Q. Could you provide me with a nutritional comparison of beef liver and liverwurst?
A. A 3-ounce piece of liver is truly a nutritional powerhouse. It would provide nearly half of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein for an adult plus a whopping nine times the requirement for vitamin A and twice the requirement for riboflavin. In addition, it would supply 14 percent of the RDA for thiamin, 80 percent of niacin, about 75 percent of iron requirements plus even some ascorbic acid, If fried, as liver commonly is, the 3-ounce serving only contributes 195 calories.
The nutritional composition of liverwurst will vary depending on the proportions of beef, pork and pork liver it contains. In general, however, liverwurst is rather impressive in several respects. On the average, 3 ounces will provide about 25 percent of the RDA for protein, all of the day's vitamin A and about half of the day's iron requirement. In addition, it would meet 70 percent of the day's riboflavin and 30 pecent of the day's niacin allowance. Three ounces of liverwurst contain about 260 calories.
We should point out that 75 percent of the calories in liverwurst or braunschweiger, which is the smoked variety, come from fat that is highly saturated. In contrast, even if fried, only 40 percent of the calories in liver come from fat. That figure could further be pared down by using as little as possible in preparation.
Liver is, of course, a heavy source of cholesterol and, in fact, contains considerably more than you're likely to get from liverwurst. (Exact figures for the cholesterol content of liverwurst are not available.) For this reason liver should be eaten only occasionally by individuals following cholesterol-lowering diets.
Q. As I was driving my car recently, and listening to the radio, I heard about a new booklet that the government has just issued describing community-based programs to help consumers save money. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name and address and have been unable to find out where to get it. Can you help me?
A. The name of the publication (with 411 pages, it is well past booklet size) you are no doubt looking for is called "People Power -- What Communities Are Doing to Counter Inflation." It was compiled by the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs and is available from the Public Documents Distribution Center, Pueblo, Colo. 81009.
We have just reviewed a copy and would certainly recommend it to anyone involved in a consumer-action program. The main text, which is quite attractive, is divided into five sections. The first describes the basic tools, or the "nuts and bolts" of launching a community project. The next four sections -- on food, housing, energy and health -- describe projects around the country that have either successfully cut costs or provided essential services.
The section on food describes a wide diversity of projects including food cooperatives, home gardening programs, community canning organizations and solar greenhouses. There is also a description of how efforts in one state brought about the repeat of a state sales tax on food and reports of programs to make federal foods assistance programs available to those who need them most.
At the end of each section there is a list of resources, including both publications and organizations which can provide a variety of services. Two appendices and an index include additional valuable information.
Esther Peterson, former director of the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs, special assistant to President Carter for consumer affairs and the woman under whose leadership the data was compiled and put into book form, points out in the introduction:
"The groups mentioned in this book may not be the best in their field . . . But they've all had important successes that help illustrate the various approaches others can take to help fight inflation."
To that we would add that they cannot help but provide inspiration to anyone interested in organizing community programs to help cut costs.