The Liberation Diet
By Kevin Brown
The following passage is taken from Chapter 14 Super Foods starting on page 131.
Once a staple of the diet, organ meats were practically banished from the kitchen in the late 1970’s. Organ meats were prized by primitive peoples and provided mothers with an inexpensive way to nourish their children. Even tigers enjoy organ meats, so much so that they eat the organs first. Back in the old days, raw liver was one of baby’s first foods. Today kids don’t even know what liver or organ meats are.
Organ meats are an excellent source for vitamins A & D as well as essential fatty acids and minerals. In traditional cultures, organ meats were found to provide strength and vitality. The July 1951 issue of Proceedings for the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine contained a study on rats consisting of three groups with twelve rats in each group. The first group ate a basic diet fortified with eleven vitamins. The second group ate the same diet along with and additional supply of vitamin B complex. The third group ate the original diet but instead of vitamin B complex, received ten percent of rations as powdered liver.
A 1975 article published in Prevention magazine described the experiment as follows: “After several weeks, the animals were placed one by one into a drum of cold water from which they could not climb out. They literally were forced to sink or swim. Rats in the first group swam for an average of 13.3 minutes before giving up. The second group, which had the added fortifications of B vitamins, swam for an average of 13.4 minutes. Of the last group of rats, the ones receiving liver, three swam for 63, 83, and 87 minutes. The other nine rats in this group were still swimming vigorously at the end of two hours when the test was terminated. Something in the liver had prevented them from becoming exhausted. To this day scientists have not been able to pin a label on this anti-fatigue factor.”
If organ meats are so good for us, why don’t we eat them anymore? When cholesterol became a dreaded villain, liver was accused of being dangerous for the heart since it contained a high amount of cholesterol. Even though liver and other organ meats kept traditional cultures healthy to a ripe old age, it would now send us to an early grave. The traditional cultures didn’t know about the alleged dangers of cholesterol, so the health authorities probably applied the old saying, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” So far, there is no evidence to support cholesterol’s bad rap.
Liver is also high in vitamin A, and most health authorities believe the vitamin to be toxic. Real vitamin A is not toxic, but synthetic vitamin A is. Toxins are sent to the liver for detoxification, so it is assumed that if you eat liver, you are also eating whatever toxins the animal ate. Toxins are not stored in the liver; they are processed there and then sent on their way. However, if a liver is overloaded with toxins, it may not be able to process them and some of those toxins will remain in the liver. This is the only reason to avoid organ meats that has any validity, but it is easily overcome by purchasing organic liver from grass-fed animals. Also, the nutritional benefits of the liver far outweigh any toxins you might consume and your liver would be able to eliminate any toxins coming in, especially if you are following the principles of the Liberation Diet.
The bottom line is there is not good reason to avoid organ meats. Liver used to be consumed once a week, and we need to get back to that. It’s okay to start slow. Shred liver and add it to ground meat to used in burgers, tacos, or casseroles; you won’t even know it’s there. Use other organ meats the same way, and remember to add organ meats to stocks to boost the nutrient content.