Are Canadian Geese Good to Eat? 10 Surprising Benefits

Canadian Goose is a sustainable, nutritious choice with a unique flavor, high iron content, and lower environmental impact than other meats.

eat canadian goose Are Canadian Geese Good to Eat? 10 Surprising Benefits

Canadian Goose is not only a delicious and nutritious choice for your next meal, but it is also a sustainable option that supports healthy ecosystems and ethical treatment of animals.

Canadian Goose refers to the meat from the Canada Goose species, which is native to North America. These geese are known for their distinctive black head and neck, white cheeks, and large size.

They are a popular game bird among hunters and have been enjoyed as a traditional food source by indigenous communities in the region for centuries.

A closeup shot of a Canada goose (Branta canadensis) on the grass

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Sustainable Choice

Eating Canadian Goose is a sustainable choice because it has a low environmental footprint compared to other types of meat. Geese are natural foragers and can thrive on a diverse diet of grasses, seeds, and insects, requiring minimal input from farmers.

This means that raising geese for meat has a lower impact on land and water resources than more intensive livestock operations such as beef or pork production.

Nutritional Benefits

Canadian Goose meat is an excellent source of many essential vitamins and minerals. It is particularly rich in B vitamins, including riboflavin and vitamin B-6, which help our bodies use energy from food and support healthy skin, hair, nerves, and muscles.

Goose meat is also an excellent source of iron, which is crucial for healthy blood and energy levels. In fact, it contains more iron than beef, pork, or chicken.

Protein is vital for building and repairing our muscles, skin, and blood, and Canadian Goose meat is an excellent source of this essential nutrient. In addition to being high in protein, goose meat is low in saturated fat, making it a healthier alternative to other types of meat.

When compared to other types of meat, Canadian Goose offers several advantages in terms of nutrition and sustainability. As mentioned earlier, it is higher in iron and B vitamins than beef, pork, or chicken.

Moreover, because geese are natural foragers and require minimal input from farmers, their meat has a lower environmental footprint than more intensively raised livestock.

Flavor and Community

Canadian Goose meat has a unique flavor and texture that many people enjoy. It is often described as tender, juicy, and rich, with a taste that falls somewhere between duck and turkey. The meat is also leaner than other types of poultry, which can make it a healthier choice for those looking to cut back on saturated fat.

There are several ways to prepare Canadian Goose, depending on your taste preferences and cooking skills. Some popular methods include boiling, roasting, or even barbecuing.

Additionally, goose fat has healing properties and can be used as a salve for sores or dry skin, making it a versatile ingredient in both culinary and medicinal applications.

Eating Canadian Goose can also have social and cultural benefits, particularly for indigenous communities in North America.

Hunting, fishing, and gathering traditional foods like goose is an important aspect of many northern cultures, and it contributes to a sense of community and connection to the land. By choosing to eat Canadian Goose, you can support these traditions and help preserve the unique flavors and foodways of the region.

Environmentally Friendly

As mentioned earlier, Canadian Goose has a lower environmental footprint than many other types of meat due to its natural foraging habits and minimal resource requirements. By choosing to eat Canadian Goose, you can help reduce the strain on land and water resources associated with more intensive livestock production methods.

Population Control

Wild Canada geese along the shore of the lake at Central Park with green trees during the summer in New York City

Population control measures for Canadian Goose can include hunting, relocation, and habitat management. These strategies help maintain healthy goose populations while minimizing their impact on agriculture and the environment.

Relocation efforts for Canadian Geese can involve capturing and moving geese to new areas where they do not pose a threat to crops or human safety. This method can be effective in reducing local conflicts between geese and humans while still allowing the birds to thrive in more suitable habitats.

By consuming Canadian Goose meat, you can encourage the optimal health benefits associated with this nutritious and sustainable food source. This includes supporting healthy ecosystems, promoting animal welfare, and enjoying the unique flavors and culinary traditions of this delicious game bird.

Is Canadian goose healthy to eat?

Canadian goose is healthy to eat, as it is a lean meat with high protein content and low fat. However, it has a stronger flavor compared to other poultry.

Why do we not eat geese?

We do not eat geese as commonly as other poultry because they have less meat, are more expensive to raise, and their strong flavor may not be preferred by everyone. Additionally, Canada Geese are federally protected and so they are not as available for purchase as other birds.

Is goose worth eating?

Goose is worth eating, especially for those who enjoy its rich, gamey flavor and succulent texture, making it a delicious alternative to traditional poultry options.

Why don’t we eat goose eggs?

We don’t eat goose eggs as frequently as chicken eggs because they are larger, less available, and have a stronger flavor that may not be appealing to everyone.

How To Cook a Goose

Preparing goose meat can be a delightful culinary experience when done correctly. Here are some professional tips for various methods of preparing goose meat:


  1. Before roasting, prick the skin of the goose at a 25 to 30-degree angle with a sharp knife or roasting fork to help render the fat during cooking.
  2. Stuff the goose with aromatics like onions, celery, apples, oranges, and/or lemons to enhance the flavor.
  3. Place the goose on a rack in a large roasting tin and tightly cover with foil. Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees for the next 1.5 to 2 hours until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F.
  4. Let the roasted goose rest for at least 20 minutes before carving to retain its juices.

Searing Goose Breasts

  1. Season the goose breasts with ground pepper and sear them in a hot skillet over medium-high heat for 8 minutes.
  2. Ensure that the skillet is hot enough to create a nice crust on the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy.

The Poke It and Roast It Method

  1. Poke the skin and fat of the goose with a skewer or sharp carving fork, taking care not to pierce the meat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the goose for one hour, basting every 20 minutes and removing any melted fat from the pan.

