Eating A (Very) Big Bird

Ostrich meat on sale.
Ostrich meat on sale.

Umbrellas in hand, M. and I walked as briskly as we could in the sprinkling that had shadowed us since daybreak. We were on route to the Whole Foods at Union Square.

The farmer’s market there was dispersing under the darkening skies, the texture of a dirty, wet blanket. The stalls were empty. The vendors of produce, meat, milk, honey, were packing their apparatus after a day of profits.

A blackboard, with fluorescent blue lettering made me stop in my tracks. “Ostrich Meat,” it read. It so surprised me to see it that I stopped to have a chat with the seller.

Ostrich is a bird, just like a chicken or a turkey, only far bigger. But this poultry isn’t white meat. It’s red. Yes, red.

“Is it a big seller?” I asked the farmer.

“Oh, yes! It’s all gone,” he said cheerfully, looking around his vacant booth, dropping a hint that he has not one steak, fillet, or patty to take back home in his van.

“Why does it have so many takers?” I queried.

He explained that it tasted just like beef, but had less than half the fat content of chicken, according to the American Ostrich Association. Its health benefits notwithstanding, I absolutely refuse to eat this delightful life form.

I’m happy that dinosaurs no longer roam among us today. If they did, I’m quite certain the worst of the human carnivores would’ve found a way to cut them up as well.


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