On Trial: Ostrich

August 7, 2013


A healthy alternative to beef or an overpriced novelty? Food Court calls ostrich to the stand.

The Defense

If you enjoy the rich flavor of beef steak but you’re not wild about the calories and fat, you should consider ostrich. The flavor and texture are much like steak, but the meat is much lower in fat and calories.

While a 3.5-ounce serving of beef tenderloin contains 10.5 grams of fat and weighs in at 209 calories, a similarly sized serving of ostrich contains just 3.0 grams of fat and 142 calories. The beef steak delivers 6.44 grams of saturated fat, while the ostrich contains just 0.25 grams — that’s quite a difference!

Moreover, ostrich is rich in iron and protein. And because most ostriches are raised on free-range ranches, ostrich is generally free of antibiotics and hormones. In fact, it’s the only red meat endorsed by the American Diabetes Association for purity. It’s also recommended by the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Association.

Ostrich doesn’t shrink when cooked, so you don’t have to worry about your grilled ostrich burger looking sad and lonely in the center of a much larger bun. (It happens with ground beef all the time — you know it does.)

The Prosecution

We raise no objection to the Defense’s testimony, Your Honor.

Our own experts concur: Ostrich is delicious, it’s good for you, and it’s a good low-calorie source of protein.It’s expensive in most of the world, but there’s no nutritional basis for criticism.

The Verdict

Food Court rules for the Prosecution. The Defense’s case is persuasive, but ostrich seems to offer no unique benefits compared to chicken and turkey. And it’s much more expensive.

Stick to poultry at home and treat yourself to a steak once in a while. With the money you save you can buy a fruit juicer and add delicious smoothies to your diet. Or you could do something really crazy and join a gym.

Until and unless ostrich becomes more affordable, there’s no realistic reason to make it part of your everyday diet.

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