4

votes

Organ meats and prions

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 29, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Organ meats(liver, kidney, heart, thymus, tongue and brain) are top candidates for my attempts to widen paleo food spectrum. Unfortunately there are known risks of prions(mad cow disease /bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in these organ meats spread through B cells under inflammation.

What nutritional benefits are in organ meats that cannot be found in ordinary meats, justifying additional risks of prions of mad cow disease? Evolutionary facts of feasting on the entire animals and vitamins, CoQ10, omega3 are evidences for reward side. Rough estimates of risk/reward in eating organ meats would be helpful in allocating food intakes among different ingredients for optimization of body.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 31, 2011
at 10:14 AM

Thank you, some sanity into the fearmongering going on here. I thought us paleos were better than that...

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 31, 2011
at 10:13 AM

Brain, on the other hand, is something I wouldn't eat. My aversion comes mainly from the fact that human brains have prions (ostensibly to protect the species from cannibalization, google kuru), but I don't know if other mammals have the same.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 31, 2011
at 10:09 AM

Mad Cow Disease? Seriously? How many cases of it have been reported in the past years? I bet it's in the tens IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. Worry about something more likely, like getting hit by lightning.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:55 AM

Shit happens. Can't avoid everything. I mean there are brain eating amoebas in lakes. Maybe you should never swim? But I still haven't been able to get over my fear of prion-diseased brains... Oh yeah my point was brutal mother nature existed way before the "neolithic agents of disease" showed up.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:49 AM

Thank you for a new fear. I was loving organ meat but never touched brain/neck/spine for this reason. Is the risk level really the same?

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 30, 2011
at 08:09 PM

In fact, I just recently made a bone stock with cow neck bones/meat and noticed the spinal cord was oozing into the broth. I did some research because I didn't want to throw out what looked like a beautiful stock. After discovering how rare vCJD really is, I decided to eat the stock. My decision was partly based on the quality of the meat; it was from Meat Hook in Brooklyn which sources high quality meats from local farms. The real question is whether I would I eat grass-fed organic cow brains and I guess the answer is yes I would.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 30, 2011
at 08:04 PM

I think you could be more careful with your choice of words. I do not think there are "known" risks regarding prion contamination of organ meats. In fact, there are remarkable few cases of vCJD (and the vast majority of them in England). I would actually say that there are no "known" risks of eating organ meats in the United States today. To be sure, there are still concerns regarding the consumption of cow, and other ruminant, brains but these concerns are probably mostly unfounded. Note that spinal bones are routinely used to make bone stock, which is still consumed today.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 30, 2011
at 07:59 PM

Be more careful with your choice of words. I do not think there are "known" risks regarding prion contamination of organ meats. In fact, there are remarkable few cases of vCJD (and the vast majority of them in England. I would say that there are no known risks of eating organ meats, including cow brains in the United States today.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 30, 2011
at 05:58 AM

I suppose the good thing about scrapie and CWD is that they have never had a documented transfer to humans as far as I know.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on December 30, 2011
at 01:17 AM

Other organs are known for accumulating the BSE prion. They can test tonsils that have been removed from people to see if they are infected with BSE.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on December 30, 2011
at 01:16 AM

Beware the MND (mad neurosurgeon disease).

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on December 30, 2011
at 01:12 AM

I don't think we can blame prion diseases in wild animals on modern farming. Scrapie a prion disease in sheep has been common since the early 18th Centrury. Chronic Wasting Disease in deer is likely to have originated some time before BSE in cattle and may have just began spontaneously. People are testing more wild deer now in the US and so are finding more CWD.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 29, 2011
at 11:34 PM

Yes, the origin point is probably factory farming, but they ruined it for all of us.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 29, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Damn! I had been under the impression that animals raised exclusively on pasture were free from danger on this front and that it had somehow gotten into the deer population because of the deer getting into commercial feed for livestock.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 29, 2011
at 11:18 PM

I dunno, I paid $99 for mine and then $10 a month for a year to maintain. I just tell myself I'm using the money I saved by going paleo and not needing to buy $70 worth of meds a month.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 29, 2011
at 11:13 PM

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=251668258230869&set=a.246481775416184.62053.239883926075969&type=1&ref=nf

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 29, 2011
at 11:12 PM

I was thinking of grass-fed in response to the finding that chronic inflammation may cause the spread of B cells to other organs. Is getting genetic predispositions for various diseases a feasible option for your average healthy person, cost and availability wise?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 29, 2011
at 11:05 PM

I'm not sure I wanted to know that, because now that I do it's one more thing to worry about.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 29, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Our favourite neurosurgeon eats them- Dr. Kruse had a photo on Facebook a while back.

