In America, we typically only eat 4 animals.
What’s even stranger about our eating habits, is the lack of variety.
We eat chicken tenders, chicken wings, and chicken breasts. We discard the most meaningful protein types of the chicken, all of which have more nutritional value than the muscle means. This includes …
Chicken Liver: Rich in iron, vitamin A, and B vitamins, chicken liver is highly nutritious.
Chicken Heart: Chicken hearts are a good source of iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
Chicken Gizzards: Gizzards are high in protein and contain iron and zinc.
Chicken Feet: Rich in collagen, chicken feet can contribute to skin health and improve joint health.
Chicken Neck: The neck is often used to make stock because of its bone-to-meat ratio, which adds flavor and body to broths and soups.
Chicken Skin: While high in fat, chicken skin contains collagen and can add flavor and texture to dishes.
I could do the same thing with beef.
Beef liver in possibly the most nutritious food in the world. Beef liver is rich in …
Trace minerals like
High quality protein
Yet, if you mention beef liver to a typical westerner, they will make a stupid face and act like beef liver is par to eating poison.
What’s even more confusing to me about this is that the muscle meat of a cow is much more plentiful. Each cow only has one liver but hundreds of pounds of muscle meat. Simple supply and demand would suggest that the liver would be the most sought after part of a cow.
But it’s not.
We mostly eat the least nutritious parts of the animals and we discard the most nutritious parts. It’s a very very strange thing we do.
For the last two years, I’ve made it a point to eat different parts of the animal. This afternoon I ate ox tail. I eat beef liver and perogies every Sunday. I eat chicken hearts and chicken livers.
I also incorporate bone marrows and bone broths. (I haven’t built up the courage to eat a tongue yet, but apparently they are great with tacos.)
It’s all delicious. My wife breads the chicken hearts and cooks them in an air fryer. If I didn’t tell you what they were, you would gobble them up.
The beef liver took some practice because it’s so high in mineral content an if you over cook it even slightly, it’s very metallic.
Last night, we cooked ox tail in the instant pot and made a stew. The ox tail is so rich in collagen it mixed absolutely perfectly with lentils.
I think about this a lot, more than I would like to admit. How and why did we get to a point where eating ultra processed fake chicken meat at McDonalds is accepted without blinking twice, while eating the most nutritionally valuable parts of any animal is looked down upon?
McDonalds chicken tenders is hardly even chicken.
I remember I had my dad over a few months ago, and he absolutely COULD NOT BELIEVE I was eating chicken hearts. But the longer I think about it, the more I am absolutely convinced that everyone else is crazy.