Lead in bone broth?

Answered on January 02, 2015
Created February 05, 2013 at 3:21 PM

What do you all think of The risk of lead contamination in bone broth diets? Is it a risk even from our grass-fed beef bones?

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on February 05, 2013
at 03:30 PM

It's possible. However, you'd have to ask yourself a few questions while reading this:

  • Am I better with, or without broth for my health?

  • Is the lead contamination serious enough that it's best to stop having broth?

  • What about game bones? Organic chicken is a joke compared to true, pastured chickens or game animals.

At some point, in order to be mostly free of environmental toxins, you might have to move to a Pacific island, or at least in a small town with our own land. Since we all CHOOSE to live in the 1st World, we will have to live with its toxins, that we can't do much about, apart from writing to our Congressman.

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on January 02, 2015
at 03:26 PM

You might want to check out the answer from the Weston A. Price Foundation:

"Clearly more studies are needed.   To date, we’ve found just one other research study that  has looked at lead contamination of broth.  The findings published in the journal Food Additives and Contamination revealed very little lead in a beef bone broth, more in a beef casserole that used red wine, but the highest level by far in baked potatoes with skins contaminated from the lead in the soil.   The researchers determined the predominant source of the metal in food was tap water.61

Several other studies have investigated the levels of lead found in the muscles and organs of conventionally raised chickens.   In each case, the lead appeared where it would be expected — i.e.  in the bones, with much less in the skin and cartilage.62,63

Will any good come out of the shoddy Medical Hypotheses broth/lead study?  Yes, if it prompts more tests and better studies.   As Dr.  Campbell-McBride puts it:   “Many other practitioners now will test their meat stock and bone broth and the whole issue will receive a lot of attention, which in time will give us the full picture.”64

To that end, we would like to announce the results of testing performed by The National Food Lab on bone broth from grass-fed beef and pastured chicken from California.65 These two broths were prepared in stainless steel soup pots by the Three Stone Hearth Co-op in Berkeley.  As tested on February 14, 2013 at a Minimum Detection Level of 10 parts per billion and again on March 1, 2013 with an MDL of 5 parts per billion,  the results were as follows:

  • Grassfed beef broth.   No lead detected
  • Pastured chicken broth:  No lead detected
  • Reverse osmosis water:  No lead detected

The Weston A. Price Foundation plans to do further testing of broth, and it encourages consumers to know their farmers and the living conditions under which poultry and animals are raised.

The takeaway?  Dr. Campbell-McBride sums it up nicely.    “As a whole, my position is unchanged:  meat stock and bone broth are healing foods and they need to be made from the best quality grass-fed ecologically clean animals. . .” 66 In other words, take care with the source of your broth."




on March 01, 2013
at 02:25 PM

The frustrating thing about this publication --- which only did one sample for each type of broth --- is that it's impossible to know whether it applies to other types of chicken or animals without actually doing the tests. They have a plausible mechanism, but for all we know, they got a bad chicken, or maybe it's true for all chicken in the UK. I wrote a bit more on my blog.

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