Beef liver is a nutrient dense superfood, but it’s crucial to remember that not all liver is created equal. If you’re a health-conscious consumer who understands the value of locally sourced grass-fed beef products, this should come as no surprise. After all, in life, you get out what you put in - and when it comes to premium meats, it’s no different.
First of all, let’s pay some homage to the nutritious powerhouse that is liver. Turns out grandma was right all along. Whether or not you are a fan of its taste, you can’t ignore the health benefits that can come from consuming it. “Ounce for ounce, liver is probably more nutritious than any other food,” according to Berkeley Wellness. Let’s put it into perspective.
A single 3.5-ounce serving of liver contains:
- More than the daily requirement of vitamin B12
- Large amounts of other B vitamins
- Rich amounts of protein, zinc, copper, iron, and vitamin C
- Only about 180 calories
- Only six grams of fat.
- High amounts of protein and low amounts of carbs.
You’d be hard pressed to find another food item that checks all the boxes like liver does. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, while also boasting an attractive macronutrient profile. But again, you shouldn’t expect the same nutrient density from store bought beef liver as you would from a local producer like Acabonac Farms.
The difference between off the shelf beef liver and locally sourced grass-fed beef liver lies within the diet of the animal it came from and the farming practices of the producer. The way cattle are raised and fed has a direct relationship with the resulting taste and nutritional value of the meat. The standard grocery store beef liver most commonly originates from industrial cattle farms that use grain as the singular feed for their animals.
Grain is a popular choice among “big beef” farms because of its ability to rapidly grow cattle to size, without regard for quality of life, minimal infrastructure investment, and cheaper costs overall. An animal that has been fed a lackluster grain-only diet for its entire life will not yield meat of the same caliber as its grass-fed and finished counterparts. In fact, according to a study done comparing grain and grass-fed cattle, grass-fed cattle yielded roughly three times more mood-boosting, heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids across the board. It’s incredible how much the diet of the animals directly translates into the nutritional makeup if its meat.
Not to mention the harmful pesticides and antibiotics that inevitably find their way into the meat sourced from industrial grain-fed cattle farms. It’s good for business, but it’s no good for the animals, us, or the environment. In the end, your best bet for the best cut of beef liver is going to be local farms that use natural, healthy feeding methods, and sustainable farming practices. Long Island’s very own Acabonac Farms prides itself on using regenerative land management to produce 100% grass finished cattle. No herbicides, pesticides, growth hormones or subtherapeutic antibiotics. For many, liver is an acquired taste, it’s a taste worth acquiring. Just make sure you’re getting it from the right place.