Bones are extremely alkaline.
Bones have a form of calcium that is shown to be superior to calcium salts in clinical trials for bone mineral density.
Bones are a solid source of calcium,phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.
Bones naturally occur in the meat that we already eat and advocate.
Most Apex predators eat bones at least sometimes.
Umm, so yea, I feel like there should be an obvious reason why such a cheap plentiful food-source is barely discussed at all on a site that focuses on traditional "paleolithic" foods.
So why aren't people eating bones? At the very least to meet the RDA for calcium this seems like a great idea. So, what's the holdup, what's the obvious reason that nobody is doing this that everyone just inherently knows? Why is eating bones as a calcium source to balance out and meet mineral RDAs taboo/a bad idea??
It must be a bad idea because otherwise more people would be doing it, so what's going on here?
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A fascinating experiment was done in 1994 to learn how well humans digest bone:
I grind up all the bones I use and sprinkle on top of almost everything I eat. I'm sure it's super good for you, but it also makes me wanna beat my chest and yell.
So there's that...
I eat bones all the time. I eat as much of chicken bones as I can, and will chew up any beef or pork bones I can. Bones, cartilage, connective tissue, I love them, and I did even as a kid.
My daughter is exactly the same. I don't use a pressure cooker, because I prefer to gnaw. I have always thought I was weird.
I think that we do discuss eating bones - as broth, as marrow, as eggshells (sort of like bones). However, we're all still folks who grew up with the same cultural taboos, and we're all still on a journey.
Hm. Why not eat bones? Well, we do eat bones in stock and many don't realize it - so much good stuff is made with stock! Growing up, I was told to not gnaw on the bones because I'd break my teeth or cut up my throat, but that never happened. My family was weirded out when I'd ask them to save chicken bones from dinner to make stock...until they ate the food that was prepared with the stock and learned where the flavor was coming from. Now, they ask me if we should save bones or not, even when we have company eating over.
Of course, most of the meat we prepare, at least in America, is done rather quickly, so the bones are still hard. Then there are people who are squeamish about eating meat on the bone, which to me is silly, because I accept that I'm part of a predator species and that what I am eating has once lived and the tastiest parts of muscle meat are the bits stuck to the bone. I nearly hate chicken cutlets, because they're expensive and boring. However, I don't think this largely applies to us. Then, there's the pervasive idea that we're biologically incapable of eating bones.
So, I would say that there are four reasons:
Stock and marrow are the ways that we generally get nutrients from bones. Cooking bones takes a lot of time, and not everyone has the time, or a crockpot, or the desire to boil bones.
Predator guilt. If I eat the bones, I'm acknowledging that I'm a predator, and not a sparkly being of light or some other bullshit. This doesn't apply to the paleo or primal community (I should hope) but culturally, it's normal for people to dine blind of the reminders that meat comes from living things. This I think is especially true for women. Order a steak at a restaurant and tell the waiter you want it rare, on the bone, and without the fat trimmed, and suddenly you've lost your gender identity.
Bad teeth. I think that as our teeth become weaker with SAD diets, gnawing on bones does in fact become a health risk for people. Even for those of us who don't have weak teeth, we've grown up with the idea that we don't have the tooth or jaw strength to scrape and crush bones, other than the soft ones in canned salmon.
I remember learning as a kid that bones don't have any nutrition, and that calcium largely comes from milk, and in small traces, leafy greens. Humans, I was told, can't use the minerals in bones, so we eat dairy instead. While this is hands down wrong and makes absolutely no sense, we're all still in the process of realizing that much of what we've learned is wrong, and trying to figure out what is true in a world that doesn't want us to be right.
I eat some of the chicken feet after 2 rounds of 12 hour broth preparation, they are not pretty to look at but absolutely delicious!
Might require an industrial grade grinder in the kitchen to make a fine powder. Or prolonged soaking, according to a few google searches.
Am guessing that it would have no flavor and the consistency of cornmeal.
** Also curious as to bioavailably to humans (even after mechanical grinding).
Evolutionarily, we don't have the jaws/teeth to do the job, at least for any animal bigger than bite size.
I'm a perfectly healthy 32 year old male, and as much as I love meat, I'll be chewing and gnawing on bones, and actually have been most of my life. I eat the softer parts and as @MimsySeoul points out, the meat around bones are the best! So as far as empirical evidence is concerned I can tell you it's fine.