Why Organ Meats Are Good to Eat

In a previous article on How to Source Beef, I briefly mentioned liver, one of my favorite superfoods, and said that organ meats should never be thrown away! Why so, you might ask? Organ meats in general do not seem that appealing. The short answer is that “organ meats are the most nutrient-dense foods by far,” states Chris Kresser in Your Personal Paleo Code. Not only are organ meats full of nutrients, but these nutrients can also be easily absorbed by the body. Dr. Anthony Gustin and Chris Irvin add, in Keto Answers, that “this makes organ meat like a natural meat version of a multivitamin.”

Organ Meats that You Can Buy

Organ meats can be from animals like cows, pigs, lambs, bisons, goats, chickens, and ducks, as long as they are well-sourced. Here’s a short list of organs you can eat:

  • Liver
  • Tongue
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Brain
  • Sweetbreads
  • Tripe

You can find these at some local farms (to find local farms, you can visit EatWild.com) or online sites like US Wellness Meats. There are recipes everywhere online on how to prepare these. For instance, this page on Mark’s Daily Apple.

You can also consume organ meats in capsule form. Every day, I take liver and bone marrow capsules sold by Ancestral Supplements. To take capsules is fairly convenient, and if you don’t like the taste of certain organ meats, or don’t have the time to prepare them, you still can get most of the nutrients they contain (vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, and essential amino acids).

In Summary

Including organ meats into our diet provides such an array of beneficial nutrients! Even just once a week can be sufficient, especially when it comes to a superfood like liver. (And consuming liver is okay, as most of the toxins are stored in the fat of the animal, and not the liver). Most ancestral diets included organ meats, alongside bones, cartilage and skin, fats, seafood, and wild plants.  For example, in the traditional Okinawan diet where food is considered medicine, a pig is eaten entirely, internal organs included. Going back to these ancient ways of feeding ourselves as much as possible makes perfect sense if we want to harness the health and wellness benefits of consuming truly nutrient-dense foods.


Gustin, Anthony, and Chris Irvin. Keto Answers : Simplifying Everything You Need to Know about the World’s Most Confusing Diet. Middletown, De, Four Pillar Health, 2019, pp. 150-151, 302-303.

Kresser, Chris. Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life. 1st ed., New York, NY, Little, Brown and Company, Dec. 2013, pp. 43-44, 70-72, 151-152, 155-156.

Wikipedia Contributors. “Okinawa Diet.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Jan. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_diet. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.

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Vegetables are at the base of the Primal Blueprint food pyramid and meat comes in second, along with fish, fowl, and eggs. As a complete protein, meat from animals that are raised similarly to how they live in the wild is going to be healthy meat to consume and give us an array of nutrients that animals from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) are deficient in. Just like humans, if animals are not given a diet that works along with their ancestral roots, they are going to be sick and filled with systemic inflammation.

Cows are ruminants that should be eating things like grass, clovers, and shrubs. Cows in most CAFOs (the beef found in supermarkets) are fed grains, corn, soy-based products, garbage, plastic, stale junk food, candy, and bits of dead CAFO sick animals. As you know, you are what you eat, but also, “You are what what you eat eats too,” as Michael Pollan puts it in In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. CAFO cows are also given antibiotics (so that they don’t die before slaughter due to their horrendous living environment) and growth hormones (to increase their weight).

So what are the other options?

With the understanding that it is always better to buy local, pastured and 100 percent grass-fed (also called grass-fed and grass-finished, as opposed to grass-fed and grain-finished) is the way to go. Next would be making sure it is USDA-certified organic. The extra cost is worth bypassing CAFO meat, and if you have to eat the latter avoid consuming any fat on it as this is where some of the meat toxins are stored, not in the liver. 

