Get Your Game on for Thanksgiving

ITHACA, N.Y. (News Release) — Get your game on for Thanksgiving – and we aren’t talking about football. For many families, fresh venison and wild trout are culinary traditions intertwined with the fall season, Thanksgiving and winter’s first bite of frosty air.

Wild Harvest Table, a Cornell Cooperative Extension website, offers hints, tips and recipes for preparing wild-harvest foods while helping researchers study how local game is an important part of the locavore movement.

The site started as a celebration of the culinary bounty represented by wild game and fish in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Cornell Cooperative Extension nutrition educator Moira Tidball, from Seneca County, started the website in January 2009 as a resource for game and fish recipes, nutrition information, and preparation techniques. Keith G. Tidball, Senior Extension Associate in Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources, helped with the inception of the website and recognized its potential to aid in research.

With the help of Cornell Natural Resources Professor Paul Curtis, the team secured USDA funding for a study, “Leveraging the Locavore Movement: Exploring Family and Community Food Decision-making” to examine how the locavore movement influences decision-making about procuring, preparing and consuming wild fish and game.

Researchers hope to determine the importance of wild fish and game consumption to food security in local New York state communities; evaluating why people are motivated to eat, or not eat, wild fish and game; examining the importance or “legibility” of nutritional analysis for wild fish and game and the way labeling influences consumer choices; and determining how people learn about processing and preparing wild fish and game, and barriers to finding and adopting this information.

All of the recipes on the website have been tested to be delicious and relatively simple to prepare. Nutrition facts are included, though some species do not have nutrition information available. Part of the research is investigating this gap in nutrition information for wild game and fish species.

Wild Harvest Table can be viewed at

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