It’s not an old wives’ tale to eat chicken noodle soup when you’re sick. Soup used to be made from boiling a whole chicken. Simmering the bones releases the healing compounds that nourish the body, including the electrolytes needed to hydrate.
Bone broth contains minerals in a form the body can easily absorb—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, silicon, sulfur, and trace minerals.
It also contains arginine, proline and glycine. Glycine improves cognitive performance and improves circulation in the brain. Glycine also protects the liver and stimulates the production of glutathione. Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant. It aids the liver in detoxing the body and plays an important role in creating new cells and in protein and DNA synthesis
It repairs the intestinal lining and reduces inflammation, improves digestion, and boosts the immune system.
And as an added benefit, bone broth has chondroitin, collagen, glucosamine, and gelatin. Chondroitin plays a role in regeneration and plasticity in the Central Nervous System. It is also essential, along with collagen and glucosamine, in the construction and repair of cartilage, helping to prevent joint deterioration.
Gelatin and collagen are both great for a healthy gut. They help heal intestinal permeability, “leaky gut”, and restore the normal mucosal layer in the gut.
And lastly, collagen is essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails. After the age of 20, our bodies produce about 1% less collagen in the skin each year so it is essential to supplement it in your diet.
There are a lot of bone broth supplements and powders, but as always, we prefer whole foods and incorporating them into our diets. We make our bone broth from our pastured, organic chickens and all organic ingredients. We slow simmer our broth and add a little apple cider vinegar to help break down the bones, ligaments, cartilage, marrow and make them release their healing compounds.
Broth is a little bland and easy on the gut, perfect for sipping hot. If you are experiencing digestive issues, bone broth is an excellent healing aid. Just 3-4 oz. a day will begin to restore proper digestion. You can also sip it warm with a little salt and lemon juice for more flavor. And use bone broth in any recipe calling for chicken stock. It will require adding some chicken bouillon paste for the flavor required in a recipe, such as soups and rice dishes.
We sell our necks, backs, and feet to make your own, and our beef bones are also excellent for bone broth.
Tallow: baking, nutrition, weight loss, and improving your immune system
Tallow is rendered suet, the fat around the kidneys of cattle. It is unlike the other fat found in red meat. Rendered, it is odorless and tasteless, making it perfect for baking and cooking. But there are also many benefits for overall health as well.
Tallow is perfect for frying because of its high smoke point of around 420o F. Because of this, it does not oxidize at high temperatures, like canola, corn, and even olive oil. Oxidation contributes to the formation of free radicals and free radicals are known to cause damage to DNA and other parts of human cells.
You can replace all of your cooking oils with tallow. Use it to replace everywhere you would use vegetable or seed oils (canola, corn, soybean, peanut, grapeseed, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower) and Crisco like in pies, cookies, tortillas, cakes, and rice dishes.
Tallow is a healthy fat high in choline, a nutrient that supports the nervous system and the fatty acids that protect nerve cells. It also provides Conjugated Linoleic Acid Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) (webmd.com)) and vitamins A, D, K, E, and B12 that support your immune system, skeletal system, heart, skin, and more.
And consuming healthy fats stimulates the release of glucagon, the hormone that signals your body to burn stored fat to use for energy.
Inflammation is a key trigger to lowering your immune system and industrial processed seed oils cause inflammation. By replacing all of your inflammatory oils with tallow, you will decrease inflammation and improve your immune system.
There are even benefits to rubbing it on topically for healthy skin. The fatty acids help form lipids that keep the skin protected and moisturized. It can treat dryness and aid in healing skin wounds through its combination of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that promote skin cell generation. It is antimicrobial and antifungal and detoxifies your skin. It can be used in homemade lotions, soaps, and even candles, or rub it on as a straight oil.
Rendering your own suet is easy.
Cut the suet into 1-inch cubes, throwing away anything that resembles the kidney, or use larger pieces in a food processor. Cook in a crockpot set to low. Stir continuously in the beginning to make sure it renders down and does not stick and burn to sides. Impurities will float to the top. When the impurities are crispy, the rendering is complete, roughly 6-8 hours. Strain through a fine mesh or cheesecloth. Save the crispy Cracklins for use in salads, potato or rice dishes, even on sandwiches, anywhere you would use breadcrumbs, croutons, bacon, and more. Line a baking pan with parchment and pour in liquid tallow to cool. Store tallow at room temperature, but may also be frozen for longer storage.
Regenerative agriculture is not new, it is how indigenous cultures farmed in harmony with nature centuries ago. It is the combination of two land use practices: permaculture and organic standards. These two practices are used to progressively improve whole agroecosystems: including soil, water, air and biodiversity.
The first land use practice, permaculture, is the idea of creating a closed loop system with as little reliance on outside inputs as possible. To achieve this, the land, water, and biodiversity of the ecosystems must create mutually beneficial relationships. Forests, wetlands, prairies, and bodies of water are perfect permacultures.
On our ranch, we take advantage of the existing permacultures of our forests, brush, and wetlands. Their inclusion in our operation attracts a diversity of wildlife, fungi, bacteria, and minerals; and it provides wild forage for our animals. Woodland and wetland wildlife aerate the soil and water, create habitats for insects and pollinators, disperse new and wild seed varieties, and attract more and diverse wildlife. This diversity also brings unique fungi and bacteria that aid in decomposition. The decomposing plant and animal life deposit minerals into the soil where the fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms then extract and provide those minerals directly to the roots of the living plants for their use. Grazing animals in these permacultures results in healthier ecosystems, healthier animals, and nutrient dense food for us.
The second land use practice, National Organic Standards, is designed to promote soil regