Борис Бурда
Author: Boris Burda
Journalist, writer, bard. Winner of the "Diamond Owl" intellectual game "What? Where? When?"
Liberal Arts
5 minutes for reading

The most sustainable meat. And what do you know about Kangatarianism?

The most sustainable meat. And what do you know about Kangatarianism?
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Source: www.badfon.ru
SAVE THE PLANET

 

I think that everyone has already heard about global warming – a phenomenon that can irreparably change the Earth’s climate. Since we are accustomed to such a climate, changes can only go for the worse, and it is not even clear whether we will have time to do something.

Greenhouse gases are a major contributor to global warming, and our overwhelming meat habits are a significant source. The more meat we eat, the more greenhouse gases are generated during its production.

Vegetarians see this as one of the most important reasons that all people should follow their example and give up steaks and escalopes forever. You can understand them – the planet does not die … But are there any other ways to improve the state of affairs without giving up meat?

What do we eat? Beef, pork, sometimes lamb. Of course, chicken, very rarely – goose, turkey or duck. Once a year – a rabbit. It seems that’s all, the range of our meat food is rather scarce. Maybe we just eat the wrong ones? What have we already tasted and are going to eat tomorrow?

The most sustainable meat. And what do you know about Kangatarianism?
Kangaroo. Source: wikipedia.org

 

ALL DECIDED LONGLY

 

Whether kangaroo meat is edible and not harmful to eat – there is little point in discussing. Australian aborigines, completely unconcerned about the scientific approach to the issue, long ago made kangaroos their main meat animal. A large kangaroo weighs a little less than a centner with a growth of about two meters – there is enough meat there!

Generally speaking, there are quite a few types of them: from a dwarf wallaby, which weighs one and a half kilograms, to large animals already mentioned above. Kangaroos are found only in Australia (including some islands and New Guinea, which itself is the size of a small continent).

Europeans most likely first saw these creatures in 1770, and the great navigator James Cook did it personally. Ever since that time, a legend has been following him that he asked the natives themselves in pure English what this animal is called, and they honestly answered him something like “I don’t understand you, white man”, which is in their language and sounded like “kangaroo”.

.The most sustainable meat. And what do you know about Kangatarianism?

Do not believe it, nothing of the kind! It seems that these natives knew English – and they answered him “kangaroo”, which is the name of this creature in their language. The words “I don’t understand” they sound completely different. It’s a shame – I was told this story when I was six years old, and I laughed a lot. Even the question in the game “What? Where? When?” had such content – and it had a mistake!

Kangaroos have few natural enemies – marsupial predators have died out, monitor lizards are dangerous only for small individuals, eagles sometimes carry babies, but nothing more. And a large kangaroo, by the way, costs nothing to drown the same dingo or catch it with its front paws, and rip the belly with its hind legs. So these animals reproduce as they want, but they want so that one can envy.

 

STARTED TO TRY

 

Surprisingly, until the end of the twentieth century, white Australians practically did not eat kangaroos. In the state of South Australia, this food was legalized only in 1980, and in the rest of the states in general in 1993. They did this not because Australia was starving so badly, but because the kangaroos were threatened with mass reproduction, eating their own food base and starving to death.

One could, of course, say: “Well, let them die!” But first, together with them, numerous Australian herds of rams and bulls would have died of hunger – they feed on the same grass. So we decided to regulate their numbers by shooting a certain part of the kangaroos, and it would be foolish to throw away their meat. So we decided to try to sell it.

Kangaroo meat was clearly suitable for food for cats and dogs – there were no difficulties at all. And the Australians themselves got used to the new meat not without problems – in 2008, only 14.5% of the inhabitants of the Green Continent ate it more often than 4 times a year. Over time, they began to treat kangaroo meat better, and now you can buy it in almost any large supermarket.

