How To Eat Liver

Liver.

You either hate it, or you pretend not to hate it to impress your friends when you’re dropping a couple NorCal margaritas and a bunless burger after an intense CrossFit sesh.

Actually, some people claim to like the taste of liver, but these people mostly consist of those with a rare condition in which they were born with no taste buds. (It’s so rare that it’s not on Wikipedia yet, so don’t try looking it up.)

Liver isn’t much to look at, so here’s a picture of a livery.
Liver isn’t much to look at, so here’s a picture of a livery. Image: autoblog.com

See, the thing about liver is it’s so damn full of nutritional goodness.

The other thing about liver is it tastes like a butt.

That’s why the American Liver Council (also not yet on Wikipedia) asked me to write this post. To help those of you struggling to get past the uh, let’s say the rich, rich, rich umami quality of liver, so you can reap the full benefits of its powerhouse nutritional status.

So without further ado, I present:

8 Ways to Make Liver More Palatable

1. Start really young.

We fed my son liver when he was just 6 months old, and he still gobbles it down. Unfortunately for most of us, developing this kind of easy rapport with liver would require time travel back to our infancies, and time travel is something that’s out of the price range for most folks these days.

2. Combine it with other strong flavors that can mask the liver-y taste.

Sounds simple, right? Hold up! This requires some strategy. The trick is to pick a food or foods that aren’t quite your favorite(s), because their flavor is about to become indelibly linked with that of the liver. And so, for the sake of all that is holy, please don’t chase or combine liver with coffee or chocolate.

3. Hide the liver.

Like in a big pot of chili, or behind the TV stand, where you’ll never have to think about it again until a small rodent discovers it and eats it, makes a nest and has its babies and the whole family lives out the remainder of their rodent lives in that very spot and you won’t know they’re there until several weeks after their quiet passing when the smell becomes alarming enough that its location is undeniable and then when animal control has been called and the whole sordid mess is finally over you’ll collapse on your couch and think, “Well, gosh! Next time I think I’ll just eat the liver, probably.”

4. Rethink your whole attitude toward liver and the liver-eating experience.

Think about the cow that gave you its liver, and how thankful you are to receive the bounty of all those liver nutrients. Think about the beautiful, sacred cycle of sustenance of which we are a blessed part. You will open yourself to a whole new way of thinking about your food, about the circle of life, and about the meaning of gratitude. (Note: The liver will still taste exactly the same.)

5. Eat it really fast.

You know how in some video games you have to tap a button really fast to beat the boss or to run fast enough to jump that crevasse? Think about doing that, except with your jaw.

6. Cook the liver, chop it into bits, then freeze them to make liver pills.

You can then grab a couple of liver pills whenever you feel like choking on something. Just kidding! But really, make sure to swallow them properly, or they might lodge in your throat, leading to painful throat cramps and causing you to taste liver for up to three months.

7. Hold your nose while you chew.

Actually, this works great.

8. Buy desiccated liver.

Desiccated is a fancy way of saying “dried.” This is another easy, effective way of getting your liver in without ruining your afternoon. But please, no snorting.

Did you like this post? If so, please feel free to share it on social media, preferably with a cool hashtag like #liverhacking.

And/or do you have a liver-focused manuscript you need edited? If you do, that’s really strange, but I’ll probably work with you.

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Please, Don’t Have an Opinion

But whereas it used to bother me that I was so open to persuasion, now I am perfectly happy to put up with what others might regard as the discomfort of uncertainty. —Mark Palmer, “In defence of having no opinion

There’s been some minor drama in the paleo space lately. I don’t feel like hashing through it all, but it’s involved mud slinging and character assassination and some other crap.

Anyway, the other day I was sitting there reading this long article about this mess, trying to sift through it all, trying to decide who gets my vote, and for what, in this whole thing.

And I did formulate a few pretty clear opinions about elements of what was happening in this mini-drama.

But the story, the bigger picture of it, wouldn’t quit. It was like some overriding internal force was trying to goad me to make up my mind about the whole thing somehow. To land on that larger, deeper idea, that grand cohesive opinion about all of it as it was being presented to me.

