Many consider Offal to be, well, awful and for the most part, I am not going to change their minds. If I can even just change one person’s mind or stance on organ meats then I will consider that a win. While everyone’s tastes are different and some will never like the taste of organ meats. What no one can dispute is the fact that offal (organ meats) are some of the of most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Offal meats are especially rich in vitamins, particularly fat-soluble vitamins, which can be stored in our own fat reserves for months. Organ meats are also rich in minerals, amino acids, and other compounds that are vital to our health. Unfortunately, organ meats have been unfairly demonized in the West thanks to some persistent dietary myths, including beliefs that animal fat and cholesterol are bad for your health. Just to be clear, offal encompasses every part of an animal except ordinary muscle meat. This includes the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas and all other abdominal organs, as well as the tails, feet, brains, tongue, and the testicles.1

The “Isaac Newton of Nutrition”

Dr. Weston A.Price,2 a Cleveland dentist who has been called the “Isaac Newton of Nutrition.” Dr. Price traveled all over the world studying the dietary practices of healthy people from traditional cultures. He studied this extensively and found that native cultures who maintained a traditional diet, whole foods from plants and animals, had excellent teeth and were free of the chronic diseases plaguing society today. They experienced very little cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental illness, or even birth defects.3 When Dr. Price analyzed and compared the nutrient value of foods eaten by traditional versus modern cultures. He found that a traditional diet provided at least four times the water-soluble vitamins, calcium and other minerals, and at least 10 times the fat-soluble vitamins, such as A and D. These fat-soluble vitamins are present only in animal fats—butter, lard, egg yolks, fish oils, and foods with fat-rich cellular membranes such as liver and other organ meats.

Retinol, True Vitamin A

Only animal products contain true vitamin A. Fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids and retinoids, which must be converted to retinol (true vitamin A) in the digestive tract.  The conversion factor that has been used to estimate the amount of true vitamin A you get from vegetables and fruits are often overestimated by a factor of four. This results in nutrition labels on grocery store goods exaggerating the true amount of vitamin A. Liver, on the other hand, is one of the richest sources of vitamin A on the planet. A 100-gram portion contains 4,947 micrograms or 338% of the recommended daily value!4

Traditional Vitamin Supplements

If you glance at the nutrients found in liver and other offal meats you will see why some consider these parts to be the “real vitamin supplements.” One person, in particular, is Adele Davis a biochemist who pioneered the developing field of nutrition in the mid-twentieth century. She explains in her book Let’s Cook It Right,

“The liver is the storage place or the ‘savings back’ of the body. If there is an excess of protein, sugar, vitamins, and any mineral except calcium and phosphorus, part of the excess is stored in the liver until it is needed…. Liver is, therefore, nutritionally the most outstanding meat which can be purchased.”5

It’s important to remember that if a cow is sickly, raised in a CAFO or on depleted soil, the saving bank of the liver will be depleted as well.

“Like Cures Like”

Also, let’s not forget that variety is the spice of life and that could not be truer than when talking about offal.  For there are countless benefits of eating different varieties of meats.   For one the retina of the eye, a thick and membranous layer of the eyeball is a rich source of the nutrient lutein. Lutein is a member of the retinoid family of vitamin A precursors. Also, a rich source of vitamin A and lutein is the fat behind the eyeball. Still not convinced eyeballs are good for you, consider also that the gooey juice in the eye is primarily hyaluronic acid, rich in glycosaminoglycans (joint-building molecules). Another rich source of glycosaminoglycans is the trachea, also known as an animals’ windpipes. Next up, the brain and nervous system tissue are amazing sources of omega-3’s and other brain-supporting fatty acids and phospholipids. With more than 1.2 grams per 100-gram portion, these are a richer source of omega-3 than almost anything else.6 You may have detected a pattern, eating eyes is good for our eyes, eating joints (cartilage, collagen, etc.) is good for our joints, and so on. This idea that the consumption of a part of an animal’s body is good for the same part of your own body is an interpretation of homeopathy, meaning like cures like. Unfortunately, today most of these powerful “supplements” are going to waste as meat producers trash these rich sources of nutrition, or pass them off, to rendering plants where masses of rotting tissue are reprocessed into animal feeds, yellow fat, and something referred to as “recycled meat.”

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Fact of the week

The Nutrients and Chemicals we consume tell our cells “what to do.” When to divide, which protein to manufacture, and even what type of cell to become.7

Our cells are very sensitive, and I don’t mean in an emotional way. They are sensitive to the specific nature of the chemical messages we send them every time we eat. Just by altering the variety of nutrients (or toxins) in our food, we can actually regulate whether our cells function normally. Or we can tell our cells to convert to fat or turn cancerous.

Though other factors such as sleep and physical activity are essential to your health. One key I would put very near (if not at) the top of my list. Is, eating foods that send the right messages to my cells so they can function as efficiently as possible. We need to appreciate how different foods convince our cells to behave in certain ways.


Book of the Month

Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness by Joshua Rosenthal

Joshua Rosenthal is the founder Institute for Integrative Nutrition: Nutrition & Holistic Health School. He is also the author of the book Integrative Nutrition. Integrative Nutrition is loaded with valuable insights into nutritional theories, simple ways to nurture your body and holistic approaches to maximize health. It offers a play-by-play for proper nutrition and personal growth, and is packed with delicious, easy-to-follow recipes.

In this book, you’ll learn the truth about food corporations and pharmaceutical companies.  Also, discover why your body craves certain foods and why you should listen to those cravings. As well as explore the connection between food, sexuality, spirituality, and work. Among many other healthy principles.