The benefits of eating whole chicken, offals and all
No bite unwasted
In the traditional diets of our ancestors hundreds and even thousands of years ago, muscle meat was eaten along with organ meats, gelatinous bones and other connective tissues. The offals of an animal, which are the entrails, stomach and other organs, as well as the tongue and feet, are all nutritionally dense. Consuming the animal as a whole is a centuries old practice that has continued into the modern day and ensures that no food goes to waste while supporting a well-rounded nutritional approach.
Organ meats are particularly higher in vitamins and minerals than muscle meat and contain higher amounts of B vitamins, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. The heart is especially a high source of coenzyme Q10. While many are deterred by the consumption of liver due the misconception that it stores toxins, that is far from the truth. In reality, the liver metabolizes and excretes toxins; fat is where toxins are actually stored and is why it’s important to buy high quality meat.
There are high amounts of the amino acid methionine in muscle meats and when synthesized, creates another amino acid known as homocysteine. High amounts of homocysteine impairs methylation, is inflammatory in the body and a contributor to heart disease. Homocysteine production is kept in check through the presence of sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 and folate and properly functioning methylation pathways in the liver.
Methylation occurs when a methyl group (three hydrogen atoms bonded to a carbon atom) are transferred between molecules, thus activating genes, enzymes, detoxification reactions, hormone secretion and metabolizing homocysteine.
Going back to food waste, chicken is the most wasted meat in the UK because chicken breast is one of the most common cuts, while the rest of the chicken is largely forgotten. While chicken breast supplies ample protein, a perfectly white chicken breast with skin and fat removed doesn’t have much in the way of vitamins and minerals. 28g of chicken livers, however, supplies 81% of the RDA for vitamin A and 99% of the B12 recommendation.
Read about all the good nutrition in our Cocorico chicken livers here.