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Three different kinds of bone broth on a board with veggies

Nourishing Wellness With Bone Broths

By Nixa De Bellis | March 6, 2023

One can’t help but notice the growing array of new bone broth companies and flavor options on market shelves, as well as friends touting its benefits.

What’s all the fuss about?

Bone broth qualifies as a superfood because lots of power-packed minerals, vitamins and proteins are drawn from bones and marrow by way of a long simmer. This highly concentrated supply of readily available and flavorful nutrients is also a great immune booster and who doesn’t need that, especially these days?

“Bone broth is rich in amino acids, which the immune system is dependent on to function properly. Amino acids regulate the immune system and are needed to produce antibodies that fight infection. …Proline is especially abundant in bone broth and can stimulate the immune system to produce white blood cells and natural killer cells to fight infection. At the same time, proline can reduce inflammation, protect the brain and nerves, and repair damaged tissues,” according to Jennifer Salcido, ND, founder of Santa Barbara Integrative Medicine.

a bowl of chicken broth between two hands

Here are some interesting tidbits about Bone Broth:

A Heroic Source of Nutrition

Easy to prepare, pure, delicious, comforting, and nourishing! Drink it instead of tea, fast with it, use it for soups or greens, for cooking meats and chicken, or to imbibe any kind of grains or beans with extra nutrition-packed goodness. Supercharge your cooking, body and day!

In addition to supporting an immune response against colds and flu, the primary benefits of bone broths are in aiding the integrity and repair of the tissues of the gut lining, and the beautiful radiance of healthy skin, hair and nails. Many people are using a warm bone broth for the highly touted properties that support healthful aging and proper metabolic health, which are influential overall and throughout physiological wellness.

Where do you source your meat from? Does it really matter?

There are a lot of messages on the labels of your meat and poultry. Pasture-raised, Non-GMO fertilizers or pesticides, Organic or Natural.

Is there really a difference?

Detrimental health effects due to pesticides have been well-documented. Since pesticides cannot effectively be washed off meat, and pesticides are stored cumulatively in animal tissue, small and local farms you trust are your safest bet. Pesticides and GMO feed have all kinds of implications for animals and Mama Earth. When buying with more stringency, not only will your bone broth taste better and be even more power-packed, you will help contribute fewer carbon emissions from shipping and large-scale farming, as well as supporting your hard-working neighbors and the planet!

Cute cow hiding in the tall grass at Grassroots Farm in Stone Ridge NY

What is the difference between “Grass-fed” and “Grass-Finished?”

Verde Farms explained the difference this way: “Simply put, grass-finished beef comes from cattle that ate nothing but grass and forage for their entire lives. Grass-fed, on the other hand, may be used to label meat from cattle that were started on a grass diet but have either received supplemental grain feed or are finished on a fully grain-based diet. In fact, many “grass-fed” cows spend the last few months of their lives eating grain in feedlots to help them quickly gain weight.”

Bone broth concentrates proteins, collagen, amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K2, iron, zinc, selenium, and manganese for a superfood-qualifying amount of nutrition. It is recommended by Dr. Mark Hyman to use it as a morning warm drink in place of caffeinated beverages, especially if you have gut or skin concerns. 2-4 cups in the morning daily and intermittent broth fasting for a few to several days are common as well because broth is thin, watery, flavorful and packed with boney minerals and proteins.

What’s the best way to know what any farm-raised animals were actually raised on?

Start by asking questions. Meet your local farmers. Take your time at farm stands. Visit the butcher.  If their standards are high, they will likely be happy to tell you about it. And don’t forget to thank them profusely for the important work they are doing. No farms, no food. No healthy animals, no healthy humans and earth.

Making your own takes some time…but it’s worth it.

When you cook your own you’ll know exactly what goes into this heroically vital liquid. But remember: the most important thing about eating healing broths is to use grass-fed, grass-finished, pasture raised animals and certified organic or lovingly grown (and pesticide free) veggies and herbs in your nourishing elixir.

Broths are made commonly with beef or chicken bones. Vegetable broths are also very nourishing, but differently. You can use nearly any kind of meat, but beef and chicken tend to make the most delicious and nutritious broths.

Food scraps as broth inspiration and flavor zhoosh?

Another really great reason to make your own broths is to use most of the food waste you may have otherwise discarded. Veggies go to the veggie broth and carcasses go to the bone broth. Leftover scraps are super nutritious opportunities to heal and nourish.

Did you know that bone broths are great for lyme support?

It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and studies have shown bone broth relieves joint pain. As a great source of glycine and proline, the amino acids help create a healthy gut. claims, “Those suffering from Lyme disease symptoms are encouraged to drink bone broth.”

Man petting a cow on Grassroots Farm in Hudson Ny

Local Farms for Home-cooked Bone Broth:

Grassroots Farm | Stone Ridge |
CSA Community Supported Agriculture weekly shares allows you to buy smaller quantities if your freezer is small. Or, if you have a big freezer you can order a half, quarter or eighth of a cow. The founders describe their project as, “Farming to heal land, animals and community.”

Bettinger Bluff Farm  | Montgomery |
After two generations of standard practices, the third generation moved to new land in Montgomery, New York, committed to chemical free feed, soil, and meat. They sell marrow bones for $10 lb at their store on Route 17K. Open 7 days a week.

Full Moon Farm  | Gardiner |
Beef, Pork, Chicken, Lamb 24/7 by appointment. Call and take that gorgeous drive to pick up fresh healthy meat from a farm committed to 1,000 acres combined community farmland restoration.

Foxhill Farm  | Ancramdale |
Every Friday from 3-6 PM, orders are picked up and arranged at the farm in Columbia Co. There, 300 acres of land has been protected by a conservation easement since 1882.

A pot filled with beef bones and veggies beef broth of beef meat on bones slow cooked with charred vegetables: carrot, onion, garlic, and spices served in a pot, close-up

Resources for Ready Made Broths:

These retail shops, eateries and butchers have vetted their broths, but always ask questions about your healing liquid. Those with great quality product will want you to ask and know.

Hash |  Stone Ridge NY | @hash_food

Order at the counter in this restaurant, find a table and sit down to sip warm golden amber broths of two kinds: Grass Fed Bones and Chicken Turmeric.

Barb’s Butchery | Beacon NY | @barbsbutchery

Nose to tail butcher shop providing locally sourced, grass fed and pasture raised meats from small farms in the Hudson Valley, New York.

Woodstock Meats | Woodstock NY | @woodstockmeats

100% committed to grass fed and finished meats, bones and a variety of homemade broths (beef, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb and vegetable.

Accord Market | Accord NY | @accordmkt

Local broth in the frozen section.

Common Table |  Uptown Kingston NY | @commontableny

Pick up only – quarts of chicken broth.

shadow of a woman praying in front of a body of water during sunset

Final Thoughts:

Please don’t forget…sip with understanding and gratitude. Bone Broths are healthy helpers in the journey of nourishing our body’s systems. When choosing meat lovingly raised and processed locally in the Hudson Valley, we can help heal the collective agricultural system, too.

Thank you again to our super farmers. And thank you indigenous and earth connected ones for carrying nature based wisdom forward. And, to the grasses and trees, waters, soil, clean air, creepy crawlies, worms, winged ones, and to the animals for being our food.

wheat field and blue skies in Upstate NY


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