To build the best we need the best materials. We seek out the best when building a house as well as when we are building out our bow. The quality of the individual parts plays a critical role in the outcome. And it is no different with our bodies. With better input, we can get better and higher output. Providing us with all we need to achieve optimal performance. We do this with our gear and even the land we hunt, but do we do it with our own bodies?
During physical exertion, we break down muscle tissue. Like building a home, essential building blocks are a necessity to build our bodies. The building blocks of life for our body are amino acids. Amino acids link together to build proteins. We use these proteins to maintain, rebuild, repair, and strengthen our bodies. Skeletal muscle, vital organs, connective tissue rely upon our intake of amino acids to function at an optimal level.
Amino acids are consumed through various foods, but they are most concentrated and available in meat. But not just any meat will do. The higher the quality of food we consume, the more efficient our body will be able to use what we provide. This, in turn, makes us more efficient and productive.
Farmers markets and community-supported agriculture often referred to as a CSA, are popular today as the locavore movement is picking up steam. Many consumers are more conscious wanting to know where their food comes from and how it was raised and treated. It means a lot to shake the hand that picked the vegetables that go on their plate. Some even go as far as visiting the farms to gather cage-free eggs themselves. This allows them to experience first hand where their free-range natural organic hamburger grazed in pesticide-free fields. But even more, people seek out food labeled natural and organic when perusing the meat aisle at the grocery store.
But as hunters, we can take it several steps deeper into the woods. No matter what we hunt, we have access to the highest quality meat on the planet. Plus we have the privilege of knowing exactly where our food comes from and how it lived. We see more than where it lived and what it ate. We walk the same ground and take special effort to improve the habitat that our supper lives on through food or simply picking up trash left by others. We spend hours preparing and practicing to make proper and ethical shots. We study maps, use trail cameras, scout for fresh sign, and strategically place our stands. All to provide us with the best opportunity to place the healthiest food on our family table.
While most grocery stores today offer food that is labeled organic, free-range, non-GMO, and natural; we are able to take it a step further. We do not need to read a label to know what we are putting on our table. The high-quality food that we are able to provide through hunting would cost well over ten dollars a pound in the grocery store. But the value goes deeper than our wallet. Through hunting, we are more than a consumer but a provider. We take an active role and are involved in every step of the process, from the field to our family table. Then around the table, we are able to relive the memory and experiences that we had in the woods with those that we love most.
Our ancestors, no matter what our heritage, relied heavily on the meat they hunted and harvested. Meat provides us with almost every vitamin and nutrient that we need to survive. Coming in at 140 calories, a 3.5-ounce piece of deer or elk can provide us with 23 grams of protein and less than 2 grams of fat. Wild meat is a great source of vitamins and minerals including iron, B12, B6, niacin, and riboflavin. While fish is widely known as the best way to get a large dose of Omega-3 fatty acids, healthy animals from the wild pack a solid dose of anti-inflammatory Omega-3’s that provide many health benefits including the decrease of inflammation.
Besides the muscle meat, organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, and stomach are powerhouses of nutrients. While often cast away in our society today, many cultures treasure organ meat as a delicacy. They value the precious organ meat due to its power-packed super nutritious profile. Bones and joints of our harvest can simmer into a bone broth that provides a healthy base for soups.
We prepare and practice. We scout and plan our stand placement. And then we can be involved in every step along the way from the kill, to cleaning and preparing the meat, to the way it is cooked and feeding our family. We are provided with a boundless bounty every time we step into the wilderness. Being able to bring home fresh food for our family is just an added nutritious and delicious benefit.