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Sharla Mctavish



I must have known instinctively as a child that eating organs was just asking for trouble. Lamb’s fry and bacon, tripe, strips of sheep or cow brain delicately fried. It makes more sense now given I know what I know about organs themselves and all the happy little diseases that can arise from eating organs.
Lets just think about it for a moment, contemplate if you will a world without CJD (Creutzfeld Jakob Disease). wouldn’t it be a much safer place, had some farmer not decided that it would be a good idea to feed his or her cows ground up sheep. It is possible in that case that BSE would have never existed.
If you are unlucky enough to have been living in Britain at the time and eaten brains or hamburgers (the adding of bovine brains to hamburger meat was, until recently, a common practice) you may have contracted CJD, but you won’t know that for a while because CJD is a very slow and debilitating disease.
A friend of mine travelled to Kenya, and was offered monkey brains by his host. Not known for his forward thinking he ate them and considered the consequences later. Is it any wonder HIV jumped from our simian counterparts and fell in love with us as a host? Yet another reason I choose not to eat organs.
But it isn’t just the wide variety of bacteria, viruses and other parasites that you contract from organs – have you really considered what some of these organs do in an animal’s life time? Take kidneys for instance – what do they do? Each kidney filters out the water that goes to make up urine, amongst other things. Or the liver – it detoxifies the animal’s blood. I don’t know if I want to eat that – even if I did like the taste of it, which I don’t. This is the appropriate point to feel sorry for those people with pernicious anaemia who were forced to eat slices of raw liver – I can’t even begin, words just fail me.
Having said all these things, its true I have never caught any diseases from organs, nor had any parasitic infections through the eating of them, but you will not catch me putting a morsel of any type of organ past my lips knowingly – it just won’t happen. But should there come a time that I am tempted, I have this column to remind me why I don’t eat organs or undercooked hamburgers.