I have written before about the wonderful, ethereal, nutritious food that is known as bone broth. Call it stock, broth or whatever you like, it is liquid gelatinous gold. The stuff in a box? That’s not broth, or stock, or anything but water flavored with MSG and MSG alternatives. Don’t get me wrong, I bought it for years, but as I live and learn more about the food we are eating, the less I desire to eat anything, including stock from a box. Let’s face it, homemade broth is better tasting, and much, MUCH cheaper… but I will get to that later. At a certain point there was a huge blowout when people realized Chinese food and certain canned foods contained MSG, eventually it became common knowledge that MSG was not exactly the best for us. Health-conscious people, and even the most average-eating people now know that they no longer want to consume that evil acronym M-S-G, *Maniacal Laugh*. So they stopped putting it in our food right? Contains No MSG is clearly written on just about every stock or bouillon out there now days. Did companies actually take your concerns to heart? No, They hooked up with the FDA, and found a way to sneak it past you with names like-
- Yeast extract, Yeast Food, Yeast Nutrient, Autolyzed Yeast, Autolyzed Yeast extract etc. (If you see yeast on the label and it’s not bread… chances are its an MSG substitute. Exceptions might be vegan and vegetarian foods where nutritional yeast flake is used for a “cheesy” flavor. But why would you eat that Franken-Food anyway?
- Autolyzed Soy Protein (or anything Autolyzed, ie: Autolyzed whey, soy, corn – Protein)
- Hydrolyzed Protein (same as above, anything hydrolized ie: hydrolized whey, soy, corn, pea – Protein)
- Calcium Caseinate, Sodium Caseinate
Names that include: Modified, Malted, Fortified, Isolate, Concentrate, Extract, Enzyme, Flavoring etc. can all be red flags. Why is MSG so bad anyway? The easy answer is this, processed food companies add MSG or “flavor enhancers” to enhance the flavor of your food to make you “need it.” The more you need that chip, the more you will buy, the more you buy, the more money they make, the fatter you get, the more money they make. It’s a dodgy chain of events that really just ends up with people being over fed and malnourished. Just look up “MSG fattened rat” and I promise your jaw will drop. MSG is a flavor booster that is said to cause liver inflammation, cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, brain damage, and of course weight gain.
“The total picture is — if you’re consuming a diet with glutamate in it, particularly high levels, you’re making your cancer grow very rapidly. I refer to it as cancer fertilizer.” CBN.com
Really the list of possible MSG substitutes goes on and on, they often put “natural flavoring” or something to that tune on food labels now. The FDA has assured companies that they will back up the deception by making “natural or synthetic flavorings” a freebie ingredient. (like with orange juice) Any item can contain a certain amount of “obviously safe items” under the guise “natural flavoring,” or “synthetic flavoring.” This does not exclude organic foods. Most organic companies are owned by major companies eg: Kraft, Kellogs, Coca Cola and so on. *Cascadian Farms, LaraBar = General Mills, Honest Tea = Coca Cola, Naked Juice = Pepsi, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms and Kashi = Kellogg’s, Green & Black’s = Cadbury… Muir Glen is owned by get this… Cascadian Farms, which we have already concluded is owned by General Mills. It’s a mash up of webs intended to confuse you.*
What’s the big deal with big business owning these companies? In short they all use the same cheap, mass produced, nutrient-vacant food products. Kashi for example is owned by Kellogg’s, kashi uses genetically modified “food”. You pay for an “organic label” and the corporation and retailer pockets the profit, for triple to four times what they take in from their normal goods because “organic” food costs more. Health is an investment, but is it really? Aside from GMO’s, GRAS or generally recognized as safe items are in those organic foods too. GRAS items can include a huge, long list of things. All any company has to do is contact the FDA saying they want the additive added to the “obviously safe list” and they typically oblige. This Link is a list of pending or accepted GRAS items, as you can see none of the submissions were rejected. Big business sets their own standards, they choose what is “organic” they choose what additives are “obviously safe.” So, what I have learned is this: I need to move into a bio-dome and never leave…
Since we don’t have diverse eco-domes to live in, what do we do to avoid these additives that are inevitably sneaking their way into our food? Un-process your diet. The truth is that it is important to simply avoid all processed food if you can. Avoid anything and everything in a box, carton, can, jar or bag. Find whole, real foods that grow or walk. Source as much as you possibly can from a family farm you trust. Of all people, I understand this is not always easy, reasonable or even possible. In fact, I am guilty of buying a lot of my food online. Un-processing is not the easiest thing to do 100% but little changes make a really big difference and over time you can look back and feel proud of how far you have come. Broth is one of the best things you can invest your time into, after all it costs practically nothing to make.
- It Contains Minerals, collagen, amino acids and Gelatin.
- It’s affordable. – It is basically free because you are just using bones, scraps, discards and water… and chicken feet.
- It is great for muscle growth, and it is great for your teeth, gums, joints, ligaments, tendons, skin, fingernails and hair.
- It is great for digestive health, well made broth acts as a digestive lubricant, making tough to digest foods like meat, beans and grains sail through your digestive tract like a toddler on a crisco lubed slip n’ slide. This does not mean you shouldn’t soak those foods but, stock really smooths things over.
- It Heals and Detoxifies.
- It is really, real, nourishing food. Gelatin reduces the need for protein by approximately 50%. Throughout history, in times of poverty people have always prepared stocks and broths to stretch meals with soups and gravies. Broth is so nutrient dense that you don’t need to spend as much money on excessive quantities of proteins. Again, a-f-f-o-r-d-a-b-i-l-i-t-y. This makes it worth while to invest in organic, pastured meats free of antibiotics and growth stimulant hormones.
Broth Is Beautiful, Weston A. Price Foundation
Turkey Bone Broth, Butter Believer
Real Food 101: How to Make Beef Stock, Our Nourishing Roots
How to Make Nourishing Bone Broth to Heal Gut and Skin, The Love Vitamin
Beef Stock Anyone? The Nourishing Cook
Make Chicken Stock in the CrockPot, Nourishing Days
The Health Benefits of Bone Broth, The Paleo Mom
Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth, Quick Pressure Cooker Broth, Nom Nom Paleo
The Benefits of Bone Broth, & Homemade Bouillon (Nourished Kitchen)
How To Make Bone Broth: Tutorial, Wellness Mama
If you have a bone broth or stock post, feel free to link up in the comments!