Slaughtering animals immediately after birth simply because they are deemed worthless for the UK market is an awful waste of life and resources – don’t you think? #Goatober aims to raise awareness of this previously wasted resource with its inaugural campaign hitting the UK this October
With a steadily increasing demand for goat’s cheese and goat’s milk, we are slowly starting to consider the fate of male billy kid goats, often seen as a waste by-product within the dairy industry, euthanized at birth, or sold as meat for hunts. Up to 40,000 young billies are killed every year, with only 1% of billy kids kept for breeding. We’re throwing away an ethical protein source - when did you last see goat meat let alone kid goat on your supermarket shelves?
In a world of declining resources, food insecurity and rising food wastage, it’s about time we started eating more of this delicious, ethical and underestimated meat. For us Brits, it may come as somewhat of a surprise to learn that goat meat is the most widely eaten meat in the world. So, why has it taken us Brits so long to catch on? Chicken. Pork. Lamb. Beef. We are creatures of habit and we are increasingly detached from the food on our plates.
And here’s the thing. As soon as I mention eating goat to friends and family – the response has been solely along the lines of “I vaguely remember once having a Caribbean goat curry”. Adult goat, much like mutton, is generally slow cooked - to combat its reputation for being tough, and steeped in (admittedly very tasty) strong spices. However - unlike its adult counterpart, kid goat is mild and tender, with a sweet delicate flavour. I first experienced Kid Goat just last week and it was delicious, I’m sold.
The even better news? The meat is highly nutritious, lower in fat than beef or pork, has twice as much iron as beef and is rich in potassium. Data provided by U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) even indicates that goat meat has the lowest amount of saturated fat and cholesterol than other meats cooked in a similar way.
This October, a UK-wide campaign called #Goatober aims to celebrate the billy goat meat industry. #Goatober is the brainchild of Heritage Radio Network Executive Director, Erin Fairbanks, and renowned New York cheese monger, Anne Saxelby. Started in 2010, #Goatober is an annual campaign every year in October in the US, with top New York City chefs featuring goat on their menus. The inaugural UK campaign has been initiated by kid-goat meat supplier Cabrito, who are partnering with some of the best restaurants in the country and even have their range of kid goat meat available on Ocado.
The #Goatober campaign has inspired me to take action and get involved. Teaming up with local businesses, we are bringing Kid Goat to the menu in our community in Dorking, Surrey – and I couldn’t be more excited. To find out how you can get involved, click here. I’ll be experiencing the campaign from field-to-fork, starting with a visit to one of the UK’s few farmers who raises her billy kids free range, Lizzie Dyer of Cotswold Kid Meat. Watch this space to follow the story.
To get your taste buds tingling, why not try this Moroccan Rack of Kid Goat recipe.
Wonky Parsnips is an awareness-raising blog that aims to change the way we engage with food.
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