The thought of eating kidney, brain or liver is not exactly the most appetizing for the majority of people in the United States. Then again, neither is the idea of a plate of crickets and mealworms. However, what if considering a shift in our cuisine paradigm is what’s needed in order to make giant steps both for an increase in the consumption of nutrients and the state of the environment?
Organically raised, grass-fed animals provide some of the most richly nutrient organs you can eat. Sadly, the conditions in which most food animals are raised nowadays involve veterinary drugs and poor diets, which does not result in the the cleanest organs. Aside from the cultural differences that have not made eating every part of an animal commonplace in America, organmeats have also been given a bad image in the media, due to myths about cholesterol and animal fat.
However, it should be noted that most animals start by eating the organs of their prey because they are the densest source of nutrition. Traditionally in other cultures, people would carefully prepare entire animals, and had the understanding that eating the organs supported the natural function of their bodies.
With the ever increasing prominence of chronic health conditions, the high amounts of CoQ10 in heart is attractive as CoQ10 is essential in energy production and preventing oxidative stress. While the taste of liver can take some getting used to, it may be worth getting creative! Liver has abundant levels of folate, choline and vitamin B12, as well as retinol (pre-formed vitamin A). This can help with skin problems. But that’s just the start- the vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and essential amino acids concentrated in heart, brain, liver, kidney, thymus, tripe, tongue (although technically a muscle) and more, make these organs the natural multi-vitamin.
As it pertains to insects…nutritious, abundant and environmentally friendly. While these critters are not often seen on the menus of American households or restaurants, consider these quick points from AsapSCIENCE:
– 100 g of crickets has comparable protein content as 100g of steak, pork or chicken, but is higher calcium, zinc, and iron, while mealworms contain more fiber
– 22,000 L of water is needed to produce 1 kg of beef, but only 1 L of water is needed to produce 1 kg of crickets
– 80% of a cricket is edible and digestible, while only 50% of chicken and 40% of cattle is
Not only that…but there are already insect parts in our vegetables, peanut butter and beer- so is it really that far fetched to consume what is more popularly eaten in other countries, such as the Congo?
Look out, acai! Perhaps, soon enough, insects will be the newest superfood.