Is all meat good meat?

Why do humans just stick with stuff like beef, chicken and maybe a few other types of meat?

Is there any reason why you don’t see meat like racoon, venison, opossum or even squirrel at the local Kroger meat dept.?

Is it just because it tastes bad or do some meats actually carry bacteria, disease, etc. that is bad for consumption?

Some meat contains poison. For example, the puffer fish.

Some meat does not taste nice, I think this is the main reason. Also, some meat is harder to breed and keep. I’m sure this is partly why sheep, cows and pigs have become so popular.

Humans don’t confine themselves to beef, chicken, and a few other types of meat – modern-day Americans do. I’m sure there are plenty of countries where the local Kroger-equivalent stocks venison, goat, rabbit, quail, ostrich, and the like, and most of the pioneers would gladly have eaten all the squirrels they could catch.

Most kinds of animal are safe to eat, although specific populations of those animals may not be (just like some herds of cattle are infected with mad cow disease).

I’m told that the meat of mammalian carnivores can be unpleasant in flavour.

It’s cultural. People tend to eat according to the norms of the society in which they live or were raised.

For example, in the U.S., the consumption of cattle far outweighs the consumption of goats. In India, the reverse is true.

[homer]Mmmmmmmm…meat… :excessive drooling:[/homer]

Basically, we confine ourselves to a relatively small number of meats because we’ve only domesticated a relatively small number of meat animals. There’s no way to produce enough venison to stock Kroger’s unless you get widespread game farming. If you’re interested in alternative meats, though, hunt around (figuratively or literally) - there’s more variety available than you think.

BTW, the same question could be asked of just about any food. An interesting book on the topic is:

Why We Eat What We Eat: How the Encounter Between the New World and the Old Changed the Way Everyone on the Planet Eats

Modern-day Americans who can afford it do. I know a bunch of people who grew up eating what their families could shoot.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that only a few animals have ever been domesticated (first person to reference Guns, Germs, and Steel here gets a prize). No one’s managed to start a racoon farm.

I can get bison at my local meat department. But it doesn’t taste that much different from beef.

I’ve had horsemeat, ostrich, venison, alligator and several other non-standard meats. My guess is there just isn’t enough demand for them right now.

There is widespread deer farming in New Zealand, and I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t be practical in the US as well, so I’d vote for cultural reasons in this case. But the general point is well taken.

I don’t think that’s accurate, given the prevalence in many Asiatic countries for eating cat and dog. I’ve never eaten either myself, unless the local Chinese takeout place…:eek:

My copy of Joy of Cooking had recipes for raccoon and opossum. These have been dropped from more current editions.

Also some animals are too cute looking for some of us to eat.

There’s deer farming in the US, too. Here in Wisconsin, it’s been the focus of a lot of new regulations, because of the appearance of chronic wasting disease (which is a prion disease, like mad cow disease, in deer and elk).

We do!

Or at least some of us do. Those of us who hunt, do get to eat all those things.

As a notable example, Ted Nugent( the famous guitar rock star) does not buy any meat from the grocery store. He says the meat from grocery stores is full of chemicals and hormones.

The Ted Nugent family, only eats meat from wild game that he or his wife hunt and kill, or from pigs and cows that are raised on private farms that use absolutely no chemicals.

My grandparents used to set up sparrow traps when they were young and eat what they caught. I think they even did this into the 50s. It is an Italian thing IIRC.

My grandparents used to set up sparrow traps when they were young and eat what they caught. I think they even did this into the 50s.

Strictly speaking, puffer fish meat is edible. The poison is in the ovaries and a few other parts of the body.

IIRC the duckbilled platypus is the only poisonous mammal, but the poison is only on the sharp spurs on their back legs. I’d guess that the flesh is edible. For that matter, is there any animal that is completely inedible?

If it’s got red blood it’s edible. Preferences are relative to how hungry you are.