Samui Wining & Dining
The Fact Is
“If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat?” – Tom Snyder



Meat – we love it. From prime rib-eye steaks to succulent bacon, roasted turkey, game birds and exotic cuts of crocodile, kangaroo and emu, we can’t get enough of it. Sure, there’s a very small percentage of the population that are vegetarian or vegan. And there’re the odd fruitarians and I mean that in every sense of the word. But meat rules – always has, always will. So here’re 50 frivolous facts about one of our greatest loves.


1) Cows were first domesticated for beef in the regions of Greece and Turkey about 4,000 years ago.


2) There are about 1.3 billion cattle in the world today; more than 200 million of which are in India.


3) Beef is one of the best sources of protein, B12, niacin, zinc, B2 and iron.


4) The average lifespan of a cow is seven years. The oldest cow ever recorded was Big Bertha; she reached 48 years of age in 1993.




5) Bacon is one of the oldest meats in history; the Chinese were preserving pork bellies around 1500 B.C.


6) Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 mph and can run up to 20 mph, although domesticated turkeys can’t fly.


7) Horse meat contains 25% less fat, nearly 20% less sodium, double the iron and less cholesterol than high quality beef cuts, and when compared to ground beef 25% less fat, 30% less cholesterol and 27% less sodium.


8) Over 720,000 tonnes of horsemeat are produced every year; around 30% of it is from China.

9) A single rabbit will produce 6 lbs of meat with the same amount of food and water it takes a cow to produce 1 lb of meat.


10) A single breeding doe (female rabbit) weighing 10 lbs can produce more than 250 lbs of meat per year.


11) Rabbit meat has more protein than beef, pork, turkey and chicken.


12) Alligator meat is considered to be healthier than domestic chicken, especially when it comes to cholesterol and fat content.


13) Alligator meat is also high in protein.


14) It’s believed that crocodile cartilage has anti-carcinogenic and anti-arthritic properties.


15) The Australian kangaroo industry estimates that it exports kangaroo meat to more than 55 countries.


16) Kangaroo meat is considered one of the finest game meats. Its growing appeal stems from its well-flavoured, slightly gamey taste.


17) Kangaroo meat contains very little saturated fat relative to other meats and is high in protein, zinc and iron.


18) Ostrich meat resembles beef in looks and taste, but it’s very low in calories, fat and cholesterol.


19) When compared to other types of white meat like chicken and turkey, ostrich meat has a lower fat content and the calories in ostrich meat are also very low.


20) Ostrich meat is rich in proteins and contains more iron than beef, lamb, turkey, chicken and pork.


21) Unlike chicken and turkey, there is no breast meat for ostrich. Its meat is mostly taken from the legs, thighs and the hind quarters.


22) Emu meat is 97% fat free.


23) Emu meat is also high in iron and vitamin B12 and low in calories and cholesterol.


24) Americans consume approximately 11 ounces of meat per day, which calculates to approximately 250 pounds of beef annually, more than any other country in the world.


25) The Japanese only eat two ounces of meat daily or approximately 46 pounds of beef annually.


26) Searing meat will not lock in juices. It will, however, provide a crusty brown covering which is very tasty.


27) The Japanese produce the world’s most expensive beef – Kobe. The beef cattle are fed a diet of soybeans and beer and even given a daily massage. Kobe beef has two to three times the fat of prime U.S. beef.


28) Reindeer meat should be avoided if imported from Finland due to radiation contamination as a result of the 1980 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.


29) Choose bacon with the most meat. The higher nitrite levels are found in the fat.


30) The fat content in some turkey-bacon products may be close to equaling the real thing; read your labels carefully.


31) The E. coli bacterium that may cause illness or even death normally resides only on the surface of meats. Steaks or roasts grilled on both sides will normally kill any bacteria.


32) Most hot dogs contain large amounts of edible offal, which may include animal skins, snouts, ears, esophagi, bone and you don’t want to know the rest.


33) The best quality hot dogs are Kosher, which contain only pure muscle meat. However, even though they do not contain edible offal, they still have nitrites.


34) Pork sausages and breakfast sausages can contain up to 50 percent fat.


35) Lean veal can have as little as one-tenth the fat of lean beef. Cholesterol content is the same.


36) Small cuts of beef will spoil faster and should not be kept in the refrigerator without freezing for more than two to three days. Liver, sweetbreads, cubed meats or marinated meats should be used within a day or frozen.


37) One pound of charcoal barbecue steak contains as much carcinogens (cancer forming agents) as the smoke in 15 cigarettes.


38) It takes 100 grams of beef to equal 20 grams of protein.


39) If you must eat luncheon meats, try to choose ones that are made from chicken or turkey, they have the lowest percentage of fat content.


40) Rotisserie-cooked meats and poultry will contain less fat than those that are fried or cooked in their own juices.


41) Ground pork products should be kept frozen for no longer than two months.


42) Meat tenderizers are usually made from extracts of papaya, pineapple or lemon.


43) To prevent the fat from splattering when frying sausages, try flouring them lightly.


44) If you place a small piece of ice inside meatballs before browning, they will be moist.


45) Flat beer and hard cider are excellent for tenderizing beef. Their fermentation qualities do the trick.


46) When frying meat, try sprinkling paprika over it and it will turn golden brown.


47) Snake meat is relatively low in fat and calories, high in protein and some consider it a rising star in the food industry.


48) The ritual of eating dog-meat in the Philippines started as a religious practice whereby dogs were sacrificed and their meat eaten when a family was faced with bad luck or when a death was witnessed.


49) The consumption of dog meat can be traced back to antiquity. A wall painting in the Goguryeo Tombs complex in South Hwangghae Province, North Korea, a World Heritage site which dates from the 4th century AD, depicts a slaughtered dog in a storehouse.


50) British explorer Ernest Shackleton and his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition became trapped and ultimately killed their sled dogs for food.


Johnny Paterson

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