How to Eat Raw Liver and Not Throw Up

So, you may have heard me mention about how I eat raw liver these days.

No, really. I do.

Gross? Yeah. I know. Believe me, I don’t like liver. I don’t like the taste of it. I don’t really like the idea that it’s an organ either.

But, grass fed liver is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. It’s packed full of natural Vitamin A in it’s most useable form – more so than any other food, and Vitamin A is a very important nutrient for the skin. Why else do you think Accutane’s made out of it? (a bad synthetic variety of Vitamin A, that is).

Anyway, I eat it raw because it’s more nutritious, and since I’m only doing it for the nutrients and not for my love of tasty liver chops, I actually find eating it raw less disgusting than taking it out and eating it for dinner. In my opinion, that would simply ruin my delicious dinner time meal.

I’ve devised a plan of attack though for getting it down without too much pain. Watch the video to learn my method of make eating raw liver a manageable endevour:

Gonna get yourself some liver and down a few shots? I thought so.

photo by Brandon Shidega

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  1. Amy says

    This video cracks me up! Props to you for getting those shots down! I’m doing raw, fermented cod liver oil right now, but when I’m ready to graduate to the raw liver, I’m going to review this post :-).

    • Tracy says

      I haven’t tried the fermented cod liver yet, but it’s absolutely at the top of my list for things to try! It sounds amazing. The shipping is too expensive for it to Australia, but I’m going to get some when I get home

  2. Tanya Frey says

    This is something I have actually been thinking to do, odd that you post a video on it :)
    I actually am tossing around the idea of mini, and raw, pates. May be fun…thank you for this interesting post.
    BTW the reason why I was thinking to do this personally is that many northern native tribes who consume seal will eat the raw liver, and really all of it raw. All lifestyles intrigued, the more rustic and simplistic the better :)

    • Tracy says

      Yep, raw natural meat is very good for you, and raw meat is a lot easier to digest than cooked meat… although I prefer to cook my meat mostly just for … you know… taste, and habit, I suppose, I do eat my steak as rare as possible!

  3. magda says

    i swear i am never going to try this!
    ever! i have a do you drink your bone broth everyday?do you just drink it?i tried to drink it today and almost threw it really that beneficial?if it is, i guess i have to find some way to ingest it.

    • Tracy says

      So you don’t like bone broth? I usually add it to my food to add flavour and nutrition whenever possible, but I often just drink it like tea if it doesn’t go with what I’m eating. I think it tastes really good… like drinking warm chicken noodle soup or something! I’m very surprised you find it so gross.

      Yes, I mean.. it is beneficial, but if you think it’s absolutely disgusting and you can’t handle it, then it’s not very sustainable and you probably should just avoid it.

    • says

      If you don’t like bone broth or you don’t have time to make it (like me), eat gelatin. Now Foods sells bags of beef gelatin. You might be under the impression that it’s not healthy, but man did that bag of gelatin make my stools perfect, my sleep better and my skin too…

      Seriously, it’s not expensive at all (though it’s not as cheap as bones), and if you want quality gelatin buy great lakes gelatin (it’s from grass-fed cows).

      • Mary Ellen says

        There seems to be some myths about Great Lakes Gelatin… There is NOTHING on their website about being grass-fed. For some reason, they have been glorified in the Paleo and WAP communities, but I find nothing that leads me to believe they are selling anything other than CAFO GMO fed by-products. I would love to use gelatin in addition to my bone broth, but I’ve not found a quality supplement.

    • Jeremy says

      You’re missing the magic ingredients: salt and pepper. I tried mine for the first time and thought it was awful. Then I added four cranks of fresh ground pepper, and 1/4 tsp of RealSalt, stir it a bit and now it’s awesome. I have 2c/day.

      • Tracy says

        Lol – I’ve fallen out of my liver habit! I’ll have to get back into it. And I will definitely remember the salt and pepper next time, it really does sound like it probably helps a ton. Thanks Jeremy!

