Recipes and Lore About Our Most Important Sacred Food
Since history began, “liver has ranked above all other offal as one of the most prized culinary delights. Its heritage is illustrious–whether savored by young warriors after a kill or mixed with truffles and cognac for fine patés de foie gras.” So write Margaret Gin and Jana Allen, authors of Innards and Other Variety Meats (San Francisco, 1974).
Practically every cuisine has liver specialties. Some cultures place such a high value on liver that human hands can’t touch it. Special sticks must move it. The Li-Chi, a handbook of rituals published during China’s Han era (202B.C. to 220A.D.), lists liver as one of the Eight Delicacies. Throughout most of recorded time humans have preferred liver over steak by a large margin, regarding it as a source of great strength and as providing almost magical curative powers.
A LONG LIST
So what makes liver so wonderful? Quite simply, it contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. In summary, liver provides:
- An excellent source of high-quality protein
- Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
- All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
- One of our best sources of folic acid
- A highly usable form of iron
- Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
- An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
- CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
- A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA.
Liver’s as-yet-unidentified anti-fatigue factor makes it a favorite with athletes and bodybuilders. The factor was described by Benjamin K. Ershoff, PhD, in a July 1951 article published in the Proceedings for the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.
Ershoff divided laboratory rats into three groups. The first ate a basic diet, fortified with 11 vitamins. The second ate the same diet, along with an additional supply of vitamin B complex. The third ate the original diet, but instead of vitamin B complex received 10 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 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.”
IS LIVER DANGEROUS?
In spite of widespread tradition and abundant scientific evidence on the health benefits of liver, conventional nutritionists and government agencies now warn against its consumption. The putative dangers of eating liver stem from two concerns–the assumption that liver contains many toxins and the high level of vitamin A that it provides.
One of the roles of the liver is to neutralize toxins (such as drugs, chemical agents and poisons); but the liver does not store toxins. Poisonous compounds that the body cannot neutralize and eliminate are likely to lodge in the fatty tissues and the nervous system. The liver is not a storage organ for toxins but it is a storage organ for many important nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron). These nutrients provide the body with some of the tools it needs to get rid of toxins.
Of course, we should consume liver from healthy animals–cattle, lamb, buffalo, hogs, chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. The best choice is liver from animals that spend their lives outdoors and on pasture. If such a premier food is not available, the next choice is organic chicken, beef and calves liver. If supermarket liver is your only option, the best choice is calves liver, as in the U.S. beef cattle do spend their first months on pasture. Beef liver is more problematical as beef cattle are finished in feed lots. Livers from conventionally raised chicken and hogs are not recommended.
As for concerns about vitamin A, these stem from studies in which moderate doses of synthetic vitamin A were found to cause problems and even contribute to birth defects. But natural vitamin A found in liver is an extremely important nutrient for human health and does not cause problems except in extremely large amounts.
According to the authoritative Merck Manual, acute vitamin A poisoning can occur in children after taking a single dose of synthetic vitamin A in the range of 300,000 IU or a daily dosage of 60,000 IU for a few weeks. The Manual cites two fatalities from acute vitamin A poisoning in children, which manifests as increased intracranial pressure and vomiting. For the vast majority, however, recovery after discontinuation is “spontaneous, with no residual damage.”
In adults, according to the Merck Manual, vitamin A toxicity has been reported in Arctic explorers who developed drowsiness, irritability, headaches and vomiting, with subsequent peeling of the skin, within a few hours of ingesting several million units of vitamin A from polar bear or seal liver. Again, these symptoms clear up with discontinuation of the vitamin A-rich food. Other than this unusual example, however, only vitamin A from megavitamin tablets containing vitamin A when taken for a long time has induced acute toxicity, that is, 100,000 IU synthetic vitamin A per day taken for many months.
Thus, unless you are an Arctic explorer, it is very difficult to develop vitamin A toxicity from liver. The putative toxic dose of 100,000 IU per day is contained in two-and-one-half 100-gram servings of duck liver or about three 100-gram servings of beef liver. From the work of Weston Price, we can assume that the amount in primitive diets was about 50,000 IU per day.
As for liver for pregnant women, a study carried out in Rome, Italy, found no congenital malformations among 120 infants exposed to more than 50,000 IU of vitamin A per day (Teratology, Jan 1999 59(1):1-2). A study from Switzerland looked at blood levels of vitamin A in pregnant women and found that a dose of 30,000 IU per day resulted in blood levels that had no association with birth defects (International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research 1998 68(6):411-6). Textbooks on nutrition written before the Second World War recommended that pregnant women eat liver frequently, yet today pregnant women are told to avoid this extremely nutritious food. Don’t eat beef liver, cautions Organic Style magazine in a February 2005 article on diets for pregnant women, “. . . it has high levels of retinol, a vitamin-A derivative that can cause birth defects.”
A good recommendation for liver is one 100-gram serving of beef, lamb, bison or duck liver (about 4 ounces) once or twice a week, providing about 50,000 IU vitamin A per serving. Chicken liver, which is lower in vitamin A, may be consumed more frequently. If you experience headaches or joint pains at this level, cut back until the symptoms go away.
Eating Raw Liver. . .Good Heavens!
Eating raw liver is definitely not a Standard American Dietary (SAD) practice! So why in the world would a sane person even consider eating their liver raw? Most of the reasons are anecdotal with the primary one being that people who do consistently report how good it makes them feel.
- Southern hunters have a tradition of eating the liver of their freshly killed deer as a “manly” thing to do.
- In Argentina, cowboys eat liver (and meat) raw or very lightly cooked.
- People who grew up on farms tell of eating the liver freshly warm from the animal and only lightly cooking it (and all the organs and glands)
- Weston Price reported on the consumption of raw liver among African hunter-gatherer tribes. Liver was considered so sacred that they never touched it with their hands, only with their spears. They ate it both raw and cooked.
- The physician Max Gerson used raw liver juice, extracted with a special juicer that pressed out the liquid, in his original healing protocol with pancreatic cancer patients. His daughter, Charlotte Gerson, later dropped this part of the protocol because of the unavailability of fresh clean liver without bacterial contamination. Now a crude liver extract injection or desiccated liver tablets are used in the current protocol. However, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, a New York doctor who treats cancer holistically, insists that all his patients eat raw liver.
The How-to-do-it of Eating Raw Liver
This takes some getting used to! There are two basic methods. One calls for freezing the liver for 14 days in large chunks. (Fourteen days will ensure the elimination of pathogens and parasites.) You can then grate the liver on the small holes of a grater and add it to milk or juice, or even hot cereal. A teaspoon or two of grated raw liver can be added to baby’s egg yolk, or even to mashed vegetables.
The second method turns liver into pills! Cut fresh liver into pea-sized pieces and freeze for 14 days. Swallow like vitamin pills.
For both methods, the liver should be of the highest quality available and very fresh.
RECIPES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
You don’t find recipes for liver in many modern cookbooks but scan the internet and you will find liver recipes from cuisines around the world.
