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Eating ALL Wild Game and All Edible Parts of Them

 
Posts: 162
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Currently, the only wild game I've eaten are turkey, squirrel, deer, rabbit, quail, and dove and I only ate the traditional parts without making use of valuable marrow, blood, etc.

There are many more potential sources of meat for me out there like: raccoon, possum, other mammals, other birds, reptiles, amphibians etc.  I've just always considered the meat dangerous and off limits.

Likewise, I thought the guts, marrow, etc. of the animals I did eat where unsafe as well.

Of course some are illegal to kill and I am not interested in breaking any laws.


Anyone have personal experience eating these types of meats and/or non-traditional animal parts and know of resources I can use to fulfill my goal of:

Learning how to eat every edible part of every edible animal in north america (legally). I bet proper preparation is key.

 
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Did you not render any of the fat down? Make stews and soups and stocks?
Everything gets put in the stock pot with me bar fur and feathers. Feathers go to the chickens, anything that I, or the cats, wont eat goes to the chickens.

In china they bash the bones with a hammer to get out the marrow. I have no personal experience of this but my partner does.

You can make a type of pate with liver, kidney's heart etc.

I just remove the digestive tract.

When I was young it was normal to be able to buy whole birds from the butcher. I don't know when or why it all became sanitised, you can't even by a chicken with giblets any more.
 
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The non-traditional parts are called "offal". There are many recipes for "nose to tail" cooking, but not in MY kitchen. I have eaten more wild meats than I can probably name here, but I am not an offal fan. And being of Scottish decent does not mean that I eat haggis (sheep offal, cooked with onions and spices, packed into the sheep's stomach and cooked. Eeew!
My husband is in a club call Let's Have a Ball Club. Bet you can't guess what's on the menu.


(Edit: I apologize and retract my "eeew" comment for those people who enjoy that type of fare.)
 
master pollinator
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There are of course various diseases that can be transmitted to humans via uncooked blood, parasites, etc.  Best to research each critter you plan to eat.
 
Benton Lewis
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Abbey Battle wrote:Did you not render any of the fat down? Make stews and soups and stocks?
Everything gets put in the stock pot with me bar fur and feathers. Feathers go to the chickens, anything that I, or the cats, wont eat goes to the chickens.

In china they bash the bones with a hammer to get out the marrow. I have no personal experience of this but my partner does.

You can make a type of pate with liver, kidney's heart etc.

I just remove the digestive tract.

When I was young it was normal to be able to buy whole birds from the butcher. I don't know when or why it all became sanitised, you can't even by a chicken with giblets any more.



I found this article interesting: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/guts-and-grease-the-diet-of-native-americans/

It references native americans hitting the bones with hammer for marrow.

I've just taken deer to the processor and have never process one myself.  I've only processed squirrels and rabbits myself and no experience rendering fats.  But everybody starts somewhere.
 
Benton Lewis
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Tyler Ludens wrote:There are of course various diseases that can be transmitted to humans via uncooked blood, parasites, etc.  Best to research each critter you plan to eat.



Thats something I definitely want to thoroughly research!
 
Benton Lewis
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What I want to make sure I don't do is overlook a valuable food source just because its taboo.  I want to examine it myself so that I know if the animal or animal part really is unsafe/unhealthy.  I'm not sure where to find that info but I'll keep my eyes open.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Odds of getting sick from eating critters are likely very low.  For instance, armadillos can carry leprosy, but only a few people who handle and eat a lot of them have contracted it.


https://www.avma.org/public/Health/Pages/Disease-Precautions-for-Hunters.aspx

https://grandpappy.org/rgame.htm
 
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We try to use every part of our animals.  

Here I hunt deer and elk.  
-We save the brains to tan the hide (Sally Fallon has a recipe for brains in Nourishing Traditions).
-We tan the hides for clothing.
-We use the bones and hooves to make stock for soups, etc.
-We grind the organs with hamburger meat, or make Liverwurst sausage mixed with pork.  Heart is great cooked like steak.
-The intestines are usually left in the field.  We could use the casings for sausage but that's too much work and it gives something back to the land.  A little outlandish for us to try and find a way to eat digested grass.

We do similar with fish and chicken parts.  If you have animals like chickens and pigs then you don't have to worry about the weird parts.
 
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I don't know about eating feathers. I lived in upper Maine for 5 years and west of Bangor for 2. Partridge season was one of my favoriite seasons. I would make any excuse i could to be home early and go hunting. The breasts of the birds and the thighs were cooked traditionally.I saved the rest of the bird carcass,hearts,livers and feet (plucked of course) and froze them. about February, when it was twenty below,I would make one heck of a partridge soup/stew on the top of the wood stove. It would simmer all day.When cold,the soup would jell. No feathers,just one of the richest soups i've ever eaten. Believe or not,I think the feet (scrubbed well) added the flavor boost. So feathers and intestines aside,i'd call that full use. And to be fair,with me behind the trigger,fifty percent of the birds I shot at go away free and clear,to live another day. Those critters are fast....Larry

Just thought id add this. NO chicken carcass is ever tossed here. all soups,stews and chilis are made started out with homemade chicken stock.I do the same for fish stock in my fish chowder with my white perch carcases.........Oh,im not talking about last ditch meals,im talking about dishes "rich folks" would pay $22 a serving for  LOL
 
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Hank Shaw's podcast, Hunt Gather Cook, had an episode a few months back on "Wobbly Bits" that covered quite a bit of ground.  I forget all of the specifics, but I do recall a mention of venison tripe and a few iterations of blood sausage, among others.  Worth a listen for those who want to move beyond heart and liver.
 
Jesse Fister
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I once did an experiment with a survivalist author in which we cooked a song bird that had accidentally fallen into his mouse trap.  We cooked in Navajo style.  That is, we took the intestines out and then cooked it in the fire until the feathers had burnt off.  Then we pounded the bird into a small cake - skin, brains and all - which we then ate.  I was surprised at how many calories we got out of it.
 
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Jesse Fister wrote:I once did an experiment with a survivalist author in which we cooked a song bird that had accidentally fallen into his mouse trap.  We cooked in Navajo style.  That is, we took the intestines out and then cooked it in the fire until the feathers had burnt off.  Then we pounded the bird into a small cake - skin, brains and all - which we then ate.  I was surprised at how many calories we got out of it.



"Navajo style" lol, honestly, would learn more about this kind of cooking. Do you know the name of the survivalist author? Or some website where I could get more info...?
I have traveled a bit in asia, and there, lots of "weird" parts of animals are eaten. For instance, a dish I saw a lot was a salad made of greens and slices of buffalo skin.
 
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