Blog Corner

Eat Goat! It is a healthy choice

Three quarters of the world's population eats goat meat. Goat is surprisingly healthy compared to the usual meats we consume, even chicken!

Posted on May 6, 2012 by Suzanne Pish, Michigan State University Extension

Goats are quickly becoming a common sight along roadsides and on small farms all over the United States. Beef, chicken, and pork are more widely consumed at the American family dinner table so many people are surprised to learn that goat is actually the world's most popular meat.

Approximately 75 percent of the world's population eats goat meat. The demand for goat meat has risen sharply with America's growing population of ethnic groups who are more familiar with this food. American producers are struggling to keep up with the growing demand for a product that was virtually unheard of 15 years ago. In addition to the ethnic population that regularly consumes goat meat, many Americans are discovering the benefits of eating goat too.

Since we raise goats for meat, we often are asked why. It has a good flavor and is very healthy. It is low in fat, cholesterol, calories and saturated fat. In fact, goat meat is over 50 percent lower in fat than our American beef and is about 40 percent lower in saturated fat than chicken - even chicken cooked with the skin off! The following meat comparison (per 3 oz. roasted meat) table is from the USDA:

Table 1. Nutrient Composition of Goat and Other Types of Meat [1], [2]

Nutrient Goat Chicken Beef Lamb Pork
Calories 122 162 179 180 175
Fat(g) 2.6 6.3 7.9 8.2 8.1
Saturated Fat(g) 0.79 1.7 3.0 2.9 2.9
Protein(g) 23 25 25 25 24
Cholesterol(mg) 63.8 76.0 73.1 73.1 78.2

Cooking goat can be more of a challenge due to its low fat content. Cook goat meat slowly and at low temperatures to prevent it from drying it out which makes it tough. The best ways to cook goat are roasting or braising. Roasting can be done in the oven, in a smoker, or on the grill. Braising involves cooking it with added liquid such as water, wine or milk. Marinating will help retain moisture and tenderness as well. The USDA's Food Service and Inspection Service provides several fact sheets on preparing, selecting and storing goat along with nutrition information. Enjoy!

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). See this link why goat most sustainable ~ http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-gallons-of-water-to-make-a-burger-20140124-story.html