I drove the back roads to work at Walleye Weekend in Fond du Lac this weekend and saw a sure sign of summer- road kill. This got me wondering about the nutrition information about those poor varmints that didn’t make it across the road. Don’t scoff- most of these are way more nutritious than beef or pork! While I couldn’t find Nu Val scores, I was able to get a grading system and these guys have a great report card. Eating road kill can provide you with a free source of meat that hasn’t been factory farmed, it’s organic and free from antibiotics.
Raccoon (B+)Dark meat that needs to be soaked overnight then slow roasted, smoked or barbecued. One medium sized raccoon will feed 4-5 people. Raccoon is a staple in many parts of the US. Very high in protein but also high fat and calories so don’t eat too much!
Squirrel (B+)High protein, high niacin, iron and B vitamins. Also high in fat. My grandma used to shoot squirrels from her kitchen window and then make stew with them. I think that’s a lost art.
Rabbit (B) Low in sodium, high in niacin, phosphorous, and B vitamins. Also very high in calories, fat and cholesterol so I’m surprised at the good grade.
Deer (A) Very low in sodium. High in protein, iron, niacin, riboflavin, zinc, and B vitamins. A 3 oz serving has just 127 calories.
Wild Turkey (B) The bird, not the drink. I must have seen 100 wild turkeys out in the fields, I would hate to hit one with my car, they are huge! Low sodium, high protein, niacin, riboflavin, and B vitamins but higher in fat and calories than its farm raised counterpart.
Skunk (?) Surprisingly, I could not find any nutrition info but I did find this advice from a road kill forum (yes, there is such a thing) : First, you have to clean the critter properly. So many people just don’t know how to cleanly butcher anything. If the critter has sprayed, don’t bother. If it hasn’t … skin it carefully, not letting the fur touch the meat. Also – you have to be very careful to not break the glands that produce the scent when you gut him. Honestly-skunks aren’t worth the effort because I’ve got to kill so many to find palatable ones. It is possible to eat skunk, but unless you really know what you are doing, don’t. ßwouldn’t you just love to meet this person?
One last bit of advice from the experts:A good way to know if road kill is fresh is to look on the roads you normally drive. If it wasn’t there the day before, it’s fresh. Don’t eat road kill that smells rotten, has maggots or fly eggs, looks sick or has ruptured organs. Road kill with rigor mortis should still be good for a day during warm weather and three to four days in cold weather.
Who wants to go the Road Kill Café today?