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We Tried It: A Liver-Based Protein Bar
Liver is having a moment. Not only has this long-reviled organ meat been gaining favor among those who embrace a "primal" or Paleo lifestyle, but recently, it also became the star of a new protein bar: the 100% Grass Fed Liver + Beef Sea Salt bar from Epic. So obviously, I had to try one.
Before I dig into what shelf-stable organ meat actually tastes like, let's answer an important question: Why would a company create a liver bar in the first place? Epic is no stranger to meat-based bars—it already has a successful line of beef, bison, lamb, turkey, pork, and chicken varieties. The new bar also fits the company's goal of sourcing sustainable meats and using as many parts of an animal as possible. Plus, when it comes to nutrition, liver is apparently in another league.
MORE:From Truckers To Hipsters: When Did Beef Jerky Become a Superfood?
"Liver has some of the highest nutrient content of any food, let alone meat," says Laura Schoenfeld, RD, a holistic nutritionist not associated with Epic. "A few nutrients in liver are hard to get elsewhere, including preformed vitamin A (also called retinol), folate, choline, and iron." And in case you we're wondering, yes, it's safe to eat liver: Although the organ filters toxins from the blood, it doesn't accumulate those toxins more than any other part of an animal does.
Alright, I'm slightly less sketched out. Let's do this. As I peel back the plastic packaging, I get a whiff of what smells like beef jerky. Taking a bite reveals that it's much softer than that—my teeth sink right in. The taste? Not gag-inducing. In fact, I kind of like it in small doses. It's quite salty and has a rich, meaty flavor with a hint of metal, I assume from all the minerals.
MORE:Five Things You Need To Know Before Buying Grass-Fed
Would I eat it again? Sure, provided I had a tall glass of water, an apple, or something non-meaty to balance it out. After all, it has one of the cleanest ingredient lists of any protein bar I've seen: Grass-fed beef, grass-fed beef liver, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, lactic acid, and celery powder. Compared to the mash-up of protein isolates, artificial sweeteners, and chemical preservatives you find in many protein bars, this one's far safer, organ meat included.
Video: The Worst Protein Powder for the Liver
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