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Encouraging meat sustainability through our diets

9NEWS nutrition expert has tips to reduce waste by cooking with all parts of the animal.

DENVER — We can all help reduce food waste by changing our eating habit and consuming food in different ways.

 Below are some tips from our 9NEWS nutrition expert

  • Reduce food waste by incorporating other parts of the animal and get the most out of the food we already eat.
  • Nose to tail approach in cooking has become popular in restaurants. We can also help in our kitchens to cook with care and reduce waste.
  • For example, cook the whole chicken and use animal parts that aren’t popular from grass-fed animals or organic chicken.   

Ideas and suggestions for family meals

Chicken (and turkey)

  • Purchase whole chickens. Instead of buying boneless, skinless chicken breast, get the less expensive whole chicken and save by getting more meals out of it. I like the organic whole chicken, cut it or ask your butcher to cut it for you.
  • Use the back and wings to make stock and broths. The backbone contains collagen which will convert into gelatin (the more flavor). Also, use the leftover carcass of chicken or turkey to make stock. Use stock and broths in soups, stews or sauces.
  • Nutritional benefits: stocks contain vitamins, minerals, collagen. Homemade stocks are flavorful without the salt and are a better option than store bought that contain a good amount of sodium.
  • You need some vegetable trimmings, herbs and simmer for a couple of hours
  • Strain at the end and let it cool. Refrigerate and save in jars. Fat on top? You can also save it and use it.


  • Use bones of meat to create a beef broth. Ask a butcher for meat with bones or bone marrow to make a bone broth. This will add a rich flavor to dishes. Use it as a stock to make soups and sauces.
  • Nutritional benefits: protein, minerals and collagen.
  • When not to eat these broths: after a kidney transplant because of excess of minerals.
  • Beef bone stock or broth: roast bones, shanks, and any trimmings until browned. Place them in a pot full of water with some vegetable trimming and bring to a quick boil. Let it simmer for hours, at least 8 hours. Some chefs like to skim the fat off or particles that appear at the top for a clean broth. You can strain and skim at the end or keep it to benefit from fat and protein. Refrigerate and save in jars.

Beef or pork:

  • Prepare good old recipes: oxtail stew, grilled heart meat, chicken liver, pickled pig’s feet, rocky mountain oysters. Some of these cuts of meats are less expensive.

Fish and seafood:

  • Save the shrimp shells and use them for fish stock. These are packed with flavor. Use it in shrimp and grits.
  • Learn about seafood that is sustainable and ocean-friendly. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program is a wonderful resource, find it here: https://www.seafoodwatch.org/consumers.

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