Snake: It’s What’s For Dinner

Mar 19, 2024

Feeling sustainable? You might consider a main course that’s a little… different.


If it doesn’t bite (or squeeze) you first.


Plating up pythons: Researchers in Thailand and Vietnam recently conducted a study suggesting that python meat may be the answer to our global food crisis.


With many folks around the world concerned about the sustainability of a protein diet centered around beef, pork, and chicken, these scientists showed that python meat may be a great alternative (or addition).


According to the researchers, “our study suggests that python farming can not only complement existing livestock systems, but may offer better returns in terms of production efficiencies.”


According to Daniel Natusch, one of the leading researchers, the snakes “outperformed all mainstream agricultural species studied to date [regarding] some of the most important sustainability criteria.”


Because of the efficiency and inputs of this “livestock” species, raising snakes is apparently way less carbon-intensive than raising other animals. “These animals are extremely good converters of food,” noted Patrick Aust, another project lead. “They are specialists at making the most of very little.”


During the study, the snakes were fed weekly and measured and weighed over a 12-month period. On average, they gained 46 grams each day.


Along with a massive rate of gain, the females also produce 50-100 eggs each year… way more babies than a sow or cow.


Tastes like chicken? Maybe, but it definitely looks like chicken. According to Aust, a field-dressed python produces “two enormous slabs of white meat very similar to a chicken filet.”


And although snake meat is a staple in some tropical regions, the buy-in for North Americans and Europeans may be a bit, um, slow.


So, is snake the meat of the future? We’ll see.

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