Running over a furry-eared creature can make drivers feel a bit guilty. But rather than mourn its passing, the face of the RSPB thinks you should scrape the remains off the road and eat them later.
Presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff, who became the bird charity’s president over the weekend, expressed her views after hosting a dinner party where guests were served various dead animals as part of the BBC One show Inside Out.
The menu included fried rat served with a garlic and soy sauce dip and sautéed fox in garlic and badger chasseur, all of which were picked up from the roadside by the show’s participants.
Speaking on the taboo that is eating roadkill, Krestovnikoff said, “It would be good to encourage it more widely. I don’t see why not. People have a problem with it because the meat has not come from a cellophane wrapper. But if the meat is fresh, there’s no risk of catching anything. It’s lean, healthy, organic, free, guilt-free and as fresh as fresh can be.”
“It is a chance to get connected to what you eat,” she added. “We’re obsessed by sell-by dates and things like that. But roadkill can be eaten very hygienically. People are too squeamish.”
The BBC presenter, who has appeared on The One Show, keeps a sheet of tarpaulin in her car for such occasions. “I don’t go looking for roadkill. But if I see it I will take it home. I know it is bizarre, but if you think back a few hundred years, I’m sure people did stuff like this.”
If you have the space and inkling to hang a dead animal upside down in your garage and butcher it, there’s perhaps an argument to be made for making use of the animal you just splattered, although your gain may be the loss for an animal or two that would’ve eaten the remains.
The Food Standards Agency voiced its concern amid a growing trend of roadkill consumption. It warned that diseases, environmental contamination and nasty bacteria like salmonella could be present.
UK law says it’s perfectly acceptable to eat a dead animal killed at the roadside, unless you plan on selling it.
Advocates of roadside food shopping include Janet Street-Porter and Hugh Fearly-Whittingstall.
Inside Out will be on BBC One at 7:30pm on Tuesday the 15th of October.