Since the beginning of our species, we have been consuming nutrient dense organ meats in addition to muscle meat and animal fats to meet all of our nutrient requirements.
Skeletal remains of animals show that our ancestors cracked open bones and skulls to get hold of the precious nutrient dense marrow and brain. It’s said that the incorporation of such high fat (especially animal fat and omegas like DHA and EPA) helped our brains grow exponentially 🧠
Unfortunately, we as a society have shifted from eating nose to tail, to only eating muscle meats and sometimes limit ourselves to certain “fancy cuts” like filet mignon or chicken breast.
Compared to the nutrient density of offal (organ meat), we are really missing out on nourishment when we only consume muscle meat.
I really like this article by Lily Nichols and the graphics below show how chicken and beef liver compare nutritionally to their muscle meat counterparts!
These other 2 compare the different nutrients found in heart, liver and the muscle meat of beef and chicken 🐔🐮
It’s notable that liver contains a significantly higher amount of bioavailable retinol (vitamin A), and just 2 small servings of liver a week can meet your dietary needs! We actually need animal based vitamin A (retinol) rather than plant based beta-carotenes (which the body tries to convert to retinol but is not very efficient at).
How to incorporate
That being said, I know that many people are not used to eating offal as the taste and texture are just different.
When buying organs and organ products, it is critical to buy only high quality products where you are 100% sure that the animal was raised correctly. You can only benefit as much as the animal is healthy.
Being German, I am used to eating deli meats and sausages that contain organ meats.
Liverwurst for example contains liver in addition to other organs like heart or kidney and meat.
Braunschweiger on the other hand just contains liver and meat (confusing right) 😂
They also sell head-cheese which usually contains tongue and cheek in addition to meat, and a ground beef blend called “caveman blend” which is 80% meat, and 20% liver,kidney and heart.
I personally love the Elk and Bison blends from Northstar Bison. You can try it and save 10$ on your first order using my referral link!
Force of Nature is another brand that sells ancestral blends (I’ve seen chicken, pork and beef), and it’s actually sold at some grocery stores like Whole Foods, or of course on their website.
I personally think that chicken and beef hearts are a good starter organ meat. Since the heart is a muscle, the texture is similar to that of muscle meats which makes it more familiar. Heart is full of CoQ10 which is very important for mitochondrial health 💪🏻
Whole Foods Market also has a collaboration with Les Trois Petit Conchons where they have a pork pate product that is raised properly and without funky ingredients, and we think it’s quite tasty! It’s a sneaky way to incorporate pork liver into your diet 😌
Other “starter” organs include chicken and beef livers which can be prepared easily by simply sautéing them with butter and onions in a pan. It’s best enjoyed rare, and unlike heart it has a softer texture. It’s very filling and I usually don’t eat more than 2-3 ounces at once! Another way to incorporate liver is by making your own liver pâté 👩🏻🍳