About Deer Meat

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Deer meat is also known as venison. It is thus termed whether it has been hunted or farmed. Deer meat is typically consumed in the form of steaks, roasts, jerky, mince meat and sausages. It has experienced a surge in popularity recently due to its lower cost and fat content.

Function

  • Deer meat is used as food by people around the world. However, it is used most commonly amongst people in the United States Mid-south, Midwest, Mississippi Valley and Appalachia. Here, it is often used as a less expensive substitute for beef. The meat is usually obtained via hunting but in recent years, deer farms have begun to produce the meat. It has become a delicacy amongst people in urban areas.

Features

  • Deer meat is a very lean meat. It typically features a fine-grained, delicate texture with little marbling from fat. Many people believe it has a flavor similar to beef but the shorter fibers of the meat contribute to a more tender texture. Deer meat is also considered kosher since it meets the Jewish law requirements for kosher food.

Types

  • There are several types of deer meat eaten today. Axis deer meat is mild and fine, very similar to beef. Axis deer are native to India but are also found in Texas, Florida and Hawaii, in the United States. Fallow deer meat is a typical European choice. It has a strong flavor and is produced on deer farms across the globe. Red deer meat is widely used in fine restaurants and is known for its high quality taste and texture.

    Sika deer meat is the most strongly flavored of all. These deer originated in China but are also found in the Northwest United States. Whitetail deer meat and Mule deer meat are not found in restaurants as they are not allowed for commercial sale. They are native to the United States and are the most widely hunted of all the breeds, particularly in the Southern portion of the country.

Warning

  • Chronic wasting disease is similar to mad cow disease and found in some wild and farmed deer. It is unknown if this disease can be passed to humans through eating deer meat but there have been concerns regarding contamination. Several cases have been recorded in deer farms in the United States and Europe.

Benefits

  • Deer meat is one of the healthiest types of red meat. It is extremely high in protein while maintaining a low fat content. It is also low in calories and cholesterol. In addition, deer meat contains a large amount of necessary iron, phosphorus and B vitamins.

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  • Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons, Ra'ike
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