Ostrich Meat - A Healthy Alternative To Other Red Meats
Ostrich meat is probably one of the best sources of meat protein as it tastes a lot like beef, but contains far fewer calories per serving, and is a healthier alternative to the traditional beef. It is similar to venison and buffalo or bison meat in this regard.
As ostriches are birds, albeit ungainly and flightless, its meat is classed as red poultry, which is strange, but unlike poultry it doesn't attract the bacteria E. coli and salmonella which are responsible for so many cases of food-poisoning. In fact only turkey has fewer calories per serving than ostrich meat. It doesn't add any cholesterol to the body either, and has very little fat. If you buy ground ostrich meat, you will see pieces of 'silver' in it which is there to make it look more like the usual ground meats, but this is not fat, but actually muscle fibres.
I first tasted it in an Australian restaurant in Frankfurt, Germany ten years or so ago and if I hadn't known I'd ordered ostrich I would have thought I was eating a medium rare steak. It is good grilled or fried, but is pink even when thoroughly cooked.
To begin with you may need to use a meat thermometer to tell if your meat is cooked, as it should be a maximum of 165ºF internally when cooked, and then it needs to stand for 8 to 10 minutes before it is served to complete the cooking process and for it to 'settle'. It cooks quicker than beef and other meats because of its lower fat content.
Most ostrich meat that finds its way onto the supermarket shelves is organically reared on farms and if the bird has been fed on flax seeds as part of its diet this could mean that you are getting some Omega-3 fatty acid from this bird, which is sadly lacking in most western diets. When you buy meat from organically reared animals you can be sure that they have not been treated with hormones or antibiotics, which is a huge plus.
Ostrich meat can be roasted, or casseroled, grilled or fried, even stir-fried, and is sweeter and richer than beef which is why some people have likened it to venison. It contains 86 per cent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin B12, 51% of the recommended intake of selenium, which promotes mental well-being, and a quarter of the intake of niacin (B3), B6, phosphorous and zinc as well as also containing some vitamin B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), pantothenic acid (B5), iron, calcium, potassium and copper. These constituents mean that it is very good for the blood, bones and central nervous system.
For a heart-healthy alternative to beef, pork and lamb, try a succulent ostrich steak rather than a burger and get the full flavour of this tasty meat.
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