Is Leather Edible?

Are you one of those people who geeked out and browsed things that you could be consumed when stuck in an unlikely situation (zombie apocalypse!)?

We did, too, and delving deeper into that web portal helped us discover that leather is actually edible! Yes, you read that right!

Leather is one of the most common materials used for making many things like bags, shoes, car upholstery, furniture, jackets, belts, etc. You know this.

But, the question remains- Is leather edible?

Besides adding some glamour and voguish feel to your life, it can also be eaten when you run out of food, which you might have heard from survivor tales of the past about explorers, prisoners, or soldiers.

Many people in the mountains also used to consume leather due to scarcity of food.

1. Are Leather Goods Edible?

Leather is perfectly edible as it is made of dried animal hide consisting of around 30% collagen protein and 70% water; it is, in fact, safe to say that leather is rich in nutrition and will provide you with enough energy to survive in times of need.

Before using leather for manufacturing products, it has to be tanned to ensure that it doesn’t rot with the passage of time; whether or not your leather item is edible depends on what was used in this process.


When tanned with animal oil, minerals, or plant matter, the leather good can be consumed without causing your body any harm. Two such kinds of leather include vegetable-tanned and oil-tanned leather.


On the other hand, chrome-tanned, alum-tanned, or chemically tanned leather is not suitable for consumption.

Besides that, you have to look at what kind of glue was used in the production process and know what harm it might cause to your body before eating.

2. Are Leather Boots Edible?

As mentioned before, you will need first to check to make sure what type of leather was used to make your boots. If it is genuine and not artificial, you will then have to check how it was tanned.

Other facts that you have to keep into consideration include:

  • Whether or not your leather boot was sewed shut. If glue was used to act as an adhesive, you probably should not be eating it as glue contains many other harmful chemicals.
  • Whether or not your leather boot has an extra layer to make it waterproof and durable. If yes, rest assured that the boot consists of toxic chemicals that are indigestible and can harm your body in many ways.

According to stories of the olden days, leather boots were consumed by many soldiers when they were at war, and out of food, so you might as well give it a try!

3. How To Eat Leather

a. Eating Untanned Leather

Things you will need:

  • Salt
  • Water
  • Fire


  • Salt the skin after extraction and let it dry completely.
  • After making sure the leather is completely dry, burn it properly in an open fire.
  • The burnt skin should be boiled in water for at least 12 hours to soften those resilient fibers.
  • Next, all you need to do is wash it thoroughly before consumption.

b. Eating Tanned Leather

Tanned leather can be eaten in two ways, as leather soup, and as chips.

To make leather soup follow the recipe below.

Things you will need:

  • Water
  • Spices for seasoning
  • Rocks
  • Fire
  • Knife


  • Once you have made sure that your tanned leather is edible, rinse it properly in water.
  • Dice it into pieces so that when you add spices, they can get in.
  • Using rocks, pound the leather to soften it up further.
  • Boil it in water for around 12 hours to allow it to soften and add seasoning.

To make nutrition chips using your leather, follow the recipe below.

Things you will need:

  • Fire
  • Knife


  • Using your knife, cut your leather into small pieces.
  • Burn it completely by putting it on an open fire.

Is It Safe To Eat Leather?

Untanned leather is completely suitable for digestion, making it a dish that some people like to savor, especially in areas with a shortage of food.

On the other hand, Tanned leather requires much more consideration before consumption as these days, most leather goods contain a lot of toxic chemicals and can cause severe harm to our organs. It is, therefore, best not to try tanned leather goods unless in a state of emergency.

Artificial leather, more commonly known as faux leather, is indigestible and should not be considered a food item, even at the most desperate time, since it can instead add health problems to your situation.


If you didn’t know that you could eat leather, then you do now.

While we don’t expect you to be putting it on the menu for parties anytime soon, we guess it’s useful to know what is and isn’t edible.

You never know when this kind of information will come in handy.

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