So, what’s the deal with organ meats? Why the heck would you want to eat a liver?
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Well, you may not want to. Let’s face it, that’s a personal decision, but as with any decision multiple factors weigh in. Probably the most important is the health benefits of what is sometimes called a “Nose-to-tail” diet.
When we talk about eating organ meats, what do we mean? For most people we’re talking about liver, heart, kidney and bone broth. There are many other options out there, but being realistic about taste and time to prepare the above are your best best. Kidney can be a bit challenging because of the need to soak it for a couple of hours prior to prep, but liver, heart and bone broth are all pretty simple.
Many people have trouble with the idea of consuming organ meats and often this is due to a negative association with liver from childhood. If you were exposed to liver in your youth, there is a good chance it wasn’t your favorite. Now that you’re an adult and can make your own decisions, there are a couple of things that can improve the taste of your liver recipes.
- Freshness: Liver tastes better when it’s fresh, and with online delivery services like White Oaks Ranch you can get fresh liver sent right to your door. Liver that has been frozen for a long time will tend to not taste as good.
- Preparation: Preparing organ meats is a skill. When I first started cooking liver it was not the best, but over time as I experimented with different styles of cooking and recipes I found a method of preparation that yielded a great result both in taste and how it made me feel.
Why eat beef liver?
It has become popular in our “nutrition culture” to declare that certain things are “superfoods” such as blueberries, kale etc. Usually there isn’t actually much science to back these claims up. Liver, on the other hand, is a true nutrition powerhouse.
Per 100 grams of liver
- Protein: 27 grams
- Vitamin A: 26091 IU | 522% DV
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 3.4 mg | 201% DV
- Vitamin B6: 1 mg | 51% DV
- Vitamin B9 (folate): 260 mcg | 65% DV
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): 83.1 mcg | 1386% DV
- Choline: 418 mg
- Copper: 14.6 mg | 730% DV
A caution when consuming liver:
A good measurement for liver consumption is ¼ pound per week. While beef liver is great for supporting your own liver health, too much of it can be a problem. You’ll generally get liver frozen in blocks of pound or more. I let it thaw, then partition it out into 2 or 4 ounce cuts and re-freeze.
Other Organ Meats
Obviously, there are a number of other organ meats besides liver, but they can be challenging to source and prepare. The most accessible is heart, which is simple to cook and just tastes like a cut of steak. Heart is a great source of CoQ10 and B vitamins. Caution: Raw heart will not keep for as long in the refrigerator as other meats will. It’s usually about 24 hours before you need to cook it.
If you would like to diversify your organ meats or you know you aren’t going to cook them for yourself you can use a desiccated organ meats product such as one from Ancestral Supplements. It is worth noting that desiccated liver has been used in research studies and found to be effective. This makes beef organs in capsule form a handy alternative.