Nourishing Broth

An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World


By Sally Fallon Morell

By Kaayla T. Daniel

Formats and Prices




$17.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 30, 2014. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The follow-up book to the hugely best-selling Nourishing Traditions, which has sold over 500,000 copies, this time focusing on the immense health benefits of bone broth by the founder of the popular Weston A Price Foundation.

Nourishing Broth:

An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World

Nourishing Traditions examines where the modern food industry has hurt our nutrition and health through over-processed foods and fears of animal fats. Nourishing Broth will continue the look at the culinary practices of our ancestors, and it will explain the immense health benefits of homemade bone broth due to the gelatin and collagen that is present in real bone broth (vs. broth made from powders).

Nourishing Broth will explore the science behind broth’s unique combination of amino acids, minerals and cartilage compounds. Some of the benefits of such broth are: quick recovery from illness and surgery, the healing of pain and inflammation, increased energy from better digestion, lessening of allergies, recovery from Crohn’s disease and a lessening of eating disorders because the fully balanced nutritional program lessens the cravings which make most diets fail. Diseases that bone broth can help heal are: Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Psoriasis, Infectious Disease, digestive disorders, even Cancer, and it can help our skin and bones stay young.

In addition, the book will serve as a handbook for various techniques for making broths-from simple chicken broth to rich, clear consomme, to shrimp shell stock. A variety of interesting stock-based recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner from throughout the world will complete the collection and help everyone get more nutrition in their diet.


Begin Reading

Table of Contents


Copyright Page

In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author's intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at Thank you for your support of the author's rights.


In 1908, a Japanese researcher isolated a new taste substance from the seaweed kombu. He noted that the substance had a singular taste, different from sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. He called the taste umami. The chemical he discovered was free glutamic acid, which when combined with sodium gave the most pleasing umami taste. That substance is called monosodium glutamate, or MSG.

Within a year, a new company called Ajinomoto began manufacturing MSG for the food industry, and it was MSG that made possible the profound changes to the Western diet that occurred during the twentieth century, especially after World War II. That's because monosodium glutamate in its many guises—MSG, hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed protein, yeast extract, soy protein isolate—gave the food industry an inexpensive way to imitate the taste of broth.

As early as 1735, chefs had made dried bouillon in the form of tablets, cubes, and granules by dehydrating meat stock with vegetables, fat, salt, and seasonings. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, chefs and cooks made frequent use of these homemade extracts.

MSG allowed the cheap and profitable industrial production of bouillon cubes starting in the early 1900s. Oxo cubes, popular since 1910 in Britain, contain very little extract of beef stock today; in fact they gain more flavor from the monosodium glutamate than the actual dried beef stock. The ingredients listed on the label are wheat flour, salt, yeast extract, cornflour, colouring, flavour enhancers (monosodium glutamate), beef fat, flavouring, dried beef bonestock, sugar, onion, pepper extract.

Wyler's Chicken Flavored Bouillon Cubes contain no dried bone stock at all; in fact, the ingredients list is a nightmarish collection of additives: Salt, Sugar, Mechanically Separated Cooked Ground Chicken Meat, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monosodium Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten, Corn Maltodextrin, Onion Powder, Chicken Fat, Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten Protein, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Water, Garlic Powder, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Dextrose, Cooked Chicken Powder, Natural Chicken Flavor, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Calcium Silicate, Gelatin, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Turmeric, Corn Syrup Solids, Spice, Modified Cornstarch, Silicon Dioxide, Diacetyl (Flavor), Artificial Flavor, Tricalcium Phosphate, Alpha Tocopherols (Antioxidant), Corn Oil, BHA (Preservative), Propyl Gallate, Citric Acid, BHT (Preservative).

In addition to monosodium glutamate, at least three other ingredients in Wyler's cubes—hydrolyzed corn gluten protein, autolyzed yeast extract, and hydrolyzed soy protein—are sources of free glutamic acid or one of its salts. Even "natural flavor" can contain MSG.

MSG made possible the proliferation of new products that flooded the supermarket shelves after World War II. Manufacturers used it in canned bouillon, canned soups, and canned stews—allowing the food processing industry to imitate for pennies the natural flavor of carefully prepared broth. The earliest frozen TV dinners featured turkey with gravy—not gravy made with nourishing turkey stock but a gravylike substance comprised of water, thickeners, emulsifiers, artificial colorings, and artificial flavorings, mostly MSG. Canned spaghetti sauce was no longer an insipid imitation of the real thing but, thanks to MSG, something that had a seductive savory taste.

Whether MSG poses health problems is a matter of debate—the industry insists that MSG is a minor bother only for the rare sensitive individual and has no long-term consequences for the majority. But independent researchers are not so sure, citing neurological problems as the long-term consequence of this excitatory substance, especially in children and the elderly. Rarely mentioned is the fact that MSG is used to induce obesity in laboratory animals. Has the flood of MSG-laden foods contributed to today's epidemic of obesity? It is a question that needs to be explored.

Whatever the health hazards of MSG, one thing is certain: The use of MSG in our food has allowed the eclipse of nourishing broth, something that tradition tells us is good for us, something that science indicates should be in our diet on a daily basis. Before processed foods, cooks used broth to make soups, stews, sauces, and gravies; broth made these foods taste good, and everyone enjoyed the health benefits whether they were aware of them or not. MSG and its many cousins used in processed food have allowed cooks to forget valuable broth-making skills. One can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup makes a casserole—skill in making cream sauce with chicken broth not required; a bouillon cube or two flavors the stew, so the stew gets eaten without the benefits of cartilage-rich broth. Gravy is produced by adding water to a packet of powder—which contains an overwhelming amount of MSG. Packets of flavoring put MSG into homemade meat loaf, chili, and spaghetti sauce. With instant broth taste in packets and cans, who needs to pull out the big broth pot and fill it with bones?

MSG quickly made its way into restaurants in the form of soup bases. When you see "homemade soup" on the menu, ask the server whether it is made in house from bones or from a base. Most likely the answer will be: "We make our soup in house from a base." That base is not nourishing broth but a canned powder, highly flavored with MSG. MSG is also in many of the sauces, salad dressings, gravies, and "au jus" garnishes that people relish when they have a restaurant meal, often waking up with a dry mouth and headache the next morning.

Fortunately, the Western world is reembracing real food and traditional cooking—witness the explosion of interest in traditional, ethnic, and local foods. And nothing characterizes ancestral food as much as nourishing broth, the simmering stockpot, and broth-based soups, stews, gravies, and sauces.

And just in time! Today we are witnessing an epidemic of chronic disease that threatens to unhinge our modern world—cancer, arthritis, allergies, digestive problems, mental disorders, and even new types of life-threatening infectious illness. Bone broth, rich in the elements of cartilage, collagen, and healing amino acids, can provide protection from these ailments, can serve as an important element in recovery, and can nourish and enrich our lives in many ways.

This book provides many important reasons for putting the stockpot back on our stoves and, even more important, making broth-based soup the basis of meals in hospitals, nursing homes, military canteens, schools, and prisons. Unfortunately, soldiers, students, convalescents, and inmates today are fed the cheapest of industrial foods—imitation broth, soups based on artificial ingredients, fast foods loaded with industrial chemicals, Meals Ready-to-Eat (MREs), and "nutrition" concoctions in cans. Thus the nation gets sicker, academic standards decline, behavior degenerates, and recidivism soars.

Too many cooks may spoil the broth, but the many contributors to this book have greatly enriched its content with their testimonials and recipes. Dr. Kaayla Daniel is uniquely qualified to pull together all the science we have on broth. While studies on broth itself are lacking, we know a lot about broth's components. Modern science provides the explanation for the varied and worldwide traditions that extol broth's healing effects, and the many testimonials we have collected over the years indicate a wide range of conditions that broth can ameliorate or prevent.

"The most important piece of equipment in any kitchen," said Francis Pottenger Jr., MD, "is the stockpot." Dr. Pottenger was the author of a seminal article describing how gelatin-rich broth helps digestion. He recommended the stockpot as a gift for couples getting married.

I described Dr. Pottenger's 1938 article on gelatin (published in the American Journal of Digestive Diseases) and some of the traditions about broth in my cookbook Nourishing Traditions; the book, first published in 1996, piqued the public's interest in the health benefits of broth. I also made sure that information about broth was posted on the website of our nutrition information foundation, the Weston A. Price Foundation, founded in 1999.

