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Review Article

Comparative Advantages of Selected Bushmeats to Conventional Meat Types: A Review  

Victor Abiodun Ojo1 , Felicia Bola Adesokan2 , Ayuk A. Nchor3 , Oladapo Olukoya Oduntan4
1 Department of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria
2 Department of Sustainable Forestry Mgt., Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Nigeria
3 Department of Forestry and Wildlife Mgt., University of Calabar, Nigeria
4 Department of Forestry and Wildlife Mgt., Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Molecular Ecology and Conservation, 2016, Vol. 6, No. 2   doi: 10.5376/ijmec.2016.06.0002
Received: 24 Jul., 2016    Accepted: 08 Sep., 2016    Published: 12 Sep., 2016
© 2016 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Ojo V.A., Adesokan F.B., Nchor A.A. and Oduntan O.O., 2016, Comparative Advantages of Selected Bushmeats to Conventional Meat Types: A Review, International Journal of Molecular Ecology and Conservation, 6(2): 1-4 (doi: 10.5376/ijmec.2016.06.0002)

Abstract

The need for qualitative animal protein in human diets cannot be over-emphasized; hence this study investigates comparative advantages of bushmeats to conventional meats of similar (taxonomical) breed. The study made use of secondary data from published articles on proximate composition of the selected bushmeats and conventional meat types. Conventional meats are generally higher in percentage moisture content except in Red River Hog (72.6%) as compared with Pig meat (Pork at 65.9%). Also percentage fat content is found to be higher in conventional meats except in the comparison of Bush buck (10.9%) with Sheep (Mutton at 2.9%). Investigations also show that bushmeats have comparative advantages of higher percentage protein and ash. In addition, bushmeats are higher in percentage calcium and iron content while conventional meats are higher in percentage energy and phosphorus content in all instances. Implications of these findings were discussed and policy recommendations made.

Keywords
Wildlife nutrition; Human dimension; Wildlife extension; Food preference

Introduction

Meat can be considered as a prime food for humans since it serves to produce energy for production of new organic tissues and regulation of physiological processes in our body with the help of its protein, fat and vitamin constituents. The greatest benefits of meat nutrition are quality and quantity of amino acids in the muscles, importance of iron content, and essential fatty acids and vitamin B complex it provides.

 

Although meat has enjoyed sustained popularity as a foodstuff, in recent years consumers have expressed growing concern over some consequences of meat consumption and production. These include nutrition-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, associated with the over-consumption of animal fats. USDA (2007) mentioned that over-consumption of meat may be responsible for a quarter of all ischemic heart disease, or 1.8 million deaths, annually. Food borne pathogens found in meats, such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, pathogenic E. coli, Avian influenza, and Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). In the United States, food borne diseases — the most common causes of which are contaminated meats — are responsible for over 76 million episodes of illness, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths each year (USDA, 20O7). In the United States, alone, the annual medical costs related to over-consumption of meat are believed to be between $30 and 60 billion (USDA 20O7). Together with animal feed production, meat production is responsible for the emissions of nitrogen and phosphorus, pesticide contamination of water, heavy metal contamination of soil, and acid rain from ammonia emissions (USDA 2007).

 

A number of studies on the nutritional value of wild animal meat indicate that bushmeat is comparable if not better than domestic meat (Ajayi & Tewe 1979, Malaisse & Parent 1982). The general trend is that the meat of most wild animal species tends to be low in fat, while equal or better than beef, mutton, chicken or pork in protein content and much higher in vitamin content (Tables 1 and 2). Apart from the large game species, nutritional studies on wild animals have been carried out for non-conventional species such as rodents, insects and snails. Nutritional studies of rodents used as food in the Zambezian woodland gave average protein content of 24% (fresh weight); fat content of 2.816.8% and ash consent of about 1.5% for twelve species (Malaise and Parent, 1982). Based on these results, the nutritive value of rodents’ places them on the same level as beef and chicken (Table 1).

 

  

Table 1 Energy and mineral content of some rodents used as food resource

 

Several species of insects used for food in Africa have high protein and calorific value (Hickin, 1971). Larvae of the silkworm Anaphe venata, which is used extensively for food in rural Nigeria, was found to contain more crude protein than other animal sources such as lamb and pork. The iron (Fe) content was superior to chicken and the larvae also contained six of the eight amino acids essential to the human body, threonine, valine, isoleucine, leucine, phenyl-alanine and lysine, thus making them useful supplement to protein and mineral deficient diets (Ashiru, 1988). With a fat content of only 1.3 % and iron content of 12.2 mg/100g in edible carcass, the nutritive value of snails is reported to be comparable to that of domestic livestock (Ajayi et al., 1978).

