The brain, like most other internal organs, or offal, can serve as nourishment. Brains used for nourishment include those of pigs, squirrels, horses, cattle, monkeys, chickens and goats. In many cultures, different types of brain are considered a delicacy.
Cultural consumption 
Similar delicacies from around the world include Mexican tacos de sesos. The Anyang tribe of Cameroon practiced a tradition in which a new tribal chief would consume the brain of a hunted gorilla while another senior member of the tribe would eat the heart. Indonesian cuisine specialty in Minangkabau cuisine also served beef brain in a coconut-milk gravy named gulai otak (beef brain curry). In Cuban cuisine, "brain fritters" are made by coating pieces of brain with bread crumbs and then frying them.
Nutritional benefits of eating brain 
DHA, an important omega-3 fatty acid which is also referred to by the technical designation of 22:6, is found concentrated in mammalian brains. For example, according to the nutrition data website, 3 oz. (85 g) of cooked beef brain contains 727 mg of DHA. By way of comparison, the NIH has determined that small children need at least 150 mg of DHA per day, and pregnant and lactating women need at least 300 mg of DHA.
Fat and cholesterol 
The makeup of the brain is about 12% fat, most of which is located in myelin (which itself is 70-80% fat). Specific fatty acid ratios will depend in part on the diet of the animal it is harvested from. The brain is also very high in cholesterol. As an example, a 140 g can of "pork brains in milk gravy", a single serving, contains 3500 milligrams of cholesterol, 1170% of the USRDA.
Risks of eating brain 
Brain consumption can result in contracting fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as Variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and other prion diseases in humans and mad cow disease in cattle. Another prion disease called kuru has been traced to a funerary ritual among the Fore people of Papua New Guinea in which those close to the dead would eat the brain of the deceased to create a sense of immortality.
Wild animals 
It is also well known in the hunting community that the brains of North American wild animals should not be consumed, due to the risk of chronic wasting disease. The brain is still useful to hunters, in that most animals have enough brain matter for use in the tanning of their own hides.
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Brain (as food)|
- "Weird Foods: Mammal". Weird-Food.com. Retrieved 14 October 2005.
- Meder, Angela. "Gorillas in African Culture and Medicine". Gorilla Journal. Retrieved 14 October 2005.
- Connell, Evan S. (2001). The Aztec Treasure House. Counterpoint Press. ISBN 1-58243-162-0.
- "Beef, variety meats and by-products, brain, cooked, simmered". Retrieved 2011-10-27.
- "DHA/EPA and the Omega-3 Nutrition Gap / Recommended Intakes".
- "Brain Facts and Figures". Retrieved 19 December 2010.
- "Pork Brains in Milk Gravy". Retrieved 16 February 2011.
- Collinge, John (2001). "Prion diseases of humans and animals: their causes and molecular basis". Annual Review of Neuroscience 24: 519–50. doi:10.1146/annurev.neuro.24.1.519. PMID 11283320.
- Collins, S; McLean CA, Masters CL (2001). "Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome,fatal familial insomnia, and kuru: a review of these less common human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies". Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 8 (5): 387–97. doi:10.1054/jocn.2001.0919. PMID 11535002.