Is wild boar healthy?
Few people know this, but the wild boar is one of the most versatile and healthy meats available.
While it may not be as popular as beef or pork, wild boar meat is a nutritional powerhouse that provides many health benefits.
In this article, I will go over five reasons why you should consider adding wild boar meat to your diet. Along with tips for safely cooking and consuming it.
What Is a Wild Boar?
Wild boars are the largest of the Old World wild pigs found, and adult males can weigh up to 150 kg (330 lb). They are heavily built, with a thick neck and waist.
The fur is typically black or dark brown but may vary to reddish-brown or golden brown in some areas.
The head is relatively long and narrow, ending in a sharp snout that is used for rooting in the ground for food.
There are usually four tusks (two on each side of the upper jaw), these can grow up to 10 cm (4 in) long.
Wild boars are free-range and found in woods and forests across Europe, Asia, and North Africa and were brought to the US by Spanish explorers in the 1800s.
They are very adaptable animals and will opportunistically feed on almost anything they can find, including roots, fruit, carrion, small mammals, and reptiles.
In some areas they have become a pest, rooting up crops and destroying property.
In other areas, they are hunted for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world.
Wild boar meat has a more intense flavor than domestic pork.
Their meat is lean, high in protein, and a good source of iron. It can be cooked in many different ways, including grilled, roasted, or stewed.
Other Animals That Are Related
In America today, relatives of Wild Boar can be found such as feral hogs, wild pigs, and Eurasian wild boars. (Most wild pigs come from a few generations of escaped domesticated pigs.)
In the southern states specifically, a conservative estimate puts the cost of damages, especially by the wild hog, in the millions each year.
As wild hog populations rise, so is the push to hunt and consume them.
The 5 Benefits of Eating Wild Boar Meat
Eating wild meat such as wild pigs, wild boars, and wild hogs have more nutritional benefits and are tastier than store-bought domesticated animals.
This is because they are organic and don’t contain any added preservatives or hormone supplements.
1. Good Source of Protein
Their lean meat is a good source of protein making it healthy and nutritious.
It has a lot of protein, which helps build muscle, and it also has important minerals like zinc and iron.
This makes it a great choice for a protein-rich, muscle-building meal.
2. Lower in Fat and Cholesterol
This is significant for anyone who is looking for a healthier alternative to domestic pig meat.
Wild boar is a lean protein and is lower in both cholesterol and fat content, making it a good choice for those who are watching their weight or trying to eat healthier.
3. It Is High in Vitamins and Minerals
This is great news for those looking for nutritious meat that is also high in important vitamins.
As it is a good source of vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, zinc, and selenium. It is also high in minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
4. It Is a Rich Source of Antioxidants
Now that you know that wild boar is a rich source of antioxidants, you may want to consider adding it to your diet.
The antioxidants found in wild boar can help boost your immune system, and protect your body against disease, inflammation, and improve brain function.
5. It Has a Delicious Flavor
Wild boars have a delicious, earthy flavor that everyone will enjoy. Some people say they taste a bit like mushrooms, while others describe them as having a nutty taste.
No matter what your opinion is, there’s no denying that wild boar meat is delicious.
Cooking Tips To Cook Wild Boar Meat
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, and sauté until golden.
- Add the boar meat, and sauté until browned all over.
- Transfer the meat to a baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cooked through.
- Remove from oven, and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with your favorite sides.
Other ways for home cooks to prepare their Boar:
- Roasted in an oven
- Grilled on a barbecue
- Made into sausage or jerky
- Wild Boar Ribs
Each method of cooking wild boar will result in a slightly different flavor. Try out a few different methods to find the one that you like best!
The Health Risks Associated With Eating Wild Boar Meat
The health risks associated with eating wild boar meat include the risk of contracting Trichinellosis, a parasitic infection that can cause serious health issues.
Other risks include food poisoning, bacterial infections, and unhealthy fats. Boar meat can also be contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals.
Trichinellosis is caused by the parasite Trichinella spiralis, which is found in wild boar meat. The parasite can infect humans when they eat infected meat.
Symptoms of trichinellosis include muscle pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, the infection can lead to death.
Food poisoning is another health risk associated with eating wild boar meat. Wild boar meat can be contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli.
These bacteria can cause food poisoning, which can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.
Bacterial infections are also a health risk associated with eating wild boar meat.
