Sunday, July 17 2016
After a dear, sweet, elderly woman in her mid-nineties from my church was diagnosed with throat cancer, she couldn’t easily swallow solid foods. Her doctor prescribed bone broth, three times a day, as the best way for her to get the nutrition she needed to stay alive. He knew what many seem to have forgotten; that bone broth contains nourishing substances that are found nowhere else. So her children and grandchildren made enough broth on weekends to get their mom the supply she needed for the rest of the week, and it helped her to stay alive for many years.
Growing up on the farm, it was our normal practice to always make our own bone broth. Since we wasted nothing, when we cooked whole chickens on the stovetop, we of course saved all the nutritious broth. It was great for eating just as broth, or for adding to other dishes as a delicious ingredient. We’d also save all the femur bones and many of the other bones from pigs, lambs and cows, baking them first to brown them and then boiling them to get the high-in-protein and nutrient-dense marrow out of the bones and into the broth.
But today, since consumers buy mostly boneless meats, they’re missing the opportunity to get the bones needed to make their own highly nutritious broth. No bones, no broth. It also takes a little time to make broth, even though it’s very simple. That’s time that many consumers don’t want to allocate for broth making. Broth can of course currently be bought at the store, but we clearly need more packaging options. Over the past few years there’s been a loud, resurgent call for using bone broth, especially in the paleo world. Books like “Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet,” and “The Bone Broth Miracle: How an Ancient Remedy Can Improve Heath, Fight Aging and boost Beauty,” “The Bone Broth Secret,” and “Brodo: A Bone Broth Cookbook,” are helping to spread the word about the benefits of bone broth. (All of these books are available on Amazon.)
Because American consumers no longer buy whole chickens and boil them to make their own broth, nor can they easily buy beef, pork, lamb and fish bones, the meat industry is staring at an overlooked opportunity to package and market bone broth in new and creative ways. I believe there’s a largely untapped, growing market for broth that warrants a frozen section at every retail store. The industry could easily be making various types and sizes of bone broth more visibly available. Bone broth can currently be purchased in a wide variety of packaging options at Amazon and other online retailers, but it’s very expensive to purchase with added shipping costs. And if you value convenience, you can even buy bone broth in K-cups for your Keurig machine now, but it’s two bucks a cup and the flavor’s just not as good as frozen broth or the better-yet home-made option. The retail environment has a clear competitive edge here.
When I’m at meat plants, I lament seeing so many bones getting dumped into roll-off trailers that could be used for broth first, before being sent off. These bones are most often being sent off to be rendered into domestic animal food. I guess it’s nice to know that at least our pets are well nourished. But people need the nourishment that can only be found in bones as well, and we should extract another entirely profitable step in our processing of bones before we give them up. By not eating more broth made from bones, we are missing out on some great nutrition: What’s in these bones is good for our bones!
Broth is good food, and a great food value. If you haven't treid Pho, your really missing out! It's made by boiling beef bones for 6 hours to get marrow out of the bones and into the broth.
If you buy broth in the store, check the label carefuly and make sure it's made from meat bones. This is the most nutritious type for your body.