As a side note regarding the liver, which I really enjoy eating and is full of nutrients (organ meats should never be thrown away!), the liver is not a filter that holds on to the toxins. In a May 2019 newsletter, nutrition expert Chris Masterjohn, Ph.D., explains that “The liver does not filter toxins. Instead, the liver modifies them to make them less toxic, and to make them easier to excrete. This leads to their elimination in the feces and urine, not their retention in the liver.” This is what makes the liver a great nutritious meat to consume rather than being something to avoid!

Even with pastured and 100 percent grass-fed meat, certified organic or not, always ask exactly how the animals have been treated. To find local farms, two sites can be helpful: EatWild.com and LocalHarvest.com.

I also enjoy buying meat online at ButcherBox.com and US Wellness Meats, and there are more sites to check out such as Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative and Thrive Market.

As we vote with our dollars, buying better quality meat is definitively at the top of the list for improving our own health, improving the health and wellbeing of the animals we consume, and helping to promote sustainable practices that will better our environment.


Asprey, Dave. The Bulletproof Diet : Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, and Upgrade Your Life. New York, Rodale Books, 2014, p. 174.

Gustin, Anthony, and Chris Irvin. Keto Answers : Simplifying Everything You Need to Know about the World’s Most Confusing Diet. Middletown, De, Four Pillar Health, 2019, pp. 145–50.

Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food : An Eater’s Manifesto. The Penguin Press, 2008, p. 167.

Sisson, Mark. The Primal Blueprint : 21-Day Total Body Transformation. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2016, pp. 106–7.

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As I have mentioned previously about the state of being in mild ketosis during the day, which implies the use of ketones, now might be a good time to further explain what the use of ketones to fuel our energy levels really means, as opposed to being traditional “sugar burners.” First, a couple of quick, simple definitions to help you understand this topic better:

Glucose = A type of sugar, main source of energy for most people

Insulin = A chemical excreted by the pancreas to transport sugar into the body’s tissues

Ketone bodies = A type of energy source produced in the liver as a by-product of fat metabolism

A traditional “sugar burner” is mostly fueled by the glucose provided from any carbs eaten. When we eat, the hormone insulin kicks in to dispose of the nutrients, which are now in the blood, and send them wherever they are needed. If we eat too many carbs (healthy or not), quickly after a spike of energy, we feel tired because (among other things) a lot of insulin has to be produced to dispose of this excess sugar. Ever wonder why you felt like taking a nap after that lunch you had? That’s the spike of insulin talking. If we are “sugar burners,” we have those ups and downs on a regular basis throughout the day.

Now if we start to consume more healthy fats throughout the day and limit our carb intake, we don’t have to deal with all those ups and downs that excess sugar and overproduction of insulin trigger. Isn’t it a nice thing not to feel like taking a nap after lunch, especially when we can’t? Healthy fats keep us more satiated for longer periods of time.

So we have the healthy fats that we consume and we have the ketone bodies, both to fuel our energy levels in a more linear fashion when we become fat-adapted. Eating healthy fats means consuming foods like avocados, olives, nut butters, certain oily fish,  grass-fed butter or ghee, coconut oil, MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oils, extra-virgin olive oil, and avocado oil.

Ketones are a by-product of body fat that is tapped into if we fast or if we limit our carb intake to a bare minimum. If we are keto-adapted, we can use those ketones (we are in ketosis) but, if we are “sugar burners,” those ketones are close to useless. MCT oils are the only oils that also increase ketones in the body, such as the Brain Octane oil I blend in my coffee. MCT oils are processed right away by the liver, so a surge of energy can be felt pretty much immediately, especially if consuming C8 MCT oil. This is another way to increase ketones in the body and reach a state of mild ketosis without literally having to fast.

Being able to utilize ketones as fuel to power ourselves each day is an awesome tool at our disposition to better our lives.


“Ketosis Is the Mostest.” Head Strong: the Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks, by Dave Asprey, Harper Collins, 2017, pp. 98-105.

The Primal Blueprint: 21-Day Total Body Transformation, by Mark Sisson, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2016.

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