True, some Australians still refuse this meat for patriotic reasons – they do not want to eat the creature depicted on the country’s coat of arms and some of its banknotes. It would seem more logical to do the opposite – what is painted on the coat of arms is certainly your own …

 

The most sustainable meat. And what do you know about Kangatarianism?
Coat of arms of the Commonwealth of Australia. Source: wikipedia.org
 
ARGUMENTS FOR

 

In the meantime, science has been interested in this topic – they began to figure out whether kamgaroo meat is healthy food. The conclusions were more than positive. The amount of proteins in this meat is huge, fat, on the contrary, is small – no more than 2%. The meat itself is quite tender, has a richer taste than beef, and  it is suitable to replace beef in most dishes.

Moreover, kangaroo meat contains a very large amount of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant properties, and at the same time helps to reduce subcutaneous fat, which should be beneficial for health. Healthy meat, and, unlike beef, you can’t find mad cow disease in it!

Those who have tried kangaroo meat in their pure form say that it looks like a cross between pork and beef, while hunters claim that kangaroo meat resembles roe deer meat. And roe deer is a delicacy; in Austrian restaurants, roe deer dishes are served for a considerable price, and they are quite tasty. I myself tried roe deer in cherry sauce in Austria – delicious!

True, there is a lack of kangaroo meat in Austria – one of the most popular Austrian souvenirs is a T-shirt with the inscription “There are no kangaroos in Austria!” It was they who got them so stupid tourists who confuse Austria with Australia. But if something is missing in Austria, and the shirt says no, why not buy it? 

 

GOODS FOR EXPORT

 

This is the correct thought – there are so many kangaroos in Australia that Australians cannot eat them all. 70% of the mined meat (and there is a lot of it: sometimes you have to shoot two million animals a year) goes abroad, and most of all – to rich and prosperous Europe, in which there is enough of all other meat.

It is interesting that a considerable part of this export was sent to Russia for a long time, until in 2009 a temporary ban on the import of kangaroo meat was introduced there. In 2013, this ban was repeated there, citing the presence of harmful bacteria in the meat. But on Russian sites you can still find an offer of kangaroo tenderloin and steaks.

There were also reports in the press that some talk about the export of kangaroo meat is being conducted with Ukraine. This most likely means that unofficially we have already bought and eaten a lot of kangaroo meat. On the Alibaba website, there are a dime a dozen of lucrative commercial offers for the sale of this meat – is it really that noone uses it?

Many will say, “Where are these kangaroos? We didn’t eat them and didn’t even see them on the shelves!” That they did not see – I believe that they did not eat – I doubt it. Usually, dryish lean kangaroo meat is simply added to minced meat for dumplings, sausages, pancakes and stuff like that. This is culinary competently – mixed it with lamb or pork fat and it will not be so dry.

 

ARGUMENTS AGAINST

 

The kangaroo meat trade also has principled opponents. They refer to the danger of trichinosis (as if there were no trichinella in pork!), To the fact that there is no sanitary control in the wild (so ban all game?), And sometimes even more touching things.

For example, in the Netherlands there is a special Party for the Protection of Animals, which states that kangaroos are slaughtered too cruelly, they do not observe the rules of sanitation and hygiene, and therefore the import of kangaroo meat into the Netherlands, which is quite noticeable in size, should be prohibited. Whether cows are slaughtered less cruelly than kangaroos, they do not say – and act wisely …

Generally speaking, kangaroo meat harvesting in Australia is under tight government control. Only professional shooters kill a kangaroo, they are obliged to do it only with a shot in the head, otherwise meat cannot be eaten (animal defenders scold the authorities for this too).

By the way, only 5 out of 48 kangaroo species are used for preparing meat.

I will take this opportunity to warn you: for believing Jews, kangaroo meat is forbidden, since it is non-kosher – a kangaroo chews gum, but its hoof is not forked, and the kangaroo has no hooves. As for Muslims, the rules are softer there, kangaroos are halal for them, but in Australia they will almost certainly be killed in a non-halal way – let them go to Australia and kill themselves as it should be …

 

ECOLOGY

 

Environmentalists are usually in solidarity with animal defenders, but that was not the case – they rather approve of limiting the number of kangaroos and even using their meat for food. At first, they did it simply because otherwise the kangaroos would quickly turn a large part of Australia into a desert – this question has already been discussed. But it turned out that it is not all.

