4 Surprisingly Nutritious Cuts of Meat

January 23, 2017

Shoppers are finding room for alternate cuts of meat and organ meats on their plate.

Last week we discussed the Paleo diet and shopper and how you’re likely to encounter these shoppers in your stores and grocerants. Today we’re getting into some alternative cuts of meats that your Paleo and sustainability minded shoppers might request. That’s right, many people are finding room for alternate cuts of meat and organ meats on their plate. It’s even been called nose to tail eating, a term from the title of English Chef, Fergus Henderson’s book, The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating, which drew in a cult following after it’s US publication in 2004. The concept, which encourages eaters not to waste a single bit of the animal, has recently become re-popularized with the Paleo eating trend. Here are four your staff should be familiar with.


Liver is by far the most nutrient dense organ meat you can eat. It contains many nutrients that are difficult to get elsewhere. Liver is an important source of retinol, which is pre-formed, bioavailable, vitamin A. Liver is also rich in folate; a B vitamin that we most often associate with leafy greens as being necessary for DNA synthesis and important for pregnant women. Choline is also abundant in liver, a neurotransmitter precursor necessary for muscle control, and memory as well as fat metabolism. It is also rich in vitamin B12 necessary to keep inflammation low, and helps boost red bloods cells, protecting against anemia. B12 is also crucial for nerve preservation and optimal cognitive function.


While still technically muscle meat, tongue is certainly an alternative cut to the younger generations. The nutritional profile is similar to that of other muscle meat, making it a good source of iron, zinc, choline, B12, and trace minerals. Zinc gives your immune system a boost, while iron prevents anemia thus fighting fatigue. Tongue is a fatty cut of meat, with about 70 percent of its calories coming from fat, making it one of the most tender cuts of beef you can find.


Heart is a energy booster and its taste and texture have been compared to that of a very lean steak or brisket. It’s a good source of energy boosting iron, immune and growth boosting zinc, selenium for the thyroid and its antioxidant impact, and B vitamins which are necessary for a host of functions in the body.  Heart is also a stellar source of CoQ10, vital for energy production and it’s antioxidant value. Like it’s source, CoQ10 is necessary for heart health, migraine prevention and potentially slowing the progression of Parkinson’s.


Sweetbread is the culinary name for two very different organs, the thymus and pancreas. Often described as smooth, and tender even creamy when cooked, sweetbreads are rich in B12, and collagen and immune boosting vitamin C as well as protein and vitamin E. Sweetbreads are also rich in energy boosting iron, blood pressure regulating potassium, immune boosting zinc and super antioxidant and thyroid supporter selenium.


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