Well Being

Road Kill Diet – A Sign of the Times?

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What’s the difference between vension from a deer that is hunted and one that is accidentally killed on the road?

roadkillNot much, according to Sandor Katz, food lover, lifelong activist, and the author of ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America’s Underground Food Movements’.

Yet, somehow, the idea of eating road kill has very little appeal to most people. But, as Katz points out, with more than 250,000 animals killed daily on American roads, road kill could easily be part of an environmentally conscious diet.  After all, it’s free and if not use, will simply decompose. Plus wild meat lacks all the chemicals and drugs found in commerical meat.

But commencing on a road kill diet isn’t as simple as going down to the supermarket and picking out some meat. There are steps and processes to follow, from finding the road kill to turning it into a healthy and appetizing meal.

A newsletter called the  “The Feral Forager” , created by Terra, a self-described green anarchist and vegan, is a great place to start. The newsletter discusses everything from how to determine which road kill is safe to use to how to transform it into an edible form.

For example, the newsletter offers the following tips on how to decide whether the road kill is worth collecting or leaving behind:

  • If it is covered in flies or maggots or other insects it's probably no good.
  • If it smells like rotting flesh it's probably spoiled, although it is common for dead animals' bowels to release excrement or gas upon impact or when you move the carcass.
  • If its eyes are clouded over white it's probably not too fresh (though likely still edible).
  • If there are fleas on the animal there's a good chance it's still edible.
  • If it's completely mangled, it's probably not worth the effort.

That’s enough to make me reconsider the idea the road kill diet altogether, but if you’re still game, you’ll be needing some recipes.

A quick google search will turn up plenty. How about Hedgehog spagetti carbonara? Or Pan Braised Squirrel? Or maybe pan-seared racoon or wood-grilled possum?

Bon apetite … or not!