A wonderful site that features medieval European recipes is florilegium.org, where participants provide translations and comments on recipes in old cookbooks. Here we learn that long before the anti-cholesterol campaign, Europeans made liver into dumplings, terrines, sausages and “puddings,” and used it as a filling in meat pies and pasties. (According to one contributor, an outstanding example of a liver-filled pasty includes chicken livers, hearts, gizzards and sour cherries.)
Ancient cookbooks even describe the use of liver to thicken sauces, apparently by pressing raw puréed liver through a fine strainer and adding it to sauce that was then carefully heated but not boiled. (During Lent, fish livers served to thicken sauces!) As long as the liver flavor does not overpower the flavor of the sauce, this could be a good way to get liver into your family without them ever knowing it!
A liver recipe from a 1529 Spanish cookbook goes like this: “Take onions and cut them very small, like fingers, and fry them gently with fatty bacon; and then take the liver of a kid or a lamb or a goat and cut them into slices the size of a half walnut, and fry it gently with the onion until the liver loses its color; then take a crustless piece of toasted bread soaked in white vinegar and grind it well, and dissolve it with sweet white wine; and then strain it through a woolen cloth; and then cast it over the onion and the liver, all together in the casserole; and cast in ground cinnamon; and cook until it is well thickened and when it is cooked, prepare dishes.”
A great, high-cholesterol liver dish from an ancient Middle Eastern cookbook has been translated by Betty Cook. Note the inclusion of wonderful spices, not normally associated with liver.
14 ounces chicken livers
14 ounces chicken gizzards
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sesame oil for frying
1/4 cup lemon juice
Bring 3 cups water to a boil with 1/8 teaspoon salt, add gizzards and simmer 50 minutes. Near the end of this time, bring another 3 cups water and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil and cook livers in it 3 minutes. Drain both, cut into 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch pieces, put into a bowl and mix with egg yolks and spices. Heat oil and fry the mixture about 4 minutes, sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.
The website foodiesite.com provides this intriguing recipe for liver paté from Scandinavia. Unlike the French versions, Scandinavian patés don’t usually contain alcohol or garlic and they have a smoother texture.
300 g calf’s liver or pig’s liver
300 g lean pork meat, such as pork fillet
300 g pork fat
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
300 ml milk
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground all spice
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Note: 300 grams is slightly less than 3/4 pound and 300 ml is 1 1/4 cups.
Dice the liver, lean pork meat and fat into small pieces. Set aside 75 g of the pork fat and place it in an oven dish in a low oven. Cook the fat until it has melted down. Lightly grease the sides and base of the paté container. A standard loaf tin works well.
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Mince the onion, liver, pork and remaining pork fat through a mincer (meat grinder) 3-4 times until smooth.
Melt butter in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the flour to the butter and cook it for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the milk while stirring until you have a thick smooth sauce. Add the minced liver mixture and stir it until well combined. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Mix in the egg, ground cloves, all spice and a little salt and pepper.
Pour the paté mixture into the greased loaf pan, place in a baking pan and fill the pan 3/4 high with hot water. Place the paté on the center shelf in the pre-heated oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours. To test for doneness, insert a thin knife or skewer into the center of the paté. When the paté is ready, it should come out clear. (The center of the paté should reach at least 170°F. If you have a meat thermometer use this to test if it is ready).
Remove the paté from the oven when cooked and leave it to cool in the container. When cooled, turn the paté out onto a plate and serve it as part of a smorgasbord or use it for smorresbrod (open sandwiches) or as a starter or canapé. Mustard, cress, gherkins, grapes and chutney all make good accompaniments
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
A delicious liver recipe from Russia is found at ruscuisine.com.
Liver with Sour Cream
2 1/2 pounds liver (calf, pork or beef), sliced
2 onions, chopped
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter
2 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons dill, freshly chopped
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
sea salt and pepper to taste
Wash, pat dry, and sprinkle each piece of liver with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, fry on each side in butter and remove. Sauté the onions until golden brown and then layer both liver and onions in a deep pot. Deglaze the pan with beef stock, stir well and add the sour cream, stir, then add to the liver and onions. Mix well and cover. Cook slowly over low-heat for 20 minutes. Uncover, stir well, re-cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove liver from pot, arrange on individual plates and pour sauce over the slices. Sprinkle with the dill. This is very good when served with boiled or fried potatoes or rice.
LIVER FROM JAPAN
The Japanese consider liver an important food for pregnant women. The following recipe is adapted from one posted at japanesefood.about.com.
1/2 pound pork liver
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 bunch nira (Chinese chives)
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sake (rice wine)
1 tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon potato starch
lard for frying
Cut liver into bite-sized pieces and marinate in a mixture of soy sauce, sake and ginger for 20 minutes. Remove liver from the sauce, pat dry and dredge in arrowroot. Heat lard in a deep pan and fry the liver pieces.Remove liver to a heated plate. Chop nira into short pieces and sauté in a frying pan. Add deep-fried liver and sauté with nira. Add the sauce used for marinating liver to the frying pan and stir well. Add the mixture of water and potato starch, stir quickly and remove from heat. Serve immediately.
Liver Comparison Chart
From: Nutrition Almanac, by John D. Kirschmann
A CURE FOR ANEMIA
Pernicious anemia is a debilitating disease caused by B12 deficiency. Until 1926, the only treatment for the disease was blood transfusions. Shortly thereafter, Drs. Whipple, Murphy and Minot received the Nobel Price for their discovery of liver therapy for the disease. Dr. William P. Murphy recalls the discovery of the therapy:
“Dr. George Whipple of the University of Rochester had demonstrated that liver caused a rapid replacement of blood in dogs made anemic by bleeding. From his idea, we proposed that liver might be useful in treating pernicious anemia, even though this anemia was totally different from the one induced in dogs.
“With these observations, it became important to prove the efficacy of liver. But in those days, getting permission to do studies was not such an easy matter. The chief physician of Peter Bent Brigham Hospital was quite skeptical, but gave me permission with the understanding that a transfusion would never be withheld from a patient who needed one.
“I started one of my patients on liver therapy. This patient, a man in his forties, was critically ill and partially comatose. In spite of his condition, I was able to explain to him that liver might be distinctly useful to him. We found that if a patient were fed half a pound of liver per day, it would take about five days to show an increase in red blood count.
“But this man seemed more ill on the fifth day. According to the policy laid down, my patient was a candidate for a transfusion. I stayed up very late that night trying to decide to give him the liver. It was a miserable night, but around midnight I noticed that his red blood cell count had increased slightly. That gave me courage to go on with the liver. When I saw his blood count go up, I went home and collapsed into bed, slept very poorly and was back at the hospital at seven o’clock the next morning.
“I approached his room with fear and trembling, and cautiously peaked around the corner to see if he was still alive. To my great surprise and relief he sat up in bed and cheerfully asked, “What time is breakfast?” His blood count was at the maximum and he not only survived but lived many years. With that success, the staff became cooperative.