  4. Lulu M. says

    A year ago, I’d say hell no.
    But now…I’m so down to try this!
    It’s really difficult locating grass fed beef where I live.
    Anyway, I’m really glad you did this video! Awesome!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Amy, well it’s better than non-organic. That’s what I eat if I’m traveling or don’t know where a farm with pastured chickens is

  5. AcneDestroyedMyLife says

    I love chicken livers! I cook them and eat 3 times a week usually with tomato soup. Beef liver is totally different story. My dog loves livers too so I have to share with him. I have and idea for eating raw livers: egg yolk, pepper, chopped onion, raw chopped liver. But still I’m afraid to eat it raw, too much blood!

    • Tracy says

      Good idea! Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to sit down and eat it like a meal with spices, like you just mentioned or like the picture above. Hah it’s not so much the blood, just the taste of liver for me. I usually eat my steak as rare as possible.

      • says

        You know, at first I thought it was gross too. But the more I eat it, the more I’m okay with it. I don’t mind the taste at all anymore. I just steam 2 ounces of liver (looks like a steak afterwards, but doesn’t smell like one :) ), lots of veggies, and I eat some gelatin with it (as I love the taste of gelatin). This is a great thing to do, since most of us ingest way too much muscle meat compared to organ meat and bones.

        Eat nose-to-tail!

        PS. I’d love to try out brains once, I’m fascinated by that thought :).

        • Tracy says

          Haha, my boyfriend’s parents took us down to Melbourne this past weekend and we went to a tapas place… veal tongue was on the menu, so I ordered it. It was so good! I have the whole cow tongue in my freezer, maybe I’ll get brave and cook it up now that I had my first taste of tongue haha. Unfortunately I didn’t get the brains.

  6. says

    You go girl! I started “eating” raw liver about a month ago…my method was to cut it into little pill sized pieces, then freeze them on a cookie sheet and then transfer to a ziplock bag once frozen. Every day I just swallow a couple like pills while they are still frozen. I haven’t gotten any liver taste at all doing it this way, though you would have to swallow quite a few pills to equal 1 ounce I think. This was a great video!

  7. says

    Thanks for this! I have tried cooking liver with all sorts of stuff, making pate, even dipping bacon in pate- and I just can’t handle the taste. I think this method is brilliant- not ruining a perfectly good meal, but still getting all that nutrition. Now, I just need the guts to do this with the bison liver in my freezer…

    • Tracy says

      To be honest, I you do still taste the liver a bit even with my method…. I actually think it’s better if you don’t stir the lemon juice into the liver like I did in this video…. because then the lemon juice kind of sits on the surface of it and acts as a coating that protects your taste buds from liver taste. So yeah. If you do this method, don’t stir the juice into the liver.

      Or try the other method mentioned here, which is cut into really tiny pieces, freeze on a baking sheet, and then just swallow when they are very frozen. ….. this sounds even easier! (in my method, the liver does defrost quite a bit when you’re grating it)

  8. says

    Haha! I don’t eat raw liver, though I eat something like 4 ounces of cooked liver weekly. It doesn’t help my skin that much, since I don’t think I’m retinol-deficient anymore. I am not zinc deficient anymore either (I used to take zinc but now it tastes metallic to me, so I don’t supplement it anymore).

    I believe the benefit of liver is simple though : for those muscle-meat lovers who ingest a lot of cysteine, tryptophan, … liver and gelatin can really balance the amino acids. People forget they need to eat the other half of the animal (bones, organs, skin …) too, and not just the muscle.

    Be sure not to eat polar bear liver :D! If you’d eat an ounce of that you’ll probably die… (it has loads and loads of retinol, I believe it’s 900k IU in 100g of liver).

  9. Kitiara says

    Noooot really a fan of liver, raw or cooked, lol. I like the suggestion of eating it in “pill” form, frozen. That has potential! Haha.

    Since this is all about Vitamin A, I have a question. Instead of liver, how about… carrots? I read that half a cup of raw carrots is equal to four times the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A, and I loooove raw carrots with a bit of hummus or veggie dip. How does that source of Vitamin A compare? Is it really significantly less effective than Vitamin A from meat?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Kitiara,

      There’s a lot of misconceptions about that… the form of vitamin A found in vegetables is beta carotene, which needs to be converted to true vitamin A in the body. Studies have shown this conversion isn’t very effective… more so in some people than others. So when they say that a carrot or sweet potato has that much Vitamin A, it isn’t reeeeally true. Foods like liver, butter, and cod liver oil are in the form of retinol and is much easier absorbed and used. I should do a post about this.

