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How To Make Homemade Broth That Is Delicious & Healthy

One of the things I love to do every week is make a big pot of soup. It’s easy, inexpensive, and a great way to use up some of the leftover veggies and meat you might have that you didn’t use during the week. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I bought soup from the store. Many pre-made soups contain food additives like MSG and carrageenan, along with heavily processed GMO oils. Even some organic soups are made with refined sugar and flavoring ingredients you wouldn’t use at home. Nothing beats the flavor and nutrition of homemade – especially with these two easy recipes for homemade stock below!
 
Just like soup, many containers of pre-made broth contain flavors, hidden MSG flavor enhancers (such as yeast extract) and added sugar – even some organic versions! I would never add these ingredients to my homemade broth recipe.

Here are some examples of popular store bought broths I would never buy:

 
simple-truth-vegetable-broth

better-than-bouillon progresso swanson

Fresh homemade stock is full of valuable nutrients and is very simple (and cheap) to make. 

vegetable-stock
 
If you make a broth from any type of meat, it’s crucial to use only organically-raised pastured animals. You don’t want your broth to contain any residues from growth promoting drugs or synthetic pesticides that are generally in the feed of non-organic animals. See these guidelines here for selecting chicken, which applies to all meats.
 
Below are my basic recipes for making either chicken or vegetable stock at home. These recipes are super flexible – if you are missing an ingredient don’t worry, it will still turn out fine! Feel free to add different vegetables besides the carrots, celery, onion and scallions to your stock. Some ideas include mushrooms, bell peppers, fennel, leeks, parsnips, etc. You can also replace the chicken with your meat of choice – try using this recipe below to make organic grass-fed beef stock too. 
 
Food Babe's Chicken Stock
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken or chicken bones (3-4 pounds)
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 quarts of filtered water
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a large pot. Pour the water over the chicken and vegetables until it is just covered. You may have more water than needed.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, skimming off any foam that floats to the top. Cover and turn down to a low simmer. Cook for 3-4 hours. (Alternatively, you can make this in a slow cooker on low for 12-24 hours)
  3. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. You can store the stock in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Notes
**Please choose all organic ingredients if possible.**
 
vegetable-stock_direction-3
 
Food Babe's Vegetable Stock
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-5 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, more or less as desired
  • 2 quarts filtered water
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add all of the ingredients except the salt and water. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the salt and water and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 45-50 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by almost half. (Alternatively, you can make this in a slow cooker on low for 8-16 hours)
  4. Strain the liquid into a glass jar to store. You can store the stock in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Notes
**Please choose all organic ingredients if possible.**

 

I hope you get to sit down to a big bowl of hot homemade soup soon and stay warm out there! If you know anyone that loves to eat soup, please share this post with them. Who knows, they might make you a bowl! 

Xo,

Vani

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88 responses to “How To Make Homemade Broth That Is Delicious & Healthy

  1. I haven’t eaten meat or chicken in 6yrs after seeing how cows,chickens,pigs are raised for human consumption is evil

    1. Maybe you should actually visit a couple of livestock farms to see for yourself how animals are really treated. You’d be very surprised.

      1. Farm Ted – I see you are on the defensive. Stopping Factory Farming is an explosive issue. Do you farm animals for a living? We are open to hear your experience and insights but please do so kindly.

      2. Factory farming is not a term you will hear any family farmer uses about their own operation. It is a term used by those who oppose what we do and how we do it. I am not a livestock farmer but I know many people who are. Regardless of how they raise their animals, whether in confinement areas or in pastures, the health and well being of the animals in their care is the most important factor in their long term success. All I’m saying is that if you haven’t actually been on a working livestock family farm and have formed your opinion based on what you read on an activist website, your opinions will most likely be formed by misinformation.

      3. Well I must admit that I have been a vegetarian now for years, I do remember the ranch where my granddad was foreman – have you ever heard of the term “squealing like a stuck pig”? That’s when they castrate them without using any anesthetic. I recall cattle were dehorned without any anesthetic, male cows or castrated so they become “steers,” those are the ones that become beef cattle. I have seen chickens heads cut off, heads stepped on and pulled off by the feet, and chickens being held by the head twirled around and jerked so that thehad comes off and then the headless chicken flaps its wings and runs around for a while before it finally stops. That’s what we had for evening meal. So don’t try to tell me about kindness to animals – I’m not too sure there is very much care except where the bottom line is concerned. Oh sure some people love their cattle but then they castrate them. And milk cows – I’ve heard people brag about how many gallons they can get out of a cow and how they give them things to make them produce more. I’m not interested in any recipe that contains any kind of meat. But thank you just the same. And speaking of Foster Farms chicken… The ad I saw on television showed a bunch of chickens that were either molting or were severely problematic because a lot of their feathers were missing.

