Can you change the flavour of meat by changing the diet of the animal?



For example, if you feed an animal a diet of something such as mushrooms it’s whole life could this make the meat of the animal taste slightly like mushroom?
I think this is the right tag but please correct me if I am wrong.

In: Biology

Absolutely, try grass fed beef versus the mostly grain fed beef we get in the U.S., tastes gamier, a little like lamb.

Kind of, but it wouldn’t work like that. The properties of a mushroom that makes it taste like a mushroom would be completely lost as the animal digested it and turned it into tissue. However, the general distribution of macronutrients matters. An animal fed a high-fat diet will have fattier meat, etc.

I think strong flavoured foods are noticeable in the meat if it’s a major part of a diet, but not always directly tasting of the food they were fed. So I’ve had rose veal that definitely tastes of milk (which is its food). Pata negra pigs from Spain have a distinct nutty flavour from the acorns they consume. And I know of European mountain sheep that live mostly on herbs who’s milk (that is made in to a cheese) and meat tastes of the herbs. I don’t know if you could raise a chicken on garlic and thyme or pigs on apples and directly taste it though.

Yes, and the colour.

A chicken fed corn or maize will have yellow meat (appears yellow before cooking) a hen with diet rich in maize will lay eggs with a red yolk.

Pigs or cattle that are fed kiwi fruit or pineapples for a few weeks before slaughter have a sweeter flavour and very tender meat.

I had goats that I fed silage to right up until they were slaughtered, they produced very dark meat with a bull-beef flavour. I prefer goat meat that was fed grass for several weeks before slaughter

10-15 years ago in Minnesota, there was a news article about a new regulation for how long chicken manure had to be kept at an elevated temperature before it could be fed to cows (to keep bacteria from growing in the chicken manure). My thought was, why are they feeding chicken manure to cows?! I have noticed a taste and smell of excrement to some meats and wonder if this is related.

Supporting google search below.


Yes, absolutely.

A perfect example is beef which in North America is either corn fed or grain fed. Having grown up on grain fed beef, I can almost not eat corn based beef at all.

What animals eat with change the fat composition and flavour profile pretty dramatically. Deer, pigs and people all taste very different depending on what they eat, how old they are, general health of the animal etc.

Yes. Near a dairy farm in Hobart Tasmania there is a Cadbury Chocolate factory. Left over chocolate that can not be used is given to these dairy cows. The milk from this dairy farm is very popular as it does taste naturally of chocolate. So lovely. Yay.

echoing what others have said: in Peru some chickens are fed fish meal, the eggs have a slightly fishy taste, the meat before cooking has a sardine smell and a very faint fish taste after cooking.

So is this why super spicy foods have become so popular? The aliens have been taste testing us and we were too bland so now they are marinating us from the inside out by pushing spicy foods.

Another example is Black Bear. Black bears eating a solid diet of blueberries will have a purple tinge to the meat and taste slightly like blueberries. If you get a bear to close to town that has been living off garbage, it will literally taste like garbage.

Absolutely, where I live folks will catch wild hogs and put them in a pen and feed them hog feed and vegetables. A few months of that and when it is time for slaughter the gameiness will be out of the meat. The color and texture will change for the better also.

Edit: sp