The benefits of eating liver

The benefits of eating liver

Why eat liver?

Eating liver involves incorporating the organ meat of animals, such as cows, chickens, or lambs, into your diet. Unlike the muscle meats that are more commonly consumed, liver and other organ meats are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that offer a multitude of health benefits.

Nutritional and historical significance of liver

Throughout history, humans have practised nose-to-tail eating, consuming every part of the animal, including the organs. Today, however, we are more accustomed to eating just muscle meats, leading to the underutilisation and often waste of nutrient-dense organs like the liver.

In the wild, alpha wolves get the first pick of the kill and instinctively go straight for the organ meats, particularly the liver, because it is the most nutritious part of the animal. This natural behaviour shows the superior nutritional value of organ meats compared to muscle meats.

Health benefits of eating liver

Liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, providing a significant amount of essential vitamins and minerals that are crucial for maintaining health. Key benefits include:

  • Rich in vitamins: Liver is a powerhouse of vitamins such as A, B12, and D, which support vision, immune function, and bone health.
  • Iron: High in heme iron, which is easily absorbed by the body and essential for preventing anaemia and maintaining energy levels.
  • Folate: Important for DNA synthesis and repair, making it crucial for growth and development.
  • Copper: Helps with iron absorption, maintaining healthy bones, and supporting the nervous system.
  • Choline: Vital for brain health and liver function, helping to prevent liver disease and promote cognitive health.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Important for energy production and heart health.

Environmental impact of eating liver

Incorporating liver and other organ meats into your diet can also have positive environmental implications. Key environmental benefits include:

  • Reduces food waste: Utilising the entire animal, including organs, ensures that fewer parts go to waste, promoting a more sustainable approach to meat consumption.
  • Lower carbon footprint: Organ meats are often a byproduct of the meat industry; consuming them can reduce the demand for additional livestock farming.
  • Sustainable practices: Encourages farming practices that make use of the whole animal, supporting the concept of nose-to-tail eating.

Economic benefits of eating liver

Eating liver can be economically beneficial as well. Organ meats are often more affordable compared to muscle meats, making them a cost-effective option for obtaining high-quality nutrition. Additionally, supporting local farms that practise sustainable and ethical farming methods contributes to the local economy and helps maintain these valuable agricultural practices.

Issues with overlooking organ meats

Many people today prefer muscle meats due to taste and texture, often overlooking the significant benefits of organ meats like liver. This shift can lead to missed opportunities for enhanced nutrition and more sustainable eating practices. Additionally, reliance on muscle meats alone can contribute to environmental degradation through increased demand for livestock farming.

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