Sometimes old school really is the best school.  Although you may not remember, your mother probably will about eating liver once a week as a child “because its good for you”.  She will probably also remember that she either loved it or hated it, and either fed it to you or vowed never to.  Yet few people actually know that its main function was to prevent anemia and depression.  Another thing not widely known is that for all intents and purposes, a piece of liver that is about the size of your hand (3oz/100g serving) contains about 50,000IU of Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, B6, B3, B2, folate, iron and is high in protein (according to the USDA nutrient database).  In essence, you could almost call it a multivitamin in a meat.  Even the Gerson cancer therapy, which is predominantly vegetarian, used to use liver extract as an essential part of its regimen.  One reason why it is used less today is due to a lack of culinary ability on the part of many to prepare it.  Another concerns the urban myth that “it is a toxic filter” which is incorrect.  The liver is responsible for biosynthesis of chemicals that help to rid us of toxic elements.  In addition, it makes bile to aid in fat digestion, activates thyroid hormone, synthesizes cholesterol (which makes up all hormones and cell membranes) and helps maintain blood pressure within its normal range to name but a few of the many functions.  In Chinese medicine, it is used as a remedy for “blood deficiency”. Many cultures around the world consider it a delicacy and in slow food cuisine it is.  Just ask Chef Jamie Oliver or read Julia Child’s famous cookbook.

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