Mason County News
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A Hunter's Feast
Neva Cochran, MS, RD, LD
Wednesday, January 4, 2012 • Posted January 4, 2012

Do you have a freezer full of game meat like venison, duck, quail, dove and boar? Because hunting is such a popular sport in Texas, many of us are accustomed to eating these meats. And with all the choices available, there is no getting bored with the same old beef and chicken. In fact, most nutrition and health advocates recommend eating a variety of foods, including different protein sources.Game meats have many of the same nutrients as beef or chicken but are often lower in fat and calories. Take a look at the chart to compare the nutritional content of a 4-ounce cooked serving of each type of meat. Before you enjoy eating game meat, make sure you take proper steps to ensure it is safe to eat. This starts in the hunting field. Be sure to transport it in a cooler, or at least get it to refrigeration or freezing as soon as possible. When you are ready to cook frozen meat thaw it properly in cold water, the microwave or the refrigerator. Always cook it to an internal temperature of 165° F.There are many ways to cook game meats depending on the type and also how you enjoy eating it. Because it is lower in fat, game meat is often much drier than the meat from the grocery store. Game meat can be roasted or barbequed, but you may want to brush it with oil to help keep it moist. Another way to retain moisture is to use liquids in cooking. Think of a nice hot stew simmering on the stovetop or in a crockpot, perfect for this time of year. Add lots of colorful, flavorful vegetables to the stew and you’ve got most of your meal right there!So hunters, go out and stalk a wild hog and literally bring home some bacon! For ideas on new and healthy ways to prepare game, check out www.food.com/recipes/wild-game/healthy and www.healthysd.gov/healthyhunter/recipes.aspx. And for more information of handling game meat safely for eating or other general questions, search for “Game from Farm to Table” on the USDA website at: www.usda.gov.Sanya Massey is a dietetic intern at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas who completed a community nutrition rotation with Neva Cochran in December.

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