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General News Sun, 31 May 2009

Ostrich meat is good for pregnant women

Ostrich meat has been found by animal scientist to reduce the incidence of heart attack. This is because the meat is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are good for the heart and essentially for growth and development. The meat tastes better than beef; and can practically be used in any meal.

Professor Anna Barnes of the Department of animal Science, School of Agriculture And Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana said ostrich meat is low in cholesterol; has high iron content which is good for especially pregnant women and anaemic patients.

“Ostrich meat is a very lean meat, that is low fat and energy, good for weight watchers," she said.

The consumption of meat she indicated, is not common in Ghana as many consider it as a preserve of the upper class in society but the Animal science Department is bent on popularising its production by encouraging the raising of Ostriches on commercial scale while educating the public on the benefits to be derived from its consumption.

“Originally, the ostrich was raised for its feathers which were used to decorate the garments of aristocrats and its skin, a source of good leather. But, the meat, they didn't pay much attention to," she said.

With the incidence of mud cow disease and bird f1u more people are now turning to the unconventional types of meat such as the ostrich.

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"The ostrich is commercially raised in Ghana. At 10 months, the ostrich weighs about 1,000 kilogrammes. Though the production cost of the ostrich is high, the health benefits associated with it far outweighs its cost," she said.

Professor Barnes said, the department is promoting the consumption of ostrich meat by offering it for sale to the public.

"A kilo of the ostrich meat (boneless) is selling at GH¢8.00. It is being sold at some supermarkets at the same weight for over GH¢1 0.000 or more," she said.

She said in Ghana, there are farmers who are involved in ostrich farming who are doing well. It is hoped that ostrich farming will catch on with other farmers as an income generation source.

"Agric researchers are interested in helping farmers to expand the raising of the bird," she said.

Professor Barnes encouraged Ghanaians to give ostrich meat a try and they will never regret it.

Source: The Spectator
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