      4. Killing an animal will never be a pleasant thing to watch. I saw a free range pig dragged to be shot in the head on Anthony Bourdain’s show not long ago. It didn’t go willingly even though it spent it’s life running free. What I also saw was that these free range pigs were raised on top of a hill which was completely barren and the crystal blue water of the Mediterranean Sea at the base of the hill. I couldn’t help but wonder how free range animals could be good for the environment considering the amount of manure that would be running off that hill straight into the waters below. This is one of the main reasons why animals are confined. Farmers are responsible for managing whatever comes out of them.

        The farmer in the video has a choice. Perdue is not forcing him to raise chickens like that. He doesn’t have to sign that contract. The chicken farmers I know clean the litter out at least once a year to make sure that the chicks start in a healthy environment. Since he doesn’t do that he pays the price. He didn’t provide his contract with Perdue so one could wonder if he is fulfilling the contract requirements.

    2. I was a butcher for about 20 years when I was younger! It has been almost that long now since I’ve had ANY Beef or pork of any kind. We do buy Foster Farms Chicken though as I read they were the best, Next to Free Range Chickens. Can I get some feedback from this? I also eat WILD Salmon only + Tilapia & Cod. Wild Only! Thanks very much! Great article!!!!!! Richard

      1. Richard, that’s awesome that you are particular about the chicken ant fish you consume. The only thing you may want to rethink about eating is tilapia. They are one of the worst fish you can consume because they are dirty bottom feeders. They also have almost no nutritional value whatsoever. Foster Farms seems to be a fair choice, but if you can, choose a local farm near you that raises free-range chickens that are not given antibiotics.

      2. to cindy
        I don’t know what kind of farm you grew up on, but that doesn’t happen in our family. both my sisters have farms as did our father and the cows are well taken care off. they have them for years and grow very attached to them. they all have names!! barns, grass, hay, and grain. there are no bulls on the farms to castrate as they are very dangerous when the farm kids are working. yes the kids work the farm! its a family business, everyone helps.
        also remember one bad apple doesn’t spoil the bushel,, what that means is just because some people are jerks and treat animals badly doesn’t not mean every farmer is like that. come to ny I will show you some great farms. come in august I will take you to the county fair where the kids sleep with the cow they wash, brush, feed and love them .. its a wonderful experience !

      3. Most people here don’t realize that bulls are 1500 lbs. of bad attitude and unpredictability. That is why they are castrated.

    3. I am a small farmer, we raise beef and butcher 2 per year, we love these animals and treat them with love. They have hay, organic heirloom corn ( only in the fall!) when it is ready. and they have water, grass to their hearts content. They have shade, with an overhang, and a 9 acre field of grass, wild flowers, clover, small trees to be shaded with and a small creek. We only have a total of 4 cows at any one time, they are left outside when they are over a year old, in the summer, otherwise they are brought in each night for their protection. The winter is dependent upon the weather, if it’s really cold, they are in for the day, if it’s not a bad day, they go out for 2 to 6 hours, we clean their stalls daily, put out straw from our organic wheat we grow (which they also eat at times!). We also have grown chickens more for the eggs, they too are treated the same way, except they usually choose to go in a destroy my garden, digging up worms…. there are many people around me who grow beefers, almost the same way, although there are many who use gmo corn!!!! they are learning though. Not all farmers give antibiotics, I use colloidial silver in their water,to keep them healthy, about once a month or so…. there are many of us who are growing heirloom seed, use nothing but water and manure that has been well rotted, along with grass clippings and leaves. Don’t judge all by what “corporate” farmers do.

      I hope this helps you get a better idea of what happens in life, you don’t want to be judged by what some do, no one does.

      God bless!

      1. Good for you Susan Fuchs. Wish there were more farmers like you still in existence. I try to eat grass fed/grass finished beef as much as possible (my husband is not of the same beliefs so it’s hard sometimes, but he usually goes along). I end up getting a lot of my meat online. We are seeing more in the grocery stores, but it does go thru my head………grassfed yeah is it really? I too grew up on a farm. We only had 1 cow and it was raised for consumption. Dad also used the manure as fertilizer. We too had chickens for eggs and when they needed to be killed he had a contraption he built that they would hook them into after they chopped off the head (quickly) so that they couldn’t run around, they would never do that. Scrapple was made with real meat scrapes not from the things you wouldn’t eat. Now I wish I was back on the farm! Thank you for what you do !

