Organ Meat Supplements: 4 Urgent Reasons to Reconsider Offal

Organ Meat Supplements At a Glance

Our ancestors used to consume organ meats not only as a staple of their diet, but as a delicacy. As these parts of the animal have fallen out of favor, we are deficient in nutrients.

Millions of people within wealthy countries are deficient in things like iron, zinc, vitamin A, and folate. Organ meats are almost always the best solution (versus vegetables).

Numerous companies have developed organ meat supplements that allow you to get all the micronutrients you need without the effort and taste.

We will look closely at the science around organ meats, the value of organ meat supplements, and provide places where you can start.

We will provide an overview of organ meat products like Paleovalley Organ Complex, Ancestral Supplements, and an alternative that we worked on.

Organ Meat Supplements Replace Ancestral Diets

Roaming the staked plains of Texas, the Comanche dominated vast swaths of buffalo country. They often hunted and ate bison as their sole source of protein.

When a buffalo was killed, children desperately wanted to eat pancreas and the juices of the gallbladder. It was not only nutritious, but a treat for the children of the Comanche tribe.

organ meat supplements

Here is a bison I killed

In contrast to the Comanche, children today would never eat pancreas or gallbladder unless tricked into it. We have moved away from eating organ meats and that affects our health.

In particular, we lack the nutrients that come from liver.

According to nutrition expert Chris Kresser “liver is by far the most important organ meat you should be eating…” [1]

One reason why liver supplements are so valuable is because of vitamin A deficiency in the general population [2].

A single 100 gram serving of liver contains 53,000 IU of vitamin A versus 40 IU for red muscle meat and none for apples and carrots.

So much for “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”…

Aside from vitamin A, which is a major deficiency, there are numerous micronutrients that enhance performance. Liver is full of folate, choline, and vitamin B12.

The supplemental form of folic acid can be more detrimental for health than folate from animals (thus it’s better to find a natural source) [3][4].

Choline is a precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and, unless you’re eating several eggs per day, supplementing with added choline can improve memory formation and prevent neurological decline (memory loss etc) [5][6].

There are numerous other organ meats that you may also use, but the nutrient density of many other organs is not as high.

As you will see when we discuss the Paleovalley Organ Complex, muscle meats like heart are limited in their nutritional value (and they take up space from liver).

Alternatives to Organ Meat Supplements

Of course, for some people (myself included), certain organ meats are better consumed with spices and butter than in supplement form.

Heart and tongue are perfect examples. You might feel squeamish about them, but heart is the largest muscle in the body. If cooked properly (using this recipe), it’s delicious.

In the United States, we nearly hunted the bison to extinction hunting the animals solely for their tongue and hides.

Only the tongue was thought of as a delicacy because it is a fatty cut of muscle. The same is true of cow tongue (I love recipes in this book).

Whether you decide to cook organ meats or consume organ meat supplements, sourcing matters.

Sourcing the organ meats (i.e., where to buy organ meats) may seem tricky because you have never paid attention to them before, but they’re everywhere.

Just consider the number of cattle in the United States alone.

One thing you must know with organ meats (or organ meat supplements): only consume the organs from grass fed and grass finished animals.

When the alternative is a conventional cow from factory farms, avoid at all costs.

Which Organ Meat Supplements Are Best?

We are biased. We believe our grass fed desiccated beef liver supplement is best for the planet and your health.

Liver is the biggest “bang for your buck” when it comes to organ meats. Most others are just fillers.

In the sections below, we’ll briefly cover two of the more prominent brands selling organ meat supplements. One is the Paleovalley organ complex and the other is Ancestral Supplements.

Neither are “bad” per se, but we have questions and critiques that caused us to formulate and manufacture our own.

Paleovalley Organ Complex

The Paleovalley Organ Complex is a good product. If the question is to do without or go Paleovalley, then definitely go with the latter (if you can afford it).

According to their reps, the Paleovalley Organ Complex sources their organ meats from the U.S.A. and manufactures in the country.

These are good practices and produce a solid product.

The largest complaint that we have is what the nootropics and supplement industry calls “fairy dusting”. Companies put small doses of many ingredients to claim more benefits without realizing they are diluting the most valuable ingredients (in this case liver).

The Paleovalley Organ Complex also used to contain brains. This has numerous purported health benefits, but could be problematic for health reasons.

Mad cow disease (and other neurodegenerative diseases in the family) usually come from brains and the central nervous system.

They have noticeably removed the brains from their product with no explanation as to why. Perhaps they realized they correlation.

Generally speaking, Paleovalley Organ Complex is great. With three or more organs in one, it is hard to get enough of any one organ.

In this case, liver is by far the most superior of the organ meats and some of the other ingredients (like heart) are simply fillers from a micronutrient perspective.

paleovalley organ complex

Ancestral Supplements

The Ancestral Supplements line of products includes 13 different organs. Many of them are refreshing and unique (spleen, pancreas, etc).

They do have pure desiccated beef liver as one of their most popular products. Others include a complex of liver, heart, kidney, pancreas, and spleen.

This complex is better than nothing, but again may dilute some of the more valuable organs (predominantly liver).

The biggest problem we have with Ancestral Supplements is the sourcing from New Zealand. They use grass fed and finished animals (good), but sourcing from NZ is silly.

There are approximately 30 million cows in the United States alone. Only 5% of these are grass fed and grass finished, which is approximately 1.5 million cows in the USA.

The greatest shame is that many of the USDA farmers throw away organ meats because nobody buys them.

While we are wasting organs from domestic cattle, Ancestral Supplements is sourcing organs from New Zealand. This isn’t malevolent in any way, but probably due to ease.

The truth is, there is no difference between grass fed and finished cows in New Zealand versus the United States. If that is the case, we need to collectively think about our actions.

Getting Started

At Oyasin, we have strong feelings about harmonizing with the natural world. We organize conscious hunting retreats so people can experience taking life for themselves.

It is unconscionable for us to go the “easy” route of sourcing organs from New Zealand when nearly 1.5 million animals are dying in the USA with their organs going to waste.

We hope you will agree and support the movement.

References

  1. https://chriskresser.com/how-to-eat-more-organ-meats/
  2. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrient-inadequacies/overview
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17697404
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19190501
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9203170
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8624220