At this moment, our concept of what is healthy is changing.
For the last 50 years, we were told that calories should come from carbs, fat caused heart attacks, and protein caused cancer. We now know that carbs turn to sugar in the blood and can cause inflammation – the real precipitating factor in cardiovascular disease and most other health conditions.
One food that fell out of favor during the same time is liver. In this post, I’ll address concerns and aversions to one of the healthiest foods on the planet!
Let’s look at the nutritional profile of liver. A mere 1-ounce of liver (about one mouthful) meets daily recommendations for the following nutrients:
390% Vitamin B12
150% Vitamin A
20% Folate & Pantothenic Acid
15% Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, & Selenium
10% Iron & Zinc
5% Thiamin, Magnesium, Potassium, & Manganese
One ounce of liver provides all this, with 7.5 grams of protein, in only 50 calories!
Liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods, along with shellfish and spices. For this reason, I eat one bite of liver everyday. To me, it’s an all-natural multi-vitamin!
Why not just take a manmade vitamin? Well, we are finding out that supplementing with unnaturally high amounts of synthetic vitamins actually increases risk of death.
And what about the argument that the liver processes the body’s toxins?
This is quite true. Whenever we take Tylenol, drink alcohol, or consume other drugs, our liver works to break these substances down. Otherwise they could accumulate in our body and kill us.
However, cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals don’t use recreational drugs or take chemicals! In fact, studies of feedlot animals (raised in horrible conditions and given various injections) showed that their livers contained no more toxins than the muscle meat we regularly consume. Properly raised animals are not exposed to toxins that require processing by the liver. Therefore, the belief that the liver contains toxins is unfounded.
Now the kidney, responsible for removing waste and filtering it out through the urine, is an organ meat I cannot comfortably consume!
The last argument against liver would be the taste. And to be honest, it does have a very strong metallic flavor. For this reason, I cover it in cayenne, turmeric, salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger. With this amount of powerful seasonings, one bite a day can be quite enjoyable.
Finally, the price is simply amazing! Most grass-fed beef liver can be found for under $3 a pound…and if you know a farmer personally, they may even give it to you for free!
So, now that we know that liver is one of the healthiest parts of an animal, doesn’t actually filter or contain toxins, how to season it properly, and how affordable it is, why not set reservations aside and try a bite?