Rabbit Meat – The Other 'Other White Meat' For the past few years, the pork industry has run a promotional campaign referring to pork as the 'other white meat', to counteract the image of chicken breast being the healthiest meat choice. Perhaps the nation's rabbit farmers should band together and bill rabbit as the OTHER 'other white meat', since it is also white as well as being low in calories and high in nutritional value. Educating the public and raising awareness of rabbit as a good meat source would help more people to realize that there is more out there than just beef, chicken and pork. Rabbit meat actually has a lot of health benefits that most people aren't aware of. It is lower in cholesterol and fat than beef, chicken, pork or even turkey. Rabbit meat has the highest level of protein compared to the other four popular meats, as well as being lower in calories than any of them, even chicken. The meat is also very high in iron, phosphorous and potassium. Compared particularly to raising other kinds of meat animals, rabbit meat is one of the most environmentally friendly meats. It takes the same amount of food and water to produce 6 pounds of rabbit meat as it does to produce one pound of beef, yet you can raise 40 rabbits in the space to raise one cow. Rabbits reproduce much more frequently than other meat animals and in a much shorter time span. These facts mean that rabbit farming is easily sustainable and will take less natural resources to produce meat. Even if you didn't want to farm rabbits for mass meat production, they are easily raised for family use. Communities rarely have regulations against raising rabbits on a small scale, although they often won't allow other livestock in residential neighborhoods. With the costs of meat and other foods rising at a rapid pace, raising a few rabbits could make a big difference in the household budget. When rabbits are slaughtered at the ideal age of three months, the rabbit meat is very mild in flavor. In fact, many have said it tastes very similar to chicken. Known as fryers, the meat from these rabbits can be made into different cuts like chops or even steaks. You can pretty much substitute young rabbit in any recipe that normally calls for chicken. For those who like a gamier taste to the meat and plan on cooking it slowly, rabbits can also be slaughtered at about eight months old. At that point, the meat is both stronger and tougher, so slow cooking is necessary to mellow the flavor and make the meat easier to eat. Dani Schaeffer is the Publisher of The Pioneering Parent, an online blog for “Suburban Survival Families.” The Pioneering Parent features articles on microfarming in suburbia, and covers topics on microfarming, including backyard chickens, rabbit farming, and tilapia farming, as well as gardening, cooking, preparing and storing food, alternative energy and financial planning.
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