Parts of the Cow: Mooore Than Food

It may seem like cows are only used for food, like steak or dairy products, but that isn’t true, they are used for so much moooore. About 60% of the cow is used for food while the remaining 40% is used for products and other uses. Creating other products from the cow allows for less waste and a smaller ecological footprint. 

Cattle are extremely useful in making products, here are a few of their uses!

Cow product GraphicMedical

It may be a surprise, but cow byproducts are used in a variety of medications and medical uses. Insulin was originally made from cow and pig pancreas, but it is no longer used today. Thrombin is from cattle blood, which helps blood clotting, helps treat wounds in inaccessible parts of the body, and is used in skin graphs.

Collagen is used in cosmetic surgery often and it is often used to heal burns and restrict bones. It is also used as a dermal filler for fine lines and wrinkles.


Tallow is rendered from beef fat and is used in a variety of everyday items, like money! Polymer money contains tallows in 24 countries, including Canada, Australia, and the UK, but it only contains small quantities. 


Some beauty products like body lotions, soaps, toothpaste, and cosmetics use tallow since the fatty acids in it have an oily consistency. If you use beauty products that contain tallow and you might feel as soft as a baby cow! 

Cars and Jets

Cows can’t drive, but they sure help you drive your car! Car tires are made of stearic acid, a saturated long-chain fatty acid in tallow. The fatty acid is also used as a lubricant in antifreeze and hydraulic brake fluid. 

The U.S. Airforce is testing out bio jet fuels to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. One of the products they are looking at contains cow tallow. Tallow is turned into jet fuel, which is an energy-efficient process. Another use for tallow is keratin fire extinguishing foam used in airports. 

Cows have many uses, more than just food. Next time you’re driving in a car or flying in a jet, remember cows had a huge part in your commute!