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Episode 310 S10-1

No Waste Use the Whole Animal


Special Guest:

The Bitter End Ch 1

Chin Gibson

The fiction returns to The Changing Earth Podcast as The Bitter End begins. Following the adventure, Chin and Sara explore how to use the entire animal that you harvest. Tough time will call for our pallets to expand. Learn how you can use the whole animal.

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Anytime an animal is taken for human consumption, you should put every bit to use. In ancient times, the Native Americans were proficient in this skill. However, modern homesteaders are adding their own flair to the effort.

The animal fat has many uses, and the butcher should not discard it. You can use it for cooking, tanning, beauty products, pemmican bars, and even layered on the skin for extra warmth in cold months.

Chefs use less desirable meats in fajitas, curries, and stews.

Organs, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, are a welcome addition to any dirty rice recipe. Other organs, like testicles, were first used for hormone replacement therapy. The Native Americans cut and dried their lungs for stews.

Hides are always valuable. When tanned, skins make great clothing, shoes, blankets, and shelters. A hide turns into rawhide when the processor removes the hair. Natives made belts, snowshoes, moccasin soles, water troughs, shields, buckets, drums, and rafts from rawhide.

The head of an animal contains enough brains to tan the animal’s hide. Broken skulls make great hair removal tools when processing hides. An interesting tip from is to put the head in a bucket with a lid and holes at the bottom. Flies are attracted to it but can’t leave. The flies lay eggs, and the larva climbs out the holes in the bottom. When put in an area with chickens, this system provides a great source of nutrition for the chickens.

Bones are valuable. When boiled, they make a delicious stock. Putting the bones in your woodstove will turn them into a calcium and phosphorous-rich fertilizer for your garden. Natives used larger bones as combs, paintbrushes, necklaces, windchimes, spoons, stirring tools, knives, digging tools, and spears. Ribs make great arrow shafts. Slivers of bone were put to use as needles, and hollow bones make effective whistles. Shoulder bones make great scrapers for tanning and cooking spoons.

Homesteaders and natives alike use hooves as bowls, scoops, dog chews, windchimes, and rattles.

Stomaches and bladders make practical water containers. Natives used to boil full stomachs with water and eyes to make a hearty stew.

The natives especially valued tendons and sinew. They used them as natural threads or bowstrings. When rendered, tendons make good stitching for wounds.

Works cited:

“How to Use the Whole Animal.” The Organic Prepper, 20 Apr. 2020,

Robinson, Tammy. “How Native People Used Every Part of an Animal for Survival.” Off The Grid News, 6 July 2016,

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The Bitter End Ch 1

Chin Gibson

Chin Gibson is the mystery prepper. Friend to all and known to none. His real identity hidden from the public, Chin is well known to the online prepper community as the go to resource for finding a community member to solve your problem. He is an awesome people connector and does his best to unite the voices educating the masses about being ready for a unforeseen life challenge. Chin will be joining Sara to co-host The Changing Earth Podcast.

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