Farmed Python Meat Could Serve as Alternative for Commonplace Meats with High-Quality Protein [Study]

Python meat may not be as conventional as the common poultry meat, as well as beef and pork in global agriculture. However, eating snake meat could serve as an alternative to the said commonplace meats and can provide high-quality protein. This is according to a new study which found that python farming is both a “flexible and efficient form” of providing the world with agricultural food security.

Over the past decade, food or agricultural crises have been reported in different parts of the world. Aside from famine-stricken countries, the new research paper highlights the increasing challenges faced by global agriculture. In recent years, unprecedented price hikes have struck different agricultural commodities, especially since the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The crisis prompted some scientists to search for alternative sources of food.


Farmed Python Meat

Farmed Python Meat Could Serve as Alternative for Commonplace Meats with High-Quality Protein [Study]
(Photo : Photo by David Clode on Unsplash)

According to an international team of researchers from Australia, South Africa, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom, farmed python meat or python farming is already established in Asia but receives little recognition from mainstream agricultural scientists. The research team proposes that consumption of the snake meat could feed Earth with rich protein. Their findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports on Thursday, March 14.

The team made their conclusion by measuring growth rates in two species of large pythons in farms in Thailand and Vietnam, namely: the reticulated python (Malayopython reticulatus) and Burmese python (Python bivittatus). This method was made possible by conducting feeding experiments on the two snake species to determine production efficiencies. The results show that the giant pythons showed rapid growth in a span of 12 months.

The authors of the study analyzed the results and asserted that, in terms of food and protein conversion ratios, python meat exceeds all conventional agricultural species studied ever since. In addition, the authors emphasized that the ability of fasting pythons to manage their metabolic processes and maintain their body condition improves food security in unstable environments. This makes python farming a game changer in global food security.

Also Read: Plant-Based Meat Consumption Helps Environment, Benefits Human Health, Study Shows

Is It Safe to Eat Snake Meat?

While findings about eating python meat are significant when it comes to the current state of global agriculture, not everyone is accustomed to consuming snake meat. This unanimous perception towards reptile meat stems from its potential health risks to humans. In a separate study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology in 2010, researchers found some biological risks when eating reptile products, including snake meat.

Eating the meat of snakes and other reptiles, including lizards, crocodiles, and iguanas, could result in bacterial infection, according to a 2010 research paper. However, other experts say that even the toxins of these reptiles can be neutralized once it is digested inside our stomachs. Regardless, the findings of the recent March 2024 study about eating python meat could be a first step towards the integration of the snake meat diet worldwide.


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