What Are Animal Byproducts and Why Do They Matter?
A product other than muscle meat harvested or manufactured from livestock is described as an animal byproduct by the USDA. That covers a wide range of possibilities, so here’s a quick rundown of products and byproducts for some common farm animals.
Pigs and farms seem to go hand in hand, and raising your own pasture-raised porkers will provide you with nutritious meat in the form of ham, bacon, spareribs, and so on. However, as previously said, pork products do not end there.
Pork fat can be turned into lard, and it turns out that our grandmothers who used lard to make pie crust or fry potatoes weren’t as far off the mark as the anti-fat movement would have us believe. Since lard is not a trans-fat, it is better than previously thought. Lard is also excellent for cooking due to its high smoking point (400 degrees F) and distinct taste. Lard may be used for soap or cosmetics of different kinds outside of the kitchen, and the cracklings that remain after the fat has been made out are very tasty.
Beef Cattle Products
If you’re a hobby farmer, it’s probably in your own pasture on the hoof. Anything from hamburger to top sirloin can be found in your freezer if you grow a steer or two. Roasts and steaks from your own healthy animals are an added benefit if you don’t always buy expensive cuts.
Early settlers made gelatin from beef byproducts including horns and hooves, and tanned the hides for shoes, saddles, and other uses. Normally, such products are left at the meat processor’s disposal facility, but some hobby farmers sell the hides to leather dealers or for cowhide rugs.
Aside from meat, several hobby farms have a milk cow of some kind, and this bovine goldmine produces a variety of products:
yogurt made of milk, cream, and butter
Milk leftovers may be fed to bottle calves or combined with feed and fed to pigs.
There’s also manure, which can be spread on pastures, composted for garden use, or sold to farmers market customers for both dairy and beef cattle.