Stop Censorship Now
  You are at: Home > Support > Blood Vamps

site  logo.
Escape Frames

Real Vampires Support Page

Article Library

Translate me to:  
Blood: Nutritional and Common Uses Around the World

(The original of this article is also crossposted at Real Vampire News - you may comment there if you wish.)
(A reworking of this article is in progress.)

Many people claim that there is no nutritional value in blood. Sadly, this is a common belief primarily in America, since most Americans - especially those in the medical profession - tend to forget just WHAT is being measured in the blood with lab tests, and that blood is regularly on the menu - both cooked AND raw - in many non-American cultures.


Medically, human blood contains a large variety of cells and nutrients including: lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and so on. There are lab tests available that measure most, if not all, of these values, including calcium, folic acid, glucose, iron, potassium, protein, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Many of them are even routinely checked on a Chem-20 or Metabolic panel!


Blood products have also been used in "blood agar" in laboratory settings to grow bacteria samples, and iron supplements in some countries generally contain whole blood or blood products ("Heme iron") - New Zealand's deer blood capsules and Russia's "Hematogen" bar for example - instead of the mineral form (usually a sulfate) typically seen in the USA. Blood products and byproducts turn up as a source of nutrients for livestock feed or plant fertilizer (usually called "blood meal" in that case.) A powdered supplement called "Prothemol" is made with dried cows blood, dried egg whites and flour, and has been used in Brazil since 1996 to effectively counter starvation and malnutrition in their population.


Blood is regularly used in many parts of the world in food such as soups, stews, puddings, sausages and other dishes - and in some cultures, even used raw, either directly or added as an ingredient in another cooked dish. Blood sausage (sometimes called "blood pudding") is probably the most commonly known example, with different variants depending on the country of origin, but there are also several variants of blood soup or stew, a few variants of a congealed "tofu" like form such as in China and Vietnam, and even blood bread.

If you have a copy of the Joy of Cooking cookbook by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, you likely have one of the many recipe variants for blood sausage already. My hardcover copy dates from 1964, and in that edition, it can be found on page 438.

Cultures where blood is consumed raw include probably the most famous example, the Maasai of Africa, but some of you might be surprised to learn that raw blood is also consumed in Alaska by the Innuit peoples (typically seal blood) and in Vietnam as "Tiet Canh", a congealed, but still raw, breakfast dish (duck and pork are common versions.) In Thailand, a noodle soup type dish often called Nam Tok is made with raw meat and with blood poured over it. Nam Tok has two basic preparations, one is a soup, the other a meat "salad" - traditionally, this is raw meat, as is the blood poured over it, though many modern versions may omit the blood and generally cook the meat to a greater or lesser degree. Such traditional diets tend to have lower rates of heart disease than western/highly processed diets.

The television show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern highlights MANY cultures where blood is consumed either raw or cooked as part of another dish. The episodes I'm aware of that deal with blood-based foodstuffs are:

Season 2, ep  2: Blood pudding in Iceland
Season 2, ep  6: Blood sausage and blood pudding in Chili
Season 3, ep  5: Blood sausage in France
Season 3, ep  7: Halloween party special, including raw cow's blood
Season 3, ep  8: Wild boar blood in Hawaii
Season 3, ep 13: Blood sake in Japan
Season 4, ep  1: Fresh cows blood & clotted blood while visiting the Masai tribe
Season 5, ep  2: Blood cake soup in Cambodia
Season 5, ep  4: Sheep's blood sausage in Arizona
Season 5, ep  5: Clotted cows blood in Tanzania
Season 6, ep 10: Romani (Gypsy) Breakfast blood stew and blood sausage in Hungary
Season 6, ep 16: Embassy Row, including swedish blood pudding
Season 6, ep 17: Finland - blood brownies for schoolchildren, blood soup, and other selections

The point of all this is that blood is much more nutritious - and common in various foods and drinks - than most Americans realize. You can find plenty of videos on YouTube illustrating this, but I only recommend looking for them if you have a VERY strong stomach.

Some references are below; I've labeled some with "[GRAPHIC WARNING]" where there are images of raw blood products so that readers with sensitive stomachs have advanced warning.

~SphynxCatVP, January 1, 2011


This article is presented as part of an ongoing effort to present other views outside of, as well as within, the online vampire community. As such, the views and attitudes contained in this article are entirely those of the author(s), and may not necessarily be shared by SphynxCatVP. The webmaster is not under obligation to update or otherwise keep current the contents of this article. Most importantly, only you can decide for yourself whether this article or any of the author(s) other views are useful or applicable to you - use your own reasoning and judgment.

   Acta Medica Scandinavica: Chapter IV: Nutritional value of blood proteins, 1979
   Journal of Food Science: Use of Animal Blood and Cheese Whey in Bread, 1974
   Medical Anthropology Quarterly: Seal Blood, Inuit Blood, and Diet, 1991
   New England Journal of Medicine: Unique Characteristics of the Maasai, 1971
   PubMed Central: Young Blood Heals Old Muscles
   Stanford Univ News: Young Blood Revives Aging Muscles
Food Industry
   Better Utilization of By-Products from the Meat Industry, 2002
   New Ingredients in Food Processing by G. Linden, Denis Lorient, 1999
   Chicago Tribune: Battling an Ancient Problem (1996)
   Deer Blood pills
   Gematogenka (a/k/a Hematogen) bar
Food & Recipes
   AllRecipes: Chicken with Blood
   Chef-2-Chef: Cooking with Blood
   Cookery Art: Blood Bread
   [GRAPHIC WARNING] Global Times: Blood Tofu - Bloody Delicious
   [GRAPHIC WARNING] Offal of the Week: Blood
   [GRAPHIC WARNING] Phlebotomist.Net: Recipes with Real Blood
   Wikipedia: Bizarre Foods episode list
   Wikipedia: Black Pudding / Blood Sausage
   Wikipedia: Blood Soup
Contact Author(s):

Home | Tell a Friend | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Webrings | Dictionary
© July 1999 to present, SphynxCatVP