What Are Offal, Viscera
and Meat By-Products?

Offal and viscera are better known as raw meat by-products. The term ' by-products ' actually means nothing. Even worse, it has been given a very negative connotation. 

The term ' by-products ' has been created for marketing purposes in order to make you feel safe, and is used to include both offal and viscera.

Here's the definition of the term.

Meat By-Products – are the non-rendered ( cooked ), clean parts ( other than actual muscle meat ) derived from slaughtered mammals. Meat by-products  include, but are not limited to lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, stomachs and intestines ( freed of their contents ). Meat by-products do not include hair, horns, teeth & hoofs.

Can anyone tell me where my by-product is? If I'm supposed to have a by-product, I want to know where I can find it? I know I have a heart, a spleen, lungs, stomach,  liver, kidneys etc. But where is my by-product?

But the idea that offal or viscera is bad, is completely untrue. This is good dog nutrition. In fact it wasn't all that long ago, that people were eating these discarded by-products too. Think steak and ' kidney ' pie, ' blood ' pudding, ' liver  ' and onions, ' sweetbreads ', etc.

Those organs in the picture above, better known as by-products are just the parts of a slaughtered food animal, that are considered to be ' not appropriate ' for human consumption. This means anything other than, whole muscle meat.

In fact, feeding muscle meat alone can cause nutrient deficiencies. A dog in the wild would know better than to eat only the muscle meat. They would eat the whole prey animal including the organs, fat and the stomach contents which is better known as green tripe.

Offal is the Internal Animal Organs
The ' Waste ' of Human Meat Processing

According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials AAFCO, here is the definition of ' waste ' by-products.

The non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents.

It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.

So, viscera and offal are words that are frequently used, when referring to the organs, innards and entrails of a slaughtered food animal. It is important to understand that I am talking about ' raw ' by-products. I am not talking about the  rendered, cooked kind found in dry dog food kibble and canned dog food. No, no, no, those have been ruined! Please note that the AAFCO description above says ' non rendered '. Raw, in other words.

Raw meat ' waste ' products have much nutritional merit in their raw form. They are a nutritional powerhouse for your dog. They are true natural dog nutrition. Wild carnivores such as wolves and coyotes often prefer these raw, prey animal organs and eat them first.

The nutritional benefits of adding so called meat by-products such as chicken viscera ( heart, livers, gizzards ), beef offal and green tripe, to your dog's diet are huge. They are a superior, nutrient rich natural source of protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fatty acids. This type of species appropriate dog nutrition can help your dog recover from many common dog health problems.

Think about what your dog ( your scavenging carnivore ) would be eating in the wild. He would be eating whole raw prey and carrion. It doesn't take long to realize that he would be eating all of this so called ' waste '. Nothing goes to waste in nature. Everything is consumed by something.

Sustainable Food for People and Pets

Human beings create waste. We are the only creatures on the face of this earth that create waste. We create miles and miles of landfill, garbage dumps full of refuse. We should be ashamed!

It is often thought that the use of animal organs and other food by-products in pet food is a bad thing, done only to provide a source of filler, to increase profit margins. I hope you have come to understand that this is not so.

However, there is a much BIGGER issue here for us, as pet owners. The environmental and humanitarian aspect to creating  unnecessary food waste is having a huge impact on our world today. Read this interesting article from Wysong Learn entitled Are By-Products bad?

Has the light bulb come on for you? It's time for all of us to wake up! Offal is awsome food for dogs.

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