Ostrich Meat Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/03/22 •  9 min read

What are ostrich meat side effects and benefits every ethical consumer must know? Here are ostrich meat pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

ostrich meat benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on ostrich meat benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about ostrich meat benefits and side effects. This will include ostrich meat benefits for your health and potential risks, ostrich meat water footprint and ostrich meat carbon footprint, ostrich meat sustainability, if ostrich meat are vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if ostrich meat are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about ostrich meat benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Ostrich Meat Benefits And Side Effects


Ostrich meat side effects may include:

Ostrich meat benefits may include:

Additionally, ostrich meat is…


Water footprint: unknown

Carbon footprint: moderate, ostriches are non-ruminant herbivores so they produce much less methane than cows and other ruminant animals

Destruction: moderate, ostrich meat production is relatively destructive, farm raised ostriches require less land, grain and forage, but still produce solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, deforestation for feed crops, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction, responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction

Ultimately, ostrich meat is…


Kills: ostriches must be killed in order to produce ostrich meat

Harms: ostriches must be used in order to produce ostrich meat

Indirectly kills or harms: wildlife and ecosystems, surrounding wildlife (fox, coyote, bobcat, hawk, or owl and more) may be killed to prevent predation on livestock, wastewater, runoff and leakages negatively affect aquatic ecosystems, pesticides used to control pests and predators cause pollution to ecosystems once they enter groundwater and surface waters, the impact of such waste and chemical pollution on sensitive ecosystems results in biodiversity loss, ecosystems are contaminated via ammonia deposition, drug residues and hormones, additionally, intensive feed production for poultry livestock contributes to biodiversity loss via land use, land-use change and modification of natural ecosystems and habitats, excretion of hormones from poultry is cited to be a possible cause of endocrine disruption in wildlife, steroid levels are high enough to cause endocrine disruption on runoff from fields where poultry manure has been applied, resulting in reproductive disorders and disease transmission to a variety of wildlife populations

Ostrich meat is…


Health and safety: hazardous, meat processing workers have some of the highest rates of occupational injury and illness in the USA, the work environment in processing plants is dirty, dangerous, at times machines that injure workers by crushing, amputating, burning and slicing them, workers use tools such as knives, hooks, scissors, and saws, injuries include cuts, stabs, infections, scars, scratches, missing fingers, swollen joints, working conditions are humid, slippery, loud, hot or below freezing resulting in respiratory problems, skin infections and falls, workers experience

Living conditions: poor, workers must process thousands of animals per day, they are pressured to work as fast as possible, rest breaks and bathroom breaks are discouraged or denied, many workers must wear diapers, they experience stress, physical and emotional pain

Wages: low, in the USA workers are poorly compensated and earn under $15 an hour, they are often pushed to work faster so companies can profit more

Ostrich meat…

Where does most ostrich meat come from?

South Africa is the world’s leading ostrich meat producer. The world’s top ostrich meat exporting country is New Zealand, followed by Germany, Spain, China, Austria, France, Poland, UK, Hungary and Netherlands.

What are ostrich meat uses?

Ostrich meat can be baked, cooked, roasted, fried, grilled and more. It comes in the form of steaks, jerky, sausage and burgers. Note: ostrich meat is not a kosher meat.

Is ostrich meat good for you? Healthy? Nutritious?

Ostrich meat is characterized by low fat, low sodium and low cholesterol content, a favorable fatty acids profile and a high content of iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and vitamin E and low of Na.

ostrich meat is acidic.

ostrich meat side effects include being acidic.

Is ostrich alkaline or acidic?

Ostrich is acidic. Poultry, meats and most wild game are acidic food groups.

When you eat food, it is broken down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

ostrich meat is gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is ostrich meat gluten free?

Yes, ostrich meat is gluten free. Ostrich meat does not contain gluten when unbreaded and unseasoned. Ostrich meat is a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

ostrich meat is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is ostrich meat a common food allergen?

No, ostrich meat is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to ostrich meat but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

ostrich meat is unsustainable.

ostrich meat side effects include being unsustainable.

Overall, is ostrich meat eco friendly? Is ostrich meat sustainable?

Ostrich meat production is relatively unsustainable.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

ostrich meat is not vegan.

ostrich meat side effects include harming animals.

Is ostrich meat vegan?

No, ostrich meat is not vegan. Ostrich meat is meat, the product of an ostrich, a type of bird, therefore making it an animal-derived food. An ostrich must be killed in order to produce ostrich meat. 

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

ostrich meat has labor issues and human rights concerns.

ostrich meat side effects include having human rights concerns.

Is ostrich meat a product with labor concerns?

At this time there are concerns with livestock farming.

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

This post was all about ostrich meat benefits and side effects.


Emus, Ostriches and Rheas – National Agricultural Library

Ostrich, top loin, raw – FoodData Central

Are ratites “red” or “white” meat? – Ask USDA

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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