The meat of the domestic goat, Capra aegagrus hircus, is a mainstay of food cultures in Mexico, the Caribbean, Africa, and South Asia. But do you know why it has never been widely adopted in the United States? This and many more facts about goat meat await you in the article that follows!
If you’ve ever been curious to learn more about how goat meat is used in these various and diverse food cultures, read on. We’ll be covering both little-known culinary facts about goat meat, as well as bits of scientific trivia sure to keep you engaged and entertained.
1. The United States Is A Net Importer of Goat Meat
Despite the hesitance of many native-born Americans to incorporate goat meat into their diets, a growing immigrant population has driven the demand for goat meat sales in the United States.
In fact, this trend has been growing since at least 1991, and the presence of a greater diversity of restaurants and food cultures in the past 30 years has been a prime driver for this trend.
2. Goat Meat Can Have Many Different Names
In the same way that meat from a cow can be beef (if from an adult) or veal (if from a young cow), goat meat is referred to differently based on the age of the animal when it is slaughtered.
Meat from adult goats is known as chevon, while meat from young goats may be referred to as capretto or cabrito. Occasionally, you’ll also hear goat meat referred to as mutton, a distinction it shares with lamb, as well. (source)
3. Goat Meat Prices Vary Considerably With the Season
Whereas goat meat enjoys a relatively stable price throughout much of the year, the increase in goat meat consumption around religious holidays leads to increased demand from December through February of each year — and this increase in demand is met with an increase in price, too.
If you’re looking to try goat meat for the first time, look outside of the holiday season to find the best prices.
4. Goat Meat Is the World’s Most Popular Red Meat
Any readers in the United States and Canada who think of their favorite red meat are likely to come up with one of two options: Beef or pork. But worldwide, goat meat is the clear winner: It accounts for 63 percent of all red meat consumed worldwide.
This is due in large part to the role of the goat as the main source of meat in much of the Middle East and Africa, though Southeast Asia and the Caribbean also consume plenty of goat meat.
5. Goat Is A Healthy Alternative to Other Red Meats
Despite its intense flavor, goat meat is one of the leanest meats available for consumption — leaner than a lean meat cut from beef, pork, lamb, and even chicken!
A single 3 ounce serving of goat meat contains just 122 calories and 2.6 grams of fat, compared to 179 calories and 7.9 grams of fat in an identical portion of beef.
This makes it an easy choice for health-conscious consumers who don’t want to give up red meat, but do want to eat less fat (especially saturated fat), cholesterol, and calories.
6. Goat Meat Is Especially Rich In Minerals
Goat meat has excellent nutritional value. Anyone who is prone to iron-deficiency anemia may find themselves happy to hear that goat meat could help their situation.
Compared to beef, pork, lamb, and chicken, goat meat has the highest levels of iron and potassium, as well as lower sodium and cholesterol levels — with a whopping 3.2 mg of iron per serving.
Even better, it has a similar amino acid profile as beef or lamb, making it an easy substitute for either of these meats in most people’s diets.
7. Goat Meat Tastes Best When Cooked At Low Temperatures
Because it has such a low fat content, goat meat needs to be handled differently in the kitchen than beef or pork. When overcooked even to a small degree, goat meat will take on a tough, chewy, leathery texture that is quite unpleasant.
The solution to this trouble has been a part of ethnic cuisines for generations: Cook goat meat for a longer time over a lower heat, and be sure to include marinades and other liquids while cooking. This will keep the goat succulent and tender while drawing out its best flavors.
8. Japan Has A Curious Way of Serving Goat Meat
Japanese food culture is truly one of the most unique in the world, due in large part to their decades of isolation from the outside world — and the ensuing mix of cultures spearheaded by ending their policy of isolation.
Nowhere is this more evident than in their practice of sushi preparation: Originally a dish of thinly sliced raw fish, sushi and sashimi style preparations have now been translated to a much wider array of meats.
Even goat meat has received the sushi treatment — sliced thinly and eaten raw, it is known as yagisashi.
9. Goat Meat May Be the Most Sustainable Red Meat
Cattle farming, and meat production in general, has been targeted as a major culprit in the developing climate change crisis, due to a combination of deforestation needed for grazing and methane production.
Could goats be a part of the solution while still giving people access to red meat? Some chefs and scientists think so.
Because goats are browsers rather than grazers, they have a much less detrimental impact on the land that they’re farmed on — meaning that more goats could be raised in a smaller space, eliminating much of the need for constant expansion of grazing land.
10. Goat Meat Is Both Kosher and Halal
Two groups of people observe specific religious and cultural regulations on what food items may be consumed: Jews and Muslims, with their Kosher and Halal traditions respectively.
Sets of guidance on food safety and what is “fit to eat” from the Torah and Quran, these rules place serious restrictions on what sorts of meat each group might eat.
Thankfully, goat meat is permissible for consumption in both cultures — making it a popular addition to the holiday table.
FAQs about Goat Meat
What are 5 fun facts about goats?
Goats were among the first animals to be domesticated by humans and have been herded for over 9,000 years. They are the most widely consumed meat per person globally. Goats can be trained to recognize their names and respond when called. Their lifespan is similar to that of a dog.
What is so special about goats?
Goats possess unique qualities that make them remarkable creatures. They exhibit high levels of intelligence and curiosity, constantly displaying their inquisitive nature through their unwavering enthusiasm to explore and examine unfamiliar objects or surroundings. Communication among goats is primarily carried out through bleating, with mothers frequently using this vocalization to maintain proximity with their offspring, ensuring their safety and well-being.
What is special about goats?
Goats have unique qualities that set them apart. They are domesticated animals that are valued for their meat, milk, and fiber. Additionally, goats are known for their intelligence, sociability, and the challenge they pose when it comes to herding them.
What 2 things are goats used for?
Goats are used for two main purposes, which include being important producers of meat, milk, fiber, and other products, as well as being raised or kept for a wider range of uses such as brush control, livestock shows, packing, and as lively companions.
What is goat like to eat?
Goats require a well-balanced diet consisting of high-quality hay, grass, ‘browsings’, and supplementary feed to meet their nutritional needs. It is important to provide them with appropriate feed based on their age and breed. This includes offering long, fibrous food that aids in the efficient digestion of their rumen.
Do goats remember things?
Goats have a remarkable ability to remember things. They are highly intelligent and possess an exceptional memory, as researchers have discovered. They can quickly learn and solve complex tasks, retaining the knowledge for at least 10 months. This impressive memory capacity may contribute to their adaptability in challenging environments.
How many stomachs does a goat have?
Goats have four distinct compartments in their stomach, namely Rumen, Reticulum, Omasum, and Abomasum, which technically make up their single stomach. This unique structure sets their stomach apart from that of humans, leading to the common misconception that goats have four stomachs.
What is the slang for goat?
The slang for goat is G.O.A.T., which stands for Greatest Of All Time. This term is commonly used to praise exceptional athletes, musicians, and other public figures. On social media, you may often come across the goat ???? emoji used in relation to this acronym.
What is a male goat called?
The male goat is commonly referred to as a “Buck” or a “Billy”. A castrated male goat is known as a “Wether”. It is interesting to note that goats were among the first animals to be domesticated by humans, with a history dating back around 10,000 years.
What is the most important for goats?
The most important factors for goats are energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. Among these, energy is typically the most crucial nutrient in terms of quantity, while protein tends to be the most costly. Inadequate levels, excessive amounts, or imbalances of vitamins and minerals can negatively impact goat performance and result in various health issues.
Are goats as intelligent as dogs?
Goats exhibit remarkable dog-like abilities, such as gazing at humans in a manner similar to dogs requesting an inaccessible treat. Additionally, like dogs, goats possess the skill to interpret human pointing gestures and utilize this information to locate hidden rewards.
Is goat meat a healthy meat?