      Here’s some more info:

    • Tracy says

      No… never thought of that! It sounds like a good idea…. although I think the livery taste would still kinda ruin it. I’d be more inclined to try that with the other organs I have…. heart maybe, it seems to be the most mild tasting

  10. Sampson says

    I never thought you could make liver taste good until I learned how to make pate. If anyone owns a food blender, it’s really a great idea to make your own pate because it doesn’t taste like liver at all and you can put it in salads or add it to meals or slap some mustard on it and eat it like finger food.

    • Tracy says

      I’m going to have to try that….. do you make raw liver pate? or cooked liver pate? And what kind of liver do you use?

  11. Heather says

    What about chicken livers? Are grass fed beef livers the only safe raw livers to eat? Are chicken livers ok to eat raw? I have only seen lamb and chicken livers…and haven’t seen the beef livers.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Heather,
      I realize I forgot to mention what KIND of liver I was eating… I’m eating beef liver, but other livers are fine too as long as they are from pastured, naturally raised animals that have eaten their natural diets and are free of hormones or antibiotics. And if they have been frozen for two weeks.

      • Heather says

        Thanks Tracy,
        I just ready your log and it really made me feel so normal and less crazy for having done just about the exact same methods you have gone through….daniel kern seemed to work, but like you said, its very drying and I was destroying things with its bleach-ee-ness, and I figured that there has to be a better way.

        I also quit coffee for 2 weeks to see if that was causing it but it didn’t seem to matter.

        Then, with this Candida cleanse happening, I started February 9th, nice and slow to ease into it – I have been doing it the last few weeks (but not getting rid of the coffee.)
        I have so much more energy, its kinda crazy and my skin has improved somewhat.

        (And ultimately, I believe its your state of mind/stress that makes my skin the worst.)

        • Tracy says

          I’m glad to see you are seeing improvement with it! It’s true though that stress and frame of mind is a huge factor too… some people are more prone to stress acne than others, but yeah… it’s a much bigger factor than most people realize

  12. Marli says

    Why not just add the liver to your smoothie?mmmmmmeat shakes! I take decicated liver pills for now and that helps a lot for anyone who wants the benefits of raw liver but isn’t up to the challenge of eating it raw… The pills are defatteted and freeze dried. Yum. Stinks tho. Liver is full of iron as well as the full spectrum of b vitamins which you need to absorb iron. Just thought I’d add that because a lot of women have lower than desirable heme counts. :) So def eat your liver ladies! Tracy I love how informative your site is and your vids are awesome! Thanks!!

    • Tracy says

      Lol…. no way! So do you buy the pills or make them yourself? If you buy them, I imagine they’re pretty expensive, right? I’ve fallen off the liver wagon since transitioning back to Canada from Australia, but I do have a frozen beef liver calling my name from the freezer…… I swear I’d make the effort, but it’s frozen in one big liver clump! .. hard to grate, and I don’t want to defrost the whole thing and have to eat it all in one go. ah, excuses, excuses.

      • Marli says

        Waaaayyy!! haha! The desiccated pills I buy are (I think) $26 for 500 and you would take a couple a day… whatever that works out to. Totally worth it for the iron deficiency problems I had. I read about it in the book Healing With Whole Foods… LOVE that book!! There are a few other ingredients in them but taking them means I don’t have to eat the raw liver like you do (so well in fact) and when you’re travelling… it’s sort of dreamy to know you can still have what you need. I am not into elemental supplements for my body, if my body needs something, I need it to come from real food.

        as for the frozen liver conundrum… Why not chop the liver and then flash freeze it on some parchment paper… when it’s frozen, crumble it into a ziplock and then it’ll be ready to use instead of having to grate it. Yum. ;)

        • Tracy says

          That’s what I would do… cut them up and freeze them… but since the liver is already frozen, I don’t know if I should thaw it and refreeze it?? is that food safe? lol

          • Marli says

            Oh yeah, do not do that. The quality of the liver will go waaaay down if you thaw and refreeze. Not recommended. Your method is the best in that case. Actually, the BEST method is to delegate the job to your boyfriend! Acts of service in relationship are sexy! haha!! Cheers!

