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rabbits nutritional qualities?

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bart
944946.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:24 am Reply with quote

I remember Stephen Fry saying that rabbit had no nutitional qualities. If you ate a diet consisting entirely of rabbit you would die. My colleague googled 'rabbit' and stated it was high in protein. can someone explain?

 
zomgmouse
944949.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:01 am Reply with quote

Wikipedia's entry for that episode wrote:
If you eat nothing but rabbit, you would die of malnutrition, because rabbit meat contains very little oil and therefore by eating only rabbit, your body would run out of other nutrients.

 
Moosh
944952.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:03 am Reply with quote

This one has always puzzled me, because the implication is that rabbit is unusual in this way. So is it the case that if you ate nothing except, say, pork that you would not be malnourished?

 
zomgmouse
944953.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:11 am Reply with quote

Pork has lots of fat, no?

 
Moosh
944954.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:29 am Reply with quote

So you're saying that pork has all the nutrients you need?

If that's the case why do people go on about having a balanced diet?

 
bart
944961.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:03 am Reply with quote

Thanks

 
RLDavies
944970.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:19 am Reply with quote

According to various "wilderness survival" books I've read over the years, an all-rabbit diet is dangerous, but not for the reasons Fry claimed.

The reason is that rabbit is so lean. The human body requires a certain amount of fat -- especially under wilderness-survival conditions when nutritional demands are high. Rabbit will provide plenty of protein and iron, and foraged plants will provide vitamins, but none of them will add fat to the diet.

It doesn't matter for short periods, but months of eating rabbit as the only meat will lead to fat malnutrition. The danger comes about because rabbits are easy to catch, so there's a temptation not to bother going after more difficult prey.

 
zomgmouse
944979.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:56 am Reply with quote

Moosh wrote:
So you're saying that pork has all the nutrients you need?

If that's the case why do people go on about having a balanced diet?

The way I see it is not that it has all the nutrients you need, but rather enough nutrients not to die if that were all you ate. Presumably it's lacking in certain other things that would enable you to sustain yourself. Either that or you'd die from some disease that isn't malnutrition.

 
RLDavies
945161.  Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:11 am Reply with quote

You could live on pork as your only meat for a lifetime, providing protein, fat, and iron. But you'd need plant materials as well to provide carbohydrates and vitamins.

 
zomgmouse
945240.  Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:26 pm Reply with quote

But the thing about rabbits says that it's the only thing you'd have to eat, not the only meat you'd have to eat, which would lead me to understand that you could subsist on nothing but pork.

 
Moosh
945247.  Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:39 pm Reply with quote

Indeed, the impression I got from previous discussions was that it was a diet consisting solely of rabbit that would kill you, rabbit and assorted veg being fine.

Which would, as zomgmouse says, imply that you could subsist on nothing but pork, which I find hard to believe.

 
Spud McLaren
945249.  Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:44 pm Reply with quote

Moosh wrote:
... rabbit and assorted veg being fine.
I'm not sure it would be fine, the thrust of the argument being that in such a diet there would be insufficient fat-based vitamins, etc. Although if you could gather enough nuts and avocados you may be OK. In which case, why bother with the rabbit at all?

 
RLDavies
945336.  Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:40 am Reply with quote

As I mentioned above, all of Fry's "explanation" about vitamins and so on was just flat-out wrong. I'm sure he made it up on the fly.

Eating rabbit as your only meat will eventually kill you because it is essentially fat-free. Eating vegetables alongside the rabbit won't help because vegetables are also fat-free.

 
Efros
945342.  Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:51 am Reply with quote

Wiki wrote:
Vilhjalmur Stefansson wrote as follows:
The groups that depend on the blubber animals are the most fortunate in the hunting way of life, for they never suffer from fat-hunger. This trouble is worst, so far as North America is concerned, among those forest Indians who depend at times on rabbits, the leanest animal in the North, and who develop the extreme fat-hunger known as rabbit-starvation. Rabbit eaters, if they have no fat from another source—beaver, moose, fish—will develop diarrhea in about a week, with headache, lassitude and vague discomfort. If there are enough rabbits, the people eat till their stomachs are distended; but no matter how much they eat they feel unsatisfied. Some think a man will die sooner if he eats continually of fat-free meat than if he eats nothing, but this is a belief on which sufficient evidence for a decision has not been gathered in the North. Deaths from rabbit-starvation, or from the eating of other skinny meat, are rare; for everyone understands the principle, and any possible preventive steps are naturally taken.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_starvation

Apparently another name for this is mal de caribou.

 
Prof Wind Up Merchant
946980.  Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:46 am Reply with quote

Just eating meat is bad in general isn't it. You need to balance it with vegetables alongside.

 

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