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Nose to Tail Eating

What is Nose to Tail Eating?

WARNING: This blog is not for vegetarians or vegans

Nose to tail eating is a philosophy of eating and cooking that involves using every possible part of an animal and by minimising waste. Restaurant chef’s consider scoffing every part of an animal so that nothing is ever wasted.

Romans gave their pigs the love and attention they need by allowing them to wander in the woods and eat nuts and grains. The Romans in return get to enjoy sumptuous meat by feeding the pigs well. Post war America industrialised the pig production by inventing indoor cages for their sows, only to find out that these “caged” pigs meat were tasteless and mushy. After that incident, pork consumption has been static for 30 years.

Ethically, there are so many things we can conclude from nose to tail eating but the proper way of doing the animal a favour after taking its life is to use every part of it. According to Fergus Henderson of London’s beloved piggy restaurant, St John: “If your are going to kill the animal. it seems only polite to use the whole thing!”

Fergus Henderson wrote the book The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating in 2004 and it talks about how to cook every part of a pig, this include parts such as offal and other parts of the pig that are rarely used in modern cuisine. Fergus Henderson himself started this gutsy movement to make other culinary people aware that a pig must be taken as a whole and not only through its individual part.

Offal is a culinary term which means the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal. It does not refer to a specific list of organs other than muscles and bones. There have been cultural issues with the consumption of offal as some find it offensive to eat, while other people use it as daily food and even eat it as delicacies at a very expensive price.

Big agricultural companies sell the poor pigs for a very small amount of money to consumers as bacon, whereas smallholders struggle to sell small quantities of high-quality pork at organic markets for four times as much. The farmers are able to turn a profit only when they sell these animals at every possible inch.

Pigs have proven their worth and usefulness to human development since the beginning of time up to present. It was considered the perfect beast that could sustain a rapidly growing and colonising population. Every inch of its body is made useful as food, all thanks to its ability to eat almost anything because of their multipurpose teeth.

Another writer named Mark Essig wrote a book on this topic and the title of his book is Another Lesser Beasts: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig, He mentioned that the better people treat pigs, the more they like them.

Mr Essig ends his entertaining study with a rhetorical question: “How much is a happy pig worth?” For him, these intelligent, efficient companions should command a much higher price.

When we talk about nose to tail eating and cooking, it means sustainability. In order to sell pigs and make good use of them, a farmer must raise it as a whole pig and not just by body parts.


Anybody can benefit from nose to tail eating, here are good reasons why you should try to:


Nose to Tail Eating


1. Pay Respect: This may sound contradictory but nose to tail eating comes from a desire to waste as little as possible of the animals killed for food. The need to kill more animals is lessened when each part of one animal is maximised.

2. Sense of Adventure: You don’t have to eat the same thing all the time. Explore the seemingly endless possibilities of eating different parts of an animal’s body.

3. Health Check: Eating different cuts of meat in different recipes is healthier compared with eating the same cuts of meats. By eating other parts of the animal, you also get a balanced nutrients found in animal protein.

4. Save More: Meals which come from the same animal costs less than buying a package of the same muscle cuts.

5. Eating Local: Nose to tail eating means you also support your local farmers, butchers and meat suppliers. Suppliers make more, consumers save more and this means supporting the local community.

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