During the ensuing years, interest in broth increased, and many homemakers and cooks discovered the satisfaction of making broth and employing it as the foundational ingredient in soups, stews, sauces, and gravies—or using broth therapeutically for colds, flu, digestive disorders, skin diseases, and joint problems. Many of these cooks have developed unique ways of making broth, not to mention many delicious broth-based recipes, and their discoveries form an important part of this book, allowing us to provide not only the scientific principles behind broth but also broth's practical applications. Those who have contributed recipes show us that it is easy to incorporate broth making into any lifestyle—from a simple slow cooker chicken broth prepared by the busy parent to a long-simmered consommé prepared by the gourmet chef.

We hope that this book will provide inspiration for making broth, because there's more than just love in that pot of chicken soup we prepare; there's much that will heal the ailments we suffer from. All this, and it tastes good too.

—Sally Fallon Morell, President,
The Weston A. Price Foundation


Nourishing Broth: Folklore and History

For most people in the world, soup serves as a humble economy food crafted from leftover bones, shells, wilted vegetable scraps, and whatever else is available, according to the frugal principle of "waste not, want not." Wealthier households use whole chickens, fish, and hunks of lamb, beef, or pork to make the very best stock, while the poor often rely on carcasses and scraps from butchering.

Nourishing broth dates back to the Stone Age, a time when people didn't even have pots to cook in. The first soups were "stone soups," in which hot stones from nearby fires were added to the abdominal pouches of butchered animals in order to simmer up mixtures of meat, fat, bones, herbs, wild grains, and water. Shells of turtles or crustaceans may have supplied the first rigid pots. In Asia, bamboo tubes sealed at the ends with clay provided usable containers that could hold both food and water. Native Americans boiled bones in water by putting hot rocks into baskets lined with clay or pitch. It would take durable, heat-conducting containers, however, before soup could become a permanent fixture on the hearth.

The first earthenware pots were fired at low temperatures in pit fires or open bonfires. Crude, hand-formed, and undecorated, they date back to 22,000 years ago in China and about 12,000 years ago elsewhere. Metal pots forged of bronze appeared in the fourth millennium BCE, followed by pots made of iron and other metals. Among Europeans, Greeks used metal pots first, and soup apparently was popular there. In his satire The Frogs, playwright Aristophanes had Dionysus ask Heracles if he'd "ever felt a sudden urge for soup?" And our hero replied, "Soup? Ten thousand times so far." That idea has never failed to resonate, and soup advertisements still speak to our desire for deep nourishment, strength, power, and invincibility.

Until the modern era, most households kept a cauldron simmering over the fire or a stockpot on a stove's back burner. People regularly ate from it and continually added whatever ingredients became available, making long-cooked soups and stews the original "fast food." This practice has gone on just about forever, everywhere on the planet, and in every conceivable economic or political situation as long as people have had fuel for the hearth or stove. No food is as universally appreciated as soup.

While broth-making techniques and ingredients are similar everywhere, soup styles change with culinary fashion. What has remained constant is the use of soups and "meat teas" for health and healing. Chicken soup, of course, enjoys almost mystical status in Jewish culture and is known as "Jewish penicillin." The Jewish philosopher and physician Moses Maimonides gave it his stamp of approval in the twelfth century, having borrowed much from Galen, the second-century Greek philosopher, physician, and pathologist, and Hippocrates, who practiced even earlier, in the fourth century BC. While most people think the health claims for soup are the stuff of legend, we will show that these claims have a solid scientific basis. In short, chicken soup can do far more for us than moisten the gullet, steam out our sinuses, whet the appetite, and add the healing power of love.

Its reputation as Jewish penicillin notwithstanding, Asians actually consume the most chicken soup today. Inhabitants of Japan, Korea, China, and other Asian countries revere it for its preventive powers as well as its curative powers. According to Martin Yan, the Chinese-born, Hong Kong–American food writer and host of Yan Can Cook, this is "not a case of pure faith." Rather, Asians routinely enhance broth's healing power by adding "medicinal herbs and roots to… daily thirst-quenching soups to make them into elixirs at our dinner tables." Whenever Yan feels "worn down and haggard," he says, he remembers his "mother's words of wisdom at the dinner table, 'Drink your soup.' " Ever wonder why you can't purchase chicken feet in American supermarkets? It's because virtually all the feet from American industrial poultry production are shipped to China, where they go into the pot to make soup.