      2. I am curious. Many here have a huge problem with castration. Do you castrate male calves? Why or why not?

    4. Sometimes I feel this way too…extremely guilty about eating animals but then I oscillate back and forth because I do think God put the animals on the planet for us to eat, the Bible says so?!? And broth like this is good for you. It’s true, when I want a real broth from chicken bones, I do feel as though my cold gets better quicker. Honestly, I go through at least 10 (32 ounces) of chicken broth a week. And I mostly buy it so save time, but Food Babe, you are scaring me especially now that I am pregnant after 4 years of infertility!! Need to step up my game.

    5. Farm Ted, you said “The chicken farmers I know clean the litter out at least once a year to make sure that the chicks start in a healthy environment.” OMG, that seems negligent to me. When I had my three pet backyard chickens, I cleaned their coop and pasture area every other day, or at least weekly. Granted, I was raising them for eggs only, but still…
      I’m sure you love your animals as they are your income source and you wouldn’t deliberately jeopardize that, but I hope you’ll consider ways to raise them so they don’t require antibiotics, hormones, and GMO and herbicide/pesticide-laden foods. Those very ingredients may well kill off your buyers. Most small farmers do practice far more healthy techniques than do factory farms, and for that, I laud them. I don’t eat animals, but for those who do, please consider raising your own so you know exactly how they’ve been treated and what they’ve been fed. And learn how to kill them yourself if you can. (That was my final straw, decades ago; I can’t murder.)

      1. To equate the use of animals as a source of food to murder is incredibly insulting to those who have had a loved one murdered (I have).

        When I said that chicken farmers clean their litter out at least once a year it was in response to the video posted above. Most chicken farmers I know clean them out after every flock which is quite a chore 3-4 times a year. The farmer in the video claimed he had not cleaned his out in over 2 years. I find that very hard to believe but that is probably the source of the sick chickens he had.

  2. Wonder if you couldn’t make the vegetable broth in the Vitamix (minus the Bay Leaves)? You would even get more nutrition that way by getting the whole food value.

  3. I was vegetarian for 20+ years, then became vegan because of concerns over eating meat with antibiotics and other additives that I did not want to ingest, as well as the stress hormones from animals who were so frightened just before they died. Then I did more research on how animals were raised and killed for our consumption, and the effect on the environment – just the whole picture – and going vegan was easy. I’ll never go back.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree with this comment. There are so many benefits, not just to the individual, but also to the planet as a whole, that it deserves a stronger look by everyone.

      I do find it ironic that someone says they “love animals” before saying they kill them supposedly more ethically (is that possible?). There’s no reason to defend oneself by saying that since it is clearly contrived.

  4. Hi Vani. I would like to stop eating factory-farmed meat, but I would like some guidance on this. I understand exactly what these farms are, but when you purchase meat, it’s hard to know. For example, I often get sliced sandwich meat from Applegate, but it’s stage one (higher stages, so expensive!). This company has a good reputation, but stage one is the lowest, so maybe it’s not so great? And then, if you go to a restaurant selling meat that is described as antibiotic or hormone free, could those animals still be on a factory farm? Or is that a safe bed? Thank you so much for making our world a healthier place! You are awesome, Vani!

    1. I have the same concerns. Especially when I’m buying food for my children. I can’t always find organic or pasture raised so the next best thing is antibiotic free but I do not want to buy factory farmed meat.

  5. I stopped eating factory farmed meat years ago. I gave being vegan a try and it just doesn’t work for me since I am sensitive to soy and grains. I do eat vegetarian part of the time but am blessed to live in an area where grass-fed beef, pastured pork and poultry are available from a local farm. I’ve written an entire chapter on our food system and how to eat healthy in my latest book, “Living in our Toxic World”. Thank you for all you do, Vani to raise awareness and push for change.

  6. *** PLEASE SHARE THIS IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT AND WATCH CNN AT 12:50 PM***
    It’s snowing at #STANDINGROCK right now, and the Dakota police force are gearing up for another water cannon session…
    In case you may not have known: people are likely to start DYING at Standing Rock– if they aren’t already:
    The Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council released this statement: “The physicians and tribal healers with the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council call for the immediate cessation of use of water cannons on people who are outdoors in 28F ambient weather with no means of active rewarming in these conditions. As medical professionals, we are concerned for the real risk of loss of life due to severe hypothermia under these conditions.”
    Not to mention continuous mass tear gas, rubber bullets, as well as stinger grenades and LRAND (Long Range Acoustic Device) for 3 hours
    Law enforcement also shot down three media drones and targeted journalists with less lethal rounds.
    National Lawyers Guild legal observers on the frontlines have confirmed that multiple people were unconscious and bleeding after being shot in the head with rubber bullets. One elder went into cardiac arrest at the frontlines but medics administered CPR and were able to resuscitate him. The camp’s medical staff and facilities are overwhelmed and the local community of Cannonball has opened their school gymnasium for emergency relief.
    PLEASE CALL THE FOLLOWING AGENCIES NOW:
    ND Office of the Governor: 701-328-2200.
    Morton County Sheriff’s Department:
    701-328-8118 & 701-667-3330.
    ND National Guard: 701-333-2000
    202 224.2043 call the senator of North Dakota
    202-456-1111 Obama
    Call often, please.
    Please copy and paste; don’t click share. Then pass it on. Thank you.

