Why Make Bone Stock or Broth?

Image of rich, healthy beef bone stock at

Sally Fallon Morell, while referring to stock and broth, quotes a South American proverb – “Good broth will resurrect the dead.” There’s probably more truth to that proverb than most of us even realize. To further quote Sally Fallon from her “Broth Is Beautiful” article,

“…stocks play a role in all traditional cuisines—French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, African, South American, Middle Eastern and Russian. In America, stock went into gravy and soups and stews. That was when most animals were slaughtered locally and nothing went to waste. Bones, hooves, knuckles, carcasses and tough meat went into the stock pot and filled the house with the aroma of love. Today we buy individual filets and boneless chicken breasts, or grab fast food on the run, and stock has disappeared from the American tradition.”

She’s right. The making of authentic bone stocks and broths have all but disappeared from the American tradition. It has become a lost art. I’m convinced that until you make it for yourself, you will never be able to appreciate the healthy goodness of homemade bone broth and stock.

Benefits of making and eating homemade bone stock and broth:

Photo of beef gelatin made from homemade joint bone stock.

  1. Stock is the foundation of great tasting, healthy soups, stews, sauces, gravies, and the like. You can’t beat the flavor!
  2. It is nutrient dense and mineral rich in forms (electrolytes) that the body can easily absorb and use – such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. Now you know why it’s so great for getting over colds and flu!
  3. When using bone joints, ligaments, tendons and cartilege in making stock, you get a rich supply of chondroitin and glucosamine – supplements that many take for joint pain and arthritis.
  4. Gelatin in good stock acts as a “protein sparer,” making the most of the other proteins eaten along with it. This means that you can get by with just a small amount of meat if your meal includes a serving of good gelatinous stock.
  5. The gelatin in stock also facilitates digestion as it is hydrophilic, meaning that it is a water attracter – something immensely beneficial to the digestive process. It draws digestive juices to the gut, making the accompanying food more digestible. It’s the only cooked food that has this quality.
  6. Stock is known to be a key ingredient in healing the lining of the gut by helping restore mucosal lining (a staple of the GAPS Diet protocol), something desperately needed for those who suffer from leaky gut syndrome that can lead to chronic autoimmune diseases and psychological illness.
  7. In my experience as a consultant, I’ve noticed that clients tend to sleep better when drinking homemade stock prior to going to bed.
  8. Drinking homemade stock is a great way to relax and reduce stress. (See #2 above.)

Making bone stock and broth is slightly time consuming, but not difficult to master. From my first attempt, it has proven to be a remarkably easy process. Take some time to make and freeze some for yourself. The health benefits far outweigh the slight inconvenience of the process.

Oh, and one more thing – REMEMBER, store bought bouillon, organic boxed broths and stocks, canned stock, etc. are not a viable substitute for the real thing! In fact, most of these broth and stock substitutes tend to contain unhealthy additives like MSG, preservatives, and loads of sodium. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re doing your body a favor by using them!

In case you missed it, here’s the Recipe for Making Beef Stock.

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