We all waste quite some food. That certainly applies to meat, because we actually consume less than half of an animal. That could be better, find two fervent head-to-tail eaters.
Calculations from Wageningen University show that we eat an average of 38 kilos of meat per person per year. This is the weight that we actually eat. With 80 kilos, the carcass weight (the weight including skin, bones and parts of meat that people do not want to eat) is more than twice as high. Among other things, animal feed is made from this residual meat.
We then buy a little less than 50 kilos of meat, of which only three quarters (38 kilos) are actually consumed. We throw away some of it before preparation - for example, bones that are still in the meat - and other parts are left on the plate as leftovers.
Nel Schellekens, owner of the Keunenhuis restaurant in Winterswijk, finds the figures bizarre. The self-proclaimed head-to-head chef really uses everything from her animals. She uses milked cows and laid chickens for her restaurant and adopts male animals that would otherwise be killed immediately after birth. "Eventually the animals end up with me from head to butt. I use every thread of the animal, even the bones and the membranes around the meat."
Little demand for kidneys, liver or heart
"Today, consumers don't want kidneys, liver or heart," she continues. "Sin. Not just because of the waste, because you don't know what you're missing."
Schellekens, for example, swears by a well-prepared soft tongue. But because there is little demand for 'forgotten meat', it is almost impossible to find in the supermarket. According to Schellekens, the solution is obvious: "Go to a traditional butcher."
But according to her it's even more important to start with yourself. "If everyone looked honestly at what he eats and causes - including residual flows - we would look for very different food solutions and have very different consumption behavior. I am convinced of that."
Schellekens, for example, believes that you should eat a rooster for every three hundred eggs you consume. "Because for every laying hen that is allowed to live, a rooster will die."
According to Schellekens, you should eat a rooster for every three hundred eggs you consume. (Photo: NU.nl/Ben Saanen)
Cow is only slaughtered when all items are sold
Dirk de Bruin from Zorg & Natuur sells the meat of his animals, which grew up in complete freedom in Dutch nature reserves, mainly online. Every year he has around a hundred cattle slaughtered. "But only when all the pieces of an animal have been sold. So also the bones for broth, testicles, liver, kidneys and even the skin."
“It is a shame to give bovine heart to the dog. You can make beautiful barbecue skewers out of it. ”Dirk de Bruin from Zorg & Natuur
"From beef heart, for example, you make beautiful skewers. Sin to give to the dog. You can cook the skins around the steak, which often serve as animal feed, in the broth. It gives taste and gelatin. And sheep kidneys make a delicious stew ", De Bruin knows.
Ribeye, prime rib and steak are always the first to be sold out. Pieces of 'forgotten meat' that are now being sold fairly well again are the tenderloin and the bavette. "Popular for the barbecue these days", says De Bruin.
The testicles are also usually sold quickly. De Bruin: "Outside the Netherlands it is very common to bake or deep-fry testicles. Think of the famous Rocky Mountain oysters (prairie oysters , ed.)."
Schellekens also loves these 'balls'. It's not for nothing that her cookbook contains a recipe for Dutch Mountain oysters .
Also easy to prepare for the amateur chef
According to Schellekens, which other pieces of 'forgotten meat' can also be prepared by an amateur chef? "You can briefly poach or stir-fry organ meats such as kidneys. And if you have a good oven, most pulled pork can also be prepared quite easily. You just have to give it time to cook slowly."
That's what she calls shank, from the leg of a beef. "Briefly roast the meat on both sides, fry a few onions and put everything together with some herbs and broth or wine in a dish in the oven. Lid ajar, 120 degrees. An hour and a half later you have fantastic meat on your plate "Schellekens explains. "If you like cooking a bit, it doesn't have to be complicated."