#1
Old 05-01-2004, 12:41 AM
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How do Koala's taste?

Per this article there are thousands of kolas that need to be culled to prevent an ecological disaster. So I was wondering if a farmer has a pile of koalas that need winnowing, just what does a drop bear taste like? Anyone know?

Democrats call for koala cull

Quote:
The Australian Democrats are calling for a cull of at least 20,000 koalas on Kangaroo Island over the next year.

Democrat leader Sandra Kanck says the koala population explosion on the island is a looming environmental catastrophe.

She says unless their numbers are controlled, the koalas will wipe out several species of gum trees on which they feed, and then starve to death.

The Democrats say some farmers on Kangaroo Island are already killing koalas that venture onto their properties.

It is estimated there are 30,000 koalas on Kangaroo Island.

"Well the reality is that manna gums are already dying," she said.
#2
Old 05-01-2004, 01:49 AM
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Well, just guessing here, but since animals tend to taste like what they eat, and since koalas eat eucalyptus leaves, I'd expect them to taste like eucalyptus.

Yum.
#3
Old 05-01-2004, 01:51 AM
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Like chicken.
#4
Old 05-01-2004, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Duck Goose
Well, just guessing here, but since animals tend to taste like what they eat, and since koalas eat eucalyptus leaves, I'd expect them to taste like eucalyptus.

Yum.

Ew

VaporRub Chili.
#5
Old 05-01-2004, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Duck Goose
Well, just guessing here, but since animals tend to taste like what they eat, and since koalas eat eucalyptus leaves, I'd expect them to taste like eucalyptus.

Yum.
Does beef taste like grass to you?
#6
Old 05-01-2004, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeWinder
Like chicken.
Have you actually eaten Koala TimeWinder?

As the koala was eaten by the aboriginals and original European settlers, I presume it is palatable. The koala is protected so has not been offered on the menus of the bush tucker restaurants along with kangaroo and emu, so can't help you as to the taste.
#7
Old 05-01-2004, 03:52 AM
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I think the Kangaroo Island situation is about overpopulation in a small protected space because in general koala are an endangered species.

I'm trying to find the book I read it in, I'm fairly certain it was the Letters of Rachel Henning, an early settler, where koala was described as tasting of eucalyptus. Given that eucalyptus is such a pungent leaf, it's hard to imagine that a beastie which eats nothing but eucalyptus could taste of anything but.
#8
Old 05-01-2004, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jastu
Have you actually eaten Koala TimeWinder?
Ah, I think it was a joke.
#9
Old 05-01-2004, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabdude
Ah, I think it was a joke.

I figured as much, it would be extremely unlikely for anyone on this board to have eaten koala but this is GQ so thought I would ask.
As the koala is related to the kangaroo and eats a diet of eucalyptus leaves, chicken would be the last thing I would expect it to taste like. Maybe TimeWinder saw this.
#10
Old 05-01-2004, 06:22 AM
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If they're endangered, why don't they move the excess from Kangaroo Island to other parts of the country?
#11
Old 05-01-2004, 06:48 AM
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1) Nowhere to put them.
2) Risk of transferring disease.
3) Risk of disrupting natural genetic distributions.
4) Pressure from environmental groups.
5) Cost


The point to note here is that koalas are not even close to being endangered. They are listed as regionally vulnerable. What that means is that in some areas they are not at risk in any way whatsoever and in the other areas they are not at risk so long as things remain as they are now.

That makes them a fairly low priority animal in conservation terms. It takes a lot of money to move thousands of large mammals and the returns will be either small or negative. Those areas that can support koalas already support them and there are few potential new habitats for them to enter. They have suffered population decline due to land clearing but there are few areas of new forest in Australia that can support an introduced population. Worse yet those populations that are vulnerable will only be further endangered by the introduction of exotic animals with the stress and disease risk that entails.

A bullet only costs around 30 cents. Moving them would cost over $100/animal. That is several hundred thousand dollars that can be much better spent on animals that might really be in trouble like bilbies and northern hairy nosed wombats that really are endangered and really do need funds.
#12
Old 05-01-2004, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by +MDI
If they're endangered, why don't they move the excess from Kangaroo Island to other parts of the country?
Well that has been tried.

Until recently I was living in Adelaide, South Australia. This has been a problem for many years. Moving the koalas is a very costly and time consuming exercise, it seems a much easier solution to cull the animals. Many have already been moved and sterilized but the problem still exists.
This article is a couple of years old but explains the situation.
#13
Old 05-01-2004, 08:43 AM
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If anyone is seriously interested they can check here on the pets or food website. A 15 pound Koala will run you about 1,200 bucks, but I don't think that includes shipping. From the website:

Quote:
Koala
Straight from the sub tropics of Australia comes the yummy, cuddly Koala. Pets or Foodô is proud to offer, for a limited time, a package shipment that includes a 15 pound Koala, 10 pounds of eucalyptus, and handling instructions. Australian Aborigines have long known the delicate flavor of this charming animal. Order one today for your special occasion.
#14
Old 05-01-2004, 09:51 AM
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Well, I'm glad no prissy copy-editor jumped in to ask, "How do koala's what taste?"