    #NoDAPL #waterislife #istandwithstandingrock #bankexit #divest #waterprotectors #takeastand #gogreen #keepitinthesoil

    1. Beth, do you know all the information? Did you know that both sides met over 500 times before this project started? A studies had been made for safe it for human and the environment. Before we start complaining e need to be informed and look at the facts and stop the blame. All of these misinformation need to stop. This project could not have gone forward without studies and meetings with the tribe and community, which by the way were informed, but no one is mentioning these things.

    2. Do you believe liberals CNN news? Get real information through your own research.

      They are just pushing their agenda. Be careful what you read and believe.

  7. Hi,

    What are some things we can do with the veggie “pulp” left over from the broth after we strain the stock ? I feel bad just tossing it out.
    Thanks!

  8. Hi Vani and Food Babe Team – Non- factory farmed meat is challenging to find and come by. The best I can do now is shopping at Whole Foods (even though they sold out on the DARK Act) – even their “Steps” are confusing. Could you do a post on how to source it and what labels to look for if necessary? Much love to everyone on the Food Babe and Food Baby Team! 🙂

    1. I have found several Organic farms in my area where I purchase my organic meat and eggs. I have lived in two states and can find a farm wherever I go. Click this link and add your zip code to find a farm in your area.

      http://www.localharvest.org/
      ‘Good luck’

  9. Cutting off a pigs tail is nothing compared to what they do to baby dairy cows.

    Baby dairy cows are given no Anastasia when their horns are burned off which takes about 10 seconds per horn. They have to be restrained and they scream like hell and defecate and urinate. They use a propane torch with a red hot tip that cups their horn nubs. Then they fry them.

    I witnessed the process once in Australia and it wasn’t pretty.

    I can’t believe it’s allowed.

  10. I use my pressure often: Do you think in the interest of NOT using a slow-cooker, that a pressure cooker, using lowest pressure will help to leech out good nutrients from bones into the broth? The idea of many hours of slow-cooking doesn’t seem to settle well…Will someone educate me? Thank You Vanni

  11. I buy a lot of meat at Earthfare. I thought I was safe there. Also buy some grass fed beef from a local farmer but I really don’t know if it is grain finished or not. All of this is so upsetting because the average person does not have time or know how to check all of this stuff out. Also, is the organic broth you buy from Earthfare, Trader Joes’s and Whole Foods does not have bad ingredients, is it ok. I mean, I know it is not as good as homemade but now I am not even sure I am getting good chickens. How about Springe Mountain chickens?

  12. I make a lot of bone broth each month and I usually simmer the bones and ingredients for 24 hrs. I’d love to reduce the time but I’ve heard that unless it’s simmered at least 18 hrs you do not receive the full benefits from the bones. Can anyone comment if this is correct or incorrect? Thanks, Nicole

  13. How come you do not put Apple cider vinegar in your stock to pull out the good stuff from the bones?

  14. If you count yourself as an environmentalist /food activist, then you OUGHT TO STOP EATING MEAT!!! THAT is the biggest threat to our environment and more than all other threats combined. So please DO NOT be a hypocrite by advocating for better/ safer/healthier lives while eating any kind of meat !

    Thanks, you will benefit your readers, followers, and your own conscience by doing so.

    1. I have been a vegetarian for the majority of my life, and at time even a vegan; however, I have since run into health issues that I discovered eating some meat was beneficial to my health. I generally eat less meat than the average American, but the meat I DO consume comes from healthy pastured/grassfed/organic animals that are humanely raised. This helps ME get well and helps the MEAT INDUSTRY as well because when I vote with my dollar for what kinds of meat I am willing to consume I also help those animals. How does it help those animals you ask? Because when a profit-driven system gets an incentive (my money) for raising healthy good quality meat, then they will create an environment to create more of that meat so that people like me will buy it. Unfortunately businesses don’t always operate with a “conscience” so I will vote with my dollar in order to perpetuate change in the industry.

      Also, please do not try to tell me or anyone that being a vegetarian or a vegan means you have a “healthier life”. Each body is different and each body requires different nutrients. What works for you may not work for me. And that is okay.

  15. I could have sworn I read that there was carrageenan in Better Than Bouillon when I saw it at Costco. Either way, not good stuff.

