PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 13: A racoon walks during the third round of THE PLAYERS Championship on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 13, 2021 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Food - Drink
The Rise And Fall Of Raccoon Meat In The US
While chickens, cows, and pigs are commonly consumed in the United States, some Americans may wrinkle their noses when they learn about the kinds of meat that were eaten decades ago. The raccoon, an animal that isn't exactly an everyday encounter for most people, used to be eaten quite regularly in the U.S.
The raccoon was once part of the diet of multiple Native American tribes, and the practice of eating it was shared with enslaved Africans throughout the southern U.S. The animals were often eaten out of necessity to supplement the paltry meals provided, but the raccoon was still eaten for its meat into the 1900s.
In November 1926, a Mississippi resident sent President Calvin Coolidge a live raccoon as a gift to be eaten for Thanksgiving, the president's family named the raccoon Rebecca and kept her as a pet. This event, combined with advancements in meat breeding and processing, led to the diminished popularity of raccoon meat.