How much of soup's healing power should be credited to the love that goes into preparing homemade soups for family members? How much might be due to a nurturing lifestyle that includes sitting down for regular meals? These factors are too subjective to measure, but common sense suggests they have nothing but positive effects on health and longevity. In addition, anecdotal reports abound on the power of broth to relieve headaches, calm the mind, chase butterflies from the stomach, improve focus, and gain energy.

In her 1998 book A Soothing Broth: Tonics, Custards, Soups and Other Cure-Alls for Colds, Coughs, Upset Tummies, and Out-of-Sorts Days, Pat Willard notes old recipes for invalids almost always came with encouraging words like "This will cure for sure" or "In my experience, this has always proven beneficial." Invalid recipes in old cookbooks range from simple but strengthening beef teas to savory custards made with eggs, salt, pepper, and beef to choices of "restorative" or "stimulating" meat jellies. Many of the writers suggested adding unflavored gelatin to enhance whatever foods or drinks might otherwise appeal to the convalescent. In her 1859 book Notes on Nursing, Florence Nightingale emphasized the importance of "easy digestibility" and said, "Remember that sick cookery should do half the work of your poor patient's weak digestion." No food improves digestion better than broth.

Portable Soup

Broth would seem to be the least portable of foods, but "portable soup" dates back to the ninth and tenth centuries when Magyar warriors overran Europe. A fourteenth-century chronicle explains how they boiled beef until it fell apart, chopped it up, and dried it so it could be easily transported on horseback. To have broth for dinner, the men simply added hot water. In all probability, our ancestors developed portable soups all over the world in much the same way. Native Americans, for example, most likely made soup from powdered pemmican. Some portable soups, of course, were made of powdered peas, rye, and other grains, legumes, and vegetables, but the most nutritious included meat and/or gelatin.

In early seventeenth-century England, Sir Hugh Plat came up with instructions for a "drie gell… in pieces like mouth glew" in Victuall for Warz. It was made from "neat feete & legge of beeff… boiled to a great stiffness." In 1743 Lady's Companion described how "to make a veal glue or cake soup to be carried in the pocket." The recipe involved cooking a gelatinous broth, then boiling it down until it was so concentrated it could be laid out on pieces of fabric. It was then turned until hardened, dry, and stiff enough to be "carried in the Pocket without inconvenience." Many other cookbooks of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries described how to prepare what was known as "veal glew," "cake soup," "cake gravey," "broth cakes," "solid soop," "portmanteau pottage," "pocket soup," "carry soup," and "soop always in readiness." Eliza Leslie, in her Directions for Cookery of 1837, advised, "If you have any friends going the overland journey to the Pacific, a box of portable soup may be the most useful present to them."

William Byrd II (1674–1744), founder of Richmond, Virginia, advised making portable soup with meat, bones, vegetables, and anchovies boiled down to a viscous mass and then dried in the sun: "Dissolve a piece of portable soup in water and a bason of good broth can be had in a few minutes." Scottish poet Robert Burns describes hunters carrying portable soup in their packs.

To successfully make portable soup, cookbook writers were clear: It was necessary to fill the stockpot with plenty of cartilage and connective tissue, which breaks down into gelatin. Without gelatin, there was no way the soup would harden.

Portable soups served travelers as well as the military. British ship captain and maritime fur trader Nathaniel Portlock described the use of portable soups on his expeditions in the 1780s. Captain Cook endorsed them because they "enable us to make several nourishing and wholesome messes and was the means of making the people eat a greater quantity of vegetables than they would otherwise have done." Apparently, the sailors didn't much like the soup, however, and Cook reportedly flogged men who refused to eat it.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took portable soup on the Corps of Discovery Expedition of 1804–1806, and considered it so essential they went over budget to pay $189.50 for 193 pounds of dried soup packed in thirty-two tin canisters—like ones used for storing gunpowder, not cans as we think of them today. Lewis and Clark spent more on soup than on instruments, arms, or ammunition. But as their journals made clear, no one much appreciated the dried soup, though it sustained them when there was "nothing else to eat."

