Q & A: Best Choice with Limited Meat Options and Is Venison Nourishing?

Last week kept me glued to the computer getting all of the giveaways ready to roll. Wow! What a week! Three of the giveaways are still open to new entries, enter here to win three nourishing “must read books”, or here to win a wondermill grain mill, and here to win 25 pounds of sprouted flour. All three of these giveaways end on Wednesday night.

Since last week kept me so busy, I got a little behind on some other projects. So today, instead of sharing a recipe or a long post, I share part one to the Q & A series that I promised. Instead of spending two hours typing out a post, I thought I would do it the fast way and just do a little video for you.

Now, I warn you that I am unusually calm in this video as I really needed to be taking a nap as I was quite overtired. But instead I grabbed the labtop and curled up in front of the fire to answer the first two questions you had for me. Next time I will try to be a little more lively. *smile*

The two questions I started with were in brief, 1) Should I eat animal products when all I can get is badly produced meat? 2)Is Venison Healthy?

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. says

    I got some venison, along with homemade venison sausage, from a friend when she was visiting people in Virginia. Haven’t had the steak yet but have had some of the sausage and it’s so delicious!

    There’s an NPR show I listen to faithfully called On Point. Recently they spent an hour talking about how people have changed their lifestyle in the ongoing recession. One commenter said she’s switched to growing most of her own produce and now ate only game meat her husband had killed. Wonder if she’s going to see a (good) reflection in her health costs as well.

  2. says

    We eat lots of venison, my dad is an avid hunter and my husband just started this year. We enjoy venison a lot and it makes up most of our red meat. We buy some beef from a local farm and we get pastured raw milk, eggs, chickens, and turkeys from a local farm as well.

  3. says

    I knew about the venison and we eat lots of that as well as chevron (goat) that we raise. The answer to the first question was very informative though for me as I have been asked that question before and have wondered myself. We have great access to nourishing food but someday we may not and those were great answers.
    Love the video format!

  4. says

    Great video, Kimi! A great idea for those frequent questions. I agree it’s a hard choice to make when high quality animal foods aren’t easily obtained. However, I do think it’s better than nothing. It’s important to do as well as you can in each category of nourishing foods, but sometimes you have to compromise.

    Supplementing with omega-3s is a good way to counteract the imbalance in commercial meats/fats/eggs. Also, I believe the body is somewhat more equipped to handle toxins when it’s getting things like animal fats and cholesterol, even if they aren’t the best quality available (just avoid the really bad stuff like hydrogenated fat and oxidized cholesterol).

    You can also practice good detox principles like dry skin brushing, epsom salt baths, and gentle cleansing herbs like milk thistle and dandelion for the health of the kidneys and liver. This may help with any additional toxins you might be ingesting (and we all ingest some, even when we try our best). Iodine is also good for detox, and will assist the thyroid, which is highly beneficial if you are eating animals foods from soy-fed animals. (There’s a lot of iodine in seafood, by the way.)

    As Kimi suggested, look for as much local, quality food as possible. Having some high quality foods does help make up for what we compromise on.

  5. says

    The video post is a great idea. Like someone mentioned above, it really helps to HEAR you saying what you’re saying. Thanks for the great info also. I am so excited that you are at the point of being able to answer the questions! Will be eagerly anticipating future posts and videos! AND the giveaway results! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. says

    Kimi, what a great idea to make a video when you don’t have time to write out a thorough post! I will definitely be trying that myself, as I am trying to cut down on my blogging time. Thanks for inspiring me! Nice to see you in video, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And we love getting wild meat. My step-dad hunts for moose and I just love it the years when he gets a nice big one and share it with us! I feel so good about serving it to my family and grass-fed meat that’s free is even better! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Jodi says

    My husband is an avid hunter and I started hunting after I met him… we eat mostly venison that we hunt… we love it! I have recently learned to process it -butchering and grinding/boning it – myself as I decided I didn’t want to pay someone else to butcher it for me. This year I experimented making my own venison jerky and it turned out wonderful- a great high protein snack free of chemicals and additives- and I have saved all the trim meat and plan on grinding it with spices to make sausage.
    I also have many pheasant in my freezer from a recent hunting trip… another wonderful wild game bird and so tasty!
    Thanks for answering the venison question!

  8. Janice says

    I love the vidoe format for answering questions. As Amy above stated, it does help to hear the answers. Looking forward to more video posts.

  9. Tash says

    In rural TX, we grew up on venison – of course I didn’t appreciate it until now. But we have since moved to Michigan, where my husband & friends continue to hunt. The thing that I am worried about is that this area of MI is full of soybean fields – and that’s where the deer graze. Do you think that would be a problem (since they are probably eating mostly soy)??

  10. Annie says

    The video format is very cool! Definitely gives a different feel to the reponse. I feel like I’m doing more compromising than I’d like (is that the nature of compromising?!) but am trying to be glad that we’re slowing eating better, and definitely eating better than we had been. I must say, your blog is very helpful in that area. It’s hard to think about what foods are traditionally eaten in my area. I live in Loudoun County, VA (home of Nina Planck, kinda cool!) and I was just talking w/ our chiropractor who was saying how obviously coconut oil wouldn’t be a traditional food in our area. And I was just starting to get pumped about finding/using coconut oil. It’s a tough transition. Anyway, thanks for your blog!

    • KimiHarris says


      I didn’t mean that we shouldn’t eat food that isn’t “traditional for our area”. I use coconut oil without a qualm, though it grows very far away from me. My point was more that we should take advantage of the natural resources of our area. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Leesie says

    Terrific video and information, Kimi! Thank you. Both my (late) father and my twin brother are hunters. My twin brother has already brought home a
    six point buck, so our freezer is partially filled with venison. I would definitely share some with you if we lived nearby ๐Ÿ™‚ Nourishing Traditions
    has some great recipes for venison and I’m hoping to try them this winter.

    P.S. You are adorable!

    • KimiHarris says

      That’s an interesting question! It would seem that the farmers would try to prevent the animals from eating too much of their crop. But I have never really heard one way or another.

    • says

      I believe animals in the wild, given choices, know how to choose what’s best for them to eat. They may be eating some of those farm crops, but it’s very likely they’re eating the weeds and grasses in the area too.

  12. scarlet says


    Thanks so much for aswering my question; you gave some ideas that I never would’ve thought of. I live on a French island with a tropical climate (I don’t have much to complain about, really :p) so the traditional meals revolve around lots of beans, french green lentils, lots of sautรฉed greens, etc and a LOT of meat (duck, rabbit, pork, etc). Seafood is not eaten much here, although I do have access to a tiny bit and I’ll be checking it out after your suggestions.
    We also eat a lot of nourishing spices such as turmeric, ginger and thyme (if you don’t know much about their healing properties, it’s very interesting to research) and coconuts! Sadly, for an island with coconuts in every garden, I still haven’t found any locally produced oil ๐Ÿ™ I’ve been seriously thinking about making my own, as it’s apparently quite easy. If I succeed, maybe you’d be interested in publishing my account of how it went?
    Also, thanks to Elizabeth above for your very informative answer, I’ll bookmarked your blog now ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks again, Kimi!

    • KimiHarris says

      I am so surprised at their isn’t more seafood available! What a surprise for an island. But enjoy those coconuts fresh, and tell us if you are able to make your own oil. Sounds like a great adventure.

  13. Heather Wormsley says

    I love having a freezer full of vension because it is usually the most inexpensive meat we get. That being said, I have had some concerns about the quality of meat that vension is only because deer eat where they can. If it is a farmer’s field or a neighbor’s garden that has been contaminated (herbicides, pesticides, etc), then they are no longer a quality source of meat. Just a thought.

    • KimiHarris says

      I think it highly probable that the deer wouldn’t have consumed enough from a farmer’s field or garden for it to make much of a difference in the quality of the meat. So enjoy your freezer full of venison with a clear conscience!

  14. says

    I loved hearing your voice! Wonderful post.

    I did have one thought on what you said about the venison: folks might want to find out if they live in an area infect with Mad Deer disease. My understanding is that it is a bigger problem in states like Colorado and Wisconsin, while practically a nonissue in California. However, it is something to consider!

    • KimiHarris says

      Thanks for the info! I had never heard a word about that before. I went to the site you gave and was disappointed that some of the links didn’t work on the site! Isn’t that transmitted by eating the brains?

      • Leesie says

        I found this information through the NY DEC http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7191.html, which might be of some help in
        alleviating some of the worries about chronic wasting disease. Here in New York it is now against the law to feed the deer (an example where we think we are helping, but we are not!). This precaution was put into place to help stop (or start) the spread of the disease. Last winter, I had deer walking right up to my evergreen bushes next to the house to nibble away.

  15. says

    I wanted to mention that deer are not grass eaters like cows.
    Rather, they are foragers like goats, and will eat grass/alfalfa if need be.
    Many times when you see a deer that looks like its eating grass, they are actually eating things like fallen acorns.
    They also eat clover and shrubs, and any garden plot that is available.

  16. says

    I was disappointed to find that your post was a video because I’m deaf. If you want to continue posting videos then PLEASE at least post the transcript right below the video.

  17. says

    A long post takes you just two hours to write? I won’t even tell you what I spend on mine … there is a reason I only post once a week, ha ha!

    Nice to put a face to your blog!

  18. Sarah says

    Hi Kimi, I’m not sure where to ask this question so forgive me if this post is not the right spot. I have a choice between ordering a calf (of a grass fed cow), a full grown grassfed cow, and a grassfed cow that has been fed corn the last week of its life so it doesn’t taste like an onion patch. The last grassfed cow I bought really tasted oniony and I hated it! It felt so wrong to “suffer” through a bulk amount of a food that was really good for me! So I want to avoid that this time. If you had to choose between a grass fed cow that was fed corn for a week, and a calf, which would you choose and why? Does the week of corn really hurt anything? I would imagine the cow is healthy, gets lots of sunlight, etc…. I know the cows are well treated and that’s a huge advantage anyway.
    I would love your input on this!

  19. Jessica says

    Deer also eat corn in many parts of the country. Hunters use deer feeders, filled with giant bags of corn that is purchased at places like Wal-Mart, Tractor Supply or other types of stores. The hunters don’t use the food to “lure” the deer to a certain place, as it is illegal to hunt over a food plot or feeder, but they do use it as a food source. I’m not sure if the deer eat enough of the corn to really make a huge difference, but I did want to point that out.

    My husband is a hunter and we love having deer & wild turkey in our freezer to eat. He processes the meat into roast, tenderloin, jerky and ground meat that we use all year long.

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