As more consumers lean toward diets containing less meat, others are expanding their repertoire of the animals they’d like to try, and so game meats are growing in popularity. Elk, high in protein and lower in fat than beef, is one of the more popular nontraditional meats.
Some people praise it for its relative richness in Omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which can aid in weight loss, cardiovascular health and more muscle mass.
Other consumers, especially those in parts of the country where hunting is popular, might have feelings of nostalgia for it, or appreciate the idea of eating wild meat. However, since it’s generally illegal to serve hunted meat in restaurants, the elk being served is almost always farm-raised and processed in USDA-approved facilities.
Market research firm Datassential reports that elk has risen on menus by 115% over the past four years and 67% of the population knows it.
Click through the gallery to learn more about this Flavor of the Week and see how one restaurant is using elk on its menu.