So I came across some very very low priced beef heart in a local market, though not a chance it's anything but CAFO meat. My idea was to indulge in this meaty delight as a cheap and thus abundant source of animal protein in lieu of pricier steaks etc (particularly for PWO meals). I would consider this a short term plan until finances are more in order and the peak season hits to go in on another pasture raised cow.
However. . .
1) Assuming I trim away the easily identifiable fat on the edges and stick with the red meat, should I be too concerned about toxins/hormones/antibiotics or any of the other nasties associated with CAFO meat? A significant problem? Or is it just sub-optimal, as well as a prick to the conscience in terms of voting wrongly with my dollars?
2) How does the nutrient profile compare to regular muscle meat? Protein content about the same? Is there risk of some micronutrient toxicity with eating this often, like with liver? I figured not as much since the heart is basically muscle once the fat is trimmed away? Are there guidelines on oz/week like with beef liver, or can I go at it almost as if it were steak?
asked byJoeBranca (1614)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on January 25, 2012
at 11:34 PM
It's safe as milk.
(Sorry, I had to.)
The heart is simply a muscle, so my first reaction is to just treat as any other CAFO meat and cut away the fat. I know it's high in selenium, phosphorus, zinc, and a few other good things, but I'm not aware of anything in it that you could easily reach toxic levels of. I think you'll be fine supplementing your diet with it until you're more financially stable. I'm curious if anyone knows more about the difference between CAFO and pastured beef heart, though!
Oh, and if you end up liking beef heart, if you can find pastured it should be pretty cheap as well. I buy mine for $3.99/lb at a convenient location, but I've seen even better prices in less-convenient places, so it's worth poking around.
on January 25, 2012
at 11:36 PM
The heart is one giant, lean muscle and tastes just like steak.
I trimmed off every bit of fat (not just the arteries) because it's very tough and would be difficult to chew once it's cooked. I then cut the heart into fajita strips, marinated them in garlic, lime juice and seasoning overnight, and then skewered and grilled them over a low heat. Once they cooked to about medium, I turned the heat up and gave them a bit of char for flavor.
I ate a half of a beef heart for dinner one night, and I liked it!