 

Comparative Advantages of Bushmeats

In a closer look at the proximate composition of common species of wild animals species consumed as bushmeats with a similar (taxonomically) domesticated breeds (Figure 1, 2 and 3), it can be deduced that conventional meats are generally higher in percentage moisture content except in Figure 1 where the percentage moisture content of Red River Hog (72.6%) is higher than that of Pig meat (Pork at 65.9%). Also percentage fat content is found to be higher in conventional meats except in Figure 2, where the percentage fat content of Bush buck (10.9%) is higher than that of Sheep (Mutton at 2.9%). In addition, investigations also show that bushmeats have comparative advantages of higher percentage protein and ash content (Figure 1, 2, 3 and 4).

 

  

Figure 1 Comparison of Proximate Composition of Red River Hog and Pig (Pork) (Source: Ajayi et al. (1978); Ajayi, 1979; Ajayi & Tewe, 1979; Malaisse & Parent, 1982)

 

  

Figure 2 Comparison of Proximate Composition of Bush buck and Sheep (Mutton) (Source: Ajayi et al. (1978); Ajayi, 1979; Ajayi & Tewe, 1979; Malaisse & Parent, 1982)

 

  

Figure 3 Comparison of Proximate Composition of Forest Genet and Cow (Beef) (Source: Ajayi et al. (1978); Ajayi, 1979; Ajayi & Tewe, 1979; Malaisse & Parent, 1982)

 

  

Figure 4 Comparison of Proximate Composition of Cane rat and Young Sheep (Veal) (Source: Ajayi et al. (1978); Ajayi, 1979; Ajayi & Tewe, 1979; Malaisse & Parent, 1982

 

  

Table 2 Proximate composition (g/100 g) of some wild animal species and selected domestic animals

 

A look at the percentage energy and mineral content of bushmeats in Nigeria and similar conventional meat types (Table 3) revealed that bushmeats are higher in percentage calcium and iron content while conventional meats are higher in percentage energy and phosphorus content. This means that consumption of bushmeat have comparative advantages of providing more calcium and iron while conventional meat will provide higher amount of energy and phosphorus in diets. This is expected since conventional meats are higher in percentage fat content and fatty acids compliment carbohydrate in generating energy. The implication of this is that based on the findings of this investigation, bushmeats will serve as good substitute to conventional meat for people who like to eat food with low percentage fat content particularly for health purposes. Also, a comparative higher percentage calcium and iron in bushmeats make it more nutritious in terms of provision of strong bone and teeth development, most especially in young children, old men and women (Oduntan et al., 2012). 

 

  

Table 3 Comparism of the energy and mineral content of some selected bushmeats and conventional meat types

 

Conclusion and Recommendation

The need for qualitative animal protein in human diets cannot be over-emphasized; hence this study reveals that bushmeats have comparative advantages in the provision of higher percentage protein, calcium and iron content as well as low percentage fat content. Based on the importance of this discovery to human health and proper development, there should be public awareness through magazines, journals, articles and broadcasting stations to enlighten the populace at large about this advantages and its importance in solving the protein deficiency problem in Sub-Sahara Africa as well as encourage captive breeding of this wild animal species to forestall over-exploitation in the wild.

 

References

Ajayi S. S. and Tewe O., 1979, Performance of the African giant rat (Cricetomys gambianus, Waterhouse) on commercial rations and varying dietary protein levels. J. Lab. Animals (London), 12: 109-112.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1258/002367778780953224

 

Ajayi S. S. Tewe O. O., and Faturoti E. O., 1978, Behavioural changes in the African giant rat (Cricetomys gambianus Waterhouse) under domestication, E. Afr. Wildl. J., 16: 137-143.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2028.1978.tb00434.x

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2028.1978.tb00432.x

 

Ajayi S. S., 1979, Utilization of forest wildlife in West Africa Miscl79/26, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, 79 pp.

 

Ashiru M. O., 1988, The food value of the larvae of Anaphe venata Butler (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae), Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 22: 313-320.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03670244.1989.9991080

 

FAO, 2012, Composition of meat. Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division.

 

Hickin, N. E. 1971, Termites: A World Problem. The Rentokil, Library. Available online at www.abebooks.com. Accessed on 29/11/2012

 

Malaisse F. and Parent G., 1982, Rodents of the Miombo woodland area: a nutritional and ecological approach. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 11: 211-216

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03670244.1982.9990679

 

Oduntan O.O., Soaga J.A. and Jenyo-Oni A., 2012, Comparison of Edible Frog (Rana esculenta) and other Bush meat Types: Proximate Composition, Social Status and Acceptability, E3 Journals of Environmental Research and Management, 3(7): 124-128.

 

United States Department of Agriculture. (USDA)., 2007, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Release 19, Washington DC, USDA, Cited 25 April 2007. Available at: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search. Accessed on 15/05/2007

International Journal of Molecular Ecology and Conservation
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