  13. Morley says

    Thanks for the advice! I bought some raw liver today but was at a complete loss as to how I was going to get it down.

    Funny, I’m from Vancouver too and I cured my own adult acne through diet analysis and lifestyle changes too. Great blog.

  14. jo says

    Thank you for this!! Pickle juice and plugging your nose masks the taste fully – until you become accustomed to it. Use juice from good pickles – find a brand without bad preservatives – I use Bubbies which is made in Canada for an American company. I look forward to my liver & pickle juice every a.m.!

  15. Adel-Alexander says

    Funny, I read an article about a group of researches who were studying in the North Pole due to climate changes. Apparently, 3 of the scientist got stuck in the mountains due to the ice. Since they had no way of coming back. The only way for survival was to eat meat or the liver from Polar bears which they killed (Don’t ask me how they did it!) And well. A polar bear’s liver contains a lot of Vitamin A. Not sure the amount but it was a huuuuge number! However, due to only eating the liver.. Two of the scientists died from Vitamin A toxicity (Or just because they couldn’t keep on anymore) The last one of the group of 3, before he died. He discovered that his acne cleared up due to the Vitamin A because of the Liver.

    …However he died after that apparently. The 3 scientists or researchers were later discovered months later. But the last guy wrote in his journal about the liver and his acne. Quite interesting don’t you think? :)

    • Tracy says

      I think i’ve heard fo this whole polar bear liver thing. It’s interesting… must have been a heck of a lot of liver. I don’t understand though why they only ate the liver and not the rest of the meat???

      • Adel-Alexander says

        I think they did so as well, but I think it’s here where the huge number of Vitamin A that a polar bear liver contains comes in the picture.

        But Vitamin A does have a positive effect on acne neither the less, accutane consists pretty much of a synthetic vitamin A. So the vitamin A from a Cod liver oil or just liver should have a positive effect on your acne. :)

  16. Kit says

    Bottoms up! You’re funny :) The ex-vegan in me is horrified that I’m even considering this, BUT – I have access to an excellent source of local, organic, grass-fed animal products and I feel like it’d be a shame not to try it at least once. I’m intolerant to lemon so maybe I’ll take the pickle juice suggestion. Thank God I’m good at doing tequila shots lol.

  17. Jackie says

    I chop my liver up into pill size pieces. Then I flash freeze the pieces on a cookie sheet. Once the pieces are frozen, I add to a jar and put in the freeze. I swallow a few “pills” frozen a day. No taste or slimy texture!

    • Mary Ellen says

      I just started doing the same thing. I have two bags… one with “pill size” frozen bits… no taste! The other with frozen cubes of liver I can pop into my smoothie. I use blueberries, strawberries and a little stevia… don’t taste the liver at all. Unfortunately, it has given me some stomach upset. Maybe it’s this particular liver… it’s supposed to be grassfed. I think I’ll get some certified organic stuff next. What do you think about Bison liver? Is it as nutritious as beef liver? I soaked my liver in lemon juice and then rinsed it and tossed the juice before refreezing to cut it. The lemon juice is supposed to draw out any toxins. I keep hearing this “14 day” thing about freezing to kill parasites. Can you share any scientific reference on that? I just keep seeing it repeated in the Paleo blogs and wonder if it’s just folklore or actual fact. I am concerned about parasites… especially since I never had and gastrointestinal issues until recently ingesting the raw liver… Thanks!

      • Tracy says

        Hi Mary Ellen – don’t know if that is fact or fiction, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to be on the safe side. And yes I don’t see why grass fed bison liver would be any less nutritious! As for this whole eating liver thing – I ended up taking the recent liver I had and dehydrating it myself, desiccated it in my blender, and then put it in capsules! Lot of work, but much easier to take ;) probably not possible if you don’t have a dehydrator though

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