What’s grabbing the attention of die-hard foodies lately? Dining on roadkill. At least that’s the opinion of The Travel Channel’s Steve Rinella, who loves to share his recipe for roadkill raccoon, and Daniel Klein, who hosts the sustainable eating show, The Perennial Palate. He says that roadkill is better for the environment than dropping by the meat department of your local grocery store. Before you pull over to pick up a dead possum, there are a few things you need to know:

  • According to Food Safety News, roadkill newbies should wait until winter to experiment because cold weather means less chance of spoilage.
  • Public health specialist Susan Grooters says that anyone who isn’t familiar with cleaning and dressing an animal should be extra cautious, because they could miss telltale signs of disease or infection.  
  • Plus, grabbing a deer that’s been hit by a car might be illegal. For example, in Alaska, roadkill belongs to the state, and troopers collect it and take it to volunteer butchers, who process the meat for charities.
  • Iin California, you’re not allowed to eat roadkill, but you can pick it up if you have a “scientific collecting permit.”  

If you still want to dine on the wild side – or the roadside - log on to your local Department of Fish and Wildlife website. They provide information on the safe handling of game, and post warnings about infectious diseases like “rabbit fever” and E. coli found in local animals. Iif you’d like to see some roadkill recipes, ABC News has a recipe for Pan Braised Squirrels – and there’s a site called RoadKillCookingforCampers.com.