Healthy Benefits of Farmed Venison
Matt Smith (Director at West Country Premium Venison)
After years of travelling the world enjoying local food and cultures, me and my wife moved back to her family farm located in Cornwall for 2014. We decided to base our farming practises to focus on what the consumer wanted rather than trying to solely concentrate on selling what we were producing. As consumers strive to eat healthier, more nutritious foods whilst also acknowledging animal welfare and sustainability. Here at West Country Premium Venison, we have worked extremely hard to ensure the correct ethos and values are in place for consumers to enjoy healthy meats whilst also understanding how we produce a sustainable and consistent product without compromise to the animals’ wellbeing. We plant grass species that not only sequins carbon but allow minerals from the soil to be taken up into the plant and ingested by the animals, giving them a healthier and stable diet compared to most other farmed animals.
Although having been an avid hunter gatherer all my life, I believe that an animal should not be shot for the sole reason of profiting. I am comfortable if an animal has been shot and killed for the purpose of feeding family and friends. With the correct approach in place, I have full understanding with this logic. However, people need to understand the results of wild game shooting and the damage this could be doing to not only the animal, but to the meat as well. In the interest of animal welfare, how the animal is treated before death is incredibly important to us. With most wild animals being shot in the chest, the brain will remain functioning for up to six minutes – this is not in the best interest of the animal. During these six minutes, the animal is aware of the scenario that is about to take place, increasing the stress hormone cortisol which contributes to tainting the meat and reducing the meat shelf life. Furthermore, to be fully confident in the traceability and knowledge of where an animal has been, you would need 24hr surveillance. Something which would be impossible to provide in the wild.
With a high demand from the consumer for a healthy meat which is high protein, low fat, low calorie but incredibly high in macro and micronutrients, we believe farmed venison fits the consumer demand. Venison is an excellent source of protein, as it is rich in protein but low in fat. Not only is it a low-fat meat, but its levels of saturated fat are much lower compared to other red meats. Deer meat is free of carbohydrates and contains fewer calories than beef or even chicken breast. Venison is naturally low in sodium, so it is better for your heart than other red meats. It contains minerals that are good for health, including iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Plus, vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine.