Episode 118: How To Add Bone Broth To Your Diet With Justin Mares

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Thanks for joining us for episode 118 of The Ancestral RDs podcast. If you want to keep up with our podcasts, subscribe in iTunes and never miss an episode! Remember, please send us your question if you’d like us to answer it on the show.

Today we are excited to be interviewing Justin Mares!  Justine_Mares_Headshot

Justin Mares is the co-founder of Kettle & Fire, the first shelf stable bone broth company. He started Kettle & Fire with his brother Nick after Nick suffered a serious knee injury and wanted to drink bone broth for recovery but couldn’t find any. Justin was formerly a tech guy and ran growth at Exceptional Cloud Services until acquisition by Rackspace in 2013.

Bone broth is a beneficial addition to a healthy whole foods diet, but the time consuming process and messy cleanup are obstacles to many of us.

Luckily, our guest today brings good news of a shelf stable bone broth made the traditional way providing all the health benefits without the hassle!

Join us today as we talk everything bone broth with Justin Mares of Kettle & Fire. Just some of what you’ll hear is the details on what makes Kettle & Fire’s bone broths different than other products in the supermarket, the health benefits of consuming bone broth, and practical ways you can incorporate bone broth into your diet.

If you’re thinking you’ll just use powdered bone broth that’s increasing in popularity, Justin shares the reasons why these products don’t have the same nutritional benefits as the real thing. You won’t want to miss this discussion!

Here is some of what we discussed with Justin:

  • [00:05:05]  How Justin got into the business of selling bone broth on a national scale.
  • [00:07:41]  What makes Kettle & Fire’s bone broth different than what is usually found in the supermarket
  • [00:10:27]  The difference between bone broth that gels and broth that doesn’t
  • [00:12:10]  What kind of bones Kettle & Fire uses to make a broth high in collagen and gelatin
  • [00:13:16]  Where Kettle & Fire gets the bones to make their broth
  • [00:16:06]  How having a high quality pre-made bone broth saves time and energy while making working toward health goals easier to maintain
  • [00:20:31]  Why powdered bone broth does not have the same nutrition benefits as liquid bone broth
  • [00:23:54]  How Kettle and Fire makes a traditionally cooked bone broth that is shelf stable
  • [00:28:48]  The health benefits of consuming bone broth on a regular basis
  • [00:31:23]  Testimonial stories from Kettle & Fire customers
  • [00:39:16]  Guidelines on how much bone broth to consume on a regular basis to see benefits
  • [00:41:14]  Practical ways to incorporate bone broth into your diet


Links Discussed:


Laura: Hi everyone! Welcome to episode 118 of The Ancestral RDs podcast. I’m Laura Schoenfeld and with me as always is my cohost Kelsey Kinney.

Kelsey: Hey everyone!

Laura: We are Registered Dietitians with a passion for ancestral health, real food nutrition, and sharing evidence-based guidance that combines science with common sense. You can find me, Laura at LauraSchoenfeldRD.com, and Kelsey over at KelseyKinney.com.

We have a great guest on our show today who’s going to discuss how bone broth can be a simple and healthy addition to your whole foods diet without all the work and mess of making it yourself.

Kelsey: If you’re enjoying the show, subscribe on iTunes so that you never miss an episode. And while you’re there leave us a positive review so that others can discover the show as well. And remember, we want to answer your question, so head over to TheAncestralRDs.com to submit a health related question that we can answer or suggest a guest you’d love for us to interview on an upcoming show.

Laura: Before we get into our question for today, here’s a quick word from our sponsor:

This episode is brought to you by Paleo Rehab, a five week online program designed to help you recover from HPA axis dysfunction, also known as adrenal fatigue. Is your perfect Paleo diet and lifestyle leaving you exhausted? Now is the time to start feeling the health and wellness you know you deserve. If you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, and are ready to take back your health, then head over to MyPaleoRehab.com to get your free 28 page e-book on the 3 step plan for healing from adrenal fatigue. That’s www.MyPaleoRehab.com

Laura: Welcome back, everyone. We’re excited to have with us today Justin Mares. He’s the co-founder of Kettle & Fire, the first shelf stable bone broth company. He started Kettle & Fire with his brother Nick after Nick suffered a serious knee injury and wanted to drink bone broth for recovery but couldn’t find any. Justin was formerly a tech guy and ran growth at Exceptional Cloud Services until acquisition by Rackspace in 2013.

Welcome to the show, Justin! We’re really glad to have you here with us.

Justin: Thank you for having me. Super excited to be here!

Laura: We had you guys as a podcast sponsor back in the day. I forget exactly what the timing of that was, but I have a lot of your product in my pantry, both because I had a subscription for a while and then also you guys gave Jordan and Steve some product at their business mastermind two weekends ago that we were in Boulder for that. I got a little extra bone broth from that. I don’t even know if you guys were talking directly to them or not. But I have lots of beef and chicken broth in my pantry now because I’ve been just hoarding it.

Justin: That’s awesome! I’m excited to hear it. Have you tried the new mushroom chicken?

Laura: No, I haven’t. I didn’t even know there was a new flavor. I’ve just been kind of doing the standard chicken.

Justin: Got it. I will have to get you some. It’s exclusive in Whole Foods right now, but I’ll send some your way.

Laura: Cool. I was living off chicken broth last week because my husband got me super sick. I always blame him, but he got me super sick after I got home. We were both in Colorado for that business mastermind. Luckily I had like a whole box of the chicken broth that was just like essentially half of my day’s calories were coming from that. Definitely saved me when I was feeling really, really not well.

I used to joke with him before we were married and our relationship was primarily phone based. I would get myself like a little nightcap of bone broth. He’s not into the whole Paleo or ancestral health thing, so he always thought that was a little weird. I think he is thinking it’s less weird now.

But anyway, enough about my little stash. I wanted to find out from you since I think a lot of our listeners probably are the kind of people who if they were going to start a food company, they would want to know how do you even get into that? Especially coming from a tech industry, how did you get into the business of selling bone broth on a national scale?

Justin: Yeah, it’s a great question. I’ll kind of go back to the beginning. Basically I was working in tech because like I mentioned, my last company we got acquired by a company called Rackspace. After two and a half years of working on this company and working in the developer tools space, I was like man, this space is just so boring. I just didn’t really care about the product. There’s only so much excitement you can get from talking about, and selling, and working on a product that is a software for software developers.

Around that time, I started thinking I want to focus on doing something that I actually care about. For me that is health and wellness. As I started looking in the space, I was looking at doing a couple of different companies. I was actually looking at doing a software company in the kind of the [inaudible] space and was looking at a couple of other food companies because I think Food and Nutrition is just one of the biggest problems that we have today.

Around that time, my brother suffered his knee injury. I was trying to incorporate bone broth more into my life and struggling to do so because just I frankly am not a great cook book and don’t do it all the time. Between kind of these two things, I wanted this product, Nick you wanted this product and we couldn’t find it anywhere. No one was selling it at the time.

We just kind of decided, hey, this seems like a really good opportunity. We can actual really be the first company to make a super high quality drinkable bone broth using all hundred percent grass fed, grass finished bones from grass fed cattle, organic ingredients, and the like. Once we decided that was a good idea, we just kind of started going for it.

Laura: I feel like when anyone is starting a business, obviously one of the main things to consider is, is there a market for this kind of thing? And like you said, I don’t think up until you guys started making it, it was pretty rare to see at least good quality stuff. I know there’s lots of different products in the grocery stores that have been there for a long time. I’d be curious to hear your perspective on what makes…I mean I can tell from like a flavor perspective what the difference is.  But what’s your opinion on what makes your bone broth different than what you would normally find in boxes at the supermarket?

Justin: We obviously before getting into this business looked at what all of the other businesses were getting, what the competitors were doing. What we saw is that this same thing happened in the bone broth category that’s happened in all sorts of categories in the food system which is there is a product with traditional methods and a ton of health benefits like bone broth that have been a staple of our diet or ancestor diets for hundreds of thousands of years. Then kind of big food comes into the space and looks at not how do we make sure that this product maintains the health qualities and the attributes that people drink it for? But instead, how do we drive down the cost?

For example, we looked at all of our competitors and all of them were doing a couple of different things. They were using bones from other factory farmed animal or strictly organic animals. They were mashing the bones, and so using a bone paste. Rather than using the highest quality bones, the bones that are traditionally used to make a bone broth, they were kind of using all of the bones along with the not ideal kind of crappy cuts of meat that they would flash boil at high pressure for two to four hours and then they would add a bunch of seasoning and “natural flavoring” and all of like. What you get is you get a product that effectively is devoid of all the nutrient content that people are looking for in the broth. Like no amino acids, very little protein, almost no flavor.

We decided to come in and do things completely differently. We use super long cook times, 20 plus hours in the case of our beef bone broth. We use all organic ingredients. We use bones strictly from cattle that have been 100 percent grass fed, grass finished. Together we have this super rich bone broth that gels just like homemade, it’s high in protein. From the lab tests that we’ve done, our stuff literally has 200 times more collagen than Pacific’s bone broth. That not an accident. It’s because we make it completely differently using time tested traditional method.

Laura: Actually I’m curious, you mentioned that you guys have bone broth that actually gels. It’s always funny to me because whenever I make bone broth, which isn’t super common these days just because of how busy I’ve been which is why I love your product. It’s super handy to not have all this cleanup to do. Every time I’ve made bone broth, it gels. It’s funny because I’ll put photos on Instagram, or social media, or whatever to show I made bone broth and people are asking how I got it to gel. And honestly, I have no idea why my bone broth generally always gels. I feel like I just follow the normal instructions for bone broth. What is the difference between bone broth that gels and broth that doesn’t?

Justin: The amount to which a bone broth gels is basically determined by how much gelatin is in the product. Bone broth is super high and collagen and when you cook it for a long time, some of that collagen breaks down into gelatin. When gelatin is cooled, so basically put in the fridge for an extended period of time, the molecules will bind to one another and so create a kind of gelatinous texture.  If you have a bone broth that doesn’t gel, chances are that you either didn’t cook it long enough, enough of the collagen from the connective tissue, and the marrow, and the bones themselves didn’t get into the broth, or something else went wrong where it’s not as healthy and nutrient dense as it could be. That’s kind of a big difference and that’s why it’s a key indicator. It’s something that we pay a lot of attention to with our product.

Laura: I always wonder, and maybe you can confirm this, I feel like part of the reason that the bone broth I make at home tends to gel is because of the type of bones that I use. I feel like a lot of times I’m using bones that have a lot of that like obvious gelatin or kind of tendon like looking tissue on it, whereas I think you can get like these big soup bones that are mostly just bone and maybe some marrow in it. I’m wondering if maybe the type of bone you use affects how much gelatin is even available to come out in the broth?

Justin: Oh definitely. We want to look for bones that have a lot of either connective tissue, or a lot of bone marrow, or just a mix of all of those. For us, we use femur, knuckle, patella, neck, those sorts of bones because they have a lot of connective tissue. And that connective tissue when it breaks down on the broth leads the highest nutrient density and the highest concentration of collagen and gelatin from all of the different tests that we’ve run and from everything we’ve seen.

Laura: Where do you get these bones from? Do you have like a partnership with meat producers? I’m assuming that you don’t just go buy a bunch of bones from the grocery store the way those of us at home do when you’re making it on that size scale.

Justin: I wish. To the best of my knowledge, we are currently the largest purchaser of grass fed bone in the U.S. What we are doing is we’re finding ranchers generally, so we work with a couple of different rancher collectives that follow 100 percent grass, grass finished practices. We then buy from this collective. So basically this collective works with a bunch of these small family ranchers, they source these bones from all of these different individual ranches, and then we buy right from that collective. That’s kind of how we do it and that’s the best way that we found to maintain quality while also making sure that we can access as many bones as we need.

Laura: I would imagine that probably makes it a lot easier if you have some ongoing partnerships with farmers that maybe they would normally sell their bones directly to the consumer or to a grocery store. But if they can just kind of dump them on you guys and you guys can make a product out of it, I’m sure that’s a lot more convenient.

It’s funny because I feel like with bone broth in a box, or in a jar, or however people want to buy it, sometimes people say it’s kind of pricey. I mean to be fair, it is, it’s definitely more expensive to buy it pre-made than if you’re making it yourself. But I would say personally, the main reason that I go for the pre-made stuff is just like the time savings and also I hate dishes. Doing dishes when you’re dealing with bones is like the most annoying thing ever because it’s just like beef fat and weird bits and pieces of bone stuff everywhere.

Justin: Yeah.

Laura: That’s kind of like a little personal side note that I feel like a lot of people don’t realize how much work goes into bone broth as far as like if you were going to make it at home. Then even though maybe bones themselves, you can get them kind of cheap, it’s like yeah maybe the starting ingredients are not that expensive, but just the amount of time and energy you save putting the bones in, like just setting it up, getting it cooking.

It’s not hard necessarily, it’s just when you’re busy, like I know for me running a business and newly married so I have a lot of stuff even just like home organization things that I need to be doing right now, I just don’t have time to be doing this like traditional cooking method.

Do you feel like that’s one of the big hurdles that a lot of like potential clients for you guys either hits that price point and is like, oh my gosh, it’s so expensive! Or they say I can make this myself, why should I buy it?

Justin: Yeah definitely. A lot of people say that. I think that in order for someone to improve their lives and change in a meaningful way their diet, their health, whatever, it’s really really, really, really important to make a new behavior super easy and accessible.

So many people don’t go to the gym, don’t go to CrossFit or whatever because they go to one class and then they get super exhausted, and they’re sore for the next few days, and after hiking to the gym that’s two miles away, or drive, or whatever, it just becomes a really typical habit that a lot of people drop off of.

I think in the same sense, if you’re looking to improve your health, or work on joint health, whatever issue you’re trying to improve and it requires that you buy these bones from these specific sources, like make sure you’re buying really high quality bones, and then cook them for 24 hours plus hours, and then like you said have to clean up, and all this kind of stuff, and sometimes you’ll mess up the batch, and other times you won’t, it just it makes it much, much harder.

I’m completely with you. If you know how to make bone broth and you have access to really high quality bones, go for it. I think there is a ton of good that can come from incorporating this product in your diet whether you buy it or whether you make it on your own. We’re more making this for people that like you don’t want to spend 24 hours cooking this so that they can have it every morning or drink it two or three times a week, which is lot of cooking.

Laura:  The cooking I would say because I personally have a Crockpot that I would use, so the cooking itself is not even where the time comes in. For me it’s like, first like you said, sourcing the bones. I know places I can get bones in the area like farmers markets or farmers in general. But it’s not just like going to Whole Foods and getting bones. You have to go to kind of special places to get it.

And then they take up a lot of space. If I’m not going to make the bone broth right away, it’s a long time to stay in the freezer and then it’s like half your freezer space is bones, which is not the end of the world, but if you’re not doing it right away, then it’s taking up some decent amount of retail area in your freezer.

Justin: Yep.

Laura: And then the putting together and cooking part, okay fine, not that hard. Like I said, it’s just that straining the bones and then cleaning up all the tools, like my cleaning my Crockpot, cleaning my strainer. Even just discarding the bones at the end it’s like, okay, do I throw these out? Do I do something else with these?

And then there’s the fat on the top, which I had gotten in the habit of saving when I was doing it. But honestly my fridge got so full of all this fat that I wasn’t using because I don’t eat like a super high fat diet. I was just like, this is ridiculous. I have to throw this out now because it’s been in here for years.

I would say for me it’s more like the time that goes into the prep, and then the cleanup up, and then the amount of extra stuff that’s either in my fridge, or freezer, or garbage can because of that process. It just got to the point where I was like I can’t do this. It’s just not reasonable. I’m too busy. I have two businesses that I’m running, all this stuff going on. I might as well buy the stuff and have boxes of it.

And honestly, really like I said, it came in handy when I was super sick last week. I wasn’t going to go through this whole process to make bone broth when I was in bed for the whole day. So it was really nice to be able to just be like, alright, I need to slam some chicken broth right now and I just went to my pantry and pulled out a box and did that a couple of times a day for a couple of days.

I mean it’s one of those things that I think the clients that I work with, sometimes they’ll have like sticker shock or they’ll be like bone broth is easy enough to make. Why don’t I just do it myself? Which like you said, it’s great, but I think people might be surprised if they’re trying to do bone broth on a regular basis that doing that on even just a weekly basis can get really exhausting.

Justin: Yep, completely agree.

Laura: I’d be curious because something I’ve been seeing crop up with a lot of my clients, not because I’ve been recommending it per se but because I think just the internet is recommending it, there’s a lot of clients that I work with that are using powdered bone broth and I’m wondering if you have any perspective on this. I don’t want to open a can of worms, but I’m just curious because I think a lot of people are using this powdered bone broth and they think that they’re getting the same product. I don’t know enough about it to say anything pro or con and I’m curious if you have any thoughts.

Justin: Yeah, definitely I have some thoughts. From my perspective, I think that whenever you’re looking to change something about your diet for health reasons, it is best to almost always go with a whole foods approach. That is something that I think has been proven over, and over, and over again.

If you look at nutrition science over the last 50 years, there’s been tons of different things where first it was it was just Resveratrol from wine and then just kind of trends hop around to all of these different miracle cure supplements that end up not working unless pretty much consumed in whole foods.

I’m just skeptical of that kind of reductionist approach to nutrition in general and more specifically as it relates to the powdered bone broth. If you look at the ingredients, if you look at how they’re sourcing it, if you look at all this stuff, it’s ironic to me that the people that often care a lot about their health and want to incorporate this product in their lives, they wouldn’t buy factory fed chickens, and yet they’re putting this bone broth into their body that is strictly from factory farm chicken sources.

How the bone broth powder is made is it’s a chicken stock where they make the stock from factory farm chickens, which has all sorts of issues, but they make the stock, they then concentrate it by spray drying it and exposing it’s a super, super high heat, and then blanch and bleach the powder.

What that does is that it effectively robs the powder, the broth of any nutrients that it may have had. When you’re exposing amino acids and proteins to super, super high heat, it does something called denatures the protein where the protein molecule actually warps and it is just no longer as nutritious, as effective, and it’s not used or processed by the body in the same way.

From everything I’ve done, everything that I’ve read into, there’s a lot of research about how gelatin and collagen can be denatured at super, super high heat, which is why though we’ve had tons of offers, probably could have made quite a bit of money doing this, we have not yet launched a bone broth powder because we have not found a way to do it the same sense, in the way that we think would be nutritionally advantageous and actually effective.

Laura: With your liquid bone broth, is there a temperature max that you’ve set for that product?

Justin: Yes. We don’t expose it to more than 160 degrees. That is the go long, slow simmer kind of process that we put it through.

Laura: I think this is where some confusion has come up with people that I have talked to about the product in the past is that their assumption is that in order to have a shelf stable product, it has to be heated to a point of I guess sterilization to be able to do a shelf stable. But maybe you guys have figured out a way to do that kind of technology without the heat process?

Justin:  They’re completely correct when it comes to…. there’s basically a couple ways that you can “sterilize” things. What these exposure guidelines are for are simply to kill bacteria that might exist in products. They’re mandated by the USDA or the FDA and it just says you must expose your product to this temperature or at some point if you want to kill off known bacteria, known pathogens that could exist in our food.

So that said, there are basically two ways that you can do this. One, what they do with a lot of shelf stable juices, and coconut water, and stuff like this is they will expose the product for a short period of time to a lot of heat. That will be 250 degrees or so for 30 minutes. Now in our case because bone broth is made by cooking it over an extended period of time at low heat, we actually get around that because of our long cook times.

The USDA says you either have to flash freeze something or you can keep it under a certain temperature threshold for an extended period of time. Those will both inhibit the growth of pathogens and stuff like that. We kind of go with the second option where we do our long, slow cook times. There is no way that any pathogens can get into the bone broth or grow in the bone broth during those long slow cooks. And then we package it so that. The product is actually good and shelf stable.

Laura: That’s good to know.

Justin: Does that make sense?

Laura: Yeah, definitely. And I’m glad that you’re explaining it because like I said I think the controversy, or not controversy, but the questioning that I was overhearing was coming up at the last Weston Price Conference that I was at. Now I don’t think people were being like belligerent or anything. I think they were just skeptical that there could be a shelf stable product that was as good as homemade. The Weston Price crew tends to be like hard core homemade everything, like down to any grains or fermented foods that you eat, you make it yourself.

Justin: Yeah.

Laura: So it’s definitely a little bit more to the DIY everything kind of crowd. Which that’s great if you have time for it, but obviously we’re talking to a lot of people who don’t have time to make everything. I think knowing that you’re not getting a super high temperature, pasteurized product with your bone broth is really important because I think that was the concern a lot of people had that like you said a lot of times the FDA requires certain processing styles to make sure that you don’t allow for pathogenic overgrowth, which is a good thing. You don’t want to be having like an anaerobic shelf stable bacteria in your bone broth.

But I think there was like I said just a confusion. So I’m glad that you cleared that up and hopefully that makes people feel a little bit better. Because you can say we cook it for 24 hours at 160, but then it’s like 300 degrees for 30 minutes before it goes in the box and then kind of just like ruins and you sort of long and slow technique that you’re using.

Justin: Yeah. It’s good for people to be concerned about this, but I think it’s important to know the difference between extended heat exposure with vegetables or fruits, probably not a good thing because those things are meant to be consumed fresh. That’s when they’re most nutrient dense is when you pick it off the vine and it’s fresh, it’s ripe, it’s all that, nutrients are at their peak.

Bone broth is entirely different where there’s not really a pasteurization. You can only get the nutrients from the bones after exposing it to heat over a long period of time and doing this cooking process to allow the nutrients to break down. And so it’s very different than picking something off the vine and trying to maximize nutrition content. With bone broth, actually you maximize it by cooking it at heat for an extended period.

Laura: I’m going to switch gears a little bit because it’s good to hear more about the why behind…like we get why your product is good and why it makes sense to use that product as opposed to making yourself sometimes. Definitely understanding that now.

Now the real question is why drink bone broth? What are the health issues that can be improved by consuming bone broth regularly? Do you have some either anecdotes or some research that you can point to that would support using this product on a regular basis?

Justin: Absolutely. Are you familiar with Chris Kresser at all?

Laura: Did you say Chris Kresser?

Justin: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, Kelsey and I are his staff nutritionists.

Justin: I thought so.

Laura:  I was like wait, let me just make sure that’s who you said.

Justin: Yeah, sorry, I meant more for like the audience. He wrote a blog post recently where he talked about all the benefits of bone broth and pulled in a bunch of studies. It’s basically the best resource I’ve seen in terms of data backed by studies as to why bone broth is so, so good for you.

But at a high level and basically why I think it’s an important product to incorporate in your diet and why I use it is because even if you’re a relatively health conscious person, you’re probably eating a lot of cuts of muscle meat, organic, grass fed, and the like, and then vegetables, fruits, nuts, and all of that. What you’re not getting even in a pretty healthy diet like that is you’re not getting a lot of the amino acids, collagen, and other things that pretty much only come from organ meats, which very few people eat many of, and bone marrow, and bone broth.

Those amino acids, those proteins are really, really helpful in terms of improving the intestinal mucosa and healing and kind of sealing the gut lining. They’re important for bile production, so basically improving your digestion and the way that the stomach breaks down the food that you eat. They’re really helpful with joint health, skin health, and a bunch of other things that people tend to care a lot about.

Laura: Awesome. We’ll linked to that Chris Kresser article that you mentioned so that people can get a little bit more into the science.

Disclaimer: This is not a prescription for curing a disease or anything, but just as an example, I notice that when I’m a little bit more consistent with my collagen and bone broth consumption, I know my nails get a lot stronger. Do you have any sort of things that you’ve seen either in your own life or kind of testimonials you’ve gotten from customers about what the bone broth has helped?

Justin: Yeah. Several of our customers are a little bit older. One of them is about 50 and she said that she started taking our bone broth and drinking a cup every single day. And after three weeks, she basically was previously using a walker to get around because she had a bunch of knee pain and was taking a lot of drugs to kind of dull the knee pain, and she found that she could go several hours without actually using a walker, which is pretty crazy.

I feel like a kind of snake oil salesmen person telling that story because it sounds like one of those too good to be true type testimonials. But she e-mailed us and literally said that this is incredible and incorporating this product into my diet has literally changed my life.

We had another customer that they just had a baby who’s about 18 months old and the baby was anemic and was struggling to break down any of the foods. It was having a lot of health issues. What they did is they feed it this nutrient solution through a feeding tube and instead of blending that nutrient solution in water like they were instructed to, they started using our bone broth. Basically after two months that baby was no longer anemic, and was processing, and had an improved immune function, was breaking down the nutrients. Just a really, really incredible transformation.

For me, I think that it just shows like how badly people are lacking many of these nutrients in their diet and how helpful it is once you actually get the body what it needs.

Laura: I feel like it can be a little sketchy when you’re relying solely on anecdotes to promote something.

Justin: Totally.

Laura:  Especially when it comes to the health field, I mean certainly we try to be as evidence based as possible on our podcast and on our websites and stuff.

Justin: Definitely.

Laura: Like you said, maybe this Chris Kresser article has a lot of references. But sometimes with some of these health benefits from certain foods, you’re not necessarily going to have like a randomized controlled trial where they take like 10 people with arthritis and split them up into groups and have one do bone broth. Sometimes the evidence just doesn’t even exist.

Even though we don’t want to necessarily rely exclusively on anecdote, I think having those stories from people who saw these benefits, it is useful because I mean it happened. It’s not like it’s not true and I think sometimes people will tend to discount testimonials because they’re like there’s no science to support what they’re saying. Yeah, maybe that’s true. But at the end of the day, if it’s not causing harm and it’s potentially helpful, I feel like anecdotes can be a good just sign that something is helpful and it could help somebody.

So again, we’re not saying that it’s like going to replace medicine or that it’s like going to you know regrow a limb if you have a limb amputation. But I think just understanding human physiology and the composition of bone broth and then seeing these anecdotal reports, I think all the puzzle pieces line up.

Justin: Right.

Laura: Like I was saying, it’s rare for bone broth to cause problems. I have had some clients that have histamine issues that they don’t do well with bone broth. But otherwise for the average person, having some bone broth in their diet isn’t going to cause a problem and if it’s potentially going to help, then I think it’s worth experimenting with.

Do you have an idea about how much bone broth should be consumed either daily or weekly in order to really see any health benefits? I think some people would think that if I just have like a half a cup a day or if I splash some in some cooking that I’m doing, that’ll be good.  Other people might say I need to have like two 16 ounce boxes of bone broth every day to really get the benefits. Do you think there’s an average amount that would be a good place to start for just like your normal healthy person?

Justin: Absolutely, yeah. Before that, I just wanted to quickly follow up on the kind of studies that you just mentioned.

Laura: Sure.

Justin: You are completely right. I am not a huge anecdote fan. I’m definitely more of an evidence based person. The issue is that with a lot of whole foods, there have not been many studies conducted as to like how does eating this whole food impact your health in a positive way? That said, I am happy to send you a list of a bunch of studies that have been done on some of the amino acids and proteins that exist in bone broth showing how they help with bone health, reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, some of these things improved digestive health, and all this. Maybe you could link to a bunch of these studies that I’ll send you links for that in the show notes that would be most helpful.

Laura: Yeah, absolutely.

Justin: Awesome.

Laura: I think the optimal is to have the research that of course supports even just the mechanism. And I think that’s what you’re talking about is it’s like okay, here is these amino acids, here’s how they affect let’s just say arthritis, and bone broth is really high and these amino acids. You can connect the dots and say well that must mean that drinking bone broth has the potential to help with this specific health issue.

It’s a little different than what you were saying before about like resveratrol where it’s like they take this thing that’s super small amounts in wine and then they concentrate it like crazy and expect it to have the same outcome. I feel like when it comes to foods, there are certain nutrients and there’s vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, all that stuff that we know individually that those things are important. And then the goal is how do we make sure you’re getting that in your diet? Bone broth I think is a really good way to get a lot of those nutrients. It’s not the only way, but it’s probably one of the easiest.

So it makes sense to have, like I said, kind of like that connect the dots approach to research where maybe they’re not testing bone broth per se, but if they’re testing glycine and we know that bone broth has a lot of glycine in it, it’s kind of a reasonable leap to say that bone broth could potentially be helpful.

I think that’s how unfortunately a lot of nutrition recommendations have to be done because like you said, there’s not a lot of research into whole foods and you can’t really isolate individual foods in a diet anyway very easily. It’s pretty hard to do that in research because we don’t just eat bone broth all day. Other things play a role.

Justin: Exactly.

Laura: I think that combination of as much evidence as is available and also a willingness to be open to either anecdotes or just self-experimentation, I think in the world of nutrition you kind of have to get a gamut of evidence that’s supporting your approach.

Anyway, you were going to tell me about how much bone broth people should try to have regularly in order to actually see health benefits.

Justin: Yeah. We find that people tend to report the best results when they drink it three to four times a week, basically about a cup per serving. That’s around eight ounces is where we’ve seen our customers have the best results.

Laura: Your boxes are sixteen ounces, right? So it would be like half a box?

Justin: Yeah, exactly. That’s not going to harm you.

Laura: I’m one of those people that literally drinks the whole box in one serving. I’ll basically pour it up to the top of my mug and then usually there’s like two ounces left or something, or I don’t know, something insignificant. I’ll drink it down and then pour the rest in. I don’t usually save my boxes. But then again, sometimes when I’m having it it’s like emergency broth situation. But I would say like a couple of times a week.

I think honestly because of that low dose for what would be health beneficial, that’s another thing that kind of makes making yourself a little annoying because when you make it, you have just like a ton of it. Yeah, you could drink a lot of it all at once, but I almost feel like that kind of more consistent lower dose would be almost more useful than having like five cups a day for a week and then not having it for another two weeks because you didn’t make it.

