6

votes

How to prepare CAFO beef/chicken liver if it has significant toxin levels?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 16, 2011 at 8:42 PM

After learning about the benefits of eating beef liver from various Paleo websites, I have been doing that once a week for a few months now. However, the one health food store I have access to that sold non-CAFO beef liver stopped selling it for some reason recently, so now I have to make a tough choice - CAFO beef/chicken liver or no liver at all. I really can't afford to go without eating liver because of its nutrient density, so I want to find ways to prepare it that could reduce the potential toxicity of CAFO liver.

I browsed all the previous questions on this site about liver but there were no definitive answers as to whether CAFO liver contains significant toxins, and if it does, whether or not it is possible to neutralize them before consumption. I believe Sally Fallon at the WAPF recommends using lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to soak the liver in overnight to remove any toxins, but I have not seen any evidence that this procedure actually does what it claims, although the theory behind it seems sound. Can someone provide hard data and/or personal knowledge from working in the industry about toxin levels in CAFO beef or chicken liver and how to remove them if they are significant?

As it is my only significant source of vitamin A besides butter I am willing to do just about anything to keep eating it regularly. I will greatly appreciate any answers to these questions because I haven't found them anywhere I have looked online including here.

Edit - the only thing I can't do to keep eating liver is spend substantially more money than I am now on it, which is $2.50/lb. for CAFO liver.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 17, 2011
at 07:18 PM

Raydawg, the problem is that no one here or anywhere else I have looked seems to have a definitive answer to what those toxin levels are, with the closest answer being the article on MDA mentioned in the answer above. I tend to be more optimistic about human ingenuity than to assume we can't think of a way to detoxify an animal's liver. If we can detox our own livers efficiently, why not an animal's that we eat? I just need some evidence that it can be done.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 17, 2011
at 07:13 PM

Thanks for a very practical and reasonable answer. I read the article on MDA a while ago while researching this question, and it provides evidence that CAFO liver is safe enough to eat as often as I do, i.e. once a week, so I'll be sticking with it for now.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 17, 2011
at 06:59 PM

I think the question answers itself. If it has significant toxin levels, it's to be avoided. The solution is to find another source that has less toxins, whether CAFO or not (chicken? goat? pig? etc). Might not be easy, but if the animal itself couldn't avoid the toxins to the point that they're accumulating inside its liver, not much that we can do externally that will remove those toxins. Therefore switch sources.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 17, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Thanks for the recommendations Dragonfly. I plan on using the EatWild website to find local grassfed beef liver if it does not cost substantially more than CAFO beef liver. As for US Wellness Meats, I am very familiar with them as a member of this website, but I wish I could afford to pay a handling fee that is 3x as much as I now pay for a lb. of CAFO liver. I know you gave your answer before my edit about financial limitations, so thanks for the good intentions and recommendations.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 17, 2011
at 06:57 PM

I think the question answers itself. If it has significant toxin levels, it's to be avoid. Find another source that has less toxins, whether CAFO or not. Might not be easy, but if the animal itself couldn't avoid the toxins to the point that they're inside its liver, not much that we can do externally will remove those toxins, therefore switch sources.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 17, 2011
at 07:13 AM

Thanks for testifying to the therapeutic effects of liver, even CAFO liver. It doesn't seem possible that any food you are consuming while your health improved as much as you describe could be harmful to you, so for now I will keep eating my good old CAFO liver.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 17, 2011
at 07:06 AM

I just prefer eating liver as part of a meal, as I have learned to enjoy the taste. Also I think liver is much cheaper than liver capsules but I could be wrong. Supplements are almost always more expensive than whole foods in my experience, and I am on a very tight budget. Great recommendation though Melissa, I might do it if I learn CAFO liver does contain unhealthy toxin levels.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on December 17, 2011
at 01:02 AM

The OP said "I am willing to do just about anything to keep eating it regularly." I answered that desire.

2ab6415f5f20b8fe1d34a94c7be85e6a

on December 16, 2011
at 10:48 PM

Is their some sort of liver supplement you'd reccomend or just taking all the micros in it separately?

0f98e4ccf1ee091f031584234bf4c20d

(120)

on December 16, 2011
at 10:37 PM

Probably because the question was not answered by Dragonfly. The question was "how would you prepare it", not would you eat it or where is a clean source to get it.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 16, 2011
at 10:28 PM

Not sure why the downvotes, but I'll add in my upvote since I agree.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 16, 2011
at 08:51 PM

Why not just take the nutrients from liver as supplements instead?

