The whole animal

Enlightened chefs these days are proud to say they use all parts of the animal, not just roasts, chops and steaks. Abdul Salem the butcher, however, goes chefs one better. Salem's Market really goes beyond primal cuts, selling selected inedible animal parts. UPMC researchers are the largest purchasers.

Goat eyeballs are used for student laser eye research. For final exams, students practice suturing using eyeballs with lashed lids attached. Why goat? The pupils of the goats' big brown eyes remain intact and are not compromised after death.

Beef hearts aid in research in heart electrolysis experiments.

Goat knees aid in rehab research on knee ligaments, specifically the anterior cruciate ligament.

Calf arteries go to a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University.

The parts must be from freshly killed animals. When Abdul gets an order, the processor is alerted, and a car with a refrigerated container aboard is sent to McKeesport for pick-up and delivery. The parts are delivered well within the 24-hour window. (Can you imagine Salem's driver being pulled over by a beefy, swaggering cop? "Let's just see whatcha got there in that box, buddy.")

"I can supply these inedibles to my customers 200-percent cheaper than medical lab companies because I own the whole animal," Abdul says.

All edible animal offal, however, is sold in the butcher shop. Many a foreign (to Americans) delicacy calls for livers, kidneys, hearts or tripe.


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