This is just me like hypothesizing, but I do wonder if that affects the risk of the histamine intolerance issue because a lot of times people that are getting histamine intolerance, they’re drinking like cups and cups a day. Maybe that’s not really ideal for anyone that has any sort of either like glutamate sensitivity or histamine intolerance, that kind of thing.

Justin: Definitely.

Laura: Other than just drinking it straight, which is what I do, do you have any ideas for how to incorporate bone broth into a regular basis part of your diet?

Justin: Yeah, I mean we have tons of recipes on the blog, but I tend to drink it straight. I’ll add maybe a little bit of chili oil or some grass fed butter blended up in the morning. But otherwise, a bunch of people will cook vegetables with it, make really, really good soups or stews with it. But I tend to just drink it, personally.

Laura: I have a recipe, I don’t even know if I’d call it a recipe. It’s kind of almost like an inspiration for how to use bone broth on my site. It’s also kind of like how to get more vegetables. Basically you just like blend bone broth with cooked vegetables and maybe put some like cream or coconut milk and salt and pepper and stuff. I find that’s helpful for people that either don’t like eating vegetables or if they have gut issues and they can’t do a lot of super fiber rich veggies. If they blend it up, they often can tolerate it better because you’re getting a lot of that like mechanical breakdown happening. I think soups are awesome.

For me, like you said, I just do it usually it’s going to be an evening thing, like maybe an eight ounce cup or a 16 ounce mug, just cramming it in before bed. I normally add a little salt to it just because I like a little saltier broth, but I don’t think you’d have to necessarily.

Now I’m curious about this mushroom one. I feel like I’ll have to try that one out and see if that’s the next flavor I start doing for my little evening nightcaps. Any other new products you guys have, or is that like proprietary, not sharing that information yet?

Justin: We have a ton of new products we are working on. We don’t have any others that are live just yet. I will send you some stuff if you’re interested. Happy to send you some stuff that we are going to be launching over the next probably six weeks.

Laura: Yeah, absolutely. Like I said, I’m really interested in trying this mushroom one and I just know I really like the beef and the chicken. They’re both kind of different. Honestly I feel like the beef is almost more, I don’t know, earthy maybe than the chicken is, but they’re both pretty mild as far as bone broth goes. I feel like they’re a good kind of an entry point to bone broth if somebody hasn’t tried it before.

Cool! Well, thank you so much for your time, Justin, and sharing your knowledge about not only bone broth, but just giving us more details into the company. Because like I said, I think there was this concern about the heat and pasteurization potential for that kind of product, so I’m really glad you cleared that up because like I said, I really like your product. I think it can help a lot of people that don’t have time or maybe don’t have the kitchen space to be doing their own bone broth to be able to get a really high quality product and it just tastes good too. That’s always nice to have something that’s reliable and available when you need it.

Justin: People tend to like that.

Laura: Yeah! Anyway, we’ll share some links to your website, to the blog with some of those recipes, to the Chris Kresser article, and we’ll look forward to more products coming from your company in the next, who knows? Months, years. I’ll be watching and tasting everything.

Justin: Fantastic! Thanks so much, Laura. I really appreciate it.

Laura: Thanks for coming on the show, Justin.

Laura: Hey, everyone! Laura Schoenfeld here. I hope you’ve enjoyed this great episode with Justin Mares. As you’ve learned, bone broth is an awesome addition to a healthy ancestral diet. But if you’re anything like me, making it on a regular basis is somewhat impractical and can get really messy. Scrubbing pots and discarding old bones on a weekly basis just doesn’t fit into my busy week. In the past that made it hard for me to get bone broth in on a regular basis.

But now, thanks to Kettle & Fire, I have delicious shelf stable bone broth at my fingertips and all I have to do is tear open a box. I love drinking bone broth on its own. And lately I’ve been cooking my Rice in it, which adds amazing flavor to the rice that my husband and I both love.

If you want to try out Kettle & Fire bone broth, we have a great deal for our audience. Go to theancestralrds.com/bonebroth and enter the code “ancestral20” at checkout to get 20 percent off your order. Please note this coupon is limited to one use per customer, though you don’t need to be a first time customer to use the code.

Again, go to theancestralrds.com/bonebroth and enter the code “ancestral20”. That’s “ancestral20” at checkout to get 20 percent off your entire order. You can also check out the show notes for this episode to get the link.

I know you’ll enjoy this bone broth as much as I do and I hope you take advantage of this discount. See you guys next week!

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