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How Rabbit Meat Helps Win Wars Then and Now

Rabbit meatWay back in the 1940s and 1950s, through the lean times of the Depression, rabbit meat was a popular protein source. During World War II, these were raised in the backyard to put food on the table while food supplies were being shipped to the soldiers fighting the war. It helped win the war then, but soon after, its popularity waned.

In fact, the thought of rabbits ushers other images- pets, cartoons and mascots. Considering its nutritional value, it is an amazing source of healthy and cheap meat. Top Market Meats’ Rabbit Nutritional Facts says, “Rabbit meat is high in protein, low in fat and half the calories of pork.   Also rabbit meat is an all-white meat which makes this suitable for many diets.”

More Reasons to Include Rabbit Meat in the Diet

There are many other reasons why rabbit meat is good for you. Check out the 10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Rabbit Meat  according to Rise and Shine Rabbitry:

  1. … one of the best white meats available on the market today.
  2. … has a high percentage of easily digestible protein.
  3. … contains the least amount of fat …
  4. … contains less calorie value than other meats.
  5. … is almost cholesterol free …
  6. … sodium content of rabbit meat is comparatively less ….
  7. … calcium and phosphorus contents … (are) more than any other meats.
  8. … there is more edible meat on the carcass than even a chicken.
  9. … does not have a strong flavor and is comparable to chicken ….
  10. … (among) the most productive domestic livestock animal there is…

The Renaissance of the Rabbit Meat

The good news is Rabbit dishes are regaining popularity according to Noelle Carter of the Los Angeles Times – Food Section.

Carter writes, “For years, it seems the only place you could find “the real deal” was occasionally on the menu at French or Italian restaurants. But rabbit appears to be going through a renaissance of sorts.”

“I think it’s gaining in popularity,” says Mark Pasternak, co-owner, along with wife Myriam, of Devil’s Gulch Ranch in Marin County. Their farm supplies rabbit to a number of butcher shops and restaurants in and around Northern California, including the French Laundry and Chez Panisse.

And in an era when game meats and nose-to-tail eating are redefining fine dining as food sport, rabbit is both familiar and exotic enough to appeal.”

Rabbit meat is like an “old-fashioned meat,” which adds exotic appeal on rabbit meat. Though hesitant at first, Chef Ken Addington and partner Jud Mongell of the LA Chapter (in downtown’s Ace Hotel), Five Leaves, and Nights & Weekends in Brooklyn, N.Y. took the challenge. There is, after all, a high demand for everything organic, sustainable and local. “According to Slow Food USA, rabbit can produce 6 pounds of meat using the same amount of food and water it takes for a cow to produce only 1 pound.”

How’s the Taste

It is easy to forget you are dining on rabbit’s all-white meat. Unlike other game meats, it has a subtle flavor, an amazingly fine-grained texture and a mild flavor in comparison to other game meats. The flavor and texture of wild rabbits are not too different from free-range chicken, while the backyard or farm-raised rabbits are just as bland and fatty as farmed chicken.

There are as many ways to cook rabbit meat as there are recipes for chicken veal or some other meats. Cook it using your favorite meat recipe and you’ll be pleasantly surprised that t is as good.

Winning Another War

Despite its reputation as an economical meat that makes a preferable option during hard times, its price is noticeably increasing. This makes you think twice if it can still win a war today. It is common knowledge that hunger and malnutrition remain fierce problems in the 21st century.
Despite its rising cost, the fact doesn’t change that it can “produce 6 pounds of meat on the same feed and water as the cow will produce 1 pound of meat on the same feed and water.” This means, it is both economical and sustainable to produce in this age when climate change is a real problem. More than that, it can help assuage poverty, hunger and malnutrition. Once again, raising rabbits in the backyard can put food on the table, just like during WWII.

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