Yesterday I came across a Tweet that had been promoted on Rosie Woodroffe’s Twitter timeline. It was from an account I’d not come across before – Eat Wild @LetsEatWild
The account appears to have been online since August 2018 and has been set up to help us ‘think differently about game’ – different from what, one might ask? Anyway they haven’t tweeted much, just 21 times according to Twitter, mainly recipes and some endorsements from various chefs. The promoted Tweet (screenshot above) gives us a 17 second video clip with some limited nutritional information about pheasant, partridge, grouse, pigeon and mallard. There is a link to a website which also focuses on various recipes. On the home page it makes various statements such as “all wild game is a heathier choice, but BGA-assured game goes further. It’s reared and handled to exceptionally high standards, ensuring meat that is high quality, sustainable and ethical.” There are various hyperlinks to the British Game Alliance – fair enough. Interestingly I couldn’t find any EatWild related links on the BGA website, but maybe I missed them?
Another focus of the website, under the ‘why eat wild’ tab, is on the nutritional benefits of eating game (pheasant, partridge, grouse, pigeon and mallard) and compares them with chicken. It mentions protein, calories, fat, cholesterol and interestingly selenium (which seems a bit nuts to me). What it doesn’t mention is lead content and how that can be high in some game meat. In fact there is no mention of lead ammunition anywhere on the Eat Wild website. This could of course be an oversight – I emailed them via their helpful contact form and hopefully I’ll get a reply. Or maybe they only promote stockists that source game meat that has been shot with non-toxic alternatives? Now that would be an effective marketing tool – I might be tempted to consume more game meat if I had a degree of certainty that the meat wasn’t shot with toxic lead ammunition.
You would have thought that at the very least they would have a helpful link to the Food Standards Agency advice on lead-shot game. Just as a reminder that FSA advice states – “Consuming lead is harmful, health experts advise to minimise lead consumption as much as possible. Anyone who eats lead-shot game should be aware of the risks posed by consuming large amounts of lead, especially children and pregnant women.” So if Eat Wild wants to be ethical – it says that it does on its website – surely it should highlight the FSA advice, especially the statement above?
We could of course just ban the use of toxic lead ammunition, as outlined in the People’s Manifesto for Wildlife, and that would remove at least one ethical dilemma for Eat Wild and the British Game Alliance.
NOTE: I haven’t provided a hyperlink to the EatWild website as when I try to access it, I get a security warning (although I have checked it via an alternative route).