FARMED VENISON - THE HEALTHY RED MEAT


                                                                                        LOW IN FAT - HIGH IN PROTEIN


For those wishing to eat meat, nothing could be better than to consider the merits of venison, especially farmed venison, which is produced to

the same hygiene standards as more conventional meats such as beef and lamb (EC Fresh Meat Directive 64/433/EEC).

According to the latest edition of the McCance and Widdowson’s standard work ‘The Composition of Foods’, venison is the leanest meat and

even leaner than chicken. It also has the highest protein and lowest energy levels of the meats compared (Table I).


Table I: Nutritional information (Composition per 100g)


   

Protein

Fat

Energy (KCal)

         

Venison Haunch

(Raw)

22.2

1.6

103

 

(Roast)

35.6

2.5

165

         

Chicken (average)

(Raw)

22.3

2.1

108

 

(Roast)

27.3

7.5

177

         

Beef Topside

(Raw)

20.4

12.9

198

 

(Roast)

29.9

11.4

222

         

Lamb Leg

(Raw)

19.0

12.3

187

 

(Roast)

29.7

13.0

236

         

Pork Leg

(Raw)

19.0

15.2

213

 

(Roast)

30.9

10.2

215

 

- Low in fat and cholesterol

- High in protein

- High iron level

- High omega-3 fatty acid content

- High polyunsaturated fat content

Research at the University of Bristol’s Department of Meat Science showed that the carcase lean has very little subcutaneous or intramuscular

fat and the lean itself contains only low levels of marbling fat.

Venison has a high polyunsaturated : saturated fatty acid ratio (P:S), about twice that of beef and lamb (see Table II). To aid comparison with other

values, the calculated percentages of extractable storage fat are given in parentheses in Table II, and these values are low compared with beef

and lamb, for which values of 2 - 4 percent are typical.


Table II: Composition of lean and subcutaneous fat


 

Mean

Minimum

Maximum

Percent fatty residues in lean

1.7 (1.1)

1.2 (0.7)

2.3 (2.0)

Cholesterol (mg/kg) - lean tissue

447

303

530

- fat tissue

563

270

808

P:S - lean tissue

0.5

0.35

0.71

- fat tissue

0.014

0.013

0.019

Source: Bristol University

In practice, experience has shown that people who have been advised to opt for a low-fat or low-cholesterol diet have found that venison can form

an important part of it. Many consumers who have been used to eating red meats find it hard to stick to a diet of fish and chicken. When they discover

a red meat which has so little fat, they are often delighted, since they had previously been breaking their diet owing to a craving for red meat.