T Nation

Eating Offal

Someone mentioned this on another post and out of curiosity how many people here include offal as part of their diet (intentially :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ) and for what benefits? I’m guessing its cheaper than “regular” meat?

Liver (and liver tablets) has vitamins A, C, D, K, E and the entire B complex, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, selenium and chromium. Also has nucleic acids for proper amino acid utilization, a growth factor, an anti-estrogen factor and is also a great anti-toxin.

What kind of liver are you talking about? Pork, cow, chicken…

I take the cod liver oil in the winter but I’ve constantly read that it isn’t healthy to take year round because of the high amounts of, I think, vitamin A.

i would only eat offal from a clean well treated animal…increasingly hard to find these days.

personally i like liver best. calf’s liver medium rare is great. never beef liver. chicken livers are good too but chickens eat all kinds of shit…then there’s foie gras or fatted liver of duck or goose. that stuff is awesome if you know what you’re doing with it but not at all healthy because its basically like eating fried butter. it’s also something like $60 /lb.

i also like sweatbreads(cow glands) from time to time and they’re pretty good but i’ve never made them myself…i’ve had kidneys once or twice and they’re gross. and the same for brains. i had them once cooked like sweatbreads and once cold on a salad and it’s not something i’d like to eat again.

[quote]swivel wrote:
i would only eat offal from a clean well treated animal…increasingly hard to find these days.

personally i like liver best. calf’s liver medium rare is great. never beef liver. chicken livers are good too but chickens eat all kinds of shit…then there’s foie gras or fatted liver of duck or goose. that stuff is awesome if you know what you’re doing with it but not at all healthy because its basically like eating fried butter. it’s also something like $60 /lb.

i also like sweatbreads(cow glands) from time to time and they’re pretty good but i’ve never made them myself…i’ve had kidneys once or twice and they’re gross. and the same for brains. i had them once cooked like sweatbreads and once cold on a salad and it’s not something i’d like to eat again.[/quote]

Duck liver is fairly inexpensive. I use it to make pate and terrine. I’ve had sweetbread (thymus gland) and found it pretty bland. I like tendons and tripe in asian soups like a good spicy vietnamese pho. While maybe not technically offal, I like to use smoked pork hocks and turkey neck bones to make pea soup.

Eating a “body filter” scares me.

[quote]texass wrote:
What kind of liver are you talking about? Pork, cow, chicken…[/quote]

Cow liver. I take Universal Nutrition’s tablets, six of them daily. Also, have a good source for grass-fed beef liver.

Whitefish liver whenever I drive through St. Ignace, and can stop at The Galley. The fish are from Lake Superior.

I eat a chicken a week, including the kidneys. They’re pasture-raised by some Amish in Indiana.

I’ve eaten liver pat? which wasn’t fois gras. It was prepared from combining normally fed duck livers with pork fat, for a cruelty-free alternative.

With shrimp, I often eat the tails, if they are fried. With crab, I eat what is referred to as the “tamale”, which are the bile ducts.

And of course with oysters, clams and mussels, it’s the entire organism that goes down the hatch.

With all meat I eat the blood, tendons and joints, where possible.

Ok, so some of those things aren’t officially offal, but there’s the whole picture.

I’m not afraid of eating filter organs, as I believe the assured benefits outweigh the possible detriments. Know your source, and cook it 'till it’s done.

[quote]texass wrote:
What kind of liver are you talking about? Pork, cow, chicken…

I take the cod liver oil in the winter but I’ve constantly read that it isn’t healthy to take year round because of the high amounts of, I think, vitamin A.[/quote]

It is not the vitamin A that is the issue, its the vitamin D. Your body can metabolize vitamin D from cholesterol when it has a sufficient amount of the right kind of sunlight.

Therefore, the old rule was that you should only take cod liver oil in months that have an “r” in their names (i.e., not in May, June, July, August). The rationale is that the suns rays are only sufficient to produce the vitamin D at this time of the year and that you would have too much vitamin D from taking in the sunlight AND the cod liver oil.

However, to really get the benefits of the vitamin D from the sunlight, you must not only expose yourself to sunlight during those key months, but it must also be done during the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are at their most intense and over a large area of your skin.

Trivial exposure on the arms and legs for a few minutes here and there is not enough to do it. So unless you’re sunbathing over the noon hour in the late spring and summer, you probably don’t have to worry too much.

Oh wow, thanks for all that info.

[quote]4est wrote:
Eating a “body filter” scares me.[/quote]

that’s why milk-fed calf(veal)liver is awesome, but beef liver is not.