Traditional bone broth in modern health and disease
Broth, made from the bones of animals, has been consumed as a source of nourishment for humankind throughout the ages. It is a traditional remedy across cultures for the sick and weak. A classic folk treatment for colds and flu, it has also been used historically for ailments that affect connective tissues such as the gastrointestinal tract, the joints, the skin, the lungs, the muscles and the blood. Broth has fallen out of favor in most households today, probably due to the increased pace of life that has reduced home cooking in general. Far from being old-fashioned, broth (or stock) continues to be a staple in professional and gourmet cuisine, due to its unsurpassed flavor and body. It serves as the base for many recipes including soup, sauces and gravy. Broth is a valuable food and a valuable medicine, much too valuable to be forgotten or discounted in our modern times with our busy ways and jaded attitudes.
In general, broth is a liquid made by boiling meat, bones, or vegetables. There are many types of broths, based on what is being cooked. For example, Bieler Broth, a vegetable broth made with green beans, zucchini, and celery is a supportive remedy used in detoxification or cleansing protocols. ConsommE, a rich broth made from meat, is another example. It is prepared by reducing, or prolonged simmering. Stock is another word used synonymously with broth, though some chefs denote stock as being made from bones whereas broth is made from meat. In this paper the two names are used interchangeably. Soup is a similar term referring to simmered vegetables, meat, and seasonings, and is defined by Random House Webster's Dictionary as a liquid food. (1) The difference is that soup contains solids such as meat, beans, grains or vegetables (sometimes disguised by a puree) while a broth is the liquid in which solids have been simmered and then discarded. Soup is what we think of as having for a meal. Broth is a starting ingredient for soup, and must be prepared separately beforehand.
The ingredients are as follows: bones from an animal, with or without meat and skin, enough water to just cover the bones, a splash of vinegar, and optional assorted vegetables or their scraps. Making broth requires almost no work, just put the bones in a pot, add water and vinegar, bring it to a simmer and walk away. No chopping or tending is needed.
Why then, don't people make it? Stock needs to be prepared in advance to mealtime. It needs to boil for hours, and the longer it simmers, the better it gets. An easy solution is to routinely put meat scraps into a pot, instead of the garbage can. Broth can just as easily be extracted from a single chicken breast bone as it can from a whole chicken, and it need not be raw. Broth can be allowed to simmer on lowest heat for a day or two. The greatest amount of work...