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    Crabbcakes's Avatar
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    Eating What the Critters Left Behind...

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    I live in a rural county, on a dirt road, way back in the trees. In the winter, I tend to use the great outdoors as a giant backup fridge-freezer on occasion. I have learned in the past clutch of years out here that there are critters and wildlife in these woods that avail themselves at every opportunity of the morsels I leave out on this fashion that aren't protected enough. (Sounds obvious, but I was urban before this and didn't know country life ways.)

    Usually I leave things in a giant cooler or in cast-metal pots with equally heavy cast lids, both on our covered porch, to be retrieved at the next a.m. This past season a critter (I suspect a 'coon) actually managed to lift the lid on a pot and eat the entire fat layer off the top of a big BBQ-rubbed pork butt I had slow-roasted in the oven. Roast was not savaged, just the fat layer and a bit of underlying meat was neatly eaten away, and the lid was about 6 feet distant from the pot.

    Question - what would you do with the remaining huge roast??

    I grew up poor, my parents themselves grew up poor, and we just washed everything off if anything accidentally hit the floor, and just cut off smushy ends of produce, and scraped off funny layers of stuff to get at what was still edible. In fact, I think my entire extended family on one side got by on what most folks would pitch in some dumpster, now that I think on it a bit.

    On the other hand, I have a brother-in-law who will throw his entire plate full of food away if a single stray pet hair finds its way into his dinner (at home and his pets, not talking about eating out). And my best friend's father once threw away all the perfectly ripe home-gardened sweet corn a raccoon had taken one single bite of, meaning a number of ears where the raccoon made one bite before going to the next ear (he actually saw it and went after the animal with a .22 in response).

    So - if we stick to home-fires, where do you all draw the line at inadvertently sharing food with your pets, farm animals, and opportunistic wildlife? Experiences? I once reclaimed a one-pound custom-cut aged-beef T-bone steak from my cat who flew across the counter and ran like hell with it the second I crossed the kitchen to get a cooking utensil - but that was my indoor cat.
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    magicmerl's Avatar
    magicmerl is offline Senior Member
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    Are the raccoons in your area diseased? With something you are likely to catch from something they have touched? If so, I'd leave it alone.

    Otherwise, I think that cooking it will sterilise the food pretty well.
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    Raccoons kind of make me nervous, they have parasites in their feces that can be deadly. But I have been known to cut away the parts of apples birds have pecked on to make an apple pie. In general if it's something you're going to cook it's probably okay.

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    do not eat what wild animals have gnawed on and rubbed their bodies on

    not worth it

    no no no. no.

    eta, now that the initial response is written;

    seriously, no. i don't even know you and i want to shield you from the raccoon slobber roast
    Last edited by bloodorchid; 04-23-2013 at 08:46 PM.
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    I agree - racoons are pretty dangerous. I would not risk it unless you are literally in a eat it or starve situation.
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    Don't eat it, dude. Raccoons can carry some seriously scary diseases. If it comes down to a starvation scenario, it would probably be safer to leave the roast out as bait and then enjoy a properly prepared raccoon steak.

    As for sharing food with farm animals, the chickens get our left overs, not the other way around. Although I will admit to occasionally sharing a soft serve ice cream cone with my beloved first dog!

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    Raccoons knock the avocados out of our trees. Then they will take a few bites and leave the rest. Sometimes we still eat them if the bites are really small. The smaller bites could also be possum. I'm not sure I would eat the roast but I don't think I would have a truly scientific reason why. More like heebeejeebees.
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    I agree... Don't eat after the wild life! I've had raccoons kill my turkeys by ripping their heads off and leave the rest. Such a waste! Indoor pets already share their crud with you, so I'd worry less here. And furr, well, I have 3 sled dogs so it is everywhere!

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    AppalachianMatt's Avatar
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    Eat the Raccoon!!!
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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crabbcakes View Post
    ... where do you all draw the line at inadvertently sharing food with your pets, farm animals, and opportunistic wildlife?
    Personally, I wouldn't.

    But I think people living as hunter-gatherers might have eaten just about anything when hungry enough -- stuff that would astonish us -- and I don't honestly know how much harm it did them. Here's Francis Parkman on Algonkian Indians of Canada:

    On one occasion, a group of wretched beings was seen on the farther bank of the St. Lawrence, like wild animals driven by famine to the borders of the settler's clearing. The river was full of drifting ice, and there was no crossing without risk of life. The Indians, in their desperation, made the attempt; and midway their canoes were ground to atoms among the tossing masses. Agile as wild-cats, they all leaped upon a huge raft of ice, the squaws carrying their children on their shoulders, a feat at which Champlain marveled when he saw their starved and emaciated condition. Here they began a wail of despair; when happily the pressure of other masses thrust the sheet of ice against the northern shore. They landed and soon made their appearance at the fort, worn to skeletons and horrible to look upon. The French gave them food, which they devoured with a frenzied avidity, and, unappeased, fell upon a dead dog left on the snow by Champlain for two months past as a bait for foxes. They broke this carrion into fragments, and thawed and devoured it, to the disgust of the spectators, who tried vainly to prevent them.

    This was but a severe access of the periodical famine which, during winter, was a normal condition of the Algonquin tribes of Acadia and the Lower St. Lawrence, who, unlike the cognate tribes of New England, never tilled the soil, or made any reasonable provision against the time of need.
    Pioneers of France in the New World, by Francis Parkman

    I post that for its historical interest. As I say, I don't know how much harm such practices would have done them, but there's no need for us to do the same, so I wouldn't risk it.

    And it does seem that you can get leprosy from an armadillo!

    So maybe don't eat those. LOL


    Yes, You Can Get Leprosy From an Armadillo - ScienceNOW

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