724ba4f39f7bbea7f74b45c0a79615f2

(1968)

on December 29, 2011
at 10:36 PM

I know nothing about prions, but I totally read this as "organ meat and prisons," which brought up all kinds of grizzly images...

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4 Answers

best answer

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 29, 2011
at 10:54 PM

Another factor to weigh in is your personal genome. Some people are more at risk for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease than other. If you are able to check, look at

Rs17571 Rs1460163

If you are at risk, it may be worth considering using other foods as a substitute. Buying grass-fed well-farmed meat is not a good protection since these diseases have contaminated the entire food supply and are even present in many wild animals at this point.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 29, 2011
at 11:05 PM

I'm not sure I wanted to know that, because now that I do it's one more thing to worry about.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 29, 2011
at 11:34 PM

Yes, the origin point is probably factory farming, but they ruined it for all of us.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 30, 2011
at 05:58 AM

I suppose the good thing about scrapie and CWD is that they have never had a documented transfer to humans as far as I know.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on December 30, 2011
at 01:12 AM

I don't think we can blame prion diseases in wild animals on modern farming. Scrapie a prion disease in sheep has been common since the early 18th Centrury. Chronic Wasting Disease in deer is likely to have originated some time before BSE in cattle and may have just began spontaneously. People are testing more wild deer now in the US and so are finding more CWD.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 29, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Damn! I had been under the impression that animals raised exclusively on pasture were free from danger on this front and that it had somehow gotten into the deer population because of the deer getting into commercial feed for livestock.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on December 31, 2011
at 03:55 AM

Shit happens. Can't avoid everything. I mean there are brain eating amoebas in lakes. Maybe you should never swim? But I still haven't been able to get over my fear of prion-diseased brains... Oh yeah my point was brutal mother nature existed way before the "neolithic agents of disease" showed up.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 29, 2011
at 11:12 PM

I was thinking of grass-fed in response to the finding that chronic inflammation may cause the spread of B cells to other organs. Is getting genetic predispositions for various diseases a feasible option for your average healthy person, cost and availability wise?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 29, 2011
at 11:18 PM

I dunno, I paid $99 for mine and then $10 a month for a year to maintain. I just tell myself I'm using the money I saved by going paleo and not needing to buy $70 worth of meds a month.

best answer

3
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 30, 2011
at 08:13 PM

There have not been any cases of transmissible CJD in the United States. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001792/

I don't worry about things that don't seem to occur.

3
0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 29, 2011
at 10:43 PM

This is relevant: Infectious Agent Linked To Mad Cow Disease Found In Organs Other Than The Brain.

I wasn't actually aware that was possible, though the article does state that:

They concluded that the spectrum of organs containing prions might be considerably increased in situations of chronic inflammation.

To me, that reads as: buy grass-fed, local, small farm raised, happy animals. YMMV. I find that the nutrition of liver provides noticeable benefits for me. I don't eat brains regularly, due to a slight touch of prion-fear.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 29, 2011
at 11:13 PM

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=251668258230869&set=a.246481775416184.62053.239883926075969&type=1&ref=nf

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 29, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Our favourite neurosurgeon eats them- Dr. Kruse had a photo on Facebook a while back.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on December 30, 2011
at 01:17 AM

Other organs are known for accumulating the BSE prion. They can test tonsils that have been removed from people to see if they are infected with BSE.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on December 30, 2011
at 01:16 AM

Beware the MND (mad neurosurgeon disease).

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on December 29, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Are TSEs endemic in your food supply? BSE in cattle is problematic, but quite rare most places. CWD in deer might be an issue if you eat loads of deer from an infected area. I've not heard of any human TSE from eating deer from CWD infected areas either, so risk is very very low.

How can I forget Scrapie, which primarily affects sheep and rarely goats. It most definitely is endemic in US sheep.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on December 31, 2011
at 10:14 AM

Thank you, some sanity into the fearmongering going on here. I thought us paleos were better than that...

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