The kangaroo is an Australian icon and can be found on the Australian coat of arms, yet millions of Australians are choosing kangaroo meat in their local supermarket.
Kangaroo is becoming increasingly popularity for consumption due to its healthy properties as game meat; it’s good for you and for the environment.
Kangaroo Meat Health Benefits
Kangaroo meat is high in protein, low in fat (2%) and has only 98 calories per 100 gram serving. Many supermarkets in Australia now stock kangaroo meat between the beef and chicken in a selection of cuts.
You can buy kangaroo steaks, minced meat or even kanga bangas sausages. The sausages are so popular with Russians that they actually eat more of them than Australians!
Environmental Benefits of Eating Roo
There are many environmental benefits when choosing kangaroo over beef, pork or lamb. The main one is that kangaroos do not emit ethane as do beef and sheep. The beef industry in Australia accounts for 15% of Australia’s total carbon emissions.
The second factor is that the kangaroo population needs to be controlled. If it is not controlled, the increasing numbers affect other grazing animals, become a pest to farmers by causing land degradation, and reduce already limited water resources. Kangaroos are a natural resource in Australia that need to be utilized.
The Kangaroo Industry in Australia
The Australian kangaroo industry is worth $270 million a year and includes more than 4,000 jobs. A lot of these jobs are in remote areas where there aren’t many other employment opportunities. Australia’s kangaroo population is estimated at 250 million, similar to the number of cattle.
The Australian government has strict guidelines on the farming of kangaroos. Population numbers are constantly reassessed and only 10-15% of the total population is processed. This number is based on the kangaroo population and not commercial demands of the marketplace.
Kangaroo slaughtering is one of the most humane forms of animal slaughter. They are not penned, herded or transported, and are slaughtered in their own environment, which reduces the stress they experience.
Only licensed kangaroo harvesters may kill kangaroos. They follow strict government guidelines on animal welfare, hygiene and a code or practice for the humane killing of kangaroos. Tags are issued by the government for the animals that are killed and only those kangaroos can be processed.
How to Cook Kangaroo
Kangaroo is a game meat that should be cooked no more than medium rare. As the meat is low in fat, if cooked to more than medium rare it tends to become dry and tough. If you prefer your meat well done, try kangaroo tail stew, which uses a slow cooking technique.
The unique flavour of kangaroo is not to be missed. One of the best ways to cook kangaroo is on the BBQ. Roll it in olive oil with some garlic and herbs and sear lightly. Substitute kangaroo mince where you would you minced beef.