Nose to Tail: The Nutritional Value of Eating the Whole AnimalHi friends! I recently wrote a guest post for Bare Bones Broth. The company owners, Katherine and Ryan, pour their passion for sustainability and nutrition into their broth, and I love partnering with them in any way I can. Enjoy this quick excerpt, but read the rest of the post on their blog!

If you’re like me, you probably didn’t grow up eating things like organ meat (heart?? Ew!) or bones. Though some people already have a taste for foods like liver pate, beef tongue, and heart, most of us feel squeamish when we think about those “other bits.”

Enter the ancestral way of eating. This promotes the idea that our diets should look much more like what our ancestors ate (a large variety of plants and animals) and less like Lunchables. A core piece of this lifestyle is the need to consume the whole animal – nose to tail.

It’s absolutely true that this way of eating is perfect for those who want to be both economical and environmentally-friendly, but in this article, let’s explore the health benefits behind eating the whole animal.

So why care about those other bits at all? In short, they’re nutrient powerhouses! Parts like liver and bones are concentrated sources of important vitamins and minerals. Let’s take a closer look…


First up: organ meats.

Organ meats like liver and heart offer an abundance of nutrients, such as CoQ10 (an impressive antioxidant), vitamin A, vitamin D, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and iron. These nutrients alone are commonly supplemented in pill form to make up for deficiencies!

Just look at how 100 grams of chicken breast stacks up to 100 grams of beef liver, according to the USDA food database:


Chicken Breast

Beef Liver

Vitamin A

8 mcg

4968 mcg

Vitamin D

5 IU

49 IU

Vitamin K

2.4 mcg

3.1 mcg


4 mcg

290 mcg

Vitamin B12

0.39 mcg

59.3 mcg


67.1 mg

333.3 mg


0.89 mg

4.9 mg


25 mg

18 mg


17.8 mcg

39.7 mcg


0.7 mg

4 mg


0.039 mg

9.755 mg

This is a guest post for Bare Bones Broth! Head to their blog to learn about the nutrition behind eating the whole animal.


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