You maybe know that voice. The one that tells you you need to get harderbetterfasterstronger at making up your mind and telling the world what you think or this age of miracles is going to pass you by.

I was starting to get antsy.

Image: muppet.wikia.com

Then, a breath of sanity wafted in, and told me to f*** it.

And I threw my hands up in relief and remembered I’m not required to have an opinion about everything everyone writes about anyone everywhere.

Feeling that way too much is just plain disempowering, y’all.

A little later, I googled “not having an opinion.” Unsurprisingly, not having an opinion isn’t exactly SEO gold dust. There was no blast of clickbait—no “7 Mind-Blowing Ways To Not Have An Opinion,” no “You Won’t Believe How Unopinionated This Tea Partier Is!”

The article I quoted from up top was the 10th result on the first page, floating in a stagnant pool of dictionary entries, song lyrics, and Yahoo! Answers, um, confusions. The only other thing that jumped out on the first page of results (coming in at #8) was this: “Not Having an Opinion Gives You Better Judgment.”

Yes, not always having an opinion doesn’t just help keep you sane. Deciding to—or at least figuring out a way to—not always have an opinion is pretty much a skill that can improve your judgment. And it sure can save you some time and stress.

So what do you think about all of this? Don’t answer that.

Is Paleo Here to Stay?

Last week, I got something I’d been anticipating for a while: my first “paleo” spam.

This wasn’t an email from a well-meaning, verifiable source in the established paleo community trying to sell me something. It was true spam—an email from an unidentifiable source with some generic copy about paleo-something-or-other, trying to get me to click on one of its links and take me heck knows where.

It got me thinking about where we are in the lifecycle/track of this whole paleo trend.

Bring In the Model

Basic trend analysis categorizes a trend according to its audience, starting with innovators, then early adopters, late adopters, and late majority (and sometimes laggards, if you’re feeling crotchety).

Picture1-copy

Source: http://thinkingfutures.net/what-we-do/resources/futures-foresight/futures-methods-2/analytic/

Right now, I’d put paleo at the tail end of the “late adopter” and start of the “late majority” phase. Even if you think they’re close (I don’t), government institutions definitely aren’t on board with this one yet, kids.

Now, when I say “trend,” I mean that primarily in a value-neutral, not a pejorative way (but the spam, I will pejorate the crap out of the spam).

To any sane observer, paleo is clearly a trend.

A trend with a multi-year lifespan, and one with close ties to a number of other cultural threads and shifts, toward things like alternative and “natural” approaches to movement and exercise, local and decentralized food production and distribution, slow living, and a greater focus on family and community.

Which I think most of us would agree are all Pretty Good Things.

But even the most ardent paleo devotee also has to admit that the “movement” has been increasingly co-opted for its marketing potential.

We’re starting to see “paleo-friendly” on product labels in the same way we’ve seen “vegan” and “gluten-free” for a little while already. Some of the really fancy stuff even comes with a “keto” label now. “Low-FODMAP” isn’t far behind.

Wave for the Spamera

I like to also think of what’s going on with paleo as an ocean wave.

The core of the paleo trend—the ties to science, to deep and wide-ranging lifestyle changes, and to the general thrust of the zeitgeist—is the wave itself: large, powerful, carrying all manner of sediments and biologia. It’s strong, and it can last a while.

The wave also carries some froth with it. Salty bubbles, along for the ride. You can guess what the froth represents.

It’s not a perfect analogy by any means. Especially since I don’t know a lot about fluid dynamics. Or what the shore represents. (Whole Foods?)

*But back to my original question*: Is paleo here to stay?

I think so. The more meaningful lifestyle and social/cultural aspects of paleo still have roots to grow.  And in terms of dietary marketing, paleo will become as established and omnipresent as vegetarian or vegan.

Again, I’m trying to be as value-neutral as I can here. This is simply what I think will happen. Not what I want to happen, or how I’ll feel about what I think will happen.

In any case, my junk mailbox is probably going to keep seeing more and more paleo spam.

Speaking of, somebody’s gotta be working on a paleo substitute for actual SPAM. I would eat that (maybe).