image description March 27, 2013

Bizarre Bites: Alligator Meat

Bizarre Bites: Alligator Meat

The Other, Other White Meat

Chicken and turkey continue to populate tables across the country, but maybe it’s time we start eating gator. Sounds weird, but it’s true: gator is one of the healthiest proteins. Alligator meat has a fine texture, similar to chicken and pork, but contains less calories, fat and cholesterol than either of the “other white meats.”

Illustration: Chuck Gonzales

Gator Fun Facts

The temperature of a gator egg determines the sex of the gator.

If a gator’s eggs are kept at less than 88 degrees, the gator will be female; if it’s warmer than 91 degrees, it will be a male.

If you are being chased by an alligator DO NOT run in a zig-zag motion.

Alligators are fast and the best way to get away from a gator is to put as much distance between you and it. Run in a straight line and run fast!

Gators can hold their breath for up to thirty minutes.

Sometimes the air in their lungs can cause them to float. Some alligators swallow rocks to weigh them down in the water. This might also help with digestion.

An amino acid molecule.

Body Building Blocks

Protein is a very important part of a healthy diet. Humans need protein to build, maintain and replace tissues in the body like your muscles and organs. You can get protein from meat (like alligator or chicken or fish), eggs, seeds, nuts and legumes. All proteins are made up of amino acids. Amino acids are like Legos, they don’t do anything by themselves, but when they are put together they can make a whole bunch of different kinds of proteins with different purposes. When you eat a protein, your digestive acids break it down into those building blocks, then your body can take those building blocks and build what your body needs from muscle tissue to bone.

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