By Staff Reporter
When you mention goat meat, many people turn up their noses. Even those who have a love of lamb are ambivalent when it comes to the meat. The two animals have a lot in common, especially in flavour, but on the way to the butchery their paths seem to split.
Lamb went the prestige route, while goat took a rockier path.
The reasons are rooted in colonialism – lamb grazed on the pastoral English countryside, and the goat was better loved in the colonies.
Even today goat is mostly used for traditional ceremonies more than any other animal. Livestock is mostly bought alive and slaughtered ceremonially.
Under the influence of slow and steady growth, it’s not hard to imagine a future where goat meat is on the family dinner table once or twice a month. “It’s an industry with a lot of potential,” says Paul Scheepers, a pioneer in the goat meat industry in Namibia. “We’re going to see more producers do it as a full-time income source, not just a sideline, just as we are doing right now.”
Most people think that eating too much of red meat is bad for your heart health in the long run.
An increasing number of experts, however, are saying that goat meat has a number of nutritional benefits. It is lower in calories, lower in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than traditional meat. Goat meat has higher levels of iron when compared to similar serving sizes of beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Comparatively, goat meat also has a higher potassium content and lower sodium levels.
When it comes to fat, goat meat is leaner than other meats. It has far less calories, which means it is ideal for those trying to stick to a diet.
While red meat is known to be high with saturated fat that increases cholesterol levels and leads to heart disease, goat meat is said to have very low levels of saturated fat and will pose no harm to your heart health.
The low levels of saturated fat in goat meat is said to improve blood cholesterol levels and ease inflammation.
With cholesterol levels shooting through the roof in most households, it is important to watch your diet.
Goat meat comprises very little cholesterol and hence, can be consumed regularly.
Goat meat also contains higher levels of iron than chicken. Iron is an important nutrient especially for women a lack of iron reserves is known to cause anaemia.
The meat is packed with proteins; an important nutrient the body needs on a daily basis.
Goat meat comprises Vitamin B, which is known to help one effectively burn fat. So, a little portion of the meat is good for those wanting to lose some weight.
It is packed with Vitamin B12, which is known to help you get healthy skin.
Why then have we not seen it as readily available in the stores or in butcheries?
We know that many Namibian farmers farm with goats and that they are readily available for consumption for special occasions, but when all you need is some for the pot, then it is almost impossible to find.
Scheepers and business partner Ernie Shepperson are about to blow the market open by filling this gap in the local market.
Soon we will have pre-packaged and processed meat available in our local stores and readily available.
There’s an unsung quality to the meat that’s also starting to attract attention, and we are about to get the benefit of it.