Portable broth became commercially viable with Justus von Liebig (1803–1873), the German chemist known today as the "father of the fertilizer industry." In 1840 von Liebig developed a portable "beef extract" to feed the "craving multitudes" who desired but could not afford real meat. The only problem was the manufacturing process took thirty kilograms of meat to produce one kilogram of extract! Large-scale production became possible when he learned he could obtain cheap beef from the carcasses of cattle raised for their hides in Uruguay. At the time, the canning and freezing of meat was not yet the norm. Von Liebig's beef extract nourished Henry Morton Stanley on his adventure through Africa in search of Dr. David Livingstone; went along with the polar explorers Nansen, Amundsen, Shackleton, and Scott; and fed Allied soldiers during World War I. Marketed to housewives it became Oxo. Similarly, John Lawson Johnston developed "Johnston's Fluid Beef" in 1871, later marketed as Bovril. It, too, served soldiers, sailors, explorers, and adventurers in need of healthy but portable soups. Sadly, these and similar bouillon-type products have devolved from fairly "real foods" into meatlike products that rely on MSG, artificial flavorings, and other additives for their savoriness.

Soup and Gelatin

The development of "portable soups" and meat extracts coincided with the growth of the gelatin industry. Gelatin is the jiggly denatured collagen that shows up when properly made bone broths, soups, and stews are refrigerated. In 1679, Denis Papin (1657–1712), a physicist entranced with the potential of steam pressure and steam engines, invented a pressure cooker–like contraption called the Digester of Bones. His idea was to boil down bones into a gelatin that could be used to thicken sauces or eaten directly as a jelly. He thought it would save money for poor people who needed to extract nutrition from bones but couldn't afford the fuel needed for long-term cooking. The contraption was too expensive, however, for all but the rich.

Papin served foods prepared in his digester for a number of learned men in London on April 12, 1682, greatly impressing a diarist named John Evelyn: "I went this afternoon with several of the Royal Society to a supper which was all dressed, both fish and flesh, in Monsieur Papin's digestors, by which the hardest bones of beef itself, and mutton, were made as soft as cheese, without water or other liquor, and with less than eight ounces of coals, producing an incredible quantity of gravy; and for close of all, a jelly made of the bones of beef, the best for clearness and good relish, and the most delicious that I had ever seen or tasted."

Although Papin's work with digesters never took off, the interest in gelatin continued, reaching its zenith in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when it was widely perceived as the ultimate solution to world hunger, malnutrition, war rations, and rescue and relief efforts. Though not a complete protein, researchers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries found that gelatin vastly improved the nutritional value of plant-based diets. It increases the protein availability of wheat, oats, and barley, though not of corn, and vastly improves the digestibility of meat and beans. This seemed a viable long-term solution for third-world people subsisting on grains and legumes and a short-term help for food banks and other rescue and relief efforts. Today it's still a useful dietary adjunct when genuine gelatin-rich broth is not available.

Knox Gelatin

Charles Knox developed the world's first pregranulated gelatin in 1890 after watching his wife, Rose, suffer through the labor-intensive process of making gelatin at home. A flamboyant man known as the "Napoleon of Advertising," he promoted his gelatin products with a motorized balloon named "Gelatine," a racehorse renamed "Gelatine King," and other events that made headlines. After his death in 1908, Rose took over and dropped the stunts in favor of outreach campaigns that educated women on the health benefits of gelatin and showed them how to cook with it in the kitchen. Rose Knox ran the company for more than forty years until her death at age ninety-three in 1950, and was widely revered as a savvy businesswoman. Great Lakes Gelatin, formerly Grayslake Gelatin, also thrived during those years and today offers gelatin and collagen hydrolysate products from grass-fed beef, a qualitative difference over today's Knox products, which over the years came to be manufactured using commercial factory-farmed meats.

During the heyday of gelatin, researchers and clinicians also explored the myriad ways gelatin could improve health and reverse disease. Indeed, gelatin research caught the interest of many top scientists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We'll discuss their many findings in part 2.

The Scientific Validation of Traditional Wisdom


On Sale
Sep 30, 2014
Page Count
352 pages

Sally Fallon Morell

About the Author

Sally Fallon Morell is the author of the bestselling cookbook Nourishing Traditions (with Mary G. Enig, PhD, over 650,000 copies sold), Nourishing Broth (with Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN), and Nourishing Fats. As president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, she is the number one spokesperson for the return of nutrient-dense foods to American tables.

Learn more about this author