Chef Boy-Am-I-Hungry- Is Roadkill Good Eats?

Over on SlashFood they ask the question that most of us have pondered from time to time while plying our nation’s highways: is roadkill safe to eat? As of 2006, our national highway system comprised 46,876 miles of asphalt, and you can bet that at least a few of those have had some wildlife pancakes cooking in the sun. Roadkill is a tragedy if you happen to be the unfortunate critter who has met an untimely end by way of Buick. For the rest of us however, it’s a way to pass the time on a long trip by playing what the hell was that?
Getting run over might even be amore preferable death than being pelted with buckshot, and makes savoring the resultant tasty morsels less requiring of a spittoon. But is that tire trampled tapir or roadside raccoon something that you should be scooping up for dinner rather than just dodging in your Dodge? SlashFood says why not? And PETA agrees with them! Usually promotors of our furry friends living long, uninterrupted lives, the animal advocates response to an already flat ferret, or still-warm woodland creature, is tuck in!
Are you willing to travel with a shovel and trunk-mounted abattoir? If so, check out the SlashFood article and find out how to eat around the mange, and which highway hamburger would be the tastiest.
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  1. P161911 Avatar

    I was tempted when I hit a deer a few months ago. The first question half the people I told asked was "Did you keep it?"
    I didn't because one side was overtenderized by the grill and bumper of the Traiblazer and the other size got a pretty good road rash where I attempted to euthanize it by driving over the deer, only to end up dragging it across the asphalt for a few feet. That didn't leave much good meat.
    A fresh (as in I saw it die) deer or cow or pig sure why not. I'd have to be REALLY hungry to consider anything else. For the cow or pig, if I hit it with my own car I would probably be on the way to the hospital, but hey if the semi truck in front of me happens to take one out and leave some undamaged meat, sure.

    1. acarr260 Avatar

      Here in Indiana, there are usually people that are ready to come get the deer roadside while it's still fresh. They usually have an "in" with the local Sheriff's department or a tow truck operator that will call them to come get it. Overly tenderized doesn't matter so much when you plan on making venison sausage or jerky, I guess.

  2. facelvega Avatar

    Very topical song for this issue: "Roadkill" by the horseflies. [youtube r7PDW9JoYQc youtube]

    1. facelvega Avatar

      Oh, and don't forget this classic field guide:
      <img src=""&gt;

  3. Alff Avatar

    I remember reading in the Seattle Times several years ago about a semi that plowed into a herd of elk in the North Cascades. Within minutes, the local prison had dispatched a crew to retrieve and butcher the animals for a little jailhouse fricasse.

  4. SSurfer321 Avatar

    I swallowed a bug once while riding. /amidoingitright

  5. OA5599 Avatar

    When I was in perhaps second grade, I got a birthday gift of Shrinky Dinks.
    <img src="; width=500>
    One of the included patterns was a cartoon of a large rodent gnawing at a tree. I opted to trace/color/shrink it into a keychain. The pattern included the words "SAVE A TREE, EAT A BEAVER!"
    I was too young to understand why my mother was so appalled.

    1. skitter Avatar

      A friend was sent to the office in high school for the same slogan. He eventually managed to convince them of his (real) innocence.

  6. $kaycog Avatar

    It's a pretty common practice, but it's not for me. I don't like tire marks on my steak.
    There are several wolf rescue places in Colorado, and I think a lot of roadkill deer and elk are given to them.

  7. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    Meat don't walk, meat comes wrapped in plastic.
    /I'm so hosed if we get to the end-times.

    1. lilwillie Avatar

      Wander my way. If you can do manual labor and not make me angry I could use a minion to tend to chores at the compound.

      1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

        Would I be upgraded to henchman or maybe even sidekick if I told you I would make fuel, both for machines and our livers?

        1. lilwillie Avatar

          fuel for our machines and livers? that would make you "Evil Doctor" or "Our Savior".

    2. NothingHappens Avatar

      The homeless will still be available. Some cheap booze to lure them into the trap and a brick. Plus some of them already wear plastic bags.

  8. Black Steelies Avatar

    I remember the school nurse telling a story about a biology teacher or professor that hit a deer with his car and proceeded to load it up for his class to dissect. Sure beats worms and frogs like I did.
    My uncle told me once that a coworker hit a flock of quail or some other fowl on the road. He simply threw them in his truck and had a big barbecue. I imagine hitting a small bird with a truck would basically destroy whatever is left to eat but who knows.
    And those are the only two roadkill stories I can recall.

  9. lilwillie Avatar

    Long ago I did. If it isn't to shock damaged it is just fine. Small Doe took one right in the head during the gun dear season from a car. Someone, can't recall who, brought it to the farm for butchering, Fresh back straps still blood red on the grille, yummy.

  10. ZomBee Racer Avatar
  11. jjd241 Avatar

    An oldie but a goodie…
    <img src="; width="300">

  12. dukeisduke Avatar

    I'm reminded of the "hot meal on down the road" joke I heard in high school. And no, the roadkill wasn't the grossest part.

  13. sporty88 Avatar

    I've only ever hit things that I wouldn't want to eat no matter how hungry I was (a pigeon and a feral cat), and eating roadkill is probably just as much of a joke down here in Australia as it is in the US.
    Whenever talk turns to this subject among my circle of friends, somebody always brings up the subject of a local truck driver who hit a full-grown wombat in a Kenworth – ripped the front axle out of the truck. Apparently the wombat didn't even notice, and just wandered off into the bush.

  14. AlexiusG55 Avatar

    I've heard that in rural parts of England, there's an unwritten rule that if you hit a pheasant you can't stop to pick it up, but the driver behind you can…

  15. {atrick Avatar

    If you know when the thing was killed, I suppose it could be ok. However, regardless of when it is killed, I would think that eating roadkill here is Texas, particularly in summer, or during an outbreak of the plague or leprosy or wasting disease, or other diseases wild animals can carry around here, would be a pretty bad idea. My brother in law does it, and gets sick each time. Idiot. I would have a different view if I lived in a refrigerator like Alaska…

  16. McQueen Avatar

    Up here in northern BC I'd the Deer , Moose or Bear isn't too mangled its butchered and the meat is given to needy families . In the winter the mangled meat sacks are carried by a helicopter into the bush to keep bears away from populated areas in the spring when they wake up hungry from their six month nap .

  17. lilwillie Avatar

    No worries, the neighbors farm has a full still and processing facility. With a boiler setup. It was for processing Mint plants to extract the oil. It could be converted to make ethanol, Vodka or both.
    That mint oil was then sold to whoever needed to make Spearmint gum. One 55 gallon drum could make 5 million sticks of chewing gum. One drop put in a cake would make the cake uneatable. Take a shot glass drink and you would die. Flippn' awesome.

    1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      Well, aaallllriiiight! Expect me soon after the first sign of rapture or zombies. 🙂