When it comes to eating, especially Paleo eating, it is important to incorporate a blend of beneficial foods to optimize one’s health. We all know that too much of anything in life can become a bad thing, however, what seems to be ignored in today’s society is the fact that not enough of certain things can be just as detrimental. It just so happens that throughout the years of industry and population growth in America, we have deviated from many of the customs that our ancestor’s brought to the country in the first place. One of these long forgotten practices includes the consumption of organ meats, as well as the bones that make up our favored ribeye steak or fried chicken wing. Not only has the lack of these foods been completely disregarded by the majority of people, but it simultaneously has contributed to the rise of health issues, both big and small.
So what are organ meats exactly?
The most common are liver, heart, tongue, and kidney, while others include thymus (also known as sweetbreads), brain, pancreas, and even tripe (the stomaching lining of certain animals). These foods, though nauseating to most of pop culture, have been eaten by our ancestors for well over hundreds of years. In fact, most international countries still keep these foods as essentials in their everyday diet. However, because of America’s greed and corruption in the food industry, organ meats became all too quickly regarded as unnecessary. You will notice that now in days, the majority of protein in any grocery store comes from the muscle tissue of an animal. Though these cuts of meat are beneficial to the human body when properly raised, there are many more nutrient dense and cost effective foods hidden in between every pork shank, lamb chop, beef steak, and turkey breast. Not only does this include organ meat, but also the nutrient dense substance located in the bone of an animal called marrow.
The first question that usually pops into anyone’s mind when confronted with this subject is, “who in their right mind would eat THAT?” However, for those of us who have had the privilege to try these foods prepared correctly, would simply answer, “why not?” To start off, eating organ meat and bone marrow nourishes the body from the inside out, and due to America’s ignorance of its value, is fairly cheap. At first you may be a bit squeamish at the appearance, or even the thought of slurping marrow out of a roasted bone. However, have you ever wondered why household pets chew on bones or large predators such as lions and coyotes go for the heart when killing prey? One word: flavor. Due to the high nutritional content of marrow and organ meat, both naturally contain 10x more flavor than any popular meat product, no matter how much seasoning, sauce, or beer you marinate it in. This unmatchable, indescribable taste is just one reason why native cultures never even ate the muscle cuts of their game, but instead fed them to the dogs as scraps. In the end, between the extreme nutritional content and “taste factor” that organ meat and bone marrow possess, it is safe to call these foods, SUPERFOOD. Of course, unlike spinach, berries, salmon, and almonds, you will not see any healthy living magazine featuring these seemingly “exotic” foods on their front cover.
Yet do not be deceived. Liver, just one of the many edible organs, contains the most nutrition per ounce than any other food available on the face of the earth. Not only is it extremely high in vitamin A, choline, folate, and vitamin B12, but it is also packed with many trace minerals that are critical for bodily function. No need for a multivitamin here as selenium, zinc, iron, and calcium, are all abundantly present in liver. Simply adding this prize organ meat into your weekly, or even monthly dinner rotation can significantly help support your bodies immune system, ability to fight free radicals, nerve and thyroid function, fertility, cell, tissue, and skin growth, appetite, growth of blood cells, strong bone development, energy, and the list goes on. Another aspect of eating nose to tail includes bones, also shown to be the key ingredient behind creating a powerful and healing broth, are filled with a sponge-like substance known as marrow. This worldwide delicacy is not only incredibly satisfying to the palate, but much like organ meat, is loaded with essential fatty acids like omega 3, vitamins, minerals, lipids, and an anti-cancer, anti-oxidant element called CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). A further benefit of consuming bone marrow is that it is high in glycine, an amino that helps restore protein tissue throughout the body, as well as in detoxing, and sleeping. Alkylglycerols found in marrow (also present in mother’s milk), are the supporters behind white blood cells in our own human bone. When are bodies are depleted of this chemical, we become inflamed, unable to fight against infection or disease, thus ultimately losing proper cell function. However, consuming alkylglycerols has been shown incredibly effective in preventing and treating cancer, along with other health conditions. Interestingly enough, Northern Canadian Indians have been documented as splintering and cracking open the bones of their kill, in order to obtain their much needed nutrition during the winter months. There was also a great emphasis on children consuming bone marrow, and was even eaten in place of milk during early childhood. If you don’t think marrow is for you, then maybe the fact that Queen Victoria of Great Britain, who lived to be 81 years old and had it on a daily basis, will change your mind. In the end, the most important thing to remember when consuming both bone marrow and organ meats, is to get them from a grass-fed, organic source. Much like the dangers of eating GMO meat, eating the organs or bones of inhumanly raised animals can be just as toxic. However, when meat products are treated and fed correctly, their insides become happy and healthy resources for our own bodies to thrive off of. If you have not had the experience of eating organ meats, I highly recommend you start with either chicken heart, chicken liver pate, or beef heart. From experience, I have found that these meats tend to have a more subtle flavor that is best for beginners. On the other hand, you cannot go wrong with bone marrow. If you enjoy devouring a bone-on steak, lamb chop, ribs, or even a chicken wing, I know you will fully enjoy eating bone marrow! For more information, recipes, and tips, please visit the following sites:
Departure from Organ Meat
Liver: Chris Kresser
Preparing Bone Marrow
Deuteronomy 31:5 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid if the nations in the Promised Land; for the Lord your God, He is the one who goes with you. He will mot leave you not forsake you.
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