Photo: Pen Waggener, Flickr
Several news sources have recently pondered, is roadkill safe to eat?
The answer? Well, sort of.
On the pro-roadkill eating side:
If an animal was recently killed but otherwise healthy, the meat is actually much fresher than what you might find in a grocery store, explained Steve Rinella of the Travel Channel's "The Wild Within" on HuffPost Food recently (see his video of finding and preparing raccoon roadkill, after the jump). Daniel Klein of "The Perennial Palate" has a similar philosophy in this video, in which he prepares venison tartare from a deer collected from the side of the road that was "still steaming."
Even PETA basically agrees with both men. The animal-rights group advises, "If people must eat animal carcasses, roadkill is a superior option to the neatly shrink-wrapped plastic packages of meat in the supermarket."
Most recently, Food Safety News interviewed several roadkill-eating enthusiasts and gathered that there are a few good general rules of thumb to follow, such as the fact that eating roadkill in the winter may be safer since the animal is essentially refrigerated upon its death. Rinella adds that for raccoons, when the blood has not yet coagulated and the hair is not oily, those are both good signs that the animal was recently killed and therefore okay to eat.