Goat meat is indeed a healthy meat option as it is rich in nutrients, serves as an excellent source of animal protein with lower calorie and saturated fat content. Incorporating goat meat into your diet can aid in achieving weight loss objectives, while also providing essential iron and vitamin B12.
Who should not eat goat meat?
Individuals who produce excessive body heat, such as those with a high fever, phlegm, toothache, ulcers, acne, or hemorrhoids, should refrain from eating goat meat as it may exacerbate these conditions. Additionally, it is not advisable for children to consume large quantities of goat meat due to their limited ability to process high levels of protein in their livers and kidneys.
Can I eat goat meat everyday?
Goat meat can be consumed regularly since it has low cholesterol content. Additionally, the goat brain is highly favored by many due to its tenderness, deliciousness, and abundance of essential nutrients for the body.
Is goat considered a red meat?
Goat is considered a red meat because it comes from mammalian muscle, just like beef, lamb, pork, veal, and mutton. Many households consider red meat, including goat, as a staple food and incorporate it into their daily meals in various forms.
How often can you eat goat meat?
You can consume goat meat moderately, and it is considered the best meat to eat besides fish. Consuming 250 gm of goat meat in a day is within the upper safe limit of cholesterol consumption, which is 200 mg for individuals with high cholesterol levels.
Is lamb or goat better?
Lamb and goat have different qualities, but when it comes to health benefits, goat meat is considered to be better. With lower fat content than lamb, goat meat is a great choice for those mindful of their fat intake. Additionally, its tougher texture makes it perfect for slow cooking methods like braising, smoking, or roasting. Goat meat also boasts higher protein and calorie levels compared to lamb or mutton, making it a healthier option overall.
What is goat meat called in USA?
In the USA, goat meat is referred to as either cabrito or chevon. Cabrito specifically comes from kids that are harvested within the first week of birth, while chevon is obtained from older kids.
Is goat meat good for high blood pressure?
Goat meat does not cause high blood pressure or increase cholesterol levels if consumed in reasonable amounts. According to a doctor, it is equivalent to consuming beef.
Is goat the most eaten meat in the world?
The most widely eaten meat in the world is pork, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. It accounts for 36% of global meat consumption. Poultry comes next at 33%, followed by beef at 24%. Goats and sheep make up 5% of the total meat consumed worldwide.
Which part of goat meat is best?
The best part of goat meat is found around the joints in the limbs, as well as the ribs and neck. Goat meat is highly nutritious, containing essential nutrients such as protein, iron, selenium, and zinc. Additionally, goat milk is a healthy alternative, with lower levels of saturated fat compared to cow’s milk.
What are the benefits of having a goat?
Having a goat has several benefits, such as providing fresh milk, a readily available source of meat, the ability to make cheese, effective weed control, land clearing capabilities, the production of fiber, suitability for small lots, and the potential to make soaps and lotions.
How should goat meat be cooked?
Goat meat should be cooked by ensuring ground goat meat reaches a temperature of 160 °F (71.1 °C) when measured with a food thermometer. Additionally, all raw goat beef steaks, chops, and roasts should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F (62.8 °C) as measured with a food thermometer before removing the meat from the heat source, for safety.
What are the pros and cons of goat meat?
The pros and cons of goat meat can be summarized as follows: Goat meat is a nutritious option as it contains lower calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol compared to other meats. Additionally, it is rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. However, in America, finding goat meat may be more challenging compared to other parts of the world where it is widely available as a protein source.
Is goat the cleanest meat?
The cleanest meat is not goat. However, goat meat is a healthier option compared to other red meats such as beef, lamb, and pork. It is naturally lean, highly nutritious, and offers various health benefits. Goat meat contains less fat and saturated fat, but more iron and a similar amount of protein compared to beef, pork, lamb, or chicken.
Why not to eat goat meat?
Goat meat is both nutritious and not nutritious. On one hand, it is rich in protein, iron, and Vitamin B. On the other hand, it contains high levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, purines, and is often found to have antibiotics and growth hormones.
Which is healthier goat meat or fish?
