Still, a few words of caution are necessary. The first concern comes from an article published by Stephanie Seneff in the Winter 2016 issue of Wise Traditions. She has found that glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp, can substitute for glycine in the collagen of animals fed genetically engineered corn and soy. Once incorporated into the animal collagen, glyphosate can get incorporated into your own collagen if you are consuming broth made from bones of conventionally raised animals (and that includes farm-raised fish).
When glyphosate substitutes for glycine in collagen, your collagen will not work very well; you will be prone to tears and injuries in the tendons, digestive disorders (because your gut wall is lined with collagen) skin problems (because healthy skin depends on an underlying layer of healthy collagen) and bone disorders (because healthy bone is built on a frame of collagen). Seneff believes that the current epidemic of chronic pain can be explained by the ever increasing amounts of glyphosate in our food.
Moreover, once built into your collagen, it’s hard for your body to get the glyphosate out. It’s also hard to measure glyphosate in our food once it has become incorporated into proteins and enzymes—tests will indicate an absence of glyphosate whereas in fact it is hiding deep in the tissues.
As Seneff points out, consuming broth made from bones of conventionally raised animals can do more harm than good. That is why it is so important to make sure that the broth you buy comes from animals raised on pasture and not given genetically engineered feed. If you have any doubts, don’t buy that brand!
A second concern is the proliferation of broth products packaged in aseptic packaging. These packages are lined with aluminum covered with low-density polyethylene (LDPE). LDPE is considered one of the “safe” plastics (graded as a number 4), which means that it is safe for food contact and does not contain phthalates. A quick internet search reveals that it can withstand temperatures of 80 °C continuously and 95 °C for a short time. And there’s the rub. In aseptic packaging, sterility is achieved with a flash-heating process of 91 to 146 °C. A temperature of 146 °C is pretty darn hot—way above the boiling point and what it does to the LDPE lining (not to mention the broth itself) is anyone’s guess. If the LDPE lining melts at that temperature, then the broth comes in contact with aluminum, the toxic metal that will migrate into the food, especially when subjected to high temperatures.
I’d like to see broth in aseptic packages analyzed for aluminum content. In the meantime, I think it best to err on the side of caution and purchase only frozen broth (packaged in plastic containers, graded 2, 4 or 5). And, by the way, my experience with broth in aseptic packaging is that it does not gel at all when refrigerated, so either the broth was not of very good quality to begin with, or the high temperature processing has broken down the collagen beyond repair.
Really, it’s best to make your own broth. Here’s my simple method, one that anyone can do:
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN BROTH
Makes 1 gallon
Saved bones from 2 pasture-raised chickens fed non-GMO feed
1 pigs foot or hock, from hogs fed non-GMO feed and/or chicken feet and heads from 2 chickens
¼ cup vinegar
1 onion, cut in quarters (no peeling necessary)
Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and fill with filtered water. Cook overnight on low. In the morning, allow to cool. Use a ladle to remove the broth, ladling through a strainer into a 2-quart Pyrex pitcher. Place the pitcher in the fridge to cool the broth.
Fill the slow cooker again with water and cook overnight on low. The next morning, allow the broth to cool and remove the bones with tongs and a slotted spoon. (The bones will be soft—your dog, cat, pigs or chickens will love these!) Ladle the broth through a strainer into a second 2-quart Pyrex pitcher and refrigerate.
The first pitcher of broth should gel very well; the second will gel but less so.
You may remove the fat that congeals at the top of the broth but it is not necessary. Use the broth within 3 days or transfer to containers (graded 2, 4 or 5) and freeze.