The Rabbit Farming Renaissance

Pastured meat rabbits at Polyface Farm in Virg...

Pastured meat rabbits at Polyface Farm in Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not since WWII have so many Americans turned to rabbits as a viable, environmental friendly food source.  And, why not?  The nutritional attributes of rabbit meat far surpass all of the usual suspects– which include beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, and veal.  The environmental footprint of raising rabbits is minuscule compared to the rest of the pack as well.

For contemporary consumers, the moral implications of eating meat show that it is easier to provide a rabbit with a good and dignified life compared to any other systems such as the feed nightmares that you hear of many other animals enduring.  Let’s look at some facts about rabbits.

The Nutritional Value of Rabbit Meat

Nutritionally, rabbits win that race every time when compared to other meats. One ounce of rabbit meat contains less calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates.  On the big ticket item of protein, rabbit weighs in at a whopping 9 grams per ounce, while its closest competitor, chicken, posts 7 grams per ounce.  Rabbit has a couple of other uniquely appealing tricks up its nutritional sleeve in the way of minerals with an abundance of B-3, B-12, selenium, and phosphorus.

Why the Health Conscious are Turning to Rabbit Meat

English: Entrance to a rabbit warren.

English: Entrance to a rabbit warren. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even though most animals that fit in the ‘game’ category lend themselves to the strong flavors associated with dark meat, rabbit is considered a white meat along with pork and the breasts of poultry.  The nutritional elements and the exotic dishes to be cooked with rabbit have created a resurgence in cooking with it in the United States.

Historically, rabbit has been a traditional dish in Europe.  France and its famous culinary magic, is the country that consumes more rabbit meat than any other nation.  Italy, too, known for its rich and flavorful sauces, has had a long love affair with the rabbit.

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