The tender, healthy white meat-domestic rabbit.
Let’s begin with a closer look at what the above statement is really saying to us. Tender, means “delicate” and in looking at something that we consider as “delicate” we see in the domestic rabbit the development of stress-free muscle growth contributing to an all-white meat product that is, therefore, tender and more easily digested. This means that those who are experiencing digestive problems-whether young, old, or on special diets-can enjoy the tender texture and mild flavor of domestic rabbit. And to others it may serve as a preventative measure.
We are confronted daily with the words “healthy” or “healthful.” So what is the meaning of this word that appears to us in such a myriad of instances? The word health, according to Webster, means “a sound state of body or mind” and we find healthy defined as “beneficial.”
Again, looking at the domestic rabbit we see from its lifestyle- preferring to live in a clean, quiet, undisturbed orderly manner-an environment that the rabbit lives in with quietness and confidence. Expressing the attributes of prayer and meditation, content with accepting its place in this world and going about its business.
From this, we witness “a sound state of body or mind”-sound meaning whole, firm and healthy. Thus, it then becomes ” beneficial” to us to nourish our bodies with this same soundness-a lesson in living for all of us.
We find among those eating chicken the majority of people prefer the breast portion, which comprises itself of all-white meat.
So looking at the domestic rabbit, we have everything considered healthful and desireable by most people-a finer boned, fine grained, chewy textured, tender, mild-flavored, beneficial all-white meat.
Looking at the benefits of this allwhite meat, we can make some comparisons with some of the more commonly accepted varieties of meat eaten in today’s society-chicken, beef, pork, veal, turkey, lamb and yes, the domestic rabbit (being very popular in Europe). The USDA has provided a statistical breakdown of the nutritional value of the above mentioned meats.
Since we all know protein is important in our diet, let’s consider the protein level per pound, beginning with the rabbit. Rabbit meat contains 20.8% while turkey follows with 20.1% and chicken with 20%. Medium-fat veal has 18.0% and a good grade of beef comes in at only 16.3%. A medium-fat lamb contains 15.7% and medium- fat pork slides in last at only 11.9% of protein per pound.
Domestically produced rabbit meat contains less fat than other meats. Again, beginning with the rabbit we see only 10.2% fat per pound compared with chicken at 11.0%, turkey at 20.2%, veal at 14.0%, good beef at 28.0%, lamb comes in at 27.7% and once again pork has a whopping 45.0% fat per pound.
What about the natural moisture content found in meat? How much are we paying per pound for water when we purchase pre-packaged meats? (All meat has a natural moisture content and this offers no nutritional value.) Rabbit meat leads with a moisture content per pound of only 27.9%, with chicken at 67.6%, turkey with 58.3%, veal at 66.0%, lean beef showing 55.0% and lamb is close with 55.8%. But look what happens; pork is rabbit meat’s closest competitor in moisture per pound with 42.0%. Too bad there is a high fat content in pork, but wait, there is more coming.
We have one more thing that is howling at us daily. Calories! Looking at the per pound measure again, rabbit is ahead of the race with only 795 calories, chicken runs a close second with 810, but turkey loses with 1,190 calories. Veal beats out turkey with 910 and lamb comes in with 1,420. But here comes beef sliding in at 1,440 calories per pound. Not too bad if you compare it to lamb, but where is pork? There it is, coming along at the end of the race with 2,050 calories per pound. (Oh, how I do love my pork chops and ham!)
Well, thinking about all the merits, it looks like it’s thumbs- up for rabbit meat at our table. And add to the high protein, low calorie features of rabbit meat, it is also low in cholesterol.
For more information and recipes on how to enjoy domestic rabbit meat in your family, you may contact me at the above address.
PO Box 94
HANNAFORD, ND 58448
Copyright Countryside Publications, Ltd. Nov/Dec 2004