“Later, patients didn’t have to choke down liver but could receive extracts and still later, vitamin B12. . .”
For those who want to prevent pernicious anemia from ever occurring, the best course of action is to eat liver once a week, as our ancestors usually did.
SOME FAVORITE WAYS TO PREPARE LIVER
Here are some suggestions from members of the Native Nutrition discussion group.
- Marinate slices of liver in the fridge overnight in lemon juice or water with vinegar, plus lots of garlic and bay laurel leaf. After marinating, pat dry and fry in olive oil and/or lard and/or butter until well done (really brown on the outside and slightly rose inside). (Kidneys work well with this recipe also.) The key is marinating to take away any unpleasant taste. Florabela
- The liver needs to come from a fairly young animal and be free of hormones and organically raised. Cover the liver with flour on both sides and bake with a little butter or ghee for several minutes at very low heat, otherwise it will be hard. Add a handful of sliced onion, a little vinegar and water. Increase the heat to 350 degrees for a few minutes then cook for about 20 minutes at a low heat. You can add fresh mushrooms and at the end a bit of salt. It’s usually served with noodles or rice. However any vegetable dish would work. Pia
- My favorite cooked liver recipe is to slice the liver thin (no more than 1/4th inch) then dredge it in a mixture of almond flour, salt and lots of pepper. (Almond flour is just a replacement for those who don’t eat grains.). Fry on both sides in ghee or lard. I usually cook up the whole liver at one time then either heat up the leftovers during the week, or snack on it cold. It’s a great substitute for a power bar or other on-the-go meal. Sally R
- Marinate the sliced liver in red wine vinegar and a couple teaspoons of honey for about 1 hour. Slice up 1-2 onions and fry in lots of tallow and butter for about 1/2 hour until onions are small and brown. Remove the onions and toss in the liver with a bit of the wine/honey mix. Fry quickly, turning frequently, and serve hot with onions and wine sauce and a side of kim chi. Paul B
- The key to delicious liver is lots of garlic. Use lard to sauté it, and add some olive oil when it’s closer to done. Don’t overcook it. First saute 1 onion and at least 5 cloves of garlic with plenty of herbs and spices, whatever you like. Slice the liver up nice and thin, cook for about 5 minutes and flip around once a minute. Cook some bacon at the same time and cut into small pieces to serve on top of the liver along with the onions and garlic. Chris M
- This is my mom’s delicious Jewish chopped liver recipe that “doesn’t taste like liver much at all!” Slice onion and sauté in fat until golden. Throw into a food processor. Saute 3/4 pound of chicken livers in same pan until pink inside. Let cool and put into same food processor with onions. Add 2 hardboiled eggs to food processor. Process onion, liver and eggs to a consistency you like but not too fine. Keep some lumpiness. Add salt and pepper to taste. Daphne
- Cut liver into small pieces and roll it in beaten egg then in nut flour (finely ground crispy nuts). Fry in hot coconut oil and salt and pepper to taste. It’s out of this world! Cheryl K
- An old but excellent recipe: Bake 1 pound beef or chicken livers and then chop up. Chop up 2 hard boiled eggs. Mix chopped eggs and liver with 1 medium cooked chopped onion (sautéed is fine). Mash and mix together with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate before eating. Robin L
- Cut liver into strips, about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide, and marinate in lemon juice. Pat dry. Chop up some onions and cook them in bacon fat and remove. Cook liver in the fat until almost solidly pink because once it turns brown, the liver flavor is stronger. This is delicious with a big serving of kale and butter and a pile of fermented carrots. Lisa
- Sauté onions in a little butter or coconut oil, then toss in the liver (cut into big hunks) and cook for several minutes. Process onions and liver in a food processor and process until it’s all just minced. Then combine it with a hamburger dish (casserole, spaghetti sauce, etc.). Lynn E
- Liver is delicious with a gravy or sauce. Marinate liver in lemon juice or vinegar for several hours and pat dry. Cook quickly in hot lard and set aside in a warm oven. You can make a gravy by stirring some unbleached white flour in the remaining fat and adding beef stock. Whisk until smooth and boil down a bit. You can make a clear buttery sauce by adding some wine or brandy to the fat and adding beef or chicken stock. Boil down, skimming as necessary, until it thickens a bit and then whisk in several tablespoons softened butter. Season with salt and pepper. Finally, you can make a tart sauce by sautéing capers and chopped shallots in the hot fat. (Be sure to rinse the capers well and pat dry before doing this.) Deglaze with a little white wine and add beef stock. Boil down until sauce thickens. Sally Fallon
RAW LIVER DRINK
The following raw liver drink was developed by the author and fellow WAPF member Becky Mauldin. Says Lynn, “I find that nothing works as well for giving strength when I am under stress. I am a teacher and use it when things start getting hectic at school. My husband has also found it very helpful for dealing with stress.”
1/2 – 1 ounce grassfed liver, cut into tiny chunks and frozen (it must be still frozen to blend well)
1 cup organic tomato juice
juice of 1/2 lime
dash hot sauce
1-2 raw pastured egg yolks
2-4 tablespoons fermented young coconut juice
1 tablespoon raw cream
1/4 teaspoon Concentrace mineral solution
1-2 teaspoons bee pollen (optional)
Blend everything together in a blender. You can follow with some fresh papaya if the drink gives you a livery aftertaste. You can also soak the liver chunks in sour milk or lemon juice before freezing to reduce the strong flavor.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2005.🖨️ Print post
I have been consuming about kilogram of lightly cooked beef liver a week for two months now. I guess I could cut back, but I truly love liver. Heart, raw to lightly cooked, Pink Salmon (lightly cooked to kill worms) and eggs (whites cooked) make up the rest of my protein intake. I follow a paleo ketogenic diet of 80% raw beef fat or lightly braised, home rendered lard, butter/ghee and coconut virgin oil; 10% protein, 180g/6oz and 10% carbohydrates from low calorie coloured simmered vegetables, along with homemade sauerkraut and wild berries.
I have always used my body as my laboratory to discover health benefits and hindrances. By eliminating grains, 100%, I discovered a problem with wheat that had rendered my legs insensitive (all my life) preventing walking without exhaustion, like wading through waist high water. It took about six-to-eight weeks to figure that out. When sensuality came to my legs, I was so astounded that I swore never to eat wheat or other grains again. However, I tried a little ‘wiggle room’ allowing myself either one hamburger bun, a small French pastry or a small piece of pizza on Fridays. In short order the tired legs disorder returned. I had no choice but to go totally wheat and grain (and legume) free.
I got my sauerkraut recipe from this site. I now use a whole fresh pineapple, large chunks, and two handfuls of coloured hot chillies (no garlic or onions) in my 4L mix. Amazingly, I no longer have extremes in my constitution: regularity has become my clime for the first time that I can remember. Thank you for keeping the studies of Mr Price alive and available. He and his wife, along with Ignaz Semmelweis are the standard bearers of pure human spirit with their unequivocal care for the welfare and concerns for others.
