Ostrich meat is classified as poultry and is nutritionally similar to poultry. But it’s more like a “red” (than “white”) meat, similar to beef in color
Ostrich is a lean, tender red meat with a light, delicate flavor similar to prime quality beef. Ostrich is extremely low in fat, with very little cholesterol. The best cooking methods are sauteing or quickly grilling over hot coals to medium rare.
Ostriches originate from Africa but are now found in nearly every continent in the world. These large, flightless birds were once prized for their feathers, which were used in men and women’s fashions in the 18th and 19th centuries.
However, as the use of their feather became less trendy, ostrich farmers in the U.S. introduced them as a meat source. Citing the birds’ popularity as a source of meat in places like South America and Australia, producers of ostriches quickly advertised the meat’s low fat content and high nutritional value. Ostrich meat is now one of the most popular exotic meats available in the U.S. today.
People who are on the proverbial fence about trying it, however, could be persuaded by the fact that it is more in line with red meat than chicken. It can be the ideal eco-friendly meat option for people wanting to enjoy a nutritional protein source with plenty of flavor.
Where to Buy Ostrich Meat
Before you can enjoy meat from an ostrich, you must know where to buy ostrich meat. In the U.S., it is only legal to buy it from USDA-regulated and inspected facilities. You cannot find the meat at your local grocery store or butcher store.
Instead, you need to look for it at specialty meat shops and authorized ostrich meat farms. You can also buy it online from USDA-approved retailers. You must buy it domestically, however. You cannot buy the meat from an international supplier because of stringent U.S. custom laws.
How to Cook Ostrich Meat
The question of is ostrich meat legal in the United States can be answered affirmatively by discovering the many recipes for it online. In fact, when you wonder how to cook ostrich meat, you can concoct some of your own recipes once you appreciate how similar it is to red meat.
Still, it can be prepared and cooked in methods that are not entirely different than preparing chicken. You can stew or bake cuts of this meat. You can also grill and deep fat fry it like chicken.
However, one of the most popular ways to prepare it involves cutting it into tenderloins and grilling them on both sides. Farm-raised meat from ostriches should have a mild flavor that needs very little seasoning. However, if you find it to have a slightly gamey taste, you can always soak it in milk for one to two days to remove the gaminess of the meat.
Otherwise, if you wonder what does ostrich meat taste like, your best answer would be to associate it with extremely lean beef. In fact, it is not considered to be a white meat like chicken. It is classified as a red meat because of its nutritional value and appearance.
Is Ostrich Meat Legal in the United States?
As mentioned, this meat is not only legal. It is also highly valued for its nutritional values as well as the fact that it is more eco-friendly to farm than cattle and chickens. Ostriches require less room to farm than cattle. They also emit less waste and are cleaner to farm than chickens.
People who want to reduce their carbon footprints in part by adjusting their diets can find the ideal solution by opting for meat from ostriches. These birds emit less methane than cattle and cause less damage to the environment.
Ostrich Meat Nutrition Facts
Anyone who eats ostrich meat reaps the nutritional benefits that come with it. A single four to six-ounce patty, for example, contains:
- 22 grams of protein
- 84 percent of the daily recommendation of B12
- 51 percent of selenium
- 25 percent of the daily allowance of niacin, phosphorus, zinc and Vitamin B6
It also is a valuable source for thiamine and riboflavin.
Ostrich meat is one of the more healthful exotic meats available to U.S. meat buyers today. You must purchase it from a USDA-approved seller like an ostrich farm. It is not legal to hunt ostriches in the United States.
As a red meat, it is on par with beef in how it can be processed and prepared. However, it is leaner than beef and is a valuable source of many nutrients like iron, zinc and B12.