Why you should be eating roadkill

Think consuming 'flatmeats' is revolting? BBC Autos gastronome David K Gibson offers 11 good reasons to reconsider.

I grew up eating rabbit and deer hunted from the forests around my Mississippi home. I have eaten "hunter's stew" that contained raccoon (certainly) and opossum (probably).

We would hunt squirrels with .22-calibre rifles and save their tiny heads in a plastic bag in the freezer; when enough had been collected, we'd scramble up the brains with eggs as breakfast before an early morning hunt.

But we never ate roadkill, because that was disgusting.

When I was about 8, my father struck a six-point whitetail buck with the front bumper of his GMC pickup. One antler pierced the grille, snapping the animal's neck and killing it instantly. As my father assessed the situation, a sedan pulled up behind, and a woman got out.

"If you're not going to take him, can I?" she asked, before hoisting the 100-pound carcass on her shoulder and to the trunk of her car, driving away with a friendly toot of her horn.

We were not particularly wealthy - that grille stayed broken for longer than it should have - but it didn't occur to us that we were desperate enough to eat roadkill. Yet a few months later, we piled into that same pickup to go deer hunting, after a breakfast of brains and eggs.

I don't remember us taking a buck that day, but I can imagine the meal of pan-fried cube steak we would have eaten afterwards, as somewhere the woman with the beat-up sedan was digging into a big chunk of venison saddle.

She was the smart one. And there are at least 11 reasons why.

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