Wild Man, Wild Food: The Roadkill Diet
Fergus Drennan is a vegetarian with one big exception: roadkill.
Nov. 21, 2007— -- When it comes to hunting and gathering, most of us just end up in the supermarket. But Fergus Drennan takes it to the extreme.
He's "Fergus the Forager," a walking encyclopedia on local plant and animal life near his hometown of Canterbury, England, and he tries his best to live off the land.
"Even at an organic supermarket," he said, "the food comes wrapped and packaged, and that packaging is going to end up in landfill. The food has been transported from somewhere, adding to the pollution of the environment," he continued. "This way, you can eat with clear conscience and also have a lot of fun along the way."
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Drennan used to earn his living sourcing wild ingredients for some of London's fanciest restaurants. But he came to believe that ran counter to the basic principle of foraging. To him, the whole point is to sustain yourself through the resources that nature provides. So he quit the restaurant gig.
Now he runs seminars in the wild, teaching others to forage for themselves. He has a Web site and he's writing a cookbook to help others get started. Sound appetizing?
Before you answer, consider that Drennan takes this notion to the extreme. He's a vegetarian, but he also eats meat. His main source of protein?
No joke. Roadkill.
"I mostly find pheasants and rabbits and squirrels and hares and foxes and badgers and occasionally sea gulls," he said.
For the record, Drennan says squirrel tastes like a cross between lamb and the dark meat on a turkey. (Click here for his recipe for Pan Braised Squirrels). He says seagulls are delicious.
"I once made burgers for a friend," he said. "The guy said, 'Wow, Ferg, that's delicious! What kind of meat is that?' I told him, 'I'll give you 50 guesses.'"The friend never guessed it was a badger burger.
"The disappointing thing," said Drennan, "is that I expected a shock reaction. He just said, 'Wow. That tastes like real beef.'"
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