The Boil and Bake Method

  1. Blanch the goose carcass in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then remove and pat dry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the goose for one hour, basting every 30 minutes and removing any melted fat from the pan.

The Low and Slow Method

  1. Use a stuffing that complements the rich flavor of goose meat, such as one with fruits like raisins and prunes, or hearty bread like rye or French bread.
  2. Roast the goose at a low temperature for a longer period of time to ensure even cooking and proper rendering of fat.

Remember to save the rendered goose fat for later use, as it can be used to fry potatoes, saute vegetables, or as a butter substitute. By following these professional tips, you’ll be able to prepare delicious and succulent goose meat that will impress your guests and satisfy your taste buds.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons to consider trying Canadian Goose as an alternative to other types of meat. From its rich nutritional profile and unique flavor to its sustainability and positive impact on the environment, Canadian Goose is a delicious and responsible choice that supports both our health and the health of our planet.

More FAQs

Is Canadian goose meat healthy?

Canadian goose meat is healthy because it is rich in riboflavin and vitamin B-6, which are essential for energy utilization in our bodies. These vitamins are crucial for growth, as well as maintaining healthy skin, hair, nerves, and muscles. Additionally, goose meat is a superior source of iron compared to beef, pork, or chicken.

Is it legal to eat goose in USA?

It is legal to eat goose in the USA as long as you raise domestic geese and own them, allowing you to lawfully kill and cook them.

Why is goose meat so tough?

Goose meat is tough due to several factors. Firstly, Canada geese endure a challenging migratory life, which contributes to their toughness. Additionally, when they are harvested, they are likely to be older, further contributing to their toughness. Furthermore, their gamey taste can be attributed to the physiological changes in their bodies resulting from their active lifestyle. In contrast, cows raised for beef have minimal movement, which results in their meat being less tough.

Does goose meat taste like chicken?

Goose meat does not taste like chicken. It has a more robust flavor compared to the commonly consumed chicken breast in the American diet. When cooked correctly, though, it can be a delicious and flavorful meat option.

Can you hunt Canadian geese in the US?

Canadian geese cannot be hunted in the US as they are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) at the federal level. Additionally, in Florida, the MBTA is adopted and further protected by Florida rule 68A-16, which prohibits the taking of nests under Florida rule 68A-9.002.

Why don’t we eat goose meat?

The reason why we don’t eat goose meat is because it may be illegal to do so in the U.S. Due to concerns about airplane collisions, geese are often culled in certain areas to control their population. However, since there is no established procedure for testing slaughtered geese for toxins, they are disposed of in landfills instead of being consumed.

What is the best eating wild goose?

The best eating wild goose depends on their diet. Pacific brant, which consume eelgrass, have a delightful white fat that lacks any fishy taste. On the other hand, Atlantic brant, who feed on sea lettuce, have fat that carries a strong odor of low tide. However, universally recognized as the superior choice for eating are whitefronts, also known as specklebelly geese.

Does goose meat taste good?

The taste of goose meat is delicious, and contrary to popular belief, the fat content is not as unhealthy as one might assume. You can find various recipes to try, such as Roast Goose with Prunes, Apples and Chestnuts (as shown in the picture), Early American Goose, and Perfect Roast Potatoes.

Is it safe to eat medium rare goose?

It is safe to eat medium rare goose as geese are red meat birds. The breasts should be served at a temperature of 140-150F, while the rest of the goose should be cooked to a temperature of 165F.

Is Canadian goose red meat?

The Canadian goose is not red meat; it is considered “white” meat. Although it is a type of poultry, the breast meat of ducks and geese is darker than that of chicken and turkey. This is due to the fact that these birds are capable of flight, and their muscles require more oxygen during physical activity. The red cells in their blood deliver this oxygen to the working muscles.

Are Canadian geese eggs safe to eat?

Canadian geese eggs are safe to eat, but they are not commonly consumed due to their stronger flavor compared to hen or duck eggs, as stated by the National Goose Council. Instead, the shells of goose eggs are frequently utilized for arts and crafts projects.

What does Canadian goose meat taste like?

The taste of Canadian goose meat is mild and enjoyable when cooked correctly, with a texture similar to lean beef. However, if the breast meat is overcooked, it can become tough and almost inedible.

What is the best goose for meat?

The best goose for meat is the Embden goose, which is highly sought after for its white feathers and ability to be plucked clean, resulting in a visually appealing meat. On the other hand, Chinese geese are not only renowned for their excellent guarding skills but also for their flavorful meat, as they enjoy foraging.

Can you shoot and eat Canadian geese?

Shooting and consuming Canadian geese is prohibited by federal law in the United States. Without permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), it is illegal to cause harm to geese, their eggs, or their nests.

Is goose meat tasty?

Goose meat is delicious and flavorful, making it a popular choice as a traditional alternative to Christmas turkey. It has a rich and dense texture, and despite its high fat content, the majority of the fat is located under the skin rather than in the meat itself. This results in a juicy and succulent breast when cooked, as the fat melts and bastes the meat.

What does goose taste like?

Goose tastes similar to rich rare roast beef, but with an even more enhanced flavor. The tender flesh of a duck, dove, or even the humble snipe has a delicate texture and a robust, full-bodied taste that can easily become addictive.

What kind of geese do you eat?

Geese that are commonly raised for meat include the Embden, Toulouse, and Pilgrim breeds, which are considered good utility birds in the heavy and medium weight classes.

What do you do with geese after you shoot them?

After shooting geese, it is important to immediately store them in a freezer to prevent bacterial growth and spoilage of the meat. The goose should be kept at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Before refrigerating the geese, it is advisable to remove the crop and entrails from the bird.

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