Kangaroo has been eaten by indigenous Australians for many centuries, but it was only legalised for human consumption in the 1980's.
Today the industry is worth more than $250 million in Australia and while there are pros and cons to kangaroo farming, it is deemed to be ethical.
How is kanagroo meat farmed?
In Australia, kangaroos are harvested from the wild and not farmed, making it one of the most sustainable farming methods available.
From an environmental standpoint, kangaroos emit far less greenhouse gases than cattle and kangaroos also use less water than other animals, making them cheaper and easier to rear.
Kangaroos also do not cause as much damage to soil like cattle and they only eat native vegetation that generally grows in abundance.
What is the state of the kangaroo industry in Australia?
The Australian kangaroo industry started in 1959, and currently employs over 4,000 people nationally.
Kangaroo meat is one of the most sustainable meats, with 3% of the harvestable kangaroo population used each year, and the industry is closely monitored.
The Department of Environment, states that Australia’s commercial kangaroo harvest is "one of the world's best practice wild harvest operations, with management goals based firmly on principles of sustainability".
Today, we export over 3,000 tonnes (or 70%) of kangaroo meat each year to over 60 countries around the world, but mostly to the European market.
Culling is only permitted by registered shooters in specific areas and only four species of kangaroo is permitted for commercial harvest (none of which are listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or CITES).
These are red kangaroos, eastern and western grey kangaroos, and the common wallaroo.
Nutritional information of kangaroo meat
Indigenous Australians have relied on this high protein meat for many centuries.
One of the kangaroo meat benefits is that as kangaroos graze freely the meat doesn’t have any added chemicals, growth hormones or antibiotics.
Not only is it high in protein but it is packed with iron, is 98% fat free and is described by the Kangaroo Industry as the “highest known dietary conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is a fatty acid that studies have shown can contribute to the reduction of body fat.”
Per 100g steak:
Where can I buy kangaroo meat?
It can be purchased from your local supermarket (Coles, Woolworths or Aldi) and butchers in numerous meat cuts: steak fillets, burgers, mince and the famous “Kanga Banga’s” (sausages).
It is recommended that you consume kangaroo meat within two days of opening (and store it in the fridge), you can freeze kangaroo meat for up to 3 months.
Is kangaroo halal?
As kangaroo is not farmed and caught in the wild it is considered halal.
In the past, eating kangaroo was controversial as many did not agree with eating one of our national animals.
However, as it's now far more accepted and today it is served in some of Australia’s top restaurants. In fact, one quarter of Australians eat it at least four times per year.
Kangaroo is an extremely lean, game meat which means that it has a stronger flavour than other meats and many fans compare the taste to that of lean beef.
How should I cook kangaroo?
You can substitute it easily in most recipes for beef and cook it in the same way. However, as it has very little fat it will cook faster than other meats. This makes it ideal for stir-frying and slow-cooking.
As eating kangaroo in Australia is deemed ethical and environmentally-friendly the term kangatarianism was coined. A kangatarian describes a person who follows a strict vegetarian diet BUT with the addition of kangaroo meat.
Here are a couple of our favourite kangaroo dishes.
Kangaroo with Australian Native Fruits, Herbs and Spices
A uniquely Australian recipe incorporating native kangaroo meat, fruits and herbs such as wattleseed and Warrigal Greens. Get the full recipe.
Kangaroo Burgers with Wild Tomato Chutney
These incredible burgers are made with an apple and cabbage slaw. Get the full recipe.
Spiced Kangaroo Skewers with Pomegranate Molasses
This delicious dish is by chef Pete Evans. Get the full recipe.