Story #9: Why Eat Game, Why Eat Farmed?
Are you ‘game’ for game? (Sorry ;))
As a child, I didn’t appreciate that the deer and game darting around the hills outside your home, ending up on your dinner plate every night, and being aware of what that entails wasn’t part of the average Scottish upbringing. The Waugh kids already knew what happened to Bambi’s mum.
It wasn’t until my 20s that I realised my introduction to meat was unusual. But why would I question it? Game, that is: pheasant, partridge, grouse, rabbit pigeon, hare, squirrel and venison-red, Sika, fallow and roe is a perfectly good meat, it can be bought from all good butchers (you can now even buy it in the supermarket) and you see them roaming around the hills and forests and the occasional motor way.
When I had a few more years under my belt, I started questioning what the hell my parents had been feeding me. But then I started really considering what I was cooking and eating and developed a passion for food, especially game. I came full circle and started thinking, “what the hell had everyone else’s parents been feeding them?”
Game seems to have a stigma attached to it that doesn’t have much grounding in reality for me. I grew up with this kind of produce on the table, in the fridge or flying past the kitchen window. That was my reality. The average meat eater however consumes farmed animals vacuum packed in plastic from the frozen aisle of the super market.
I think the sad truth is that our food culture is more attuned to eating intensively reared chickens that don’t see the light of day than eating a wild bird living a free and healthy life. Would the consumer prefer that their meat had a sad and miserable existence before being slaughtered or that it was a happy healthy animal shot in the wild? Neither scenario is perfect in modern society but we need to consider what we are eating and why more carefully.
Most of these animals lead a completely wild existence, eating nothing but wild berries, grasses and lichen. This is what every organic farmer wishes they could rear. Nature has provided us with an incredible source of meat without us having to do much. Wild meat is very healthy (low in fat and high in protein). Body builders eat this meat whenever they can. Game also has a negligible carbon footprint, a positive impact on the environment and best of all, it is absolutely delicious.
If you are looking to explore more Game this Autumn and Winter, head in to one of our Mac & Wild Restaurants to purchase some beautiful meat from one of our Butcher counters. We would be delighted to advise on cooking and recipe tips to get you started.