Road Kill Diet – A Sign of the Times?

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!

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    • Lauren

      This is a rather discouraging post about the wonderful benefit of eating road kill and how economical and green it really can be.

      I have the fortune to be married to a hunter/butcher, but anyone with proper knowledge of their state laws and local butchers would be able to get some wonderful meat for quite a low cost.

      As far as what to make for dinner? Deer, antelope and elk make excellent hamburger, steak and anything else you would make with a beef. And if you are concerned about “gamey” taste, worcheshire and seasonings is a great solution. Most wild game is VERY rich and takes some time to adjust. Once you do, feel lot cow will taste dull and boring…

    • http:///members/lizlewis/ Liz Lewis

      Hi Lauren,

      Sorry if you thought the post was discouraging – didn’t mean for it to be. Am thinking about a followup post on roadkill recipes – if you have any you’d like to share or links to places where one can find recipes for game, please let me know.



    • Tina

      My father was from Tennessee and ate just about every animal there is, including groundhog and squirrel (including the brains). If you hunt & kill wild animals, then absolutely you should eat them. If you see one tossed off the side of the road after being hit by a car, or possibly killed some other way, I think you’re taking your safety into your own hands there. You have no idea if that animal was diseased or what else could be wrong with it.

      There is a reason we are called civilized society and scrounging for roadkill to feed off of certainly does not fit into that. If you can’t seem to afford to buy meat, either become a vegetarian or get off your butt and hunt for your own meat. Learn how to shoot a bow and it’s extremely affordable.