mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Roadkill: The New American Dish?

Americans countrywide are opting for a new kind of exotic fare, but, unlike quinoa and other imported delicacies, it’s locally sourced. The Times reports on our growing taste for roadkill, suggested by the pro-roadkill laws that over a dozen states are adopting: 

In Colorado, people can take the edible portions of roadkill if they get permission from the state’s Division of Parks and Wildlife. “The goal is to make sure that meat doesn’t go to waste, while making sure people don’t poach with their vehicles,” said Randy Hampton, a spokesman for the division.

A 2010 Georgia law allows people there to take home dead bears — as well as other animals — after they inform law enforcement officials or a state wildlife conservation officer.

One food writer reports: “I’ve met people in every part of the country who do it.” We only hope the Nanny Staters don’t stop this burgeoning new American fare. When the Montana roadkill law was being debated there were hints that regulators were going to stand between Americans and their roadkill. While roadkill isn’t served on the menu at the stately Mead manor, we at Via Meadia say eat and let eat.

[Image of Deer on a Road Courtesy of Shutterstock]

Features Icon
show comments
  • Corlyss

    How can these laws possibly exist without involving the USDA, it’s inspectors, it’s imprimaturs, etc?

    • NCMountainGirl

      They already are involved, Only licensed and inspected game farms can legally sell game meats. The USDA doesn’t deal with animals taken for personal consumption. The
      issue here is actually one of being able to get a road kill carcass processed into cuts of meat. Meat
      processing plants won’t process a game carcass unless the customer shows
      proof the animal was legally taken and few people have the tools and skill to break down a carcass. I know people who have processed road kill deer for years without permission.

      • John Stephens

        Anyone equipped with a sharp knife and a certain amount of desperation can get at least some meat off of a carcass. For details, consult the alumni of any military survival course.

        Beyond that, I suspect anyone willing to eat roadkill knows perfectly well how to go about it, or has a friend or relative who does.

    • Andrew Allison

      Fear not, if this takes off the nanny state will leap into action!

  • NCMountainGirl

    More than fair considering the damage that hitting a member of the Cervidae family can do to a car.

    Part of this is the increased migration of people to the exurbs and wildlife to urban areas. People can be pretty clueless about being on the watch for critters by the side of the road.

    • Andrew Allison

      And deer can be pretty clueless in rutting season LOL

      • Jim__L

        Wasn’t the last recorded case of trichinosis (which is now rare) in this country a result of someone consuming undercooked roadkill, rather than from pork?

        • Andrew Allison

          That was my point ;<)

          • Jim__L

            Yep, I wasn’t disagreeing with you at all. =)

  • ljgude

    I have read that in my native New Hampshire the resurgent Moose are a major source of traffic fatalities. It seems they are tall enough so that they come clean through the windshield at speed and anyone in the front seat gets whacked with a half ton meat. In the fifties in that same state you could shoot deer that got into your crops, but you had to call the game warden who took the carcass away and provided the meat to state institutions such as the asylum for the mentally ill (or as we called it then – the crazy house) in Concord. During hunting season in that same era many people saw getting your deer not as a matter of sport but of serious augmentation of the family larder. Nor was it unknown for Game wardens to look the other way when genuinely destitute people took deer out of season. It seems that perhaps this kind of subsistence ‘farming’ may be making a comeback.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service