Wild boar meat can be contaminated with bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes.
These bacteria can cause infections, which can lead to symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, and fatigue.
Eating too much boar can hurt your heart health. This is because they contain some amounts of saturated fat.
Consuming too much-saturated fat may be bad for your heart.
They can make it harder for your blood to flow through your body. Which can cause problems like heart attacks and strokes.
Pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals can also contaminate wild boar meat. These chemicals can be harmful to humans and can cause health problems.
How To Avoid the Health Risks
Some people think that adding wild boar meat to their diet is a good idea. Wild boar meat is said to be healthy and has a lot of protein.
But before you go out and harvest or buy some wild game meat, there are a few things you should know about handling wild hogs and other wild animals.
- Make sure that the wild boar meat you’re eating is from a healthy animal. This means that the animal was not sick or dead before you found it.
- If you buy the meat, talk to your butcher to see if any chemicals or preservatives were used after harvesting.
- Thoroughly wash your hands under warm water before and after handling any raw meat.
- You should cook meat properly. This means that you should not eat it rare or medium rare. Wild boar meat is best cooked all the way through.
- Properly dispose of boar waste and disposable gloves by burying or burning them.
- Keep raw meat separated from cooked meat.
- Use sanitized sharp knives for field dressing and butchering
- Properly clean surfaces, tools, and reusable gloves that have contacted raw meat using dilute bleach.
- Avoid disease transmission by using eyewear and latex gloves when handling carcasses.
- Avoid bare skin contact with organs and body fluids.
- Lastly, try to limit your weekly intake of cooked lean red meats to around 400 grams depending on your age and size.
The best way to avoid the health risks associated with eating wild boar meat is to cook it properly.
Wild boar should be cooked thoroughly to kill any parasites or bacteria that may be present.
It is also important to avoid consuming meat that is contaminated with chemicals.
Wild Boar FAQ
When Shouldn’t You Eat Wild Boar?
If you’re pregnant, you should avoid eating wild boar because it may contain toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasmosis can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth defects.
If you have a disease, you shouldn’t eat wild boar because it may contain bacteria that can make your disease worse.
If the wild boar is old, you shouldn’t eat it because it may be tough to digest.
Also, if the wild boar has been shot with a gun, you shouldn’t eat it because the bullet may have damaged the meat and made it unsafe to eat.
Furthermore, if you do decide to eat boar after it has been shot, be sure to take proper precautions.
Do so by properly cleaning and cutting around the wounded area and removing bullet debris.
Is Wild Boar Healthier Than Beef?
Some people believe that boar meat is healthier than beef because it is lower in fat and calories.
However, other people believe that boar meat is not as healthy as beef because it can contain more toxins.
Ultimately, the best way to determine which meat is healthier for you is to compare the nutritional information of both types of meat.
Is Wild Boar the Same As Pork?
No, boar meat is different from pork.
Although both come from species of pig, both have a similar taste and texture. The main difference is that wild boar is usually darker and leaner than pork.
Also, domestic pork comes from farm-raised pigs while wild pork comes from wild hogs, wild pigs, and boars. This means their wild meat has no added hormones.
Some people say that wild pork meat is more flavorful than commercially raised pork, but this is a matter of personal preference.
If you’re looking for a leaner, more flavorful alternative to domestic pork, then wild boar is a great option.
What Is the Nutritional Value of Wild Boar?
The nutritional value of wild boar is high in protein, low in fat, high in iron, low sodium, and a good source of other vitamins and minerals like zinc and vitamin B12.
It is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Nutrition Facts per 100 grams (Raw):
- Roughly 120 total calories
- Total Fat: 3 grams
- Saturated Fats: 0.95 grams
- Polyunsaturated Fats: 0.46 grams
- Monounsaturated Fats: 1 gram
- Zero Cholesterol
- Zero Sodium
- Total Carbohydrates: 0.4 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Protein: 22 grams
- Calcium: 12 milligrams
- Iron: 1.1 milligrams
- Vitamin B12: 4.725 milligrams
Consider Adding Wild Boar Meat to Your Diet
Wild boar meat is an excellent source of protein and has a flavor that is similar to pork but with a slightly stronger taste.
If you are looking for something new to add to your diet, consider giving boar a try. You can find it at most butcher shops or specialty food stores.
Feel free to read my article on whether or not Neapolitan Pizza is healthy.