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From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Add Ostrich "Red Meat" to the Menu
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 05:30:08 EDT

Donald Teague wrote:
> Ostrich "red meat" has excellent protein and iron, but is lower in fat and
> calories than either turkey or chicken.   It taste similar to and prepares
> like beef.   Excellent with marinates and sauces.  Give customers the
> healthy alternate "red meat".   They need "red meat" as a part of their
> regular diet - but without the fat and calories.
> OstriRite Agricultural System, Inc. is a 100% integrated farm to market
> producer and supplier.  All meat is prepared under USDA guidelines.  We can
> package roast(approx 2 lbs) or cuts(6-8 oz) and deliver Gourmet Fillets(6
> oz.).   Absolutely delicious.   Practically no shrinkage during cooking
> which makes it food cost friendly.

Ha!  The ratite ponzi scheme reappears as SPAM.  Y'all still trying
to peddle that meat for $10 a pound retail?

> I serve as Strategic Business Engineer for the growth of OstriRite.  I am
> helping them look for market areas.   I'm interested in hearing from
> restaurants or consumers concerning the meat product of OstriRite.
> Regards, Donald

Business Engineer? (sic) would that be like a sanitation engineer?

Here's an alternative view of this stuff based on my experience with
a friend who's losing his life's savings on  this Ratite (flightless
birds) scam.

First, about the taste.  True, this stuff is red meat but that just
about ends the similarity with beef.  It's about as dry as a
baked-out flank steak and about as tasteless.  There is essentially
no fat and so no richness.  What little flavor there is is somewhat
gamey.  I've tried it just about every way my friend can come up
with (despite losing his arsh, he's still a True Believer) and I
can't stand it.  Rhea meat (another ratite) is better but even more

Around here, Ostrich roasts retail at about $10 a pound, more
expensive than USDA Prime Fillet Mignon.  The meat remains expensive
because ratites are spectacularly unsuitable farm animals.  They
mate for life and only lay a few times a year so having one cock for
a flock of hens doesn't work. The cock is frequently agressive
toward chicks so segregation is the rule.  My friend's "ranch" looks
more like a prison compound. They're so stupid that a noisy car
driving by will stampeed them into a pile, suffocating the unlucky
bottom ones.  They can kick like a mule, jump several feet in the
air and run at 50 mph or more.  Makes penning them up and catching
them when they escape kinda interesting.  And the marketable meat
yield is very low as farm animals go.

These things have been marketed to the unsuspecting as
get-rich-quick schemes.  (do a quick search on "ostrich" on hotbot
and look at some of the outrageous claims.) After they traded
breeding pairs back and forth until everyone's money was gone, only
then did they consider a viable commercial market.  The whole
premise is that people are somehow going to forgoe flavorful food
for this taste-free meat in a frantic attempt to become fat-free
health nuts and therefore will pay outrageous prices.  Ain't gonna
happen.  The market is moving the other way.  People are tired of
bland "health" food.  The restaurant industry has coined a term for
the  movement back to rich, flavorful food - "revenge cuisine". 
Revenge against the health nazis.

I think everone ought to blow $10 for a pound of this stuff just to
see what it's like.  And remember that when you're given a recipe
that purports to make this stuff palatable, the same recipe will
make the cheapest industrial grade beef taste even better at a tiny
fraction of the cost.

Pardon my vigor on this topic.  There's not a week that goes by that
some telemarketer huskter doesn't call my restaurant peddling this
stuff as the Next Great Wave.  Seems the notion is floating around
the ratite community that BBQ restaurants are the last Great Hope
for this scheme.  While it is true that proper smoking will make a
piece of leather palatable, the same cannot be said for ostrich


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