Can you eat ostrich?
In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat ostrich?”. Apart from this, we will discuss different recipes in which ostrich is used, along with the nutritional content of ostrich, some advantages and disadvantages of ostrich.
Can you eat ostrich?
Yes, you can eat ostrich. There is no harm in eating ostrich meat. In fact, the meat of ostrich is rich in iron due to which the cholesterol level of our body decreases and still it provides an awesome, savoury and meaty meal. The ostrich meat is much superior when it comes to the combination of an excellent flavour and healthful eating.
The single threatened megafauna bird species, the Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes), is killed for its meat, feathers, and leather. A study found that 70% of megafauna species with sufficient information are decreasing and 59% are threatened with extinction. Surprisingly, direct harvesting of megafauna for human consumption of meat or body parts is the largest individual threat to each of the classes examined, and a threat for 98% (1).
The taste of ostrich
If we talk about the taste of ostrich, its taste is not like chicken at all. The meat of ostrich is dense and the texture of ostrich meat has much resemblance to beef. It is also much similar to grass-fed-beef and low-fat game meats like venison. However, due to the low amount of fat in its muscle tissue, the meat is less juicy. Thus, during cooking, the fat content increases and causes decrease in moisture (2).
The nutritional content of ostrich
Ostrich meat is “naturally improved” meat because of its low content of intramuscular fat. This type of meat is recommended for overweight people and for those who suffer from coronary heart disease.The cholesterol content is similar to that of beef and chicken meat (59 and 57 mg/100 g, respectively). Cholesterol content of ostrich meat has been reported as 57 mg/100 g tissue (2).
Following nutrients can be availed by eating ostrich:
Different recipes in which the meat of ostrich is used
The ostrich is used to make numerous dishes. Below we have shared some recipes in which ostrich can be used as an ingredient:
- Ostrich steaks: Make a seasoning mixture by combining Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, salt, olive oil, onion powder, and black pepper in a container.
Apply the seasoning mixture on both sides of the steaks after placing them in a bowl. After covering with plastic wrap, it must be placed in the fridge for about two hours. Oil grill grates in a good way once the grill is heated.
Steaks are cooked for about five to six minutes after placing steaks on the grill until the internal temperature becomes 150 degrees F. Meat removed from the grill will be left to rest for about five to seven minutes.
- Marinated ostrich: After combining vegetable oil, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a shallow glass container or a bag these are mixed efficiently. Meat is turned to coat after being marinated.
The container is covered or sealed properly and then it is refrigerated overnight. It must be kept in mind to turn the meat occasionally. After refrigeration, the marinade is either discarded or drained.
It must be boiled over medium heat for about five minutes. We will keep on cooking it at least for five minutes until the desired doneness of meat is achieved.
- Ostrich steaks with wine and mushroom sauce: First of all butter is heated in a large frying pan. Ostrich steaks are cooked so that the outside becomes crispy and caramelized.
The internal temperature of meat should reach 63 degrees C. After this ostrich steaks are removed from the pan and are cooled. Another knob of the butter is added to the pan and is cooked until the colour turns to gold.
It is then allowed to simmer and lessen by half – the sauce should have a smooth and shiny texture. After adding mushrooms it must be cooked on low heat for about two minutes.
- Ostrich steaks with calvados sauce: After heating the butter over medium heat in a skillet, ostrich steaks are cooked in this hot butter for about two minutes. Beef steaks are poured into the skillet and are boiled over high heat.
After boiling for two minutes, it is poured into the Calvados and is seasoned according to the taste. The sauce is spooned over steaks before serving.
Advantages of ostrich
Following are some of the advantages of ostrich meat
- The relatively high total n-3 fatty acids content of ostrich meat (above 8 %), would thus be advantageous in promoting the product, since intake of n-3 fatty acids reduces incidence of coronary disease and are essential in growth and development of man throughout the life cycle and seem to be more effective in their antithrombotic and anti atherogenic properties than the corresponding n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (2).
- Rich in protein: The meat of ostrich comprises an appropriate amount of protein. Protein is very much necessary for our body as it gives life to us. Protein is also referred to as the building block of our body.
- Contain an appropriate amount of iron: The meat of ostrich is rich in iron. Iron is a vital mineral. Iron is essential for the transport of oxygen- through haemoglobin in our red blood cells. The scarcity of iron can cause anaemia.
- Contains vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12 and E (2).
Disadvantages of ostrich
- In the case of ostriches, the mortality rate is much higher with eggs and newly hatched chicks.
- Newly hatched eggs require incubation.
- Ostrich does not reproduce until it reaches two to three years of age.
- Ostrich is a threatened species in Somalia (1).
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat ostrich?”. Apart from this, we have discussed different recipes in which ostrich is used, along with the nutritional content of ostrich, some advantages and disadvantages of ostrich.
- Ripple, William J., et al. Are we eating the world’s megafauna to extinction?. Conserv Lett, 2019, 12, e12627.
- Poławska, Ewa, et al. The ostrich meat–an updated review. Anim Sci Papers Rep, 2011, 29, 89-97.