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CugelTheClueless's avatar

Why don't Americans eat more goat meat?

Asked by CugelTheClueless (562 points ) October 28th, 2012

Goat is eaten in many parts of the world, including places like Mexico that have influenced US demographics and culture. Why is goat not on the menu more often here in the US?

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26 Answers

chyna's avatar

Does it taste like chicken?

zenvelo's avatar

A lot more people eat goat now than did 20 years ago. But most American meat eaters still prefer beef. You could ask the same question about lamb; why don;t more people eat lamb?

You can do a lot more with beef; not so sure about goat burgers. And I wonder about the economics of beef vs goat.

Sunny2's avatar

I don’t know! It’s delicious! I know of one market and one restaurant locally where I can get it. It doesn’t taste like chicken, it tastes more like a somewhat more flavorful veal, but with its own special taste which is mild and wonderful. In the States, I think goats are grown more for cheese and milk than meat.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Our agricultural resources have favored corn fed meat animals. We’re getting more towards grass fed meat animals, which are generally more sustainable. Give it a while, it’ll catch on.

Kardamom's avatar

I’m a vegetarian, but that being said, I think most Americans think of goats as cheese producers and very cute pets, but not as something that should be eaten. And we/they probably think of goat meat along the lines of mutton, which I hear is very awful.

Goats are also the main attraction in U.S. petting zoos. I can’t imagine eating something that I am loving on so much : (

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Kardamom Mutton and goat just need to be treated like stew meat or cooked German style.

marinelife's avatar

Goat can very easily have a gamy taste. It can also, depending on how it is cut, be bony. That being said, I have had some that is delicious.

DrBill's avatar

I would try it if I could find it. The drawback with lamb is the cost. I just seen it at Sam’s club for $24.95/LB

Unbroken's avatar

Never had goat, I’m not sure where I would get it. I will try it the next time I have the opportunity.
Love the lamb, by the way.

jaytkay's avatar

I assume that goats are less cost-effective than cows and pigs and chickens.

Last time I had goat was at a Jamaican restaurant. It was excellent.

I feel bad for the goats, though. I’m a vegetarian at heart. Probably will be vegetarian in fact soon.

Anyway, I dunno why goat is unpopular. Maybe they’re too skinny?

Coloma's avatar

I agree with it being more about the dairy byproducts in the states. I live rural and lots of people keep goats and make cheese and soaps,and other dairy related goats milk products. There is a herd of Boer goats just down the road from me.
I have never seen goat for sale in the markets, but maybe I havn’t really looked.

Personally I would not eat goat, I have known too many pet goats over the years.
I also don’t eat lamb, duck or goose and have kept pet geese for 14 years.
Also, where I live, a lot of people keep sheep and goats as brush eaters only.
You can see by my avatar that I go for farm pets only, not table food. lol

Adagio's avatar

Goat meat tastes like sheep meat, the younger the goat the more it tastes like lamb, if the goat is older, more like mutton. The meat makes an excellent curry. @Kardamom mutton, if cooked well is delicious.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I’m australian but the reason is probably is that it tastes gamey like lamb and mutton, gross

glacial's avatar

@trailsillustrated I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone call the taste of lamb “gross”! Lamb is delicious. I have also wondered why goat is not more commonly eaten in North America. I’d like to try it.

laureth's avatar

Goats are the go-to red meat for people who live on scrubby land that is unsuitable for raising agricultural crops. As such, they’re excellent for those sorts of areas, and provide protein where nothing else can. They eat brush and light woody growth, as opposed to needing grass like cows or lamb do.

Sadly, though, goats have a reputation as being a poverty animal, and cows and pigs have a higher social esteem. This attitude goes way back; even the Vikings, who lived on some awfully scrubby land, preferred the social cachet of raising cows (even if they were less suited to the land than goats would have been).

I plan on raising some goats when I get enough pasture cleared on my new minifarm. I don’t have enough quality land to raise cows, and I don’t generate enough waste to feed a pig all the slop it would need. In return, I hope to have enough dairy to keep my household in milk and cheese, and that process will provide the inevitable baby goats each year to raise for some meat. I’m not too proud to eat goat; I’m more proud to be able to feed myself independent from the money economy.

marinelife's avatar

@glacial many people don’t care for the taste of lamb. (I love it.)

CugelTheClueless's avatar

Thanks everyone.

Speaking of lamb, does anyone know if dog food that says it has lamb in it really has lamb, or is it mutton? It seems like it would cheaper to use adult sheep for dog food, and I doubt dogs would care whether it’s lamb or mutton.

Coloma's avatar

@CugelTheClueless I don’t know, I wonder where the Venison comes from in my cats food. The Taste of the Wild brand of Venison and Salmon. I wonder of Venison is raised commercially for pet foods, it seems like the manufacturer needs a steady supply to make as much of this food as they do. Considering it’s popularity as a healthy, grain free cat food, I’d love to know what their source of deer meat is.

Anyone know?

KNOWITALL's avatar

They are more pets here in the US, in my area anyway. I’ve had goat meat and milk and I like it. Sheeps milk cheese and other specialty items are availble at our Brown Derby Wine Ctr but you have to actively seek it.

We’re a big cattle farming market here, I think goat may do well but then again we’ve had elk, buffalo, etc…and it just never ‘took’ over cattle.

Brenna_o's avatar

Because cow is much better.

laureth's avatar

Coloma, are you sure it’s deer meat? Perhaps it’s a cheaper, less-in-demand form of venison, such as gut meats, skins or other “byproducts.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

Deer meat in cat food? That’s just wrong, it’s like a delicacy here in Missouri I can’t imagine letting the pets have it. Weird.

Coloma's avatar

@laureth
@KNOWITALL

“It” ( google sources ) says it is made with roasted venison and wild salmon, meat, not byproducts. It is the Taste of the wild Rocky Mountain roasted venison and salmon recipe. I dunno, but my cats love it! Smells like carp though. lol

Edit: CRAP, not CARP, but maybe it has some Carp in it too. haha

KNOWITALL's avatar

Sounds like I’d like that stuff, lol!

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL What’s funny is I have a lot of deer around and my one huge cat is always stalking them. Maybe since he switched to the venison food he is getting ideas. lol

KNOWITALL's avatar

If my little terrier was a little bigger, I think she could take down something as well….the other day she broke a board to get under the shed and raid a rabbit’s den….no more rabbit, lots of fleas and by the time I caught her she was eating the head and the ears were hanging out, it was disgusting. :) Crazy animals!

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