Pete Evans

Offal

Offal

Tasty, delicious, nutritious and good for your bones, body and brain, offal is where it’s at if you want to fuel yourself with nutrient-dense food that’s light on your wallet but great for your health.

Tasty, delicious, nutritious and good for your bones, body and brain, offal is where it’s at if you want to fuel yourself with nutrient-dense food that’s light on your wallet […]

Sure, you might think the lamb’s brains or liver pate you were fed as a kid may seem a little unsavoury but, as every good chef knows, the tastiest bits of the animal are often the cheapest cuts. Liver derived from quality, grass-fed and pasture raised animals and wild seafood, for example, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence.

That’s why I encourage everyone to embrace a little bit of nose-to-tail eating because the reason I consume organ meats from grass-fed, organically raised animals is simple – it’s one of the best things I can possibly do for the health of my body.

Eating organ meats like liver, heart and brain is a natural way to load the diet full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other compounds that are vital to good health.

Liver has been highly prized throughout history for its nutrient-dense profile and is the organ predatory animals choose to eat first. Remarkably in nature, most animals instinctively eat the organs of their prey and save the muscles for later because they are choosing the most nutrient-dense food source first.

Interestingly, we seem to now only have access at the supermarkets to lower nutritional value muscle meat than the more nutrient dense offal offerings.

So what exactly is offal? Offal – which literally means that bits that fall off the carcass when it’s butchered – is all the consumable parts of an animal that are not skeletal muscle.

I suggest making friends with a good local butcher or with the meat man or woman at your local farmers market or instead source a reputable online supplier because it’s really important to get hold of the best quality offal/organ meats you can if you are eating them to achieve optimal health.

You do not want to be eating offal from an animal that hasn’t had an optimal diet for obvious reasons.

And then it’s about embracing everything from the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, marrow (our favourite) and other abdominal organs. Plus once you feel brave enough, there’s also lots of nutritional value in the feet, brains and tongue.

You see, consuming a little organ meat regularly will reap major health benefits for the body because it’s packed with key vitamins and nutrients that humans need to combat disease and degeneration.

It was in the 1930s that US dentist Dr Weston A. Price – who is known today as the “Isaac Newton of Nutrition” – first alerted the Western world to the real nutritional benefits of nose-to-tail eating.

Dr Price travelled the world extensively studying traditional hunter-gatherer cultures and researching the health benefits of their diets. In 1939, he published a revolutionary book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration that looked at the impacts of diet on the health of his fellow Americans.

One of the key findings he discovered was that every culture, other than the West, consumed animals in their entirety, using the organs, blood and bones, regardless of how much time and effort was required in their preparation.

He hypothesised that it was because these hunter-gatherer tribes knew eating animal organs would support the natural functioning of their bodies. He also discovered that cultures who ate diets of whole foods from plants and animals, had healthy teeth and gums and were free from the kinds of chronic diseases that have become commonplace in today’s society.

Modern scientific research is now confirming everything about Dr Price’s groundbreaking studies, especially in relation to the incredible nutritional profile of organ meats.

Organ meats are full of vitamins A, D and K2, and it was Dr Price who first identified these crucial fat-soluble activators that encourage the body to absorb more minerals. Although at that time he had no name for the vital nutrient scientists now call vitamin K2. Instead, Dr Price named this miraculous property, Activator X.

But regardless, he rightly suggested that eating the organ meats of animals – that in today’s world must be free-range and grass-fed – was a way to enhance the absorption of vitamins and minerals naturally.

It’s long been known by scientists the key role vitamin D plays in creating an optimal nervous system, healthy muscle tone and bones and protecting against chronic diseases.

And Vitamin K2’s role in the health of our bodies is being discovered more and more by scientific research. Once thought to be just for blood clotting, research has now shown Vitamin K2 is vital for optimal brain function, ensuring good skin and healthy bones, helping with growth and development and protecting against heart disease and cancer.

Vitamin A, which is also abundant in organ meats, triggers many important biochemical activations throughout the body.

Having optimal levels of Vitamin A, which is present in butter, egg yolks and liver, helps in a raft of processes from the prevention of infection to healthy hormone and thyroid production to promoting good digestion.

And the best possible source from which to pump the body full of Vitamin A is by eating liver, an incredibly powerful nutrient booster.

That’s because liver contains more nutrients gram for gram than any other food. It has high levels of iron and is the best source of copper, folic acid, cholesterol and purines. In fact, beef liver contains three times as much choline as one egg.

Liver is also well known amongst athletes to contain a mysterious anti-fatigue factor because of its incredible energy giving qualities as it helps to filter the toxins out of the bloodstream.

It’s why I encourage everyone to find a good butcher, source some top-quality organ meat, find a great recipe you love and give it a go.

Try not to be squeamish because eating organ meats is one of the best things you can do on the path to achieving good health.  If you do need to ease your way into it then my top tip is to add approximately 10% of liver, heart or other choice of offal into a simple bolognaise, meatball or hamburger pattie to start with.

That way as you won’t really be able to taste it and it is a way of slowly getting use to the taste and texture until you are ready to go the whole hog. You’ll be cooking up a bowl of chopped liver and having that for breakfast – which is something we do regularly and absolutely adore it – before you know it.

I’ll eat to that!

Cook with love and laughter,

Pete

By Pete Evans

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