Brian Johnson, Owner, Ancestral Supplements says
Fast forward to 2017… can you give us an update as it relates to how you’re doing? Keto / primal / paleo has become a trending diet… and for good reason! Would love to get an update from you.
As it relates to the concerns… high quality liver from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows is completely safe to consume. There is a common misconception about the liver being a storage depot for toxins which couldn’t be further from fact. One of the many roles of liver is to filter toxins and send them to be expelled — usually in the urine via the kidney. In other words, the liver does not hold on to toxins, it expels them. The liver does act as a storage depot for vitamins, minerals and glycogen. Rest assured, liver from healthy animals is safe, nutritious and time-tested.
Need more assurance… Recall that liver is rich in choline, folate and B12. A diet rich in these nutrients supports methylation. Amongst other things, methylation is central to detoxification. What’s more, is that without adequate choline (most Americans) fatty deposits may accumulate that contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Downstream issues include compromised detoxification, high cholesterol and memory problems. The take home message is this… grass-fed, pasture-raised liver is not only safe to consume but one could say that its nutrients are required to support and optimize our own detoxification pathways. Enjoy!
To support Brian’s comment — and Brian is extremely well acquainted with the benefits of raw liver, both on himself and on his customers — allow me to add my own experience.
On the basis of the anthropological evidence, I started consuming raw liver shakes over a year ago, quickly raising the amount to four pounds a week as I discovered immediate benefits to athletic performance.
The “anti-fatigue” factor is quite noticeable and kicks in for me about 24 hours after consumption.
In addition to raw liver, I prepare the shakes with fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi (to simulate ruminant intestinal contents, which were also savored by traditional hunters) as well as kefir (unclear whether fermented milk was regularly consumed by hunters, but is nonetheless useful as a supplemental probiotic.)
I have never been sick from it — quite the opposite in fact, as it enabled previously impossible feats of endurance such as repeatedly pulling a heavily loaded rickshaw across town for several hours, stopping only due to nightfall, and then continuing again the next day. I do not come from an athletic background (I’m 41 and only started training at age 33).
Blood tests have revealed lipids in the optimal range, Vitamin D in a therapeutic range, and Vitamin B12 several times higher than the reference range, which typically indicates liver failure (the only way B12 gets that high on the standard american diet is when a person’s own liver begins breaking down and releasing uncontrolled amounts into the bloodstream).
I have never experienced any symptoms of hypervitaminosis A, although I recently reduced my raw liver dose to 2 pounds weekly simply out of a desire to eat other foods (such as bison heart, beef bone broth, sardines and fried eggs.)
This experience helped me realize that the reference ranges for most nutrients are scarcely above levels that prevent deficiency, certainly inadequate for athletes, and likely far below optimal levels that prevailed in the evolutionary environment.
It is astonishing to me how many people will take cocktails of pharmaceuticals with terrible side effects and unpredictable interactions, all while eating foods they know are unhealthy, but will decline even to taste raw liver.
Our ancestors would be shocked and appalled at such behavior!
Timothy, very interesting! I have been on raw liver shakes for 3 years now, and never have felt better. However, I don’t eat as much liver as I would like to due to concerns about copper & iron levels. I’ve stayed on 2-300 grams a week. 2-4 pounds of beef or lamb liver a week is a massive dose of both these minerals, which can accumulate over time. It’s been quite the dilemma for me, as I feel so good on liver days (100g. raw liver, 4 raw egg yolks, splash of apple cider vinegar. Used to ad both sauerkraut and kefir as well) that I feel stupid not to consume more, but I know the dangers of toxic levels of the metals. Have you have your iron or copper levels tested?
Timothy Williams says
I have not had my metal levels tested, but I intend to at the end of my current liver-intensive calorie-deficit diet, about 5 weeks from now.
Of perhaps greater concern is the possibility of hypervitaminosis A, and coincidentally enough, right here on this site under the article “Vitamin A: The Forgotten Bodybuilding Nutrient”, commenter Stas wrote on 1/8/18 of severe chronic hyper A after following a diet very similar to my own for four years.
My feeling is that we should consume as much liver as possible consistent with not developing chronic hyper A, a condition which seems difficult, but not impossible, to achieve by eating ruminant liver.
We may expect significant variation in tolerance among individuals, as the selection pressure for all-you-can-eat liver —
although clearly present in Homo Erectus —
may have disappeared from many human lineages long ago.
Love all these wonderful recipes and ideas on how to prepare liver, I only learned to fry with onions and bacon if you had some, but it’s to expensive right now for me, never thought of adding garlic, will do next time, what are good spices for liver, we have a mix called Pappys, but would like to experiment.
Kailey Herron says
Rosemary! It is the perfect spice with liver for me. I make a pan sauce after frying slices. Rosemary, perhaps a little fresh orange juice or something sweet-ish and some kind of stock. Maybe a little extra fat.
Scott Gabelman says
I like to use a Olive oil infused with rosemary. I love your tip of adding some Orange juice or citrus to it. Maybe some lime juice? Thank you
If the daily recommended amount suggested in this article is of 4 oz, once or twice a week for an adult. That would be between 4-8 oz a week. How can it be that the meat-based liver formula uses 2 oz a day for an infant. That would be 14 oz a week, almost double the recommended amount for an adult. This is VERY concerning! Can some one PLEASE address the issue of high levels of vitamin A found in the meat based liver formula. It would be much appreciated. Thank you.
Tim Boyd says
If you use poultry liver, the vitamin A will be less. But we have had babies thrive on the beef liver formula.
Mick Vernon says
The type of vitamin A in supplements is synthesized and not the same as the type of vitamin A in liver, which is in the form of Retinol and more easily absorbed through being more ‘bioavailable’. I don’t know the biochemical differences, but this is what I’ve read. There are no studies that show issues with Retinol, only with synthesized vitamin A.
Hello, Thank you for this wonderful article! You mentioned that it’s not recommend to eat conventionally raised chicken’s liver, but if this is the only source you have is it damaging to eat or Does it have negative implications on your health? If so, could you please list them? Thank you so much!
Michael Harris says
Great Article. I just had beef liver at a restaurant and I truly feel so good. It was great – the portion was big and I could not finish it.
The health benefits outweigh the negatives.
I have unfortuantely experienced anxiety starting about 18 days after taking dessicated liver pills (4 a day). I don’t know why and I plan on reducing it to three or two soon if it doesn’t subside and then see how that goes. My initial motivation for taking it was to improve my dental health but if this anxiety continues, I don’t see how I will be able to continue consuming this even though I want to.
Rachel Powell says
Dessicated liver pills contain additives. It is possible that an additive in the pill is causing your anxiety. I would recommend that you consume liver in its natural form (either cooked or raw) and see if you still have anxiety.
https://www.grasslandnutrition.net/ provide an organic liver and kelp supplement with nothing added at all and are the only organic liver product on the market.
Weird. I take the raw frozen beef liver FOR my severe anxiety disorder. It is the ONLY thing that works above all meds, herbs, etc… It is a miracle for me. Try the raw frozen? I have tried the bottled liver pills – does not work the same as 10-15 little homemade frozen version.
