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Roadkill

All Areas > Food & Drink > Wild Food Foraging

Author: Steven Hawley, Posted: Saturday, 24th September 2016, 08:00

Quite often I'm alerted to the presence of something edible (or a close approximation) when Renée, my endearingly dopey dog, starts to look a little less befuddled by her surroundings and takes an unusual interest in something by the edge of the road. I can usually tell the quality of the morsel by her reaction. If she rolls in it, it’s been there a while. If she starts to eat it, it’s still fairly fresh. If she yelps and runs back to hide behind my legs then it’s probably so fresh that a quick call to the RSPCA might be in order.

It’s a sad fact that we humans are an intrusive and destructive species, the evidence of which can be seen laying dead or dying on country roadsides. But why leave something that is perfectly good eating to decay meaninglessly?

Renée seemed to think it was fine dining

I will admit that I don’t make a habit of eating roadkill. In fact I’ve only done it twice. Once was a squirrel that I found within a short time of its untimely demise and took home just so I could cross two items off my bucket list (tasting squirrel and eating roadkill, two for one deal there). The other was a pheasant, which looked pretty questionable but Renée seemed to think it was fine dining, which was good enough for me. Even though I ate every mouthful with trepidation and within dashing distance of a toilet, I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed.

To check how fresh something is give it a quick sniff test – the smell of rotting meat is unmistakable. Also, prod it with a stick – if it’s still soft and squishy then it’s a recent statistic. If it’s rigid then rigour mortis has set in and it’s been there for a good few hours at least.

Wild animals can carry a variety of diseases, or could have died from pest control toxins. If you're not sure if the roadkill is safe to eat, leave it well alone!

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