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Is Ostrich Meat Healthy?

By S. Scolari
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Ostrich meat is frequently described as a healthy alternative to other meat products because it is low in fat and cholesterol. As America struggles in the grip of an unprecedented obesity epidemic and rates of heart disease and diabetes continue to rise, ostrich meat is being touted as a healthy alternative to beef.

While ostrich meat is described as a red meat, and is said to have all of the texture and taste of beef, it has 40% less fat. Like red meat, it is rich in protein and iron, yet is lower in fat, calories, and cholesterol than either skinless chicken or turkey, which are traditonally presented as viable alternatives to red meat.


Fat

Calories

Cholesterol

Chicken 7.41 grams 190 89 milligrams
Beef 9.28 grams 211 86 milligrams
Ostrich 2.80 grams 140 83 milligrams

Nutritional information is per 100 grams of cooked lean meat

Ostrich meat is described as having a sweeter and richer taste than other meats. It is is popular in European restuarants and is becoming more popular in America. It comes in a variety of cuts, including prime steaks, filets, sausages, burgers, stir-fry, and diced. It can be substituted for beef, pork, lamb, turkey, or chicken in virtually any recipe.

Ostrich burgers and sausages typically have a very high meat content, averaging 80% as compared to 60% in the average beef or pork sausauge.

Cuts rated tender should be broiled, fried, or grilled. Cuts rated medium-tender should be braised or poached. All cuts can be roasted, cured, or served as kabobs or stir-fry. Leg meat is usually ground or processed.

Ostrich cooks faster than other meats because of its low fat content. Steaks should be cooked medium rare to medium. Cooking ostrich meat to well done is not recommended.

Many nutritionists are beginning to prescribe ostrich meat to their clients in lieu of other meats because it is so low in saturated fat, which clogs arteries and which may contribute to heart disease and arteriosclerosis. It is available in many supermarkets, health food stores, and online. The price is comparable to other meats.

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Discussion Comments

By anon971308 — On Sep 24, 2014

I got to try ostrich in Culinary School. We roasted it and I thought that it tasted just like roast beef. It was so good. I wish I could afford to buy it!

By anon333370 — On May 05, 2013

I live in south central Wisconsin and for or a brief time, ostrich was available at Woodman's, but now only bison is available.

I recently went to the local farmer's market and found someone selling ostrich and emu. They told me that the early spring cold snaps usually kill off 15-25 percent of the ostriches, so they are now switching to emu (who don't suffer the same die-off).

I enjoy ostrich so much more than beef, but I am hoping I will enjoy emu equally because I'd rather buy a locally produced and more sustainable meat. (I find I eat far less meat when I have good cuts - a single 4 oz ostrich burger will satisfy me quite well.)

By anon327994 — On Apr 01, 2013

I was curious if anyone knew if there was a place that sells ostrich meat in Delaware. In Philadelphia, apparently D'Angelo Brothers sells it.

By anon272737 — On Jun 03, 2012

I had an ostrich steak just the other day. I would say it pretty much looks like very lean, fork tender beef. The taste was very much like a sirloin beef taste. It was quite delicious.

By anon155069 — On Feb 22, 2011

Woodmans sells ostrich meat. I think the closest one to Chicago is in Kenosha and I know for a fact that they have it there as I shop there all the time. --L

By anon133230 — On Dec 09, 2010

While on a trip to South Africa, I was introduced to ostrich meat and ostrich eggs. Both delicious.

In Germany ostrich meat is readily available at discounters like Aldi Supermarkets for about $6 for a frozen portion (two dark meat steaks).

I wish I could find it readily in my markets in New York, but here it is considered an exotic meat, high priced and one has to order it from some robber baron outfit. When will they ever learn? Healthy food please.

more ostrich on everybody's plate.

By FirstViolin — On Sep 04, 2010

Does anybody know where there is ostrich meat for sale in Jakarta? I particularly want to find ostrich meat sticks.

Thanks for your help!

By StreamFinder — On Sep 04, 2010

I would just like to remind people that when buying ostrich meat and ostrich feathers, be careful to get responsibly-sourced products.

The same goes for all kinds of alternative meat, from alligator to zebra. Meat sources should be thoroughly certified as safe, organic and healthy before you even consider buying them.

By musicshaman — On Sep 04, 2010

Does anybody know where to buy organic ostrich meat in Chicago? I really want to try some ostrich as a red meat alternative, but I can't find anywhere that sells it.

Can you help me out?

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