When it comes to promoting sustainability in the food industry, one approach that has been gaining attention isn’t new. The consumption of organ meats – commonly known as offal – is being rediscovered for its health and environmental benefits. At SSR, we believe in using the whole animal when it comes time to harvest, and producing organ meat for human consumption is another way we encourage sustainability and responsibility in the pork industry.
A Rediscovery of an Old Way of Eating
While many Western diets prefer the consumption of muscle meat to organ meat, the consumption of offal has been around since humanity began to eat meat. Since meat wasn’t as plentiful as it is today, it was common for meat eaters to use every part of the animal to avoid waste. It is only in the past 50 years that the consumption of organ meat has decreased to the point of it not being considered edible or delicious in Western diets. However, the consumption of organ meat still has a strong tradition in many cultures around the globe, viewing organ meats as the most prized portions and as delicacies.
Benefits of Organ Meats
The benefits of consuming animal organs are many, and eating offal is seen as a smart way to supplement typical meat consumption. Here are three main reasons why many restaurants and markets are putting organ meats back on the menu.
- Sustainability. The recent emphasis on “nose to tail” eating helps to eliminate food waste and reduce carbon emissions in the production of meat.
- High Nutritional Value. While muscle meat is high in protein, organ meats offer the highest concentration of vitamins, minerals and amino acids in natural food. In some cuts, organ meat can offer higher amounts of protein than muscle meat.
- Cost Effective. Organ meat is considerably cheaper to buy than other typical cuts of meat.
Cooking with Organ Meats
Including organ meats once or twice a week into the typical Western diet is enough to take advantage of the nutritional benefits. For those looking for easy ways to serve offal, here are a few simple solutions:
- Add it into ground meat (burgers, meatballs, taco meat, etc.)
- Add to stews, soups or sauces
- Include in sausages
- Liver pate
Many different food companies are trying to create meats that are more socially responsible and taste great. While these new innovations can help everyone find a choice that fits their lifestyle, let’s not forget the simple, natural solution (and benefits) of choosing organ meats