Bovine gallstones are worth more than their weight in gold
There’s gold in them thar … cows.
It appears bovine gallstones are being given the kid glove treatment in meat factories as pristine specimens can rival gold bullion prices and fetch up to €35,000/kg in the Far East.
However, the caveat is they are extremely scarce.
“They are like gold dust, but they are really rare,” said Paul Daly from the Irish Casing Company.
“Not every animal has them; maybe more of the older cows have them. You are talking about grams from an animal. A kilo could take a plant maybe a year; you have to collect them, put them in an area to dry them — they can’t crack. They have to be handled with care. They are graded.”
The stones are used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of hepatitis and liver and heart-related diseases.
It has also been suggested by some elders in the beef game that they are used as an aphrodisiac in Japan.
They have been harvested from old cows since the start of the meat processing industry in Ireland.