Reindeer Meat Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/03/22 •  11 min read
reindeer meat benefits and side effects


Reindeer meat side effects may include:

Reindeer meat health benefits may include:

Additionally, reindeer meat is…

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Water footprint: high, it takes 15,415 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of bovine meat / 1,847 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of bovine meat

Carbon footprint: high, 68.8 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of bovine meat, a car driving equivalent of 158 miles or 254 kilometers

Destruction: high, reindeer meat production is relatively destructive, land usage for pasture, grain and forage, solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction, responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction, a lot of game meat is not consumed locally which increases food miles and carbon footprint, reindeer populations are actually declining, thanks to global warming, climate change is altering weather patterns in the Arctic and affecting the reindeer’s food supply, which results in starvation, by increasing the demand for more reindeer meat it results in more reindeer but less food for them to eat

Reindeer meat is…


Kills: reindeer, reindeer meat production requires reindeer to be slaughtered

Harms: reindeer, unlike traditional reindeer hunting, modern reindeer ranchers fly over the animals in helicopters, herd them with snowmobiles and truck them hundreds of miles, causing them mental and physical stress, reindeer are hurt in large-scale captures as they panic and accidentally gore each other with their antlers, or get their heads’ trapped whilst being forced into slaughter trucks, evidence of neglect and starvation prior to slaughter and illegal slaughter methods have also been uncovered, around 70% of Swedish reindeer slaughtered are calves, which means they die without ever seeing snow

Indirectly kills or harms: unknown

Reindeer meat is…


Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Reindeer meat…

What are reindeer meat uses?

Reindeer meat can be baked and cooked and used as jerky, tartare, meatballs, roast, stew or soup, sausage, steak and canned meat.

Is reindeer meat nutritious?

Reindeer meat is high in protein, low in fat and a good source of vitamin containing both A, B, C and vitamin E. As naturally grazing animals, reindeer meat is rich in minerals like iron, selenium and calcium. However, cadmium is present in reindeer liver, which is at a higher level than the maximum limit set by the EU.

Where does most reindeer meat come from?

Reindeer herding is conducted in nine countries: Norway, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Greenland, Alaska (the United States), Mongolia, China and Canada. A small herd is also maintained in Scotland.

What are some vegan substitutes?

Check out this Vegan Substitutes List to see alternatives for meat, dairy, eggs, fish and more.

reindeer meat is acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is reindeer meat alkaline or acidic? Reindeer meat is acidic. Meat is an acidic food group.

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

reindeer meat is gluten free.

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

Is reindeer meat gluten free? Yes, reindeer meat is naturally gluten free. Reindeer meat does not contain gluten when unseasoned and unbreaded.

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

reindeer 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 reindeer meat a common food allergen? No, reindeer meat is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to reindeer 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

reindeer meat has a high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does reindeer meat have a high or low water footprint? Reindeer meat has a high water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of reindeer meat? It takes 15,415 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of bovine meat / 1,847 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of bovine meat.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

reindeer meat has a high carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does reindeer meat have a high or low carbon footprint? Reindeer meat has a high carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of reindeer meat? It takes around 68.8 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of bovine meat, a car driving equivalent of 158 miles or 254 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

There are a number of steps we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

reindeer meat is unsustainable.

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

Reindeer 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.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

reindeer meat is not vegan.

Is reindeer meat vegan? No, reindeer meat is not vegan. Reindeer meat is an animal product. A reindeer must be slaughtered in order to produce reindeer meat.

According to Sentient Media, “more than 200 million land animals are killed for food around the world every day. Including wild-caught and farmed fishes, we get a total closer to 3 billion animals killed daily.”

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

reindeer meat is a product that may or may not have labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is reindeer meat a product that has known labor issues? At this time, there are no known specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding reindeer meat farming but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Reindeer meat may or may not have labor issues.

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.


Commercial Reindeer Meat Production

The Norwegian government ordered massive slaughterings of reindeer. Indigenous sami reindeer herders disagreed but were not heard.

Fun Facts about Reindeer and Caribou | FDA – US Food

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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