How does liver help anxiety, if you don’t mind me asking. I have anxiety and panic disorder and have never heard of this.
I would think, if liver helps anxiety, it could be down to a few things: 1) amino acids (from proteins) are the building blocks of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), so a diet deficient in one or more amino acid could contribute to any mental health issue simply because you are unable to make the neurotransmitters; 2) liver is a great source of B Vitamins, important for mental health and managing anxiety and stress; 3) People eating a diet including protein with every meal plus good fats are likely to have better blood sugar balance than those whose diets have a higher proportion of carbohydrates. Carbs play havoc with blood sugar and erratic blood sugar has a huge effect on mood and mental health. Proteins and fats are more satisfying than carbs, and can quickly reduce cravings for sugary, carby foods. There are likely to be other factors at play, including that people who choose to eat liver reguarly may also be selecting other foods which can support mental health.
Scott Gabelman says
Beef liver has over 50 B vitamins…. When the government 1st synthesized vitamin B complex they only let the manufacturers make 8. B vitamins control the body’s energy and make DNA and RNA. They are the building blocks of the cells for your body. Check out doctor Darren Schmidt on YouTube he is a Michigan chiropractor that has lots of videos on liver in its effectiveness .
John Brown says
Try GAB for anxiety. LIver has some inside, but supplementing with GABA along with liver is really nice. You’ll see.
I would love to get some sources for the claim that freezing liver for 14 days kills all pathogens and parasites. I have also read that freezing does not kill pathogens but slows their growth. I would like some solid research to back this up before I feed raw liver to my 6 month old baby. I have been having a difficult time finding any documentation. Thanks in advance!
I’m following you, Rachel, for the answer! I believe freezing kills most, but not all. Also, freezing does not (from what I can find) kill e.coli. I would like to see some authentic research as I am consuming frozen raw liver pills.
We have had fear of germs drummed into us since Pasteur. Germs are not the cause of disease, they follow it. Bacteria and ‘parasites’ are part of nature’s clean-up system, gobbling up dead and decaying matter and either rendering it harmless or even beneficial. If paramedics are present at an accident, would we assume they had caused it?
Healthy people will not have a problem with microbes. But the sicker we are the more riddled with ‘germs’ we become. Germs are all around us. Everything we touch is teeming with them. If germs made us sick, we’d all be sick all the time!
The most powerful way to deal with any excess germs or ‘parasites’ we may come in contact with is a strong digestive system, immune system and body. And the best way to get that is through our germ-laden diet……
We need to use common sense, and freezing the liver is useful, but the health-giving benefits far outweigh any potential issues, IMHO.
Kim Lambdin says
LOVE!!!Thank you for you reply!
Well said ! Do you think freezing the liver to take as pills affects its potency?
Right on target Ali! I appreciate your sane approach on this subject. Mike
marinate the raw liver in kefir. The acid preserves it. I feed it to my infant grand daughter.
My son is 14 months old and I’ve been feeding him raw liver since he was five months. I also give him a raw egg yolk everyday and he drinks raw goats milk. It is scary at first but I weighed the risks against the advantages to his health and he is a thriving, active, healthy, sharp little human. Don’t fixate on the raw factor. Make sure you are getting quality, organic products and handling them properly and there shouldn’t be any problems. You can get salmanila from lettuce. There is risk in every decision. You have to decide what’s best for you and your baby. For me the thought of giving my babe store bought formula with corn syrup and excessive heavy metals, giving him milk that has had the life boiled out of it was way riskier than feeding him quality raw products I acquired locally. I get milk and liver from a farm down the road from my house so I know where it comes from and that it is fresh and sanitary. I feel good feeding my son this food and he clearly feels good consuming it. I encourage you to explore these food options and am confident you will be pleased with what you discover.
What about parasites inside the raw beef liver???? watch out for parasites as with every raw uncooked meat.
Nathaniel T. says
Parasites are everywhere and cannot be avoided. It’s better to cleanse as people have done for thousands of years. We deworm/parasite our animals, so why shouldn’t we? Their eggs are everywhere. Water, fruits, vegetables, bathrooms, handshakes, etc. They largely go undetected, but they can have some pretty nasty effects on the hosts health if they get out of control.
https://www.organicolivia.com/ has a great product for cleansing parasites.
Right on missy.You are one great moma!!
11 years ago diagnosed with a huge fibroid tumour given 50/50 chance of survival . I took matters into my own hands researched at library and realised the only organ that renews itself is our own liver so I had to think will it work to put my red blood cells high so i dont die. I am greatful for my research as i did survive i ate liver a lot but i love liver.so i am advocating liver as a great food i never really got fatigued even on chemo for 9 months any one reading this please tell others dont delay love and angel blessings to all
raw liver has parasites not safe to consume raw!
See my comment above.
I’ve had parasites myself (not from liver), and what has had the most impact on dealing with them has been strengthening my whole body, digestive system and immunity by eating plenty of beef fat and protein and liver, cooked and raw.
I did fear my parasites for a long time (systemic worms) as their activity was pretty relentless, keeping me awake and hugely disrupting my life, until I realised they were only there because they had a job to do. They were busy trying to clean up my weak decaying body. As my body and health has started to strengthen, they have virtually disappeared. Eventually they will no longer be an issue…..
Ali, could you please describe your routine on how u built up ur body to defeat the parasites?
John Brown says
Raw garden fresh non=grocery store Garlic kill parasites and helps assimilate the iron in the liver.
Jim sounds like a government agent …..
I cannot find chicken livers in any local store-in southern California. Even the pricier ones do not sell them, as far as I know. Calves’liver, same thing. My nephrologist recommended I eat them to boost my blood, but…I take iron. She says this will really help. Would appreciate any help. The only thing I have found is cat food with chicken liver-no wonder there is none available for humans any more!!! Other than buying an organic chicken, will have to do without.
Find a decent size Asian grocery stores they almost always have fresh chicken livers.
She right, ping pongs know best
Whole Foods sells grass-fed beef liver and organic chicken livers. If they don’t have it on the shelf, they can order it.
Pam Brown says
Forget finding them in the grocery store….go to a fried chicken place and order them….they are killer and way better than I can fry them up…last week I ate some and was wondering why i had tons of energy and then last night i ate some and well, 4 hrs later, again, up with tons of energy….they must have some magical powers..they say the japanese and many other cultures eat them as a delicacy and…the vitamins they have listed above…everyone should know about this, I sent this article to my sister-in-law…natural CoQ10 for the heart….wow!!!!!
larry schad says
good recipe for smoking venison 0rbeef
larry schad says
what is a good recipe for smoked liver
quick and easy:
i sautee grass fed beef liver in olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper. the whole pepper pods are more flavorful, the powdered will do very nicely.
I am from Argentina and we eat lightly cooked liver with lemon. One minute each si de con a pan. Delicious.
Michael Douglas says
I have been making raw calves liver juice the same way max gerson made it.
What vitamins will be in the juice? Will vitamin A make it? I ask because i don’t want to take too much
Shonagh Home says
I drink raw liver 3X a week by grating 2 tablespoons of frozen liver (from 100% grass-fed local cows). I put the liver in a glass and add a few ounces of tomato veggie juice and a squeeze of fresh lemon and drink it down. The frozen liver doesn’t have a taste to it, which makes it very easy to get this down the hatch.
Doing the calculation, in order to get 10,000 IU of vitamin A for adults I should eat aprox. 25g of beef liver per day?
Hi, you write that the liver should be frozen for a minimum of 14 days. How long can it be frozen and still be safely consumed raw?
Pam Brown says
I ATE A POUND OF FRIED LIVERS FROM KINGS CHICKEN IN WASHINGTON LAST WEEK AND WOKE UJP AFTER 4 HRS SLEEP WITH TONS OF ENERGY AND WENT ALL DAY TILL THAT NEXT NIGHT….WAS AMAZED HOW I DIDN’ GET TIRED OR SLEEPY .
SAME THING HAPPENED AFTER EATING THEM LAST NIGHT…UP AGAIN 4 HRS LATER WITH TONS OF ENERGY.
i know low red blood cell count invites cancers and other bad things so I thought I’d look up the myth that chicken livers were toxic and full of junk since it processed the chickens body…gladly to my surprise it does exactly the opposite…it helps you and I am going to eat it every week twice a week now and see if most of my issues disappear…ringing of the ears is my main problem right now….it came on quickly and is crazy at times….hope this cures the problem. Will see and report back in a few weeks.
Pam Brown says
I LOVED THIS ARTICLE, NOW I KNOW WHY I AM WIDE AWAKE AND NOT TIRED…looking up how bad chicken livers are for you and found out that they are tremendously good for you! Wow, I saw many of the same articles on internet on how good they are for your body, even one doctor wrote how a patient was almost dead and had very little red blood cells….on his death bed and after 6 days of chicken livers his red blood count was high as it could be and the man lived for many years later and he sat up in bed and stocked the whole staff at the hospital who thought he was gonna die. I will make sure I eat them every week for many months to come and report back later with any affects. Go to your local chicken place and ask if they have Livers…most don’t advertise it or show it on their menu boards…I was surprised last week when after visiting Kings Chicken for years I asked if they had livers and wow, they are awesome fried….better than Fried Chicken Breast! When I was 16 I was diagnosed with Anemia, (low iron and the doctors 39 yrs ago told my mom to feed me Liver). Of course, I said yuck…but mom fried the beef livers in flour/oil and added onions and then some water after it was all cooked and made a gravy and it was killer…with mashed potatoes. I made it for years and then stopped for the last 25 yrs. I love Liver…it is so smooth and creamy!
Beef liver vs cod liver, vs cod liver oil.
How come cod liver oil has so much vitamin A and D in it yet according to the can, cod livers packed in their own oil are closer to that of beef liver? In fact the label on my cod liver oil claims one teaspoon has more vitamins in it than the entire 3.75 oz can of cod livers packed mostly in their own oil.
I would have thought the answer to this would have been easy to find but so far it’s proved to be impossible.
Is there any difference other than filtration of the supplement oil than the oil that’s packed in the cans? If not are the supplement companies lying or adding synthetic A and D to their oil?
I been taking cod liver oil lately because it supposedly has so much vitamin D but I got a feeling that I was better off when I was eating lots of beef liver in the form of raw liver smoothies. I felt great when I was doing that but the addition of cod liver oil gives me a head ache even when I stop with the liver.
I’d really like to find the answer to this. Though I should probably go back to eating only beef liver even if I don’t and give up the cod liver oil which I never cared for the taste or the way it made me feel.
Almost all cod liver oil loses its natural vitamins A and D during distillation, which are then replaced with synthetic vitamins. That explains why your cod liver oil contains (unnaturally) high levels of Vitamins D and A.
You can google this for more proof. It is widely discussed.
Dave Clark says
Not only that, cod liver oil taken daily will load you up with PUFA oils which are unstable oils even in your body. Beef liver is the better choice. Everybody talks about omega-6 oils as being PUFA and being unhealthy, but they forget that omega-3 oils are PUFA as well, in fact more so, and they aren’t needed by the body in the amounts people think they should consume everyday.
I don’t like cooked liver. I buy calves liver because calves are most likely to be grass fed. It comes already sliced and frozen, and just take a slice right out of the freezer, bang it on the counter a few times to break it up, and throw it in the food processor adding water a little at a time till it ends up as an ice cold liver smoothie. It really tastes good. The flavor is much milder than when cooked!
Wow. I had forgotten I had made these comments. I still have bottles of cod liver oil that I bought before making these posts. I’ve probably eaten hundreds of pounds of frozen calve liver smoothies since and before making these posts. Also eat lots of other types of organ meat smoothies but liver is my favorite. Usually I make them with only water but sometimes I add other supplements to them.
Kunal Singh says
I would like to contact you to know more about your experience of consuming raw calve’s liver for an extended period of time. What would be the best way to contact you?
My email: email@example.com
Would I lose health benefits if I dehydrate my own beef livers at 105 degrees and then grind them and put them in capsules? I don’t mind the frozen liver pills, but my family won’t take them, so I started trying the capsules. Thanks for any input!
You’ll have problems putting them into capsules if you dehydrate them because of all the fat the liver contains. Commercial preparations defat the liver before putting it into capsules which gets rid of the healthiest part. I’ve tried eating it out of the dehydrator but it’s not my favorite way to eat liver. It sticks to my teeth!
Try throwing some frozen liver in the blender. I love it that way! I buy it frozen and don’t worry if it’s been there for 14 days or not. I probably have some at the very bottom of my freezer that’s been in there for years too. It’s all good!
M newson says
I’ve just freeze dried my own organic raw pig liver. Put into capsules can this cause bloody stool?
I freeze the liver for two weeks….thaw, and blend to a paste….then use a food dehydrator to dry the paste….use very low temp for longer (up to 48 hours) then take the crispy dried liver, put back into the vitamix to make powder…..get a capsule making gadget and there you go…..I’ve been doing this for a couple of years with no problems. Just make sure you get healthy grass fed beek liver
How much desiccated liver powder equals 4 oz of fresh? I’m trying to figure out the recommended dosage for liver powder. Thanks!
Jamie, desiccated liver weighs one-fourth what fresh liver weighs. I think one-eighth of a pound of fresh liver is roughly equal to a rounded tablespoon of desiccated liver powder.
I used to eat beef liver with onion when I was growing up, but then went I went to college I met a girl who invited me to dinner and she made the best chicken livers!! I have been making them ever since and it is still my favorite way of eating them: Saute sliced red onions and sliced mushrooms in ghee until they start to carmelize. Remove from the skillet and plop in your chicken livers (add a little more ghee if you need to), season with garlic and a little dried basil. Saute until pink and add back in the veggies. Remove from heat and add a big spoonful of sour cream, or thickened kefir/yogurt. The dairy smooths out the flavor and gives a wonderful gravy. I like it served over small, boiled yukon gold potatoes with something green on the side, but hey…whatever floats your boat.
