild game is “better” for you. When I look at all of the information in this article, I realized that “better” is relative to what your looking for. While nutritionally wild vs domestic may be comparable, I think the “other considerations” paragraph is the highlight of the article. It brings up some very important concepts such as the exposure of wild game to treated crops vs farm raised animals. For me, the last portion is what’s most important. That is the pride of bringing home food that I worked for and hunted in a respectable, conservative nature. Preparing my food from scratch and preserving it are important parts of the more naturalistic values I hold. All in all, it’s a great article, thanks for sharing!

Shane Kinne
Shane Kinne

October 20, 2018

Good info. Thanks for pulling it together!

As a hunter but also someone who is involved in farming I do think it’s important to dig into the facts and science on domestically raised meats. I love game meat but also love a corn fed steak…because I know both are safe. There is a lot of fear mongering about farming and hunting these days, we have a lot of the same enemies and should be on the same team as meat eaters!

Keep the good info coming.

Geoff
Geoff

October 20, 2018

Great article. Can you make your image downloaded-able? I would love to share the comparisons with others.

Chris
Chris

October 20, 2018

Excellent article!! This is the kind of information we need. No one ever goes into detail on game meat. Thank you!

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