Nose to tail and ancestral nutrition
The concept of nose to tail eating is relatively new as our ancestors simply ate like that without naming it, however, in more recent times we have certainly lost our taste for anything other than muscle meats ands we're really missing out, both from a point of using as much of animals as possible but also from a nutrition stand point, we often ignoring or even wasting the most nutritions parts of the animals we rear for food.
Our ancestors have been eating animal products for at least 2.5 million years and some studies suggest longer and one notable difference now is that we eat different parts of the animals favouring the muscle meats over the organs.
Liver is a superfood
In a previous article here we talked about how liver might just be the king of all superfoods.
Liver is a nutritional powerhouse.
Just 100g provides:
Vitamin B12: 3,460% of the RDI. Vitamin B12 helps the formation of red blood cells and DNA. It is also involved in healthy brain function.
Vitamin A: 860–1,100% of the RDI. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, immune function and reproduction. It also helps organs like the heart and kidneys function properly
Riboflavin (B2): 210–260% of the RDI. Riboflavin is important for cellular development and function. It also helps turn food into energy
Folate (B9): 65% of the RDI. Folate is an essential nutrient that plays a role in cell growth and the formation of DNA
Iron: 80% of the RDI, or 35% for women of menstruating age. Iron is another essential nutrient that helps carry oxygen around the body. The iron in liver is heme iron, the kind most easily absorbed by the body
Copper: 1,620% of the RDI. Copper acts like a key to activate a number of enzymes, which then help regulate energy production, iron metabolism and brain function
Choline: Liver provides all of the Adequate Intake (AI) for women and nearly all of it for men (AI is used because there is insufficient evidence to set an RDI). Choline is important for brain development and liver function
The benefits of eating beef heart
Heart is another nutritional powerhouse, absolutely loaded with B12 and Iron as well as thiamine, folate, selenium, phosphorus, zinc but where beef heart really sines is it's levels of a nutrient called ubiquinone or Coenzyme Q-10, mor commonly known simply as CoQ10.
What is CoQ10 and what is a free radical?
CoEnzyme Q10 is an antioxidant which protects us from damage from 'free radicals' which simply are by products from metabolic processes that are highly reactive.
Damage occurs when the free radical encounters another molecule and seeks to find another electron to pair its unpaired electron.
The free radical often pulls an electron off a neighbouring molecule, causing the affected molecule to become a free radical itself. The new free radical can then pull an electron off the next molecule, and a chemical chain reaction of radical production occurs. The free radicals produced in such reactions often terminate by removing an electron from a molecule which becomes changed or cannot function without it, especially in biology. Such an event causes damage to the molecule, and thus to the cell that contains it (since the molecule often becomes dysfunctional).
Antioxidants prevent these 'oxidation' reactions by reacting themselves with the free radicals so they cannot damage other compounds and therefore negatively effect cellular function.
CoQ10 and ageing
More research needs to be completed before we could consider this compound to be the fountain of youth but there is mounting evidence to suggest it plays a role in slowing the ageing process in humans.
Two studies have shown that older individuals who were given a combination of selenium and CoQ10 over a 4-year period reported an improvement in vitality, physical performance, and quality of life (Johansson et al., 2015). Furthermore, CoQ10 supplementation confers health benefits in elderly people by preventing chronic oxidative stress associated with cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases (Gonzalez-Guardia et al., 2015).
Why don't we eat these superfoods?
Many people have lost their taste for these cuts as well as forgotten how to prepare and cook them but recognise the importance of them in our diet, both form a point of view of nutrition but also to be conscientious in honouring the life of the animals we eat by consuming as much as possible and wasting as little as possible.
Another difficulty is simply that preparing different organ meats is time consuming and might not be be to everyone's taste, however, we have a solution.
Introducing fortified beef mince.
We're proud to announce the latest product from our master butcher, beef mince with added beef liver and heart. We use only 100% pasture raised animals and to our fortified mince we add in 15% beef liver and 5% beef heart by weight with the remaining weight being our usual mince mix which contains 20% fat by weight.
You can use this mince in all the same recipes you would our regular mice, it has a slightly richer gamier flavour that even the pickier family members will not be put off by but the nutrition is significantly boosted.
We think this product provides so many benefits, convenience, taste, nutrition and of course, balanced nose to tail eating.