I’ve been sick for awhile with gut issues, SIBO, leaky gut, severe diarrhea, etc.. malnutrition, fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, and a lot more. I’ve had to have my fluids replaced with an IV quite a few times due to the diarrhea. The ER doc prescribed me Cipro which is a very dangerous antibiotic which I chose not to take and my functional doc had me taking several supplements and herbs to help with the gut issues and the diarrhea with no success. I don’t see a doctor anymore I decided to save my money and heal myself. I found a local lady who sells raw goat milk, kefir, yogurt and whey. I’ve been eating only these things plus some blueberries, raw honey and farm eggs for about a week now. The diarrhea is just about gone. I did accidentally eat some gluten and the stomach cramps were horrendous so I know for sure now that I can’t eat gluten. So a few days ago I decided that I should add some liver to my diet. I’ve been eating more than what’s recommended above so I’m really grateful I read this. I’m feeling better than I have in along time eating this way. I eat beef or chicken liver. The beef liver I fry in beef tallow with onions and the chicken liver I fry in duck fat and onions then I add hard boiled eggs and chop it all up and add a little mayonnaise to hold it together. It tastes delicious to me. I only wish I could eat more of it. I just ordered some raw camel milk to help with my health issues as well. I used to be more of a vegetarian type of eater and I can honestly say that I feel a lot better eating this way. I’m very grateful that I found this group by accident while is was surfing for information about something I can’t recall at the moment on Google.
Hi Pia, I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing? I hope very well!
I am in El Salvador and I am afraid to eat the beef liver here because I can’t get it organic. I usually take Perfect Supplements desiccated liver, but it looks like I have to take almost the whole bottle to actually get 3-4oz. 4 capsules equals 3g and they say they tested 969IU of vitamin A, 121 IU of D, and 13mcg of folate in each serving of 4 capsules. Can you tell me how many capsules would about equal 3oz of liver with that information? I keep looking for the nutritional profile of liver, but I get differing results. Thanks!
I started taking desiccated liver supplements, 1-3 a day, a couple weeks ago and am having a lot of hair loss. The brand I purchased was from Radiant Life. I’d never heard of losing hair from taking liver. Does anyone have any thoughts or could refer me to info about this?
Staci, I just started taking Radiant Life desiccated liver capsules…after reading your comment I’m curious how you are doing now? Are you still having hair loss issues? And are you sure it was related to the liver supplement? Thanks!
Paul Zulauf says
For sure BE PROACTIVE AGAINST PARASITES, their insidious nature shouldn’t be underestimated. Bacteria on the other hand, not too worrisome.
Fresh frozen liver from grass fed animals is best, higher nutrients content, no glyphosate (google Dr. Senef to learn how detrimental it is) and better for the world.
Ways to reduce potential for parasites are:
– add garlic, cloves, thyme and other anti-parasite herbs and spices to your recipe
– boiling for thirty minutes reduces parasites down to under 2% and is considered the standard cooking time to effectively kill parasites in your liver/food
– alternatively, if the liver has been frozen for more than 14 days already, you can cook it less and maintain the desirable texture
– consume 2tbsp. of food grade diatomaceous earth before or after you have liver, and you’ll also be dealing with other parasites that are inevitably in all our systems. This could be a daily or occasional protocol, depends how keen you are to be parasite proof. This is an ideal non-toxic parasite cleanse. Things like wormwood and oregano oil that kill parasites almost always have some toxic side effects
Liver is high in phosphorusl. Be sure to balance with more calcium. I got jittery and nervous evetteafter a few weeks.
How do you eat the DE? Capsules? From a spoon or in a liquid?
Is it healthy to eat goose liver pate which is kind of “canned”, i.e. cooked at 120C and sealed in sterilised glass jars? The liver is from a trusted source, a good farmer who is a friend of mine. Or I’d better buy raw liver (frozen) and cook it myself? Is there any difference with regard to the nutritional benefits in this case? Thanks in advance for any reply.
Does anybody know why there’s such a drastic difference in the amount of Vitamin A and iron between these two products: canned chicken liver pate and cooked chicken liver??? Both seem to contain the same stuff, don’t they?
Here are the links to the nutrition database:
Thanks in advance for any reply!
I was asking the same thing in a post up above. Since then I have found that it is common to put zero percent of something if they haven’t tested for it. That is why canned cod livers contain zero percent vitamin A. Sheesh that ought to be illegal. If they didn’t test then they shouldn’t be allowed to comment on it.
I just looked at your links and they don’t say zero so I am left baffled.
Hi surfsteve, I would like to contact you to get some feedback on your calf liver shake diet. What is the best way to get in touch with you? I also left a message in one of your youtube videos! Kind regards, Kunal
Just ran across this article while looking for health benefits of eating liver, particularly rabbit liver. I see no mention of it, although it is becoming a more popular food source for many wishing to eat healthier and raise their own food (so they know the health conditions of said food source).
I’ve only ever had the traditional liver and onions and didn’t care for it, but having heard from so many others that rabbit was quite different, gave some a try. Indeed it is very different, with a very mild flavor, and didn’t have that pasty, dryish, strange texture that beef liver does. I cut into bite sized pieces, sautéed it in butter, and then added scrambled eggs. Salt, pepper and a splash of worchestshire sauce were the only added ingredients. It was absolutely delicious.
annett smith says
I’m wondering why there are no references to check on this article. Sally has been so good to include references from the stuff I read of hers.
annett smith says
Oops. Sorry. I meant regarding the first four paragraphs under the title Is Liver Dangerous?
Is raw liver safe for a pregnant woman to consume?
I am currently making Biltong, which is raw beef that is cured and then dehydrated. I was concerned about parasites and looked up what reputable sources had to say. The parasite-killing temperature I keep seeing on sources like cdc and fda is -4F or-20C for 7 days. My freezer chest goes down to -30C and I keep the meat there for 7 days. To thaw, I move it to the fridge and defrost for 24-36 hours. Then I cure it with course salt for about 4 hours, drain the water and blood, and then soak in vinegar, and then coat in crushed corriander seeds and black peppercorns. Then I hang the coated meat in a dehydrator running at 35C for 24 hours. For raw beef liver, which I will try next, I would do the exact same steps. Freeze for a week to kill parasites, then cure + dehydrate to kill bacteria.
I do not understand. Our ancestors did not have freezers. I have fresh grass-fed beef heart and liver that was butchered on Wednesday. It is now Sunday (4 days later). I ate some of both, raw and not previously frozen, on Thursday, and both have been in my fridge since. I really didn’t want to freeze them and lose some of the benefits, but I can’t eat it all either. Is it safe at the 4 day mark, refrigerated, to still have some raw? Does anyone here ferment instead of freeze (non-salt fermenting)?
