Benefits of eating kangaroo meat

An Idea For Your Next Cookout

Do you like kangaroos? How do you like them? Rare, medium or well-done?

It’s not hard to imagine someone in the Australian outback making a meal of kangaroo. But anyone might develop a hankering for kangaroo steak if they wanted to sharply increase their intake of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – the fatty acid that may help prevent cancer, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis. CLA has also been shown to aid in the management of glucose and insulin levels.

So would you like some steak sauce with that kangaroo?

Previously, the richest known source of CLA was lamb, with a fairly high CLA content found in beef and dairy products. But a Ph.D. student at the University of Western Australia has discovered that the meat of the Western Grey kangaroo contains five times as much CLA as lamb’s meat.

Kangaroo has other benefits as well: it’s very lean, and contains lots of iron, zinc and protein. And it’s growing in popularity. About 2 million kangaroos are harvested yearly, and the European market for kangaroo meat has expanded considerably in recent years (due to mad cow disease and an outbreak of hoof and mouth disease).

Nevertheless, if you think finding grass-fed beef is hard, just try getting kangaroo meat from your local grocer. But if you do locate a source (there are “exotic meat” sites on the Internet), be sure to ask for Western Grey kangaroo. Apparently the meat of Red kangaroo and Eastern Grey kangaroo don’t quite measure up in CLA content like the Western Grey does.

So tie me kangaroo down, mate. Right over there: Next to the barbee.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute

“Kangaroo Steak has CLA Power” Food Navigator, 4/30/04,
“Roo Meat a ‘Disease Preventer'” Richard Macey, The Age, 4/27/04,