So I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where you can find authentic Chinese restaurants, not the Made-For-White-Boys Chinese restaurants you find in much of the rest of the US. As such, at the better ones you can get quite a wide variety of offal. Today I had duck tongue, tripe and chicken feet. Do you think that given these are not organic that some of the offal, such as kidney (which I could have had today), would be over-the-top with toxins?
The Persistant Organic Pollutants (POPs) which you are concerned about are stored in the animal's fat tissues, making very lean organ meats like liver, kidney etc a safer bet than conventional muscle meats.
I recently ate Kung Pao Kidney in a Chinese restaurant in Chicago's Chinatown. It was delicious.
I didn't worry about oil or sugar contents because:
(a) I don't eat offal in Chinatown regularly;
(b) I'm pretty sure non-organic kidneys are fine (I consumed fish oil pills afterward, just like I do every time I eat conventional meat); and
(c) at least some of the bad stuff was counterbalanced by the nutrient gains from eating so much kidney.
It doesn't really matter, but I'll note that almost all of the patrons were Chinese (or at least Asian), and I don't remember any of them being obese.
Lastly, if I keep my diet too restricted my gut becomes overly sensitive to impurities, which is a state that I don't prefer. About once a week I choose to put diversity over purity when faced with a tough decision (like kidney cooked in unknown oils).
If you have no problems eating meat from conventionally raised animals, then I don't think you should worry about the type of cut.
Personally, when I eat Chinese I'm more concerned about the oils used (and reused) to cook, and additives like MSG. BTW, if you can find them where you live, try pig or duck intestines: heavenly...
Do tongue and feet really count as offal? Don't get me wrong, they're delicious, they're just not organs.
As for how toxin riddled they are, I'd look around and see how healthy looking all the old Chinese folks are at the restaurant. If their seniors aren't morbidly obese and sickly looking and fairly mobile, eh, you're probably good.
I live in China and although it's easy to eat Paleo here when I'm cooking at home it can be very difficult to eat out due to the reliance on soy bean oil and a lot of added sugar. If you want to practice your mandarin you can request that your food be cooked in lard:
"Qing ni bu yao yong dou you. Yong zhu you. xie xie."
"Please don't use soy bean oil. Use lard. Thank you."
This might also be helpful:
"Wo dui xiao mai guo min" - "I'm allergic to gluten."
ji xin - chicken heart (These are awesome if you can find a Chinese restaurant that does bbq!)
ji gan - chicken liver
Of course if you haven't tried it yet, find a restaurant that does Beijing duck. The skin of the bird is crisp and absolutely to die for - in Chinese it's "Bei jing kao ya"
It's actually really unfortunate that the Chinese are not cooking like they did traditionally by using lard and other animal fats. Western dietary advice and the industrialized food supply has made it to China. (Fat people will follow!)
Introducing Organ Meats 5 Answers
Eat your heart out... 3 Answers