What’s left over after you’ve taken the ribs, the steak and the roast cuts from a cow carcass? Bones, marrow, fat, trimmings, nerve tissue, spinal cord and the rest of course! Let’s get our money’s worth and pulverize and blend this waste into a fine slurry, add anhydrous ammonia and flavouring, freeze it and finally shape it into various forms that are easily ground into many different meat products- hamburgers, hotdogs and sausages. Oh yeah and lets just call it simply: “beef” or “pork” or “chicken.”
It’s called “Advanced Meat Recovery”, it’s cheap and it’s exactly what some meat scrap companies do to allure school lunch programs, hospitals, retirement homes and other institutional establishments. These places are targets as they have a minimal food budget. They also allure fast food chains that care more about their profit margins than the health and safety of their consumers.
I think the idea behind using the whole animal is great in theory. It’s respectful to the beautiful cow that died to feed us and it’s overall just less waste in a culture that is trying so hard to leave a small footprint.
If we allowed our meat to roam freely and fed it a healthy, natural diet, this “Advanced Meat Recovery” might not be a bad thing. Our ancestors often used most parts of their naturally raised meat- and it was good for them. But because our meat industry is profit based, the animals are raised in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) resulting in terrible quality, in-fact toxic, waste. Antibiotics, chemicals, poor feed, and stressful conditions all contribute to this. That’s why they need to add “anhydrous ammonia” and freeze the paste- to kill off the e. coli and other pathogens present in meat of this poor calibre.
The obvious answer to this disgusting industry might be to go vegetarian, but I also believe there is room for a diet with meat raised naturally and traditionally on a farm, using as much of the animal as we can. It’s a diet where meat need not be eaten every day, but maybe once or twice a week. When it is eaten, it is honoured and eaten with full gratitude and acknowledgement of the animal that gave its life to nourish us.
Below is a list of just a few other ways to use “the rest” of the animal. To some of us, these ways might seem out there, but they are traditional and come from cultures that lived on them for many generations:
So next time you might grab that package of hotdogs, or order chicken nuggets at a fast food restaurant, remember what you're eating. Leftovers anyone?
Nature Does It Best