Rabbit meat, food with high nutritional value

Rabbit meat helps to lower weight, cholesterol, and uric acid and provides beneficial fatty acids for cardiac activity. Its quality is comparable to that of fish and eggs.

Rabbit meat, food with high nutritional value
High nutritional value of rabbit meat. Photo by Gavin Allanwood / Unsplash

Despite having great nutritional qualities, rabbit meat is little consumed in Mexico, barely 128 grams per capita. On the other hand, chicken exceeds 32 kilograms per person per year, according to the National Union of Poultry Farmers; in the case of fish and seafood, it is 13.8 kilograms per year, according to data from the Mexican Council for the Promotion of Fish and Aquaculture Products.

Eloisa Chino Rosario and Claudia Alcázar Montañez, from the Faculties of Higher Education (FES) Cuautitlán and Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, respectively, agreed:

Due to its nutritional value from proteins, minerals, and vitamins, in addition to its low caloric intake, it is an excellent option to include in the daily diet, particularly for those seeking to reduce cholesterol or suffering from atherosclerosis, gout, or elevated uric acid, as well as for those who have a dietary regimen to lose weight. Due to its low sodium content, it is also suitable for those suffering from hypertension or kidney problems.

It is less popular than beef or pork; however, it is one of the white meats that can be eaten frequently, even during Lent, as well as chicken, turkey, and fish.

Rabbit is mostly raised and consumed in the central zone of the country due to the temperate climate that prevails and contributes to its development, such as Puebla, State of Mexico -main producer, with an approximate yield of 2,340 tons of meat-, Mexico City, Hidalgo, and Tlaxcala, although it is also produced in Oaxaca and Chihuahua, for example.

High-quality rabbit meat

There is a lack of knowledge, perhaps even some prejudice, regarding the consumption of certain edible species, perhaps it is a matter of perception. That is to say, we are used to three main species of consumption, to the scope of their production: poultry, beef, and pork. Based on this, it is difficult to think that others can be produced, on a medium or large scale, to provide the animal protein necessary for human consumption.

The popularity of rabbit meat is low, even though it is also easily digestible and its contribution of B complex vitamins is up to 600 milligrams per 100 grams. Unlike the so-called red meats, this animal's meat is practically lean (low in fat) with a great contribution of polyunsaturated fats (healthy fats) that provide omega fatty acids; that is to say, those beneficial for cardiac activity and that facilitate a reduction of cholesterol.

The quality of the protein is much better, almost comparable to that of fish or eggs, which are highly digestible. It is a kind of food that can be used mainly in people with some disease and as a protein in the case of babies who begin to ingest those of animal origin.

One of the advantages of the breeding of this species is its reproduction time, in addition to the fact that it can be sold from 70 days of birth and obtain a carcass yield ranging from 58 to 60 percent.

Once the calves are weaned and separated from their mother, they must spend two months - a fattening period - before slaughter. In this process, live animals weighing an average of 2 kg 600 grams are obtained, and once transformed into carcasses, a little less than two kilos are obtained without skin, ears, legs, etc. This is a really short time and represents a minimum investment for reproduction.

However, rabbit farming in Mexico does not have a growth in terms of production comparable to that of European countries, where consumption is higher, which limits the technological aspect of this area. Spain, France, and Italy are the three main producers worldwide, accounting for more than 85 percent of EU production.

Most of the population does not know how to prepare it and, consequently, considers that the flavor is unpleasant, or that it can only be roasted or marinated. They are also unaware that it is a versatile food that can be prepared like any favorite pork, chicken, or beef dish.