While the number of people who regularly eat squirrel is small in comparison to other popular game animals, squirrels occasionally make the news as delicious, organic sources of food. Here is a sampling of some articles discussing the trend.
It’s low in fat, low in food miles and completely free range. In fact, some claim that Sciurus carolinensis – the grey squirrel – is about as ethical a dish as it is possible to serve on a dinner plate.Caroline Davies, The Guardian
One of the main selling points for this meaty option is that it is supposedly sustainable. As omnivorous customers increasingly look to environmentally friendly and wild sources of meat, game is attractive. And game that was going to be hunted and killed anyway, whether people wanted to eat it or not – such as the grey squirrel – is as good as it gets.Dale Berning Sawa, The Guardian
Melany Vorass called to say dinner was trapped in her front yard.
A few hours later we were eating risotto di rodentia — eastern gray squirrel braised in Lopez Island white wine with mushrooms and Italian-style rice. It did not taste like chicken.Bob Young, Seattle Times
…Andrew Thornton, manager of the Budgens supermarket in the north London suburb of Crouch End, says sales of squirrel meat have soared since he started selling it in 2010.The Economist
Squirrel isn’t a dish that routinely appears on the average American table—and it looks like we might be missing out on a good thing. Food experts point out squirrel is an environmentally responsible meal: a sustainable, healthy, and local source of meat with an appealing nutty flavor that comes from a life spent stuffing oneself on hickory nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, and almonds. What’s not to like about a tasty plate (or bowl) of squirrel?Rebecca Rupp, National Geographic
“If you look at the meat we eat in the supermarket, it’s pretty far from organic,” Vose said. “People say, ‘How can you kill deer and squirrels or anything else that we eat in the course of the year,’ and I say ‘How can you eat that piece of meat in that sterilized styrofoam in the supermarket?’”Sam Schipani, Bangor Daily News
But the truth is that squirrel hunting is more American than apple pie, than Babe Ruth, than a twenty-dollar Manhattan. Whole traditions have formed around these squirrels; guns have been crafted in their honor. Few things are more intertwined with American history and tradition.Georgia Pellegrini, Fox News
Squirrel is, in fact, one of the most popular game animals in the eastern United States.
But since college, I’ve found a new appreciation for squirrels. I ate my first at a young age, and remember how good it was. I harvested and fried my first in college. And now I’m sharing that with those who may not see squirrels in the same light as me, or who view eating squirrels as taboo.Andrew Spellman, Dominion Post
In January, the Garden State warned hunters and residents near a toxic waste dump in Ringwood in North Jersey to limit their consumption of squirrel after the feds thought they found lead in a dead squirrel. Officials now say it was a false alarm.NY Daily News
Although not thought of as a regular part of a squirrel’s diet, the gnawing and stripping of bark from trees can be locally common in winter months. This activity can have severe, if not fatal consequences, for individual trees chosen for this assault.Mike Schiara, MSU Extension
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