Originally published for Real Farm Foods newsletter.
When I think of a lion in the wild, I think of majestic beauty, powerful yet graceful. I am in awe that God would create a magnificent creature. In Revelations 5:5 Jesus is described as being the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the one who conquered and overcame. In verse 6 he is described as the Lamb who was slain, paying the penalty for our sins. I often dwell on the sacrifice that was given for my sin, but I sometimes forget that Jesus is the lion and the lamb. His power and grace have conquered and overcome the world.
The world we live in can be deadly, especially for the lion’s prey. When a lion captures it’s prey, it rips open the belly and eats the liver, heart and kidney’s first. This predator’s instinct knows these are the most nutritious parts of the animal. A lion’s digestive tract is specially designed to easily digest meat. A human's digestive tract is also designed to digest and absorb animal meat. In fact, organ meats have been considering a culinary prize throughout most of recorded history. Almost every culture has a special liver recipe. My husband’s side of the family has passed down the Jewish tradition of eating chopped chicken livers. My 7 year old loves it. I’m still adjusting my non-Jewish taste buds.
Liver is a valued cuisine because of it’s many nutritional benefits. Liver is the most nutrient dense food available. Gram for gram liver packs in more vitamins, minerals and nutrients than any vegetable. (Sorry kale.) Liver is nature’s best source of vitamin A and folic acid. It is rich in B vitamins, especially B12 and it provides a bioavailable form of iron, chromium, copper, and zinc. Liver is also a good source of CoQ10 which is particularly useful for cardiovascular health.
It is always a good idea to obtain liver from a pasture raised animal. I would advise against consuming liver from a conventionally raised animal. The liver is responsible for breaking down the toxins of the body, but they aren’t stored in the liver. If the liver gets overburdened the remaining contaminants get stored in the fat and nervous tissue, not the liver. The liver is the storehouse for vitamins, A, D, E, K, B12, and many minerals, which is why you should eat it. Thankfully I have access to wonderful farmers who raise animals with healthy livers. If you are like me and are still getting used to the taste you can freeze dry liver in small pieces for 14 days and take it like a vitamin. You can also hide it in your meatloaf. Ideally you want to eat 1 or 2 servings of liver a week for optimal health.
Do you eat liver? I want to encourage you to try it out with this recipe. Be the strong, beautiful person you were meant to be. Overcome your fears of eating offal. Be like a lion and eat liver.
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