Goat Meat: a Healthy and Tasty Option

Goat’s meat is not as popular as fish, chicken, beef, or pork. However, if you are a person who values health it should be on your plate. This horned farm critter’s body carries less cholesterol and less fatty make-up than any of the other meats typically sold for consumption at grocery markets. When prepared properly (a phrase whose exact definition depends on the chef and the eater, of course!) it also has one of the best tastes of any farmyard animal you can name.

The meat provided by domestic goats is what is sold on markets, though some hunters will go for “game” animals as well. The goat sold at market is usually called cabrito, capretto, chevon, mutton, or kid meat. Chevon or mutton mean that the animal used at slaughter was an adult, while the other three terms refer to meat derived from a kid.

The terms used to define meat also have specific meanings to various world cultures. Cabrito is a Spanish term. To native Spanish speakers buying goat, when they read this word, they understand that the meat comes from a young kid that was fed exclusively with milk as opposed to grain – the equivalent of “white” veal in cattle.

In the United States, it seems people that fancy this barnyard friend are picky about the name. For some reason, people prefer to buy chevon to mutton, though it’s not quite understood why the French term makes it more appealing to the consumers of an English-speaking country. (Mind you, “mutton” is itself derived from a French word: mouton, meaning “sheep”.) In the Caribbean, parts of Asia, and developing countries of South Asia (Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh), people prefer the word “mutton” to describe an adult goat’s meat.

It’s believed that goat is the most widely consumed red meat in the world. Over 69% of the world’s population eats the horned animal, preferring it over pork and beef. The best recipes for preparing the animal are said to come from Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Caribbean countries. The second most recognized recipes come from Mexico, Pakistan, and India.

These animals flourish on land areas where a cow or horse might struggle to find food. Their diets include a mix of expected and shocking foliage. Meat goats can consume things from sweet blackberry canes to human-despised poison ivy. Some of the common dietary items are kudzu, leafy spurges, multi-flora rose, healthy brush, and any saplings like honeysuckles in eye sight.

Browsing creatures and not grazers, goats like variety. According to HobbyFarms.com, a study by Australian animal observers found that over seventy per cent (70%) of the content in goats’ bellies was browsed varieties of foods that they had rummaged through forests and foliage to find. The smaller percentage was grass from fields they grazed. In short, goat meat’s rich flavor and nutritional benefit come from being a well-diversified eater.

There are a few main market breeds for goat meat which farmers typically raise and chefs and consumers prefer. These types of goat are Boer, Texmaster, Kiko, Savanna, Tennessee Meat, Spanish, and Genemaster. In stores it will usually be these bloodlines that are being sold. The price of these animals may rival that of beef.

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