Goat meat is a healthier option compared to fish. It is particularly beneficial for individuals with hypertension, heart problems, and kidney disease. Goat meat is considered superior to chicken and other types of meat, except for fish. Therefore, if you are looking for a healthy meat option, goat meat is the best choice. Remember to consume it in moderation for optimal health benefits.
What is the healthiest part of goat meat?
The healthiest part of goat meat is the goat brain, which is not only tender, delicious, and delicate but also packed with essential nutrients needed by the body. Additionally, it is a great choice for regular consumption due to its low cholesterol content.
Why is goat meat not popular in the US?
People in the United States do not eat more goat meat due to cultural reasons. The American culture has been greatly influenced by Britain and Europe, where sheep and cows were commonly raised instead of goats. As a result, our historical preference has been for beef, pork, chicken, and occasionally lamb/mutton*.
Why is goat better than cow?
Goat is better than cow because goats are smaller than cows, consume less food, produce less waste, are more affordable to purchase and feed, are easier to handle both when alive and when slaughtered, and yield a more manageable quantity of milk.
Which goat meat is best?
The best goat meat is considered to be the Black Bengal Goat, as it is known for its superior meat quality and taste, according to the IAEA. Other notable goat breeds for meat include the Boer Goat, Kalahari Red Goat, Kiko Goat, Fainting Goat, Nubian Goat, Rangeland Goat, and Sirohi Goat.
Is goat healthier than chicken?
Goat meat is considered healthier than chicken due to its lower calorie, fat, and cholesterol content, making it a favorable alternative to beef and poultry, according to registered dietitian Anar Allidina. This meat is widely consumed in various cultures, such as North African, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean cuisines.
Is goat meat good for kidneys?
Goat meat is good for kidneys because it contains higher levels of potassium and lower levels of sodium compared to other types of meat. This makes it a healthier choice for individuals with hypertension, heart, and kidney disease. Therefore, goat meat is considered superior to chicken and the other four types of meat.
What are the disadvantages of goat meat?
The disadvantages of goat meat include its high content of saturated fat, cholesterol, purines, as well as the potential presence of antibiotics and growth hormones. Despite being nutritious with its high protein, iron, and Vitamin B content, these drawbacks should be considered.
What meat is the healthiest?
The healthiest meat option is sirloin steak, which is both lean and flavorful. Just 3 ounces of sirloin steak provides approximately 25 grams of satisfying protein. Additionally, rotisserie chicken and turkey are also healthy choices due to the cooking method that maximizes flavor without the need for unhealthy additives. Another option is chicken thigh, which offers a good balance of taste and nutrition. Pork chop is another healthy meat choice, and canned fish is also a nutritious option.
Is goat meat good for the heart?
Goat meat is beneficial for heart health as it contains lower amounts of saturated fat and higher amounts of unsaturated fats compared to other red meats. This composition aids in reducing bad cholesterol levels and decreasing the chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
Is goat brain safe to eat?
Goat brain is safe to eat and is considered a nutritious type of organ meat. It is consumed as food in various parts of the world, along with brains from other animals like pigs, poultry, and cattle.
Why is goat meat so good?
Goat meat stands out for several reasons. Not only is it incredibly tasty, but it also offers a wealth of health benefits as a high-protein, nutrient-rich red meat. Packed with vitamins and minerals, goat meat is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. In fact, it is consumed by a significant 65% of the global meat market.
Does goat meat taste like beef?
Goat meat does not taste like beef. Some individuals characterize the taste of goat as gamey and comparable to lamb, while others perceive it as relatively mild in flavor, falling somewhere between pork and beef in terms of intensity. Innovative chefs nowadays incorporate goat into various dishes such as stews, lasagna, and tacos. If you have yet to try it, I recommend experimenting with goat meat in one of your favorite recipes.
Is goat meat easy to digest?
Goat meat is easier to digest due to its distinct molecular structure compared to beef or chicken. It is preferred over other red meats by 70% of the global population who are familiar with it.