Bone broth may be one of the oldest foods consumed by man, but it’s recently experienced a resurgence in popularity. And, as we’ve seen with Greek yogurt, chia, and gluten-free – when something gets popular, companies are quick to jump on the buzzword bandwagon to try and make a buck.
This would seem like a good thing – more healthy products for more people, right?
Unfortunately, not so much. Many companies are more concerned with profit than product. They rush to market, cutting corners on quality (not to mention integrity) in order to save money and/or get their wares on shelves faster. Additionally, the faster you bring a product to market, the fewer legal regulations you have to deal with.
This creates a situation where, if a company moves quickly, they can package a product, printing whatever they want on the label, and sell hundreds, if not thousands, of units before the government has time to catch up. Here is where we find ourselves with bone broth.
Currently, there is no USDA or FDA definition for bone broth.
Companies can pretty much call anything bone broth and get away with it.
Is Your ‘Bone Broth’ Really Stock?
The first sneaky trick companies have come up with is to package regular broth or stock as bone broth.
Broth is made by simmering water, vegetables, herbs, spices, and meat for 45 minutes to 2 hours. Broth can include some bones, but it’s mostly meat.
Stock is made by simmering water, vegetables, herbs, spices, with more bones than meat. It’s also cooked longer – usually 4 to 6 hours. Chicken stock tends to have a fuller mouth feel and richer flavor, due to the fact that some of the collagen in the bones is released into the water during the cooking process.
Bone broth is like SUPER stock. It’s traditionally made by slow-simmering water, ONLY bones – no meat – and apple cider vinegar for no less than 18 hours. This amount of time allows the bones to fully break down and release their structural components, including collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and minerals, into the water. When the collagen is cooled it turns into gelatin.
You can tell a broth is full of collagen if it turns to gel when it’s cooled.
Is There Filler Broth In Your Bone Broth?
The second, and, we think, more devious trick is adding broth to bone broth.
Some brands (who shall remain nameless) add pre-made broth – which could be in the form of a powdered base, such as boullion or powdered chicken parts – to their broth.
Why would they do this? To be honest, we’re not really sure. Our best guess is that by adding pre-made broth (or “filler broth”) to their bone broth, these companies can speed the cooking process, change the flavor, and/or make more broth for less money.
They can make more broth, cheaper and faster.
How Can I Make Sure My Bone Broth Is Legit?
1. HEAD TO THE FREEZER AISLE
When buying bone broth from the store, the first step is to head to the freezer aisle. Bone broth has always traditionally been stored by freezing – this preserves nutrients at their peak. If a bone broth is sold frozen, that’s usually a good indication that the company understands and values the traditional method of making bone broth.
2. READ THE INGREDIENTS – CAREFULLY!
Companies can get pretty crafty with wording, especially since bone broth is a new product category with no regulated definition.
If you see something strange, like broth listed twice, do some research on the brand and the product. Reach out to the company. Any brand worth their sea salt should be able to give you a good reason (in plain English) as to why they’re using certain ingredients.
True Bone Broth. Traditionally Made.
At Bonafide Provisions, we pride ourselves on making what we call, “true” bone broth – that’s bone broth made the way our ancestors made it.
We also didn’t hop on the bone broth bandwagon yesterday. We started making bone broth almost 15 years ago, in 2005, when our founder, Sharon – a Clinical Nutritionist, NTP, and GAPS practitioner – used bone broth to heal her son’s chronic illness and treat thousands of nutrition clients across North America. Read Sharon’s story.
Don’t Mess With Your Food & It Won’t Mess With You
We are on a mission to bring abundant wellness to the world. We believe that there is wisdom in tradition and it is our promise to you to stay as true as possible to the time-tested, time-honored cooking methods of our ancestors.
FYI: Our Frontier Blend is not certified organic – yet! We are in the process of getting certification, which takes time. Our recipe currently includes all organic ingredients with the exception of our lamb and bison bones, which are grass-fed and grass-finished and our Celtic sea salt, which comes from the sea (and can’t really be certified organic.)
If you ever have any questions about how we do things, please don’t hesitate to ask!