Offal Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  10 min read
offals benefits and side effects

HEALTH

Energy: offal benefits may include anemia prevention, boosted energy, cognitive health
Longevity: offal side effects may include high cholesterol | offal benefits may include detoxification
Appearance: offal benefits may include muscle gain, radiant skin, weight loss

Offals are…

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ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: low-high, 11,155 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of bovine offals (fresh or chilled) / 1,337 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of bovine offals (fresh or chilled), 3,152 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of sheep, goat, ass, mule or hinnie offals (fresh or chilled) / 378 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of sheep, goat, ass, mule or hinnie offals (fresh or chilled) | low, 1,254 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of swine offals (fresh or chilled) / 150 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of swine offals (fresh or chilled)

Carbon footprint: high, 35.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of organ meats, a car driving equivalent of 82.5 miles or 133 kilometers

Destruction: high

Offals are…

ANIMALS

Kills: various animals such as cows, sheep, goats, mules, pigs, etc.

Harms: various animals such as cows, sheep, goats, mules, pigs, etc.

Indirectly kills or harms: ecosystems and wildlife

Offals are…

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

Offals…

Where do most offals come from?

The world’s top offal exporting country is New Zealand, followed by Spain, Germany, China, France, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Belgium and UK.
Other names or offals are organ meats and entrails.

offals are acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Are offals alkaline or acidic? Offals are acidic. What is the pH level of offals? Offals have a 6.5 pH level once digested. Organ meats and meats are acidic food groups.

When you eat food, it is broken 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 found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

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

offals are gluten free.

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

Are offals gluten free? Yes, offals are gluten free. Offals do not contain gluten when unseasoned and unbreaded. Offals are a type of 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: recurring abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation, tingling, numbness in hands and feet, chronic fatigue, joint pain, unexplained infertility and low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis).

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

offals are not a common food allergen.

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

Are offals a common food allergen? No, offals are not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to offals but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods is often referred to as the Big-8 and includes milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. 

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

offals have a low-high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Do offals have a high or low water footprint? Offals range from having a relatively low water footprint to relatively high water footprint depending on the animal source.

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 something referred to as a “water footprint”. 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.

According to Oxford Academic, The Hidden Water Resource Behind Meat and Dairy by Arjen Y. Hoekstra, “The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of a wisely chosen crop product with equivalent nutritional value. In industrialized countries, moving toward a vegetarian diet can reduce the water-related footprint of people by 36%”.

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

offals have a high carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do offals have a high or low carbon footprint? Offals have a relatively high carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of offals? It takes around high, 35.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of organ meats, 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 product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

There are a number of steps that can be taken 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

offals are unsustainable.

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

Overall, are offals eco friendly? Are offals sustainable?

Offal 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.

offals are not vegan.

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

Are offals vegan? No, offals are not vegan. Offals are meats, specifically the organs of a butchered animal, therefore making it an animal-derived food. An animal must be killed in order to produce offals. 

According to Sentient Media, “more than 200 million land animals are killed for food around the world every day. Including wild-caught and farmed fishes, we get a total closer to 3 billion animals killed daily.”

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry 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. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

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

offals are a product with labor issues.

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

Are offals a product with labor concerns?

At this time there are human rights concerns with offal production and 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. 

Adriane Marie

As an educator, author and conscious consumer advocate, I study and organize ethical info for you to quickly see how our purchases impact animals, people and the planet. I hope you find this HEALabel knowledge useful and can apply it to your life for personal and societal improvement and empowerment.