Hunt Your Way To Health – Venison vs. Beef

I can’t wait until fall.  There is nothing better than spending a cool morning in a tree, watching the world wake up.  I am ready to hear the noise of a breaking branch that signals the approach of a whitetail heading my direction.  I also can’t wait to fill up my freezer with organic free-range prime protein.

Yesterday I was reading a fascinating article that was discussing how childhood obesity rates were at high levels during the Great Depression.  At the end of the article the author begins to dig into the connection between the consumption of meat, more specifically red meat, and obesity.  The author concludes,

“Ethical arguments against meat-eating are always valid; health arguments against it can no longer be defended.”

Most hunters have had to defend the ethical aspects of killing a wild animal for table fare, but how many of us have thought about the health argument?

Venison Chili

The fact is, wild game is much healthier than store bought meat…

3oz. Ground Venison

  • 134 Calories
  • Total Fat, 6g
  • Saturated Fat, 2.8g
  • Protein 18.5g
  • Calorie Breakdown: 41% Fat, 59% Protein

3oz. Ground Beef (80/20)

  • 213 Calories
  • Total Fat, 16.8g
  • Saturated Fat, 6.4g
  • Protein 14.4g
  • Calorie Breakdown: 71% Fat, 29% Protein

As you can see venison has just 62% of the calories and 35% of the total fat of ground beef, while packing 28% more protein!  Venison is also naturally low in cholesterol, high in B-vitamins, Iron and other key nutrients.  Venison that we obtain from hunting is also free from all the hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals that are used on animals raised for meat distribution and consumption.

Hunters should defend the ethics of killing game for meat, but we should also be quick to point out the health benefits of bringing home such quality meat for our families.

(Be sure to check out my recipes for Southwestern Venison Chili as well as Venison Fajitas.)

The Author

Mark Huelsing is a regular guy with an irregular passion for bowhunting and the outdoors. Learn more about Sole Adventure or get in touch with Mark...

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  • Ben Adams

    I knew venison was healthier but didn’t have any idea it was THAT much better for you! Great post! 

    • SoleAdventure

      Thankfully, it is!

  • Chippewaducks

    Turns out it tastes the same too.  This from the US Venison Council:

    Controversy has long raged about the relative quality and taste of venison and beef as gourmet foods. Some people say venison is tough, with a strong “wild” taste, others insist venison’s flavor is delicate. An independent food research group was retained by the Venison Council to conduct a taste test to determine the truth of these conflicting assertions once and for all.  First, a Grade A Choice Holstein steer was chased into a swamp a mile and a half from a road and shot several times. After some of the entrails were removed, the carcass was dragged back over rocks and logs and through mud and dust to the road. It was then thrown into the back of a pickup truck and driven through rain and snow for 100 miles before being hung out in the sun for a day.  It was then lugged into a garage where it was skinned and rolled around on the floor for a while. Strict sanitary precautions were observed throughout the test, within the limitations of the butchering environment. For instance, dogs and cats were allowed to sniff and lick the steer carcass, but most of the time they were chased away when they attempted to bite chunks out of it. Next, a sheet of plywood left from last year’s butchering was set up in the basement on two saw horses. The pieces of dried blood, hair and fat left from last year were scraped off with a wire brush last used to clean out the grass stuck under the lawn mower.
    The skinned carcass was then dragged down the steps into the basement where a half dozen inexperienced but enthusiastic and intoxicated men worked on it with meat saws, cleavers, hammers and dull knives. The result was 375 pounds of soup bones, four bushel baskets of meat scraps, and a couple of steaks that were an eighth of an inch thick on one edge and an inch and a half thick on the other edge.
    The steaks were seared on a glowing red hot cast iron skillet to lock in the flavor. When the smoke cleared, rancid bacon grease was added, along with three pounds of onions, and the whole conglomeration was fried for two hours.
    The meat was gently teased from the frying pan and served to three intoxicated and blindfolded taste panel volunteers. Every member of the panel thought it was venison. One volunteer even said it tasted exactly like the venison he has eaten in hunting camps for the past 27 years.
    The results of this scientific test conclusively show that there is no difference between the taste of beef and venison… 

    • SoleAdventure

      Too funny! :-)