Culled Geese Meat Sent To Food Pantries, But Is It Safe For Consumption?

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Source: Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons

On July 9, more than 700 Canada Geese were rounded up and killed at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Instead of dumping the dead geese into landfills, the meat from the birds was donated to food pantries and soup kitchens in New York.

Normally, the birds are gassed by carbon dioxide, making them unfit for eating. However, this year, officials decided to donate the meat to the needy. According to Carol Bannerman, a USDA Wildlife Services spokeswoman, goose meat is not an uncommon protein. In New York State, big game hunters donate their catch to those in need regularly.

Last year, the geese that were caught were donated to food charities in Pennsylvania.

Don Riepe was there the day the geese were culled.

“They did it as humanely as possible,” he said to Capital New York. “They rounded them up and put them in individual crates, like you transport any live product.”

After the geese were caught, they were taken to a meat processor in upstate New York on the same day.

The packaged wild goose meat was processed and labeled with a health advisory before it was sent out to shelters. The label stated that the New York State Department of Health recommended “no more than two meals of the wild geese per month because they may have been exposed to environmental contaminants.”

However, reps from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said that the meat was tested and posed no real concern to humans.

Others disagree. Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, believes that the meat from near the airport is not safe for consumption.

“When airplanes take off they spray jet fuel and when they land they release jet fuel,” he said. “So do they really want that type of meat?”

Jean Grassman, a Brooklyn College professor of Health and Nutrition Sciences, said an urban contaminant called polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB, may be a real risk for people.

“The concern is that they’re developmental toxicants,” Grassman stated. “The issue of contamination is a real possibility in wild fowl.”

Further, there is another concern pertaining to contamination of the goose meat. According to Jeanne Wilcox at the Food Bank for Westchester, “There was a possibility that the meat had birdshot — a type of shotgun shell, which could contain lead… anyone eating the meat should keep an eye out for shells while cutting it.”

On the whole, food banks don’t seem too skeptical when receiving game meat donations.

Peter Braglia from Long Island Cares said, “People don’t understand wild game is so much more nutritious than what you can buy in the store. There’s no hormones given to these birds.”

  • nolastname

    This is absurd. In the past they were gassed…..what did they do this time?
    And who the hell thinks crating a wild, free animal to it’s death is humane is f’in crazy.
    Can we have #’s as to the other birds and wildlife that were killed?
    Not that I wish anyone sick from eating them, but if someone does get sick I hope they sue Bloomshit personally and let him eat crow.

  • Anonymous

    Poor Duckies

  • http://twitter.com/LoveThemGeese Patty Adjamine

    Actually, according to Carol Bannerman of USDA gassed geese are “safe to eat.” So, we really don’t know exactly how the geese rounded up from Jamaica Bay this year were killed. (Perhaps the reporter should investigate? The public has a right to know — especially since some are eating this stuff.) As fas as the so-called “testing” on the geese, that was not done this year. DEC is apparently going by random testing done on geese previously gassed in the past — thus the declaration from Carol Bannerman that gassed geese are “safe to eat.” Bon appetite.

  • ABS314

    I deeply resent the propaganda that is deliberately being disseminted by government and other crooks that simply want the public to get on board with their financially lucrative (for them) killing program and are trying to justify it by making it sound like charity for poor people. The fact is, you cannot make something good out of something totally evil, and to kill animals from a WILDLIFE REFUGE is about as rotten as it gets. To try to turn this into a charitable act is reprehensible and shows how low some people will sink. This makes about as much sense as a murderer donating the organs of his victims to a transplant bank. This is hardly charity. There is no humane way to kill, and to try to convince anyone of this is idiocy.

    These geese should not be killed in the first place – these geese wer not wild game – they were practically tame, not raised for food, and the terror they must have felt being confined and trucked 6 hours away to a processing plant, separated from their mates and babies, and slaughtered (those that weren’t dead from panic by the time they got there) is incomprehensible for any civilized person. At best goose meat is suspect, at worst, it is not something anyone should eat much of. With all the food that is thrown out by restaurants that could be picked up and curcylated every night, and other donations, there is absolutely no shortage of food for food pantries. If goose meat is so good, why are they dumping it ONLY on the poor? Because, frankly, this is yet ANOTHER disenfranchised group that the government couldn’t give a rip about and are only too happy to foist this off on them in a feeble attempt to make itself look good. Well, it isn’t working.

    I will immediate stop donating anything to any food pantry that takes goose meat.

  • http://twitter.com/LoveThemGeese Patty Adjamine

    Ain’t it good to know our government is potentially “killing two birds with one stone?” 711 geese rounded up and mysteriously “processed” into some kind of banquet that can at best, break the eaters’ teeth with bird shot or at worst poison them. Guess that is one way to “solve” the so-called “hunger” problem. I say, “so-called” because one wonders how we have an “obesity epidemic” at the same time we are supposedly suffering “hunger?”

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Soylent Green is Geese!

  • subway stinker

    I also oppose these periodic pogroms against the geese, but the ‘posters’ who are turning this into a sinster plot vs. the poor leaves my head spinning. Can;t we just agree that goose massacre is wrong and leave the recipients of the food out of the dispute?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528447725 facebook-528447725

    This upsets me, very much.

  • levp

    For people who hate hipsters there seems to be a lot of vegetarians here.

  • levp

    Sen. Santorum would disagree with you geese lovers:

    “Well, as a matter of fact, I’ve voted to kill Big Bird,” Santorum replied proudly. “That doesn’t mean I don’t like Big Bird. You can kill things and still like them. I mean, maybe to eat them.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/05/santorum-suggests-eating-big-bird-you-can-kill-things-and-still-like-them/

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      So Rick looks forward to a nice meal of Big Bird.

      Okaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

    • http://twitter.com/LoveThemGeese Patty Adjamine

      I am just wondering how much money we had to borrow from China for the goose roundups and massacres?
      If ever a government program needed to be “gotten rid of” it is this one.
      When the Republicans or Democrats start talking about that, let us know.
      In the meantime, I am voting against ALL the politicians under whose “watch” this carnage has occurred and that includes the current President.
      Voters will determine whether or not we “like what the other guy is selliing on Election Day.” However, I know I don’t like what the current administration has delivered over the last four years: Carnage and dependency.

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