CBB Pythons for Human Food Consumption Report - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 03-20-2024, 10:29 AM   #1
Martin Nowak
CBB Pythons for Human Food Consumption Report

“Snake Steak Could Be a Climate-Friendly Source of Protein”
Scientific American March 14, 2024
Portions of the article below with link to entire publication.
“Pythons turn their food into meat pretty efficiently, a study finds, making them an intriguing alternative to climate-unfriendly cows.”

“Some snake scientists think eating these reptiles—already customary or at least acceptable in parts of the world—might help lessen the damage our food choices have on the environment. The general conundrum we somehow need to solve is: Where do we get the appropriate amounts of protein for a still-growing global population without the big environmental footprint?

“The environmental impacts of cattle products such as beef are especially costly: the animals produce nearly 10 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and growing food for them spurs deforestation. Pork brings a separate set of environmental hazards, notably water pollution from pig waste. The chicken industry faces similar issues.”

“As snake biologists, we already knew that pythons had impressive physiologies,” Natusch says. “After speaking with the python farmers (in Viet Nam and Thailand) and continuing to monitor their growth rates, their remarkable physiologies became even more apparent.”

“The team studied reticulated pythons (Malayopython reticulatus) and Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) on the farms, analyzing what they ate and how quickly they grew. Because we expect even greater global economic and climatic volatility in the future, pythons could be a solution for those future challenges,” Natusch says. “Farming pythons could be a big part of the solution for a part of the world that is already suffering from severe protein deficiency”.

“And of course, it all depends on whether people will take to eating python. Natusch says python meat is “pretty tasty and versatile” and argues that by his tally, a billion people in Southeast and East Asia, as well as parts of Latin America and Africa, already consider snake meat a culturally acceptable food. “It is really just Western cultures (which have few naturally occurring large reptiles) that haven’t been exposed to it,” he says.”

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...bb878-49193211

A few years ago, I was asked to prepare a business plan for developing CBB pythons as an agriculture opportunity and food source. The project was well received but not funded primarily because of the last article sentence – the question of acceptance in U.S. culture as a food source. However, in my opinion, the financial model was practical and rewarding. Pythons convert food sources into muscle protein much more efficiently than mammals, require less space, and produce tasty palatable white meat. At the time, there was less concern about the climate issues from cattle, pigs, and chickens – but that now is also a valid factor. I have long advocated that most reptiles have been captive bred for enough years that they should be given status as agricultural animals. As a food source such would clearly be the case. (Iguanas are a common food source and YouTube has many videos of BBQs in Florida).

Most reptiles should be reclassified as “domestic / domesticated animals” and “pets”. Such would help the industry and if herptile enthusiast began using such terms in writing and presentations – while it would take time – change the outlook of the public and intrusive regulatory entities. This could be a USARK strategy and goal.

Britannica defines “pet” as: "Pet, any animal kept by human beings as a source of companionship and pleasure."
https://www.britannica.com/animal/pet

There exist online ads for rattlesnake meat. Unknown to me if they actually sell such products. A few examples – more exist online:

https://www.exoticmeatmarkets.com/Bu...diamond1lb.htm

https://www.exoticmeatmarkets.com/Ea...eeastern48.htm

This one purport to sell “whole bone-in rattlesnake meat” and “boneless Burmese python meat”. The Burmese meat is labeled “domestic” !
https://www.foodinno.com/product/rat...zen-10-15-lba/
 
Old 03-20-2024, 10:17 PM   #2
bcr229
I'm not sure how viable it is economically once the snake gets large enough that it needs to eat something bigger than a jumbo rat. If you're going to feed the retic or burm a guinea pig or or fetal pig or a chicken or a rabbit so it grows bigger, why not just butcher and eat whatever prey the snake is eating?
 
Old 03-20-2024, 10:46 PM   #3
Martin Nowak
bcr229 - appreciate your comments. Respectfully, there are other methods of feeding them and other food sources. I am not at liberty to disclose elements of the business plan in this Forum. While business plans and pro forma are guidelines - I tested the model for two years - two year cycle of breeding Burmese pythons and raising the young. We were also able to obtain a fair amount of information and data from Burmese breeders. Burmese grow very fast under best relevant conditions. The model is more extensive and the outcomes of the test were quite positive financially. If culturally the meat were accepted as a food source in the U.S. - I remain bullish on the financial opportunity. And no start up business is without risk of course. As a "senior reptile keeper" I recall the days when alligator farming and turtle farming were considered non-viable. How wrong those notions were. Still, it's all untested opinion till someone decides to fully test the notion.
 
Old 03-20-2024, 10:53 PM   #4
Martin Nowak
One other aspect is the paper indicates that conversion of intake calories to edible protein meat was multiple times higher in pythons than in mammals such as cattle and pigs. And, the carbon footprint much smaller and methane production essentially non-existent with pythons.
 

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