  16. Great recipe Vani, please keep them coming.
    The pressure cooker for all varieties of broth and stock is a great idea. I do it all the time and reduce power consumption considerably. I just finished a batch of “Pho Ga (chicken pho)” in the P. Cooker. Fantastic stuff! These homemade clear broths are perfect in which to cook your dried beans, pasta, rice/risotto, quinoa, or a base for soups to come.
    Don’t fear the pressure cooker; those stainless steel models made in the US or Europe are much safer these days then those of 40 years ago.

    1. Yes, indeed Stuart, my pressure cooker is used daily 2-3x’s for so many things! I have always p cooked bones after cooking and I even break the bones as well. Yep, more energy efficient, I even use mine camping!
      I have antique Griswold Cast Iron, yet use the Kuhn-Rikon religiously. I NEVER would use an aluminum pressure cooker to even give a pet water in!!!
      Thanks for your mention of the P Cooker!

  17. Thanks for the recipes. I like the organic Better Than Broth as the best and it won taste test and it is darn handy.

    To make your recipe (it looks fine) would be too expensive for me and not too mention too time consuming. But maybe one day…..

  18. I’ve struggled with this issue for a long time. Although I haven’t eaten veal since I was a child (confined baby cows!), I didn’t fully realize the suffering of dairy cows, chickens, beef cattle, and pigs until 5 years ago.

    When I learned pigs have the same level of intellect as dogs I could no longer bring myself to eat them either. My hubby and I aren’t jerks about it when we’re guests and the host uses bacon to saute their Brussel’s sprouts. We eat them gratefully. But we choose not to buy or serve pork or order pork from menus. Our greatest power is what we do with our wallets.

    My suggestion is to start with one item you use a lot in your kitchen. Maybe it’s eggs. Or milk. Do what you can do consistently and what your budget allows.

    I look for brands that are transparent in the treatment of their animals. Sites like http://www.certifiedhumane.org helped me find brands I can feel good about buying. For example, I discovered Vital Farms eggs from Austin, TX, and they’re available in my local markets.

    I’ve recently decided to find local ranchers in my area who are willing to let people see how their cows and chickens are grown and cared for and will start buying meat from them directly. I decided this because I’m tired of my local grocery stores making those decisions for me based on what they choose to stock on their shelves. We have so much more power now to order food online and have items shipped directly to us.

    I know this sounds like a lot of work and it is. I didn’t make all these changes at one time….it’s been a process over a number of years. All you have to do is commit to a kinder consumption practice and take it one step at a time. And be flexible. Brands and new products become available all the time. You learn more all the time. You can do it!

  19. Does anyone know how to get around the lead leaching from the bones??? That’s the only reason I don’t make broth

    1. Lead? Can you share a source for such in meats other then the mention of trace amounts. I see so much of “trace amounts” of arsenic in organic rice, mercury in fish, and radiation in nori wraps most of which is harvested off the shores of Japan where the radioactive water continues to contaminate the Pacific. Makes one wonder if there’s anything safe to eat.

  20. Thank you for your posts. I did not realize all of the extraneous ingredients put into organic stocks! I was truly amazed. I always read the labels on things I buy, but omitted to look closely at this believing that organic meant clean and healthy!

    I have been eating & serving my family organic or grass fed, humanely-raised meats and make sure we don’t eat factory farmed. I truly love all animals and feel that raising animals for consumption should be done as humanely as possible. I don’t believe that eating meat is the biggest threat to our environment as Sharmila Ford wrote, unless she was referencing factory farmed. Thank you for your voice in this!

  21. We are Canadians from Calgary, Alberta. One of our sons is a medical doctor in Ontario; another is a longevity researcher and writer living in the San Francisco area. They provide us with a great deal of information about health and diet and frankly, they’ve told us that some of the information you have provided over the past couple of years is nonsense. HOWEVER, you are absolutely 100% correct on this issue! The treatment of animals of all kinds raised on factory farms in both Canada and the U.S. is atrocious, morally reprehensible and shameful. We first learned of this several years ago and ever since, have been buying almost all of our meat, poultry and eggs from ethical ranchers in Alberta who raise their animals humanely. We buy almost exclusively from TK Ranch in Hanna, Alberta. We have visited their ranch and observed exactly how kindly and humanely they care for the creatures in their care. We are snowbirds and when we are in the U.S., we purchase our meat from Whole Foods, where we find it is fairly easy to obtain meat that is ethically and humanely raised. I support you 100% on this issue. Keep hammering away on this one, Vani! People need to be educated. JD

  22. I grew up eating meat of course, but little by little, if I chewed on a bit of gristle or a bone bit I would be grossed out and I felt like I could taste blood when I ate beef so I eventually gave up beef quite easily but continued to eat chicken until I went to a Mercy For Animals lecture at a local library. That along with watching a story about a farmer who had a chicken who threw itself on one of its baby chicks, thus sacrificing its life to save the chick from an overhead hawk, I said that was it and have not eaten meat in probably over 15 years. I do eat fish from time to time but would love to make the break from that some day. I’m a very healthy 64 year old woman who takes only 1 thyroid pill a day and am quite happy with my pasta, taters and salads (with nuts) for the most part.

  23. Our whole family went plant based after watching the powerful documentary, Cowspiracy, where we learned that animal agriculture is by far the greatest contributor to global warming–more than ALL fossil fuels COMBINED! We even started a movement called http://www.onegreensmoothie.com to try to get people to eat more plants! I’d encourage everyone to watch this film (it’s not gory at all) and become informed and inspired!

  24. Hey Food babe, thanks for all the great things you are doing to make our food safer but please please don’t talk like an expert about the chemistry of the human body when you’re not an expert. You say that some people may need to eat meat but you don’t know if that’s really a fact. All the scientific research I’ve read confirms that humans absolutely do not need to eat animals. One last thing you say is to not eat factory farmed animals because it’s more humane but all animals are smart and have feelings of love so if someone killed your family pet in a humane way would you consider that ok to do? I doubt it! Plus cage free chickens live a terrible life, and grass fed cows are mistreated and love their babies and are still killed so humans can eat something they don’t even need to eat.

    1. I have been a vegetarian for most of my life, and vegan for some parts until some massive health issues recently. I saw a Naturopathic Doctor and we ran many tests that focused on the state of my health. I decided based on the evidence from those test and the science from a variety of doctors of all kinds and scientists that I would give a Paleo style food lifestyle a try – which means I included a variety of very high quality pasture raised and/or grassfed meats. My personal health has vastly improved. What works for one person may not work for another.

      I respect your choice to not eat meat for the reasons you have mentioned; however, please don’t be so quick to judge someone who does choose to consume it. My health is very important to me and I realize not all people do well with meat so it is none of my business whether someone chooses to eat it or not. I do my best to select high quality meats so that I may gratefully respect the life of the animal as well as the life giving proponents of that food to my own body.

  25. I’m wondering how people feel about feeding their pets (dogs or cats) meat that’s factory farmed? I don’t only eat organic grass fed meat myself but

    1. I do my best to feed my cat the best ingredients I can afford for her. Just like with my own health I know quality counts. It drives me crazy the amount of grain the pet food industry would have cats eating when cats are very well adapted carnivores. I like to try to feed my cat a decent quality fish or a little plain cooked chicken or beef meat. More recently I am looking into whether I can feed her some pastured eggs or even sardines. 🙂

  26. I try to eat only organic or wild food, including wild Alaskan salmon and grass-fed beef. The Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables should be used as a guide to avoid conventionally-raised tomatoes, peppers, peaches, apples, grapes, strawberries, etc. Our crooked politicians take gifts and favors from greedy corporate lobbyists to vote in their favor, while consumers are preyed upon by the rich. Disgraceful.

  27. Right now I’m very worried about recently finding out that all proc
    Processed food from China. They use there sewer water to process all our food.

  28. Not only are the hormones and antibiotics bad for our health but they also feed these animals grains, grains that are subsidized (welfare) by our government that the tax payers unknowingly pay into, but those grains are not these animals/fowl natural diet. Any reliable health source touts the benefits of 100% grass fed animals because the animals are healthy. This diet makes healthy meats that we consume. I don’t feed my laying hens grain I give them all sorts of veggies, sprouted legumes and fruits but zero grains and they free range to eat insects giving them the full meal deal.
    Check out Dr Peter Osborne author of No grain No Pain to read his studies on grains which BTW contribute heavily to autoimmune conditions that our country has at epidemic levels.
    If I eat meats raised on grains I get a cascade of symptoms including huge inflammation all over my body.

  29. Vani, it is so important for people to find a good local butcher compared to buying from a big box store or worse.
    There still are many great farmers out there who need our support buy buying a better product. An independent butcher relies on repeat business and can only do that with quality product.

  30. Dear Food Babe,
    Thank you for the article and for your work to make our world healthier. You are making a difference! So…I am teaching in China and have rarely seen the word “organic”. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thank you.

    1. Teaching in China?! I’m so jealous. And, of course, wish you the best and happy holidays.
      Two of my roommates have slowly graduated from organic to vegetarian to strict vegan while I now must wait in the kitchen for my turn to cook/bake. And, of course, before I cook any meat product all their food/dishes in close proximity must be covered for protection against my sizzling stir-fry meat juice. And with them I see the rise of “no cooking meat in pans that they use” but they won’t buy pans for themselves.
      I’m a guy of Danish/Scottish decent and think of the millions of Chinese who would love to have the the luxury of turning their back on chicken that isn’t humanly-free-range raised or snubbing veg that didn’t come from organic heirloom seeds. And the Asian diet is considered by the West to be better then that of ours?!