Oops.
#15
Old 05-01-2004, 03:29 PM
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I have read (in an issue of National Geographic, I believe... no idea what issue it was) that the flesh of koalas is virtually inedible: it is extremely oily, and tastes exactly like what you'd expect meat soaked in eucalyptus oil to taste like. Aborigines have eaten it, but more out of necessity than because of any liking for the meat itself.
#16
Old 05-01-2004, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
How do Koalas taste?

With their tongues, silly!
#17
Old 05-01-2004, 04:29 PM
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If you put them in a blender, they taste like Coca Koala.
#18
Old 05-01-2004, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alterego
If anyone is seriously interested they can check here on the pets or food website. A 15 pound Koala will run you about 1,200 bucks, but I don't think that includes shipping. From the website:
Someone got whooshed!!




#19
Old 05-01-2004, 08:11 PM
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They taste like..well, I donít know. That cutesy little loving face would scrunch up and the tears would start to flow and it would give a plaintive cry as I started to sink my teeth into itís paw..couldnít do it, alas.
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#20
Old 05-01-2004, 08:49 PM
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#21
Old 05-01-2004, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMatrix
Does beef taste like grass to you?
Feed type doesn't have a big impact on meat taste if any aside from maybe more marbling on one feed than another.

Feed impact on milk is dramatic. Cows that graze have very different tasting milk than those given grain based feed in a dairy. If a cow eats wild onions... <shudder>
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#22
Old 05-01-2004, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMatrix
Does beef taste like grass to you?
Beef tastes like the mash (corn) stuff its fattened on to me. Especially the fatty, best tasting parts.
Fresh alfalfa flavors milk.
Prime rib. Mmmm.
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#23
Old 05-01-2004, 09:51 PM
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#24
Old 05-01-2004, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMatrix
Does beef taste like grass to you?
Noooooo...

But it's a logical assumption.

1. The flavor of animals' meat is affected by their diet. Waterfowl like mergansers that eat fish are notoriously fishy, but canvasbacks, that eat plant matter, aren't. Farm-raised rabbits, deer, and alligators that are fed on carefully balanced "bland" diets have much milder flavors than wild rabbits, deer, and gators. In France they have a special kind of lamb that's raised on salt meadows.

http://fsis.usda.gov/OA/pubs/farmgame.htm
Quote:
Because their diets and activity levels are not the same as that of domestic animals and poultry, the meat of farm-raised game animals has a different flavor Ė stronger than domesticated species and milder than wild game. The factors that determine the meat's quality include the age of the animal (younger animals are more tender), the animal's diet, and the time of year the animal was harvested.[bolding mine]
2. Cows eat different things besides just "grass". They get things like corn (both the grain and the chopped green part as silage), cottonseed cake, ammoniated wheat straw, wheat middlings, alfalfa, oat hay... Thus, the proportion in their diet of strong-smelling foods is relatively small, and if they do get hold of something rank to eat, it's lost in the volume of "other foods". Koalas, however, eat nothing but eucalyptus, therefore it's logical to presume that the flavor of that one thing they eat would come through in their meat more strongly than if it were an occasional meal, especially since that one thing is itself quite aromatic.

However, it's possible to change the flavor of beef by feeding the cows something different, like a food additive.

http://ansi.okstate.edu/research/1999rr/12.htm
Quote:
Sensory Panel. During sensory evaluation of steaks, no significant differences in juiciness, cooked beef fat, overall tenderness, connective tissue, or off flavors were detected between treatment groups. However, the steaks from steers supplemented with AGRADO had reduced flavor intensities. This reduction in flavor intensity, even though both treatments were classified as "slightly intense", supports the TBARS difference noted by Krumsiek and Owens (1998) and earlier with ground beef, indicating that steaks from cattle fed AGRADO had a reduced rate of oxidative rancidity during display.
3. Cows, being four-stomached ruminants, may be presumed to digest and metabolize their food differently from koalas, who are single-stomached, and have unique digestive tracts.

http://bio.davidson.edu/Courses/.../digestion.htm
Quote:
The ability of koalas to utilize Eucalyptus foliage as a sole source of nutrition makes them unique and amazing creatures. To cope with this unpromising and inhospitable diet, different aspects of the koala's morphology and physiology have become highly specializd. The digestive system of the koala is no exception. After food is broken down in the mouth, it enters the koala's highly specialized digestive system. The koala's low metabolism allows solutes and fine particles to remain in the gut for extended periods of time. A majority of the digestive process occurs in the koala's highly developed caecum, where fermentation and microbial breakdown supply the koala with a sufficient amount of energy to meet its reduced metabolic requirements (Ullrey et al., 1981). So, by combining reduced metabolic requirements with a slow metabolism and highly specialized morphological and physiological features, the koala has adapted to utilize Eucalyptus as a sole source of nutrition.
#25
Old 05-02-2004, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
Per this article there are thousands of kolas that need to be culled to prevent an ecological disaster. So I was wondering if a farmer has a pile of koalas that need winnowing, just what does a drop bear taste like? Anyone know?
Kinda like a cross between spotted owl and bald eagle I hear.
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