Is foie gras good for health?

January 31, 2024 | 03:26 pm PT
Foie gras is known as an expensive dish worldwide. Is it nutritionally rich and beneficial for our health? (Dan, 43, Hanoi)


Many people think of foie gras, the specialty product made of the liver of a duck or goose, as an expensive delicacy reserved for those with decent financial means. However, this is only partly true, as not all foie gras has high nutritional and economic value.

Only the livers of certain geese raised under specialized feeding processes in specific regions like France are expensive and considered a delicacy. These geese are raised under a unique process aimed at producing the largest and fattest livers possible. As a result, fat accumulates in their livers, which is why French goose liver has a distinctive aroma and is very creamy.

Grilled foie gras served on a plate. Illustration photo by Freepik

Grilled foie gras served on a plate. Illustration photo by Freepik

However, geese in Vietnam are primarily raised under natural conditions serving the purpose of obtaining eggs and meat rather than for producing nutrition-rich livers. Both the meat and livers of geese raised in such conditions are not as delicious as those of chickens raised under normal circumstances.

In terms of nutritional value, goose liver indeed contains various vitamins and a high iron content. However, animal livers, in general, are organs involved in detoxification, so they may still contain some residues that are not ideal for our health. Particularly, the livers of chickens and geese raised for quick growth and with short farming periods tend to accumulate more residues and have higher cholesterol levels.

In general, you should consume animal liver in a moderate amount. Also choose liver from healthy animals from reputable sources.

Dr. Nguyen Duy Thinh

Former lecturer at Hanoi University of Science and Technology’s Institute of Biotechnology and Food Technology

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