  31. Hello Vanni,
    I stopped eating factory farmed meat after watching Food Inc. about five years ago. It was a hard adjustment for my family since I had two young girls at the time. I educated them about it and showed them the film. They were upset and understood. Then we had to break it to the family and anyones house we went to. What I don’t understand is why people got upset in the beginning. If someone said they were a vegetarian would they expect them to eat the meat? Over time our family and closest friends have actually started cooking “clean” meat for us. We don’t expect it but appreciate it when they do. If not I always bring my own meat. I ask what they will be serving and try to make the same-especially if it is a big party. On Thanksgiving I offer to buy the turkey. I just cannot eat conventional meat. My kids and husband will once in a blue moon but it has to be something they really want. At restaurants we eat like vegetarians. it really isn’t bad. I am finding that more places have local and traceable farms. Sometimes I’m not sure I should be trusting them but I can’t get too crazy. I also find that we have educated many other in our family and they are eating more “clean” meat than they used to! Thank you for always inspiring me and others. Your amazing!

  32. To our friends on this site who insist that going vegetarian or going vegan is the “only way to be”, I would like to respectfully disagree. As a former vegetarian (nearly 20+ years), it is not necessarily the “only” way or the “best” way. Having a recent health crisis has encouraged me to learn about healing benefits of all foods, after which I personally decided to try a more Paleo-style food lifestyle. That means adding in some quality pasture raised/grassfed meats into my diet. For me this helped my health improve immensely. By purchasing the best quality meats I can afford I did so to respect my health, but also the health and well being of the animals. What works for one person may not work for another and other have benefited greatly from being vegetarian/vegan and I think that is wonderful. I ask that we not assume that all people who choose to eat meat for whatever reason are bad or ill-intentioned, or that eating meat in and of itself is necessarily bad to do. It varies from person to person based on their own needs and beliefs.

    I have much respect for all of you and all of your life choices and I love this site and the work that Vani does. Let’s love and respect one another and do our best to provide fortifying scientific and experiential help to one another and not judgment.

  33. @foodbabe, saying that you are an animal lover and also saying that you (sometimes/regularly) eat meat is at best an oxymoron. It displays a lack of consciousness to your own actions and it indicates cognitive dissonance. Irrespective of any apologias that might be proposed about biological needs of the individual, these two ideas are fundamentally diametrically opposed. You can’t be loving an animal and eating it at the same time. (You could be loving the taste, but that is a wholly different thing and more in tune with carnism, detachment from awareness or animal-inclusive sociopathy.) Animals are sentient. We have the food technology to be able to not eat animals now (we do not have the food technology yet to bypass the eating of plants).

    There is so much online of people apologizing, making excuses and just generally working out ways to dodge and avoid the inevitable conclusion of conscious awareness; that meat eating is murder, and it has nothing to do with love.

  34. We gave up commercially raised meat many years ago. We are fortunate to have better options via local farms within our area. Driving to the farm store to pick up grass fed beef, properly raised pork and chicken is an easy substitute to going to the grocery store. I am so grateful to the farmers who have made this choice available to us!!

  35. I have gotten my grass fed beef from a small local farm, for the 4 years or so.. I am aware of 2 in my area. I buy 1/4 cow at a time. There is a farm right around the corner from me that just posted a sign for fresh broiler chickens. Vani, I like you need some meat in my diet. I have read and heard that people with O type blood need meat in their diets and people with A type blood are natural vegetarians. I have 3 farmstands within 1/2 hour of me and one, the farthest one, is 100% organic, one of the other 2 may be organic. I consider myself extremely lucky for all this bounty around me. Once you find one small farm who sells these things, you hear about more. I live in NJ, so wherever you live, within an hour’s drive, you should be able to get to a small farm, if that’s what you want to do. I think the small family farmer is the way to go. You see the farm itself, you can talk to the owners and workers. You know what is and is not going into the food you eat. The farmers I’ve spoken with are very passionate about the quality of their products.

  36. We don’t eat much meat, but when we do it’s either a Whole Foods rotisserie chicken or an organic turkey that I order from them during the holidays. My understanding is that their chickens are guaranteed to have been raised humanely and without antibiotics or other harmful additives.

  37. Hey there! Thanks so much for this. I forwarded your email along! I went to IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, back in 2010 and thats when everything changed for me! I became a raw vegan for a long time, then vegetarian adding back in some cooked foods, and then like you, realized that my health was better off with a little bit of meat added back into it. I was afraid of this of course, because where I live is very difficult to find quality meat. I can find quality ground beef (free-range, grass-fed, USDA organic, free from hormones or antibiotics), but not turkey or chicken. The stuff we have here says it’s hormone and antibiotic free, but there’s not a whole lot of other info the store can/will give me about it. I’d love to know how best to purchase the best meats for my family and me. It sickens me to know what is happening to so many animals. I always avoid ordering meat when out to dinner. I will order fish sometimes, but mostly I go for veggie options! Thanks so much for everything you are doing!

