Liver Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/22/22 •  11 min read

What are liver benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are liver pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

liver benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on liver benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about liver benefits and side effects. This will include liver benefits for your health and potential risks, liver water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if liver is vegan or impacts animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if liver are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about liver benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Top Liver Benefits And Side Effects

HEALTH

Liver side effects may include:

Liver health benefits may include:

Additionally, liver is…

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ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: high, it takes 7,796 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of bovine cow liver / 934 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of bovine cow liver, a relatively high water footprint | low, 684 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of swine cow liver / 82 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of swine cow liver

Carbon footprint: high, 35.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of offals (internal organs, entrails), a car driving equivalent of 82.5 miles or 133 kilometers, a relatively high carbon footprint

Destruction: high, liver production is relatively destructive, land usage for pasture, grain and forage, solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, deforestation for feed crops, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction, responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction

Liver is…

ANIMALS

Kills: various animals, commonly cows, chickens, ducks, lambs and pigs

Harms: various animals, commonly cows, chickens, ducks, lambs and pigs

Indirectly kills or harms: ecosystems and wildlife, habitat contamination (water and soil pollution), wildlife habitat destruction (deforestation/land clearing), wolves and coyotes killed to prevent predation on livestock 

Liver is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: hazardous, meat processing workers have some of the highest rates of occupational injury and illness in the USA, the work environment in processing plants is dirty, dangerous, at times machines that injure workers by crushing, amputating, burning and slicing them, workers use tools such as knives, hooks, scissors, and saws, injuries include cuts, stabs, infections, scars, scratches, missing fingers, swollen joints, working conditions are humid, slippery, loud, hot or below freezing resulting in respiratory problems, skin infections and falls, workers experience

Living conditions: poor, workers must process thousands of animals per day, they are pressured to work as fast as possible, rest breaks and bathroom breaks are discouraged or denied, many workers must wear diapers, they experience stress, physical and emotional pain

Wages: low, in the USA workers are poorly compensated and earn under $15 an hour, they are often pushed to work faster so companies can profit more

Liver has…

Is liver nutritious? Is liver good for you?


Liver is high in vitamin A, folic acid, iron, and zinc but also high in cholesterol and often contains antibiotics and hormones.

What are some vegan substitutes?

Check out this Vegan Substitutes List to see alternatives for meat, dairy, eggs, fish and more.

liver is acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is liver alkaline or acidic? Liver is acidic. What is the pH level of liver? Liver has a 6.5 pH level once digested. Meats and organ meats are acidic food groups.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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liver is gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is liver gluten free? Yes, liver is gluten free. Liver does not contain gluten when unseasoned and unbreaded. Liver is a type of organ meat, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

liver is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is liver a common food allergen? No, liver (unbreaded, unseasoned) is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to liver but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

liver has a high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does cabbage have a high or low water footprint? Cabbage has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of cabbage? It takes 7,796 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of bovine cow liver / 934 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of bovine cow liver.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

liver has a high carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does liver have a high or low carbon footprint? Liver has a relatively high carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of liver? It takes around 35.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of offals (internal organs, entrails), a car driving equivalent of 82.5 miles or 133 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

There are a number of steps we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

liver is unsustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is liver eco friendly? Is liver sustainable?

Liver production is relatively unsustainable.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

liver is not vegan.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is liver vegan? No, liver is not vegan. Liver is meat, the product of various animals, therefore making it an animal-derived food. A cow, chicken, duck, lamb or pig must be killed in order to produce liver. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

liver is a product with labor issues and human rights concerns.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is liver a product with laborer concerns? At this time there are concerns with livestock farming. It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

This post was all about liver benefits and side effects.

Sources:

beef liver – FoodData Central

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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