THE KANGAROO: TOO CUTE TO BE COOKED?
While it is still widely unknown, kangaroo meat seems to be getting good press regarding its many perks. First, roo meat is low in fat and high in linoleic acid, which can help reduce hypertension. Taste-wise, it is quite similar to venison, but can also be used to replace beef in a given recipe.
Secondly, since kangaroos’ digestive systems are unlike those found in cows and sheep, they do not emit as much carbon dioxide. In a way, if kangaroo meat becomes more popular and therefore reduces the massive demand for “traditional meats” like beef, there could be a reduction in greenhouse gases usually attributed to livestock. Finally, the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia insures that kangaroo meat production thrives to be as responsible, sustainable and ethical as possible, establishing strict hunting quotas and using not only the animal’s meat, but also the leather and the liver.
But an important marketing challenge arises: the “Skippy syndrome”. Pretty hard to indulge in a delicious roo carpaccio all the while picturing the cute 1960ies TV show darling hopping around. In 2005, the Australian magazine Food Companion International launched a contest to find a new name for kangaroo meat. Australus was picked as the winning name by the magazine, however, it is not used by the food industry.
Today, if only about 15% of Australians eat kangaroo meat, it is also exported and considered as a curiosity amongst game meat afficionados. But with so many nutritious and “ecological” perks, it’s a sure bet that foodies from around the world will jump on the occasion to try this unique product.