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4 Answers

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2
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 16, 2011
at 09:17 PM

You've probably come across this article by Mark Sission, Does the Liver Store Toxins?, but it's a great overview of the issue you haven't.

It would appear in most cases the liver doesn't contain many more toxins than lean muscle meat, and some cases it's actually less.

I marinate my liver in lemon juice, however I do it because I like the taste, I'm not sure that this method is actually going to remove toxins from the liver?

If I only had access to CAFO liver I'd eat it whilst actively seeking a local pasture raised alternative.

Of course you could consider other sources of vitamin A, two that come to mind are eggs and cod liver oil.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 17, 2011
at 07:13 PM

Thanks for a very practical and reasonable answer. I read the article on MDA a while ago while researching this question, and it provides evidence that CAFO liver is safe enough to eat as often as I do, i.e. once a week, so I'll be sticking with it for now.

6
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 16, 2011
at 09:04 PM

I freely admit that pastured beef is the ideal and should be eaten as much as possible.

However, on Social Security I can't swing that as my only beef option. I've been eating CAFO liver all along while

  • my chronic health complaints disappeared
  • I lost about half of the 80 pounds I need to lose
  • I'm much more active because I have so much more energy

So, I'm not claiming it's the best but I believe CAFO liver is better than no liver. I also believe it's better than refined/processed supplements.

Otherwise, why is my health so much better?

EDIT: Oops! I forgot to answer your question. With pastured beef tallow or butter added first, I slow-fry the liver to medium-well. I cook an entire package at once, eat a full serving and freeze the rest in half-servings. Periodically, if I get hungry for it, I thaw and re-heat a piece and eat it as part of a meal.

You can tell when you pick it up in your fingers whether or not it's tender; if tender, your fingers will go right through the liver from the weight of the piece. If not, and it has structural integrity when raw :O cook as above EXCEPT when it's almost done put a tbsp of water into the pan and cover quickly. The steam burst tenderizes the meat and usually makes it taste mild.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 17, 2011
at 07:13 AM

Thanks for testifying to the therapeutic effects of liver, even CAFO liver. It doesn't seem possible that any food you are consuming while your health improved as much as you describe could be harmful to you, so for now I will keep eating my good old CAFO liver.

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on December 16, 2011
at 08:54 PM

I wouldn't eat CAFO liver. You can get clean sources here or here.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 17, 2011
at 06:57 PM

I think the question answers itself. If it has significant toxin levels, it's to be avoid. Find another source that has less toxins, whether CAFO or not. Might not be easy, but if the animal itself couldn't avoid the toxins to the point that they're inside its liver, not much that we can do externally will remove those toxins, therefore switch sources.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 16, 2011
at 10:28 PM

Not sure why the downvotes, but I'll add in my upvote since I agree.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on December 17, 2011
at 01:02 AM

The OP said "I am willing to do just about anything to keep eating it regularly." I answered that desire.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 17, 2011
at 06:59 PM

I think the question answers itself. If it has significant toxin levels, it's to be avoided. The solution is to find another source that has less toxins, whether CAFO or not (chicken? goat? pig? etc). Might not be easy, but if the animal itself couldn't avoid the toxins to the point that they're accumulating inside its liver, not much that we can do externally that will remove those toxins. Therefore switch sources.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 17, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Thanks for the recommendations Dragonfly. I plan on using the EatWild website to find local grassfed beef liver if it does not cost substantially more than CAFO beef liver. As for US Wellness Meats, I am very familiar with them as a member of this website, but I wish I could afford to pay a handling fee that is 3x as much as I now pay for a lb. of CAFO liver. I know you gave your answer before my edit about financial limitations, so thanks for the good intentions and recommendations.

0f98e4ccf1ee091f031584234bf4c20d

(120)

on December 16, 2011
at 10:37 PM

Probably because the question was not answered by Dragonfly. The question was "how would you prepare it", not would you eat it or where is a clean source to get it.

6cca02352c216b4ca8325fda7d83832c

(1042)

on December 17, 2011
at 07:18 PM

Raydawg, the problem is that no one here or anywhere else I have looked seems to have a definitive answer to what those toxin levels are, with the closest answer being the article on MDA mentioned in the answer above. I tend to be more optimistic about human ingenuity than to assume we can't think of a way to detoxify an animal's liver. If we can detox our own livers efficiently, why not an animal's that we eat? I just need some evidence that it can be done.

1
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on December 17, 2011
at 08:59 AM

You could try to call to some local hunting club and ask if they might sell you some excess organds during season. I have a hunter that i know, that gives away free wild deer liver and heart many times a season. Flavorwise deer liver is superior in any way to any beef liver that i have had. And i got them for free most of the time.

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