Martin Petkov says
Pamela, this is just my personal experience. I’ve eaten liver that is unfrozen, kept in the fridge for a few days to the point where it gets slightly sour and develops green / brown hue. Digests well, no diarrhoea or vomiting, feel great.
I do also make ‘high meat’ – sliced meat in a glass jar and leave it in a cupboard for a few weeks, airing it out on most days until it ferments and then keep it in the fridge. This is a form of non-salt fermentation but I only eat one bite-size piece of this high-bacteria / high-benefit meat a few times a week.
Stephanie D says
Hi Martin can you please provide any resources you have used to ferment the meat in this way safely. Was it an ancient recipe you learned from someone or something you found online or in a book? Im really curious! Thanks you!
Liver Oil home production
Hi, I´ve been doing some searching and turning up not much in the way of results for traditional methods of liver oil production.
I´m lucky to live in a place where I have easy access to a large quantity of shark liver (the fisherman throw them out) and I´m looking to learn how to make shark liver oil. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
The only information ive found so far involves a centrifuge, and that´s out of my reach at the moment.
Thanks a ton
Maureen Diaz says
One simple means of consuming the oil from shark, or other fish, is to simply eat the liver! It is common in Scandinavian countries (and US international markets) to find cod livers in their oil, in tins for example. But traditionally, fishermen also would consumer the livers of the fish they caught, and share them with their families. Of course, they could only consume so much, and too much is never a good thing, so the livers were also salted, dried, fermented, and stored for later consumption and use.
I have tins of cod liver in cod liver oil. I love the pate like texture. It is very rich though and a little bit goes a long way.
Does anyone know if soaking the (beef) liver overnight in the fridge in either milk or orange juice & garlic takes away from its nutrient density?
I make raw liver smoothies from a 1/4lb slice of frozen liver nearly every day. Some days I take up to three slices. Never had any bad side effects. Only good ones! I also do the same for many other organ meats. Been doing if for years.
I bookmarked this page for the chart and happy to see such informative discussions. I recently added chicken liver to my diet and eat it in the pate form. I chose pate because I feel I can consume it daily without any issues of over-consumption. I make a very simple pate by blending the raw livers with butter, onion, garlic, thyme and Japanese sake rice wine. I strain it and cook the puree solution in ramekins in the oven for 20min. Tastes incredible. Since I am in liver mode I plan to buy a terrine and cook a pate with many chosen meat organs with gelatinous fat. If anyone has some recipes like what I mentioned please share. I want inspiration. Thanks
I’ll give that a try, thanks. I bought some Mennonite calf liver which has a nice pale color. If my cave dwelling ancestors could eat it raw then so can I.
Simon Gordon says
Love the liver. I eat organic chicken livers. I put them in cold water and bring to the boil and lightly boil them for eight to ten minutes. Then I have 20g with breakie each morning. Like a little snack. Micro dosing!
It’s one of the very few foods I can’t stand the taste of so I take dessicated liver in capsule form due to its high nutritional value from grass fed healthy Argentinian cows
I thought folic acid was a manmade version of folate, so I’m confused about how liver contains this synthetic vitamin. Is it because the animals are fed vitamins with their feed?
Nisha Katona gives a delicious recipe for Indian Chicken livers and onions. 2 large onions cut into thin 1/2 moons, 3 cloves garlic, 2” ginger fried in 4 tbsp coconut oil, 1lb chicken livers added . The onions, ginger and crushed garlic are fried TIL golden, 8 minutes. Then the livers fried for 4 minutes then 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1tspn ground cumin, 1/4 tspn chilli powder 1/2 tspn turmeric and 1 1/2 tbsp of Garam masala, double cream (heavy cream) 2/3 cup and 2/3 cup of water. Boiled down. Delicious, sweet and no liver taste.
Lisanne Buma says
I saw a video of Sv3rige about him getting the Guillain Barre Syndrome, because of the Campylobacter bacteria from raw bonemarrow. He was almost paralyzed and couldn’t even open the door anymore or walk normally. And that bonemarrow was grass-fed.
This is where Sv3rige bought his meat: https://www.neuland-fleisch.de/. It’s in Germany. And Sv3rige is the raw meat guru.
This is the video from Sv3rige about him getting sick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hldeNDvpFCQ&t=407s&ab_channel=sv3rige.
Because of that I am super scared to eat raw liver.
Does anybody know if the Campylobacter bacteria really is a risk with raw liver?
Venison liver is my favorite. My husband saves the liver, heart and tongue when he field dresses the deer. It’s milder than beef liver. If you hunt don’t let this go to waste.
I plan on making raw liver pills over the weekend! Can we do the same with other organs such as heart and kidneys?? Would love to get everyone’s thoughts
Raven England says
Why is the comparison chart so messed up? There in lbs on the left then suddenly jump to 1’s??? Its just confusing. Is it supposed to be a coparriosn of equal nutrients?
Evelyn Doris Reichel says
I grew up in vienna/austria in the 50s. When i was about 6 or 7 years old, my pediatrician informed my dear mother that her little girl suffered from severe anemia. When she asked in all her shock what she could do to relieve my suffering, he told her that the most effective remedy would be something that i most likely might reject… he said: “see if you can get her to eat raw pork liver!” (I’m pretty sure it was pork liver and not calves’ or beef liver).
I never forgot the day my mama brought a whole liver home for the first time. She carefully removed the butcher’s wrapping paper and wanted to grate the liver as the doctor had suggested. BUT… the moment i saw the liver, i snatched it out of her hands and started tearing off bite by bite, chewing and swallowing, until the whole piece had disappeared into my weakish little body!!!
I must have looked pretty horrible with all the blood around my mouth and on my hands; but after not too long (of consuming a whole raw liver probably once a week or so) i had made the most stunning recovery, forever grateful to my old-school pediatrician and my dear family.
Live and blessings to all who read this ❤🙏😇
matt ward says
“A 1975 article published in Prevention magazine described the experiment as follows” you would think a study as good as this would be link in the article there is nothing. Someone post the link to this study???
Hello! My baby is 8 months old and we’ve been doing solid foods for a few months now. She loves her liver pate. But now that she’s eating larger quantities of solid foods, I’m worried about feeding her liver too often. I see so many recommendations to only serve liver once a week. I’m sure it’s okay to have more often than that, but I don’t have any cultural knowledge about how often really is appropriate for a baby (or for myself for that matter). Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks, Cymski.
Tim Boyd says
From Sally – Now that baby is eating a variety of foods, I think the liver pate about two times per week would be fine. Make sure she is getting plenty of butter in her other foods.
In Spain eating liver is pretty common. Mostly chicken and beef liver, but also pig and goat liver. The most popular way to cook it is fried with onions (I also add sweet paprika when it comes to beef liver). We call it “hígado encebollado”. My family and I ate liver today for lunch. It’s nutritious and, at least here, cheap. I’ve been eating liver once a week since I was a little girl and now I’m 35 and still love it.
How long does frozen liver stay good? We’ve had some in the freezer for over a year from our own grass fed cow.
Thanks for the sharing informative article.