  38. So is non-factory farm meat just another term for organic?? Meat at the stores don’t label non-factory. So should I be looking for organic, free range, no hormones/antibiotics, etc??

  39. Thanks for always revealing to people what they are ACTUALLY eating! Ever since I have read your articles and watched your videos I have spread the good word about you and everything you do. You investigations really enforce why I don’t eat meat anymore! Also, ever since I read the book ‘Fast Food Nation’ by Eric Schlosser I have been permanently changed about the beef and pork industry! I also educate the people around me and always spread the word. Thanks for putting so much effect on how bad this industry actually is as it goes over most people’s heads! I love not eating meat and I feel so healthy all the time!

  40. There is a lot of passion in all the comments made. So thankful we still have the freedom to decide what we choose to buy and eat.
    It all shows that people are thinking and analyzing our food system therefore making better decisions about their individual health.
    I for one think that someday we will not have to each meat; not because it’s right or wrong but because we won’t need to. Our flesh bodies have a long ways to go til then.
    Saying that, we live right next to a hog confinement (CAFO). We see, hear, and smell it. It’s not good. It makes us angry but we have to make peace with it as it will not change until the demand for it is gone.
    They are owned by our neighbors…we must talk to them…they are trapped in the whole system and do not have a way out until this nonsense stops.
    So please stop eating commercial meats.
    We are certified organic farmers raising beef, lamb, chicken, eggs and pork all on pastures. We are like an island in a sea of conventional farming. Thanks Vani for all you seems to bring to the forefront.

  41. i’m a vegetarian & have been for nearly 40 years; I take no medications, read lablels constantly, talk about eating organically grown food to all I meet, volunteer in an organic community garden & have a degree in nutrition & health science.

    Your comments are valuable & right on target. Thanks so much.

  42. I haven’t read all of the above comments but this is a response to your email regarding not eating factory farmed meat. I respect what you do and what you’re trying to do but how can you call yourself an “animal lover” and still eat them? Regardless of where/how they were raised-and the so called “humane” and “small family farms” are not humane at all in many cases-they still meet the same horrifying painful and gruesome end-all for something as inconsequential as our taste preferences or habits. Regardless of how much or often you do it (as in “I only steal sometimes-not very often and not very much”) it is causing harm and is unnecessary. Your body does not “need” animal protein (it only “needs” amino acids, carbohydrates, water,etc). And plant foods have been proven to be far healthier than any “food” made out of dead animals or extracted from live animals and millions of people live very healthily on totally vegan diets (like myself). Similarly I noticed a few posts above where animal raisers said they “love” their animals and that they “only” butcher a few a year. Butcher! Would you butcher any of your kids? Or your pets? I guess it’s a matter of maturing and evolving our mindset and how we look at things. It takes effort to be truly objective and see things as they truly are and not what we believe them to be. Hopefully many more will make that effort.

  43. Vani, I currently have a killer cold & was just thinking about trying to make a vegetable stock/broth. Thanks for the awesome recipe, love you!!!

  44. Been reading your book,The Food Babe Way. Impress with your approach of not holding on to a peculiar diet, but to see the whole picture. Would be nice to see a page listing the chemicals and additives of food. ( and Food Manufacturer ) that are bad for you. Do them alphabetically. What are the effects they cause to the body. Any recommendations. Now think of the possible effect this would have on the world population., if would have this on a smartly design t-shirt. People in grocery stores with the message on them. In front of the food manufacturer and corporations. What better way to deliver the message world wide. God must have place you on this earth, at the right time and place for a reason.

  45. Adding 1/4 cup of organic apple cider vinegar to the broth will help leach the calcium from the bones adding to its nutritional value! That’s my mom’s secret ingredient, adds nice flavor as well. She makes it once a week, very delicious & nutritious!

  46. Your veggie broth recipe is excellent. I so appreciate the work that you do.
    I love experimenting with food and trying to add more veggies to my meals, but recently discovered a really great flavored homemade veggie broth.

    The broth that has an intense flavor, so much like a meat broth by simply adding dehydrated veggie powders of: carrots, celery, cabbage, 1 dried smoked chipotle pepper, shiitake mushrooms in 5 cups of water. Cooked for 2 hours with a few fresh veggies and your own seasonings and perhaps tamari. During the last 30 minutes added 3 TBSP peanut powder. (If you cook the broth down you make an even more intense flavor). Cool down. Refrigerate.

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