Can You Eat Animal Brains
The majority of internal organs, or offal, including the brain, may be used as food. Pigs, squirrels, rabbits, horses, cattle, monkeys, chickens, camels, fish, lamb, and goats’ brains are just a few of the animals whose organs are utilised for food. Different kinds of brain are regarded as delicacies in numerous cultures.
It has been discovered by archaeologists that the animal brain was one of the earliest foods humans began to consume. The animal brain is one of the most loved and nutritious foods which is eaten by people from nearly every part of the world in various forms.
In order to develop our human brain, we require the essential nutrients which are found in organ meats like the animal brain. With weapons and tools made from human stones, we would have been uniquely equipped to gain access to animal brains, which are rich in nutrients.
Animals have had brains, or brain-like structures, for almost 500 million years; more than 80 percent of that time, the sheeps ancestors were our ancestors, too, and their brains were one and the same. That brain, like ours, was also made from a material very similar to other tissues and biological organs.
While brain is one of the highest-nutrient-density organs found in any animal, it is also, unfortunately, an organ that may harbor concentrated amounts of disease. Brain tends to retain its form quite well until you bite into it, at which point it turns to a gooey, paste-like texture. Some believe lambs brain has a similar flavor to that of sashimi, and the texture offers little resistance when biting. Pigs brain is not a strong flavoring, and you will notice a creamy, umami-like taste, with subtle undertones of pork.
Mad cow disease is no longer around — or if it was, it would be an issue just in older steers, not in young calves, which is where brains come from. People started wiseing up about brain being the unhealthy alternative, but the final nail was driven in the 90s, when epidemiologists discovered the deadly variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) was linked to eating mad cow-contaminated beef. It is thought that humans who consume brains or spinal tissue from infected cows may get a version of Creutzfeldt-Jakob, the brain-wasting illness. According to the John Hopkins Medicine, humans who consume contaminated brains may develop dementia, muscular rigidity, and speech difficulties.
Eating an animals brain could be detrimental, as animal brains may contain prions, which may lead to various neurological disorders. Prions diseases happen when the normal prions proteins found on the surfaces of many cells are altered and become crowded inside the brain, which causes damage to the brain. Cattles brain, spinal cord, and lower gut may contain abnormal proteins called prions, which may cause a cattle-specific form of spongiform encephalopathy.
The swellings can lead to memory loss, personality changes, and difficulties moving. Essentially, a goats or pigs brain is an infectious, non-replicating protein, which can or cannot lead to many neurological disorders in animals and humans. Sheeps brains are highly tasty and fit for consumption, however, eating the brains can lead to nervous disorders due to the presence of prions.
As with most of the offal, calfs brains are usually most recommended due to their young-looking texture, however, pigs, goats, and sheeps brains are eaten too. Pork and veal are typically the most commonly eaten brains (brains of cattle older than 30 months are not allowed due to the risk of mad cow disease), and thanks to this reddit thread, we have a fairly good idea what they taste like.
Eating the brains of wild birds is not recommended in the US (I cannot say about elsewhere), but the brains from a farmed pig, pictured below, are tasty. Once a delicacy of the American South, eating squirrels brains has caused human prions, much like mad cows. The widespread awareness of mad cow and other prion diseases among cattle-humans has scared some people off eating brains.
Fortunately for me, and would-be brain eaters everywhere, there is absolutely zero evidence that eating brains from goats or lambs would make you sick with mad cow, or any other prion-related illness, for that matter. Between its mild taste, texture deficiency, inaccessibility, and associated health risks, eating brains is simply not worth the second thought for most Americans.
What we do know is that humans and animals have eaten brains for centuries, with no known negative effects. It has been reported that human children raised on brains from animals have healthier brains and nervous systems than those raised the other way. Brains carry such strong cultural stigma (at least in the United States) that even most people I know who eat other, more commonly consumed, organ meats visibly recoil or giggle nervously at the mere suggestion that they should be eaten. In our time, eating from nose-to-tail, honoring an entire animal, is an endangered art, and even among people who sometimes eat organ meat, the brain is an outlier, occupying an odd position in the hierarchy of organ meats.
While other carnivores competed fiercely with Homo for the majority of cuts, the brain was perhaps uniquely suited for the consumption of humanity. My hypothesis is that part of why most humans (I am including myself, until I was about mid-20s here) have such preconceptions about brains is because the brain is an intrinsically different type of organ from other frequently consumed shit. Even adventurous eaters will frequently draw a line at brains, which is not too bad because they are loaded with cholesterol [something that is unfeared by my moms culture].
I think, at least on some subconscious level, people are afraid to eat brains because, somehow, it seems like eating a consciousness, or soul, is different from eating just a piece of muscle. Eating somebody elses brain, even that of an animal, is just too similar to eating ones own brain, while eating ones own brain–as my daughter claims–is like eating ones own consciousness, perhaps ones very soul. Eating monkeys brains seems the most distinctly barbaric, due to monkeys likeness to us, while eating humans brains is so far outside of the pale it has, at least once, invited Gods wrath.
There are a number of reasons for not eating brains, ranging from ethical objections to eating meat generally, to the plain difficulties of the butchery, to the dangers of disease; but every activity comes with certain difficulties and hazards.
My mom told me, my mom fed us all the organ meats…even kidneys and liver, but the brain was my favourite. She was able to feed herself really cheaply by going to the Iranian grocery store and buying the organ meats at a fraction of the price, since nobody wanted any. Yesterday, my mom shared with my siblings and I that she fed us the lambs brains once we were eating solid foods.
What happens if you eat the brain of an animal?
There’s a decent organic justification for why savagery is no in essentially every culture: Eating different people can make you wiped out. In particular, eating the cerebrum of another person can cause kuru — a mind illness that is like distraught cow sickness. Kuru happens on the grounds that our minds contain prions that communicate the disease.
Is brains good to eat?
A quarter pound of meat mind contains 180% of the US suggested day to day worth of vitamin B12, 20% of the niacin and L-ascorbic acid, 16% of the iron and copper, 41% of the phosphorus, and north of 1,000 percent of the cholesterol a profile fairly looking like an egg yolk.
What do animal brains tastes like?
With the possible exception of sweetbreads, the taste is unlike any other part of the animal. Both brains and sweetbreads have an animalistic flavour that is neither iron-rich like livers nor gamey like kidneys. Brains have a flavour similar to firm fish roe, but without the moistness.
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