You’ve heard that animal husbandry is considered the most harmful factor in global warming? Bacteria in the intestines of cows produce methane, which accounts for 14% of Australia’s greenhouse gases. And kangaroos do not produce methane at all – there are other bacteria in their intestines! Scientists are even trying to replace bacteria in cow intestines with kangaroo ones …

By the way, the kangaroo itself is considered an environmentally friendly product – it is produced only in the wild, without any chemical effect on the kangaroo. At the same time, kangaroos cause much less damage to the soil with their soft paws than the hard hooves of cows and sheep. So there are a lot of environmental benefits from kangaroos.

Here’s an easy way to dramatically slow down global warming! Recently, a new dietary trend has even emerged – Kangatarianism. This is vegetarianism, in which kangaroo meat is just as legal as vegetables and fruits, because its production does not harm the environment. In Australia it already exists – who knows, maybe we will have it soon …

 

COOKERY

 

Can you eat kangaroo meat? Maybe it’s inedible filth? Obviously not – many people even like it. Kangaroo meat has a specific smell, but lamb also has it. The solution is the same – pickle in something, for example, in red wine. But after marinating, kangaroo meat becomes almost ideal for barbecuing or baking in the oven.

The most common serving of kangaroo in Australian restaurants is steak. Roast kangaroo with potatoes, vegetables or spaghetti is clearly no worse than beef and is also popular. Kangaroo broth is rich and tasty, adding kangaroo to any minced meat can improve it – I also came across the opinion that it is with such an additive that the most delicious dumplings are obtained.

True, they say that only a male chef should cook kangaroo meat – women tend to fry meat dishes for too long, and this is fraught with a dryish kangaroo meat. It is also advised to use ready-made kangaroo meat immediately from the fire – after about half an hour, its taste can deteriorate quite sharply.

There are also recognized delicacies from this meat – for example, a baked kangaroo tail or a meat pie adored by Australian gourmets cooked with kangaroo meat, green peas, tomato sauce and a couple of other secret ingredients. This is not to mention kangaroo escalope with mushrooms and olives or kangaroo kebab – in general, the range is simply amazing!

Honestly, I haven’t tried it myself yet. But my own grandson, who graduated from the University of Melbourne, had the opportunity to observe the success of kangaroo breeding right in the kangaroo homeland. According to him, kangaroos can be tasted in a bunch of places, he did it many times and he liked it, and no less than the types of meat we are used to. He has great taste and I trust him!

 

NEW NAME

 

So this meat is becoming more and more popular. If something hinders its distribution – it is sentimental feelings for the kangaroos themselves, such cute and charming ones! This is said to be due to the so-called “Skippy syndrome”. Skippy is the name of a kangaroo from a series that was a big hit in Australia in the 1980s, after which it was shown around the world.

The most sustainable meat. And what do you know about Kangatarianism?
Source: theguardian.com

To mitigate this feeling, in 2005 the Kangaroo Meat Producers Association of Australia sponsored a competition for a new name for their product that would not evoke such undesirable associations among people. The idea itself is not bad, proper marketing is the basis for correcting many shortcomings!

More than 3000 participants from 41 countries decided to compete for the victory. Various names have been suggested – from the elementary “kangaroo meat” (kangasaurus) to the exotic “marsupan”, bacause a kangaroo is a marsupial animal. So they recommended both the complex abbreviation MOM (meat of marsupials) and the unexpected “jump meat”.

But the winner was named “australatina” (australus), proposed by a participant from the United States. Food Companion International editor Mel Nathan believes this new name could be a real breakthrough for the kangaroo meat industry. Under this name, perhaps, you dare to try it – especially since you probably tried it before …

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