back to article Aussies: Eat roos, save the planet

Australian scientists have recommended their beef-loving compatriots switch to kangaroo meat to clamp down on the methane emissions that bovine burger precursors pump out into the atmosphere. The gastro-switch will simultaneously turn what most Aussies consider a particularly large form of vermin into a profitable agricultural …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Can't wait!

    I had a 'roo steak at glasto this year and it was really really nice. Can't wait for it to be easily available.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    hmmmm! Giant Rat!

    Sounds appetising!

    *\. I'm off to destory the world with a quater pounder!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Roo rustlers

    If you equipped the boomers with boxing gloves then rustling probably wouldn't happen.

    Paris cos she knows when she's been jumped.


  4. Adam Foxton
    Thumb Up

    Makes me hopping mad

    This is going to lead to so many bad puns about wooly jumpers...

    Also, 'roo steaks would probably be pretty nice. *googles for them*

  5. Michael

    All they need

    is for Delia to produce Cooking with Kangaroo.

  6. David

    In bad taste

    Seriously, roo's are just are not as tasty as cows. The meat is quite a lot tougher and not as flavoursome. It won't catch on I tell ya!

    Mind you the barbie sausages that the aussies eat are even worse, so you might be able to replace some of the pigs with roo and improve the cuisine somewhat...

    <--- bbq flames

  7. dervheid

    Roast Leg of 'Roo...

    That'll need one BIG mutha of an oven!

    Not so sure about the appeal of "Roo Tail Soup", although I imagine you'd get much more out of your average 'Roo tail than your average Ox tail.

    And you'd need a new name for "OXO" cubes. Should make the "OXO" family a bit jumpy too.

    Would clothing made from 'Roo skin automatically qualify to be called a 'jump-suit' or 'jumper?

    The one with the built-in tail.

    (Dear god, I need to get out more!)

  8. Lee T.

    roo steak

    nothing wrong with roo steak, tastes Brilliant!

  9. David Hicks
    Thumb Up

    Mmm, tasty jumping meat

    Whilst roo might be a bit tougher because they actually use their muscles rather than just kinda hanging around slowly gaining weight - it's darn tasty.

    I had a nice rooburger last friday actually. Delicious with a bit of mustard and ketchup.

    I'm all for it mate!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    What's the big deal?

    I don't think there is a native animal we don't eat already. Except maybe wombat. A bit too chewy I imagine.

    I still wouldn't eat roo with horseradish and mint sauce though...

  11. John Bayly
    Thumb Down

    Kangaroos don't fart?

    "the authors reckon the removal of sheep and cows would mean the rangelands could actually support up to 240 million kangaroos."

    Surely by increasing the number of kangaroos being farmed, the methane that they produce will increase. They're herbivores as far as I know, so they probably fart a great deal to.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    It could be a ruse .....

    (Couldn't resist)

    I've had 'roo - a bit salty, but not bad - would be alright in a meat pie or bangers, but not much of a steak.

    I've also had croc and emu ... and 'roo is definitely best of the three.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Roos are deflatufied

    Roos or rather the bacteria in their gut don't produce methane but some form of acetate instead. Consequently they don't fart at all.

    Paris cos she don't fart either just queefs.


  15. Anonymous Coward

    Roo bolognese...

    I've had roo as well. In fact we were poor volunteers at the time, living and eating off a very limited budget.

    Minced roo meat was the cheapest meat on offer at the local supermarket - it was actually in the dog food aisle, but we were assured that it was fit for human consumption, as the roo meat that was only for dogs would have been dyed purple.

    It was fine actually, and made a pretty good bolognese! We're all still alive to tell the tale. :-)

  16. Anonymous Coward

    This is good!

    If it works out, the cost of roo leather should plummet! 20% lighter than cowhide, more flexible, more durable and cooler than cowhide (perfect for the blistering uk summer)...

    My bike leathers are made of skippy (from Arlen Ness) and they were a grand... Why can't they have started this years ago?

    Mine's the 1 piece race suit with the gixxer key.

  17. Michael Philbey


    JUmp steak is rather tasty. I can remeber when I was living in Adelaide you could get roo in the meat section of most supermarkets.

  18. h4rm0ny


    Any form of meat isn't going to be environmentally friendly compared to a vegetarian diet. If the US would eat a few more lentils and beans, we might actually have some rainforest left instead of burning it all down for cattle feed.

  19. tom

    Animal rights destroy planet...

    @AC "Can't wait for it to be easily available."

    It was easily available until viva got involved. Bunch of hippies that they are! kinda backfired on them though, now they're saying "support our crazy take on animal rights and help destroy the planet!"

  20. Fragula The Furry

    Roo the day!

    I didn't, after buying a pair of Kangaroo-skin motorcycle gloves.

    I'm a 24/7/365 biker - don't own a car, so my kit gets used every day, and not gently. These gloves are the best I've ever owned, though, due to me managing to dodge the less focust and more hormonal drivers that grace our lovely british roads, I've not had to put them to the ultimate test, and am going to retire them cost my daughter broke the lining on one. (its complicated) after two and a half years hard use!

    Looking forward to trying the meat, just hope its not as tough as the gloves!

    Mine's the kangaroo skin one with the WD40 int he pocket!

  21. Sooty

    stir fried roo

    is very nice, as is emu and crocodile. I've not had dog myself, but have been assured that it's very nice :) There are loads of meats that might not make a decent steak, and lots that do, but that are perfectly fine for a stir fry or mince etc. In fact a lot of them are exceptional in a stir fry after having been pretty much brought up on just chicken, beef & pork.

    The problem is it's near impossible to get most of them, and definately impossible to get cheaply, as there's not much of a market due to the strange convention of only eating a couple of meats in the UK.

    Thankfully some of the old regional dishes are still alive so that i can have a nice slice of blackpudding* with my bacon in a morning, from the canteen at work no less!

    *for those in the US, or the South, that's congealed pigs blood, spiced, mixed with fat & oats, and then boiled in pig intestines :)

  22. Pete mcQuail
    Paris Hilton

    11 per cent of Australia’s total emissions

    so presumably the other 89% is Fosters related.

    Paris because she is responsible for many emissions

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Large form of vermin?

    That suggest the Strine definition of vermin is an animal that is too little or too big to hump.

  24. David Hicks


    I never did understand organisations like viva - what's inherently worse about eating Ostrich or 'Roo compared to Cow, Pig and Sheep?

    Bah, guess I'll never understand them at all, anybody that doesn't appreciate a good steak is some sort of alien in my book.

    I particularly dislike the fact that they took it upon themselves to harangue the supermarkets until they stopped stocking these meats.

    It's my choice to eat them or not, not yours you filthy hippies.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Must Be Eaten Fresh

    The meat needs to be eaten fresh, only a couple of days after slaughtering. It's extremely tender at this stage and tastes more like beef. If it is a week old it is tougher and hand has a different gamey taste. It doesn't have a good shelf life.

  26. tony baldwin

    re: hmmmm! Giant Rat!

    Roos aren't rodents, to my knowledge.

    In fact, they're marsupials (like a koala).

    If you want to eat a giant rodent, go to Brazil and try the Capyvara.

    My wife says it's tasty (she's from Brazil).

    Capyvara is the largest rodent.

  27. Steven Hunter

    @Must Be Eaten Fresh

    "It doesn't have a good shelf life."

    Next time, try keeping it in the refrigerator.

  28. Mark

    Re: What's the big deal?

    You don't eat Jump Bears.

    NOBODY eats the Jump Bears.

  29. Mark

    Re: Meat?

    Harmony, how do you turn 1 million acres of scrub grass into something that produces human-edible vegetables?

    You can't.

    So let a 'roo loose and get it to turn that tasteless, inedible (to human digestion) grass over hundreds of acres into meat and then harvest the concentrated meat.

  30. Adrian

    What ?

    not a single mention of 'Want to go large with your MacRoo burger?'

    I'll have a few Pingu wings as a side order aswell please

  31. Anonymous Coward

    I'll have mine

    with some grated puffin a la Clarkson.


  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    30-odd years ago there was a fuss in the US because some of the beef that McDonalds was serving turned out to include kangaroo meat. I'm not sure whether the concern was nutritional or about accurate labeling.

    But it sounds like just the thing with a side order of Hoppin John:

  34. Steve


    A purely vegetarian diet wouldn't make my immediate environment very friendly...

  35. ThinkingOutLoud

    But, how do you milk them?...

    My impression is that Kangas have a bit more attitude than cows - unless they're Gary Larson's Far Side ones, of course.

    On the methane front, it seems they also have a different digestive process which generates very little.

    As for other alternatives, is cannibalism so bad? Think about all those council estate feral teenagers with no future, tenderised over the years in a cider marinade... What?!

    (backs out of the room quietly)

  36. Jesse Dorland
    Paris Hilton

    Veggie boys gonna be happy

    I wonder what our Veggie readers think about all of this.

  37. Faceless Man


    Roo is actually pretty good. It's widely available, but is still being treated as a niche thing.

    Really, we should have started doing this 220 years ago, and we wouldn't have caused half as much damage to the environment by unleashing ungulates on the continent.

    Milking roos would be a problem, though. Marsupials in general would be difficult. Placentals are much easier to hook up to the machines. That would leave us with bats or dingos...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    What about a bit of gene manipulation to put a roo's digestive juices into a cow? Then we could carry on eating beef without beefing about the environmental impact (not that I do anyway). Guess the possible side effect of producing jumping cows needs to be looked into as well. Good for making milk shakes, I'd have thought.

  39. Scott
    Dead Vulture


    I had a roo burger last time I was in Aussie.... bloody nice, mate! Similar to venison IMO.

    Icon, 'cos that's what is next :D

  40. David
    Gates Horns

    Skippyburger with chips thanks.

    Kangaroo has little fat and the animals are very friendly to the top soil in that they don't loosen it like other livestock causing those dust storms they get from time to time. It all makes perfect sense, and it tasted good too. Superoo my order thanks.

  41. kain preacher


    How come no one else has thought of this? If the goal is to stop nauseous gas, why dont we eat politicians ?? Surely all that hot air that comes out of them cant be good for the ozone.

  42. Jeffrey Nonken
    Thumb Up

    Never had 'roo...

    I'd like to give it a go.

    Waiting here in the 'States with utensils ready and taste buds tuned.

    P.S. Strictly speaking, if you want to be green, you should be eating local. But I'd still like to give it a try. :)

  43. Fozzy

    "and for you Sir"

    'roo steak thanks, medium rare with the mustard suace.

    Hold the salad. I wouldn't want to slide from the top of the food chain."

  44. Steve

    Throw another roo on the barbie

    Here in Aus, roo is easily avaiable from the local supermarket - though in much smaller amounts to the usual beef, lamb, etc. Dog food, though, is full of the stuff. My dog lives on a diet of roo ears, testicles, etc, and seems to get along just fine.

    Incidentally, emu can also be found in the pre-packaged meat department making Australia the only country in the world that has a coat of arms made of dinner . I'm an expat Brit and when I point this out the locals get all shirty and try to throw it back at me so I tell them that lions are really expensive and we've eaten all the unicorns.

  45. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    i eat roo regularly

    And its delicious, it just takes a bit more skill to cook then steak (lets face it steaks very forgiving as to how you cook it).

    However, its beginning to get more expensive here in Aus because more and more people are eating it. It used to be about $10/kg cheaper then steak its now down to about $3/kg cheaper... :(

    Highly recommended!

  46. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Tasty !

    Tasty and very yummy and as it is a very lean meat without excessive fat and the animal creates far less greenhouse gas to maturity unlike your average equivalent heavily polluting feedlot McCrapper CJD burger grown bovine variety !

    But then again , in what other country can you eat it's national symbols(Kangaroo and Emu) as they very plentiful in numbers and are both fully capable of self regulating it's numbers dependent on climatic conditions unlike the mad cow variety which needs major human assistance drugs inclusive to multiply !

  47. Marcus Denny
    Thumb Up


    The best way to prepare a roo steak is to rub it in a bit of olive oil 15 minutes before barbecuing - since the meat is naturally low in fat you just need a little oil to help it cook properly.

    It has to be done rare, if you overcook it it becomes tough and tasteless, so if you like your meat charcoaled then roo is not for you.

    In our local supermarket it's significantly cheaper than beef or lamb, lower fat, and if we're doing our bit for bovine flatulance reduction, well that's just a bonus isn't it :-)

    Through summer our family has BBQ roo at least a couple of times a week...

  48. trilobite
    Paris Hilton

    glorious food

    The local baker (here in Canberra) does a very nice kangaroo pie. A friend of mine won't eat it because "it's on the coat of arms". Bah.

    Kangaroo can taste somewhere between extremely lean beef and venison.

    Wallaby is much the same.

    Possum is rather nasty (but I had it in cannelloni so the preparation may have messed it up).

    Emu is very nice, not like poultry at all - more a red meat.

    Crocodile is like a cross between chicken and scallop.

    Camel is nothing to write home about.

    Buffalo (I think it was actually bison) is very gamey.

    Dog is absolutely delicious, especially if fattened up on rice for about two weeks before slaughtering.

    I wouldn't touch koala because I doubt the nasty brutes are fit for human consumption.

  49. Captain DaFt

    Well, since npbody else has said it...

    I'd jump at the chance to eat a 'roo!

    Hmm, as I think about all the animals I have (or may have, I've eaten in some pretty dodgy places) eaten over the years, Kangaroo is one of the few beasts I haven't sampled!

    Mine's the one with the well gnawed bones in the pocket.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Well a real Aussie would know ...

    ... they're called Drop Bears, not jump bears. But, you're right, nobody eats Drop Bears, because nobody gets close enough and lives! Viscious buggers, they are.

  51. Matt

    Wrong Answer

    >Any form of meat isn't going to be environmentally friendly compared to a

    >vegetarian diet.

    So you'd plow under native grasslands to plant a vegetable garden?

    There is a big disconnect -- yes, many modern methods of factory farming meat are not environmentally sound. Confined animal feeding operations dependent on grains have a plethora of ethical, environmental, and health issues.

    But because vegetarians/vegans may have an advantage in that narrow view does not follow that they are superior in all ways to proper meat production.

    The simplest example is a goat.

    Why, in an arid region like the Mediterreanean, should you limit your diet to vegetables when there are large areas of where goats can go up in the hills where you can't grow your own food, and convert plants inedible to humans into valuable human food?

    Even cows are perfectly understandable. It doesn't take many man-hours to maintain pasture. For relatively few man hours, the cows can go out, eat, convert something inedible to man (grass), and produce large amounts of valuable food in milk, meat, and if you're a Massai tribesman even blood.

    Pigs provide a great way to take spoiled foods -- breads don't do much for a compost pile, nor cheese or eggs for that matter, or the odd dead chicken found in the yard -- and produce useful meat for people (as well as good manure for gardens, properly composted of course.) Like cattle, certain cuts of pork are also easy to cure for long term storage of a year or so at room temperatures...providing high density protein and fat year round even if weather has caused crops to fail.

    Vegetarianism / Veganism is not environmentally responsible, truly adopted it requires limiting our food choices and expanding the land we intensively raise human foods on while abandoning to human consumption much land where food animals can co-exist quite nicely with a diverse ecosystem. A mixed diet including responsibly raised meat on pasture and open rangeland would have a smaller footprint on this planet.

  52. Goat Jam
    Thumb Up

    I eat 'roo all the time

    Having it tonight in fact. A sort of roo mince and kidney bean Shepherds pie, if you will.

  53. Legless
    Thumb Up

    Roo The Day


    I eat roo at least once a week. It's really tasty, cheap, and makes a nice change from beef or lamb.

    The sausages are manky though. Didn't like them at all....


  54. Ross
    Thumb Up

    Roo's pretty damn tasty, actually

    Remember, though, the males taste a lot more gamey than the females. And cooking it rare ensures it's tender, overcooking it toughens it up REALLY fast. Still not a patch on ostrich though.

    Mmm, delicious animals. Vegetables are what food eats.

  55. peter

    Coat of Arms meal

    @Steve: we threw a 'coat of arms' barbie on Australia Day a few years ago: roo & emu steaks with mustard cream sauce - yummy

    it's amazing how many aussies *don't* eat kanagaroo - mostly people don't know how to cook it, leading to the "tough" or "gamey" labels. my guess is that they'd have the same problem cooking venison

  56. dervheid

    Dear h4rm0ny

    The point of the article was an attempt to REDUCE enteric methane emissions.

    I'd venture to suggest that if we ALL go on a vegetarian "lentils and beans" type diet, then the current levels of global enteric methane emissions will rise considerably. And, as we all know, methane is a far more effective greenhouse gas than CO2, by a double-figure factor (around 20x, I believe).

    So, there we have the answer. It's not the fossil fuel burners, its the lentil-munching, vegetarian THH's that are causing "Global Warming"

    Oh, the irony.

  57. Paul MacLeod

    Roo - delicious

    Of course we eat roo here in Australia, and emu too. I'm proud that it's possible for you to eat our coat of arms....they are both very tasty so why the hell not ? I'd be all for eating koala too, but given all those eucalyptus leaves they eat I'd imagine they taste pretty bad.

    Being at the top of the food chain is something to be celebrated wherever possible...and the best way to do that is eat everything below man in the chain. EVERYTHING ;-)

    Fire, because flame-grilled Skippy tastes delicious.

  58. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: glorious food

    Hmm. Personally I think Westerners only eat dog so they can swan around at home shocking and antagonising people and feeling smug about their lofty lack of hypocrisy. Because obviously there's absolutely no difference between eating dog and eating cow, and if you balk at the idea of the former for any reason at all then you're some kind of weasly inferior being who Can't Handle Reality.

    But I could be wrong.

    But seriously, I can't believe it's 'delicious'. They're carnivores. They don't have natural predators. They're practically made of string. It's got to take some serious um, tenderising to make it edible.

  59. Chris G

    Now don't jumpy

    A few years back a large number of brits did actually try roo pies and rooburgers, albeit unknowingly. A large purveyor of burgers and a large manufacturer of meat pies were both taken to court and fined over including roo meat intended for pet food in their products.

    Has any one considered farming slugs for producing methane free meat protein? They readily convert almost any vegetation into valuable protein and as far as I am aware are completely fart free. Farming them would also save British farmers huge amounts of money normally spent on eradicating them, and would in addition be able to plant almost any crop to feed the slugs with no attendant costs for keeping the crops free of other pests. And of course it's well known that slugs and lettuce go together well so an ideal combination in a burger.

    Mind you how long before some cretinous hippy comes along with a save the slug campaign?

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Ban veggies (or eat them?)

    Harmony - "If the US would eat a few more lentils and beans"

    If humans eat more veggies surely WE will fart more and thus destroy the benefit. In fact pure vegetarianism should be illegal - you're ruining the environment.


  61. Aron

    Milk em

    Another econazi plan based on crap science that would result in starving babies and vitamin/mineral deficiencies. As fi the caqll to ban chlorine wasn't bad enough. If we reduce cow numbers where will milk, an important source of calcium and vitamin D for children, the poor and the developing world, come from?

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    > "If we reduce cow numbers where will milk ... come from?"

    From DAIRY cows, which are bread for the purpose, as opposed to stock bred for beef.

    If you're going to post a serious flame-like comment, you should probably do a little fact checking first. Next thing you know, you'll be attacking italian spaghetti-tree farmers for their poor land use .......

  63. Mark

    Re: Ban veggies (or eat them?)

    As an anti-vegetarian (in the sense that I really don't *like* eating vegetables) I'll tell you you'r talking shit.

    Yes, we humans eat TOO MUCH MEAT.

    Now, I have problems with vegetarians telling us that we should eat *no* meat, but then you come along with the other extreme end and you're just as full of crap.

  64. wayne


    I remember many years ago, waking up and smelling the most beautiful spaghetti. So, I got out of bed and went to the kitchen, and had a little of it from the spot, boy did it taste good. I then looked over at the chopping board and saw blue mince bits on it, then it dawned on me that my father had grabbed the kangaroo pet mince from the fridge ;) .

    Don't know what he did, I think it is the best (apart from my Asian style) that I have ever smelled and haven't been able to replicate it myself. Hmm, I wonder if it is time to jump back to the pan ;).

  65. Wayne

    Dairy cows

    Hey Mark, have you heard of humour? I thought not. I personally grow and eat my own vegetables but I also like trolling extremists.

    @ the AC about dairy cattle. You also need to do a little research pal. To produce milk, a cow must become pregnant and produce a calf - every year. No calf -> no milk -> farmer kills cow. 50% of those calves (give or take) are going to be male - guess what? Male -> no milk -> farmer kills calf. From an overpopulation point of view, calving every year for milk means a lot of surplus cattle. Do you seriously want to just kill them and not eat them? Or produce only as much milk as can be done while keeping the population constant through old age attrition?

  66. Mark


    Heard of NOT trolling?

    Try it.

  67. Anonymous Coward


    Regardless of what we eat, us humans we produce sh!t loads of Methane. It's not the little whisp that passes the cheeks now and then its the 'cake' that dries out at the sewage farm that produces serious amounts. We collect and burn it for electrickery, but only about 1/3 of it, the rest escapes.

    If we build more methane engines and generate more eleccy with it, we can plant more veg, eat it and produce more methane.

    Smells like an idea!

    Mines the white one with dirt up tha back.

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