Loving liver as a kid made me an oddity. I liked it just as well as pizza, or fried chicken, or a hamburger, and back then, no one ever had to coax me into eating it by saying, “Eat your liver – it’s good for you.” I ate liver because I liked it, and I considered it’s being “good” for me, more of a reward than an incentive. When I grew up and was on my own, I continued to eat liver – chicken livers, in particular, which were inexpensive and went far for a young woman on a budget and with a student loan to pay. I ate chicken livers often in those years, and when I did, I liked to cook them Asian style, adding things like scallions, ginger and garlic to the sauté pan. Today, I only eat liver about once a month, not because I like its creamy texture and delicate flavor any less, but rather because we now know that foods that are high in cholesterol, like liver, are best enjoyed in moderation. Some folks, not overly concerned with cholesterol and the role it plays in developing heart disease, eat liver more often, valuing it for its healthier flip side – as an excellent source of nutrients such as copper, zinc and folate, as well as for vitamins, like B2, B12 and, in particular, vitamin A. However, there’s a caveat here, especially for a very special segment of our population. Some studies suggest that pregnant women who eat too much liver may be putting their unborn child at risk by ingesting excessive amounts of vitamin A. (See the March of Dimes website at http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/nutrition_risks.html for more information.)
If this is of concern for you, speak to your doctor, or health care professional, regarding what is in your and your baby’s best interest. Liver, like many good foods in life, is meant to be savored and – difficult as it may to those of us who love it– limited.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.