The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry is to soon give nicknames for deer meat and wild boar meat, aiming to increase consumption of “gibier,” a French word for game meat.

The ministry has been crowd-sourcing ideas for catchier nicknames, such as “natural protein” for deer, and “juicy meat of the forest” for wild boar.

Deer, wild boar and other animals and wild birds that cause damage to crops are subject to culling. In fiscal 2019, about 600,000 deer and about 640,000 wild boars were caught, but most of the meat was burned rather than eaten.

In the same year, about 120,000 wild birds and animals were used for meat, with deer accounting for about 82,000, or nearly 70 per cent, and wild boar accounting for about 34,000, or nearly 30 per cent.

The ministry aims to double the current amount used for game meat to 4,000 tons by 2025. To reach this goal, the ministry is holding a gibier fair until March 21 on its website to promote more than 1,000 restaurants nationwide that serve game meat.

Until mid-February, a food truck served hamburgers and curry made with venison during lunchtime twice a week at the ministry’s parking lot in Kasumigaseki, Tokyo, to expose ministry employees to game meat.

Deer meat is high in protein and low in fat, and wild boar meat is high in fat and vitamins, according to the ministry.

The ministry’s officials are currently in the process of selecting nicknames from the hundreds of ideas it has received online. Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Kotaro Nogami will make the final decision.

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“We want a nickname that sounds delicious, is easy to understand and leaves a strong impression,” a ministry official said.



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