Monday, January 21, 2008

Beef for Dinner, Bones for Surgery

Prather Ranch's dry-aged, organic New York steaks will set you back $20 per pound at its upscale stall in San Francisco's Ferry Building farmers market. But even at that price, foodies aren't the company's best market. The most valuable parts of its cows are the inedible parts: pituitary glands, bones, heart muscles and hides. Medical companies covet them for making surgical glue, bone screws, collagen and artificial skin. "In most years, these things are more valuable than the meat," said Jim Rickert, a fifth-generation farmer. "We also think out of an ethical-moral thing. The animal deserves us using it completely." Photo: Foot bones from Prather Ranch cows are cleaned, then turned into a variety of implants for humans, including these screws for knee surgeries. Image: Regeneration Technologies (via)

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