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  1. Introduction

Taste of Game and the Food Teachers centre have come together to bring you training and resources that helps you teach the curriculum.

We hope that students will:

  • Understand ‘provenance’ and how game is reared, prepared and cooked
  • have tasted game, tried out some recipes and are familiar its taste, value and uses
  • take home a positive message about game to the family shopper/cook, including its nutritional benefits and uses in a modern balanced diet.
  1. Why teach about game?

It has a perfect fit with the new GCSE course, where students demonstrate high level skills, such as preparing meat and where they are expected to understand how animals are reared and prepared. It also educates them about the contribution of seasonal, local and nutritious foods to modern and traditional British cuisine.  In the past, lack of ingredients prevented students from cooking game, so this programme will hopefully mean that thousands more youngsters will get to cook and taste it.


a) The skills shown in preparing and cooking game can gain marks in practical exams,

b) It offers relevant teaching about sustainability, provenance and British cuisine,

c) It contributes to a healthy diet,

d) It is wild and natural, hormone – additive free,

e) It is good for the countryside and wildlife,

f) It has low carbon footprint,

g) It is delicious and tasty,

h) Most cuts are quick to cook, versatile and available in the shops.


a) The skills shown below in preparing and cooking game can gain marks in practical exams

  • Knife Skills: Prepare meat, fish and alternatives. Prepare fruit and vegetables
  • Weigh and measure
  • Select and adjust cooking times
  • Test for readiness
  • Judge and modify sensory properties
  • Use of cooker
  • Prepare combine and shape
  • Prepare and use equipment

In detail, taken from:

Food Preparation and nutrition specifications:  EDUCAS  OCR    AQA   

Technical award specifications: NCFE  EDUCAS  AQA

b) It offers relevant teaching about sustainability, provenance and British cuisine

  1.  Knowledge of British and International cuisine
  2. Food provenance – where and how ingredients are grown, reared and caught
  3. Food and the environment – Environmental issues associated with food
  4. Sustainability of food – The impact of food and food security on local and global markets
  5. Food processing and production
  6. Factors effecting food choice

c) It contributes to a healthy diet

One of the main benefits of eating game meat is that is it one of the healthiest meats available, very low in fat and cholesterol, game meat is lean as they are wild and are able to walk and roam freely so do not store so much fat.

The fat that is in game meat is Omega 3 When you hear Omega-3, most people will think of salmon, however wild game such as venison has an optimum ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids, making game one of the healthiest sources of good fat.

Game is very high in Iron and contains higher levels of many beneficial nutrients including vitamin E, Beta Carotene, Zinc Vitamin B(6) and Selenium. Selenium is an important part of our diet that we often lack and helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Wild game is ideal for those following a paleo approach to eating and for those wishing to lose weight as it has fewer calories than other meats. Venison is high in protein good for high protein diets

Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Trans Fat Cholesterol  Total Carbo-hydrates Protein
Beef 191 kcal 11.0 g 4.39 g ? 99.0 mg ? 23.1 g
Chicken 105 kcal 1.5 g  0.5 g ? 90.0 mg ? 20.1 g
Duck 195 kcal 10.4 g  3.3 g 0.1 g 115.0 mg 0.0 g 25.3 g
Goose 301 kcal 21.2 g  6.6 g ? 91.0 mg 0.0 g 27.5 g
Grouse 128 kcal 2.0 g  0.5 g ? ? 0.0 g 27.6 g
Hare ? 8.0 g ? ? ? 0.0 g 29.9 g
Lamb 172 kcal 9.9 g 4.75 g ? 90.0 mg ? 20.8 g
Partridge 212 kcal 7.2 g  1.9 g ? ? 0.0 g 36.7 g
Pheasant 220 kcal 12.0 g  4.1 g 0.1 g 220.0 mg 0.0 g 27.9 g
Pigeon 187 kcal 7.9 g ? ? ? 0.0 g 29.0 g
Rabbit 114 kcal 3.2 g  1.7 g 0.1 g 49.0 mg 0.0 g 21.2 g
Venison 165 kcal 2.5 g ? ? ? 0.0 g 35.6 g
? = Insufficient data to estimate

Taken from DEFRA nutritional data 2014

d) It is wild and natural, hormone – additive free

Game meat is harvested from natural landscapes such as forests, farm land and moorlands, which means their diet is natural. This diet gives game meat its distinctive delicious taste. All game is hormone free no growth hormones are added to their diets as their diets are natural. Wild game such as venison, rabbit, pigeon and grouse are antibiotic-free.

e) It is good for the countryside and wildlife

The game industry does not shout enough about the conservation undertaken and its positive effects on the ecology of our natural landscape.

The wild game industry plays a fundamental role in managing the populations of game in the UK; without the work of estates and the game industry, populations would increase to unsustainable levels. It has positive effects on the ecology of our natural landscape.

A huge amount of conservation work and management is undertaken to ensure healthy and sustainable game. The management of deer ensures woodlands including ancient woodland are not destroyed or damaged. On average five species of wild flowers are found in unmanaged woodland. In woodland managed for game an average 16 species can be found.

Crops sown to give game birds shelter and natural foods benefit other wildlife including skylark, lapwing and corn bunting. This has soon an increase in numbers of the birds

Moorland manged for the breeding of wild grouse gives it the famous heather and purple colour. Rarer than rainforest, the UK has 75 per cent of what is left of the globally recognised expanses.  860,000 acres of heather moorland in England and Wales is managed for wild red grouse, £52.5 million a year is spent on these iconic, fragile landscapes. There is more carbon locked up in UK peat soils than in all the trees of Britain and France. It represents 42 per cent of our entire carbon stock. These are managed by grouse moorland owners.

The industry spends over £250 million on conservation each year and two million hectares are actively managed for conservation.

f) It has low carbon footprint

As these animals are not intensively farmed and are often locally sourced, the carbon footprint of the game industry is relatively small, with very few miles from field to fork.

g) It is delicious and tasty

Game meat is delicious venison is a great alternative to beef and makes a great steak meal. Pheasant is like a tasty chicken and partridge is a great meat to start you off with if you haven’t tried game before. Rabbit is growing in popularity and makes great dishes.

Pigeon is stronger meat as it is rich with iron but goes well as a snack in pitta bread or in a pea risotto. Grouse is another stronger tasting meat and is known as the King of game birds.

h) Most cuts are quick to cook, versatile and available in the shops

Game meat is lean so it must not be overcooked, which means unless you are using a tougher cut or planning a casserole it is quick to cook. Game meat is very versatile and venison can replace beef in most recipes and rabbit pheasant and partridge can place chicken. Both will give you much tastier dishes. Game can be found at most farmers markets and even if your butcher does not have it on his counter he can certainly get it for you so just ask. There are several online suppliers now and supermarkets will have venison and game birds in season. Just check that the venison is British a lot of the supermarkets venison is from New Zealand.


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