A cow destined for slaughter does not end up entirely on the butchers' benches. Some of its parts find a job that has nothing to do with the food industry: aircraft fuels, lubricants, cosmetics and plastic surgery are just a few examples. The market that revolves around the cows, and in part also the other animals for slaughter, is much larger than what can be thought, to the point that only 60% of a cow ends up in the chain of meat. The rest? Here's where it ends.
In fact, parts of the cows could also be found in products that have nothing to do with them, or at least that would mean thinking of an average consumer. Here are some of the "alternative" uses of beef in detail.
Let's start from the fat; it is used in part to produce tallow, a fat rich in saturated fatty acids, which make it particularly suitable for adding to creams, body lotions, other cosmetics, soaps and toothpastes.
Tallow is also the lubricating part of antifreeze products and has recently been tested as bio-fuel for US military aircraft.
Some parts of the cow are destined for the pharmaceutical field; the insulin produced by cattle, for example, is very similar to the human one and for this reason the pancreas is used to produce drugs for diabetics. Cartilage helps patients suffering from osteoarthritis, while the lungs are used for the production of anticoagulants.
Cows also have to do with plastic surgery; in particular, collagen extracted from the skin is used as a wrinkle filler to obtain a younger appearance. Much of the collagen, however, goes to form the jelly used for the preparation of sweets like gummy candies and marshmellow.
There are some cuts of beef that do not find many buyers on the market, which is why they are often sent elsewhere. Good news from the point of view of the "cut to waste", less good if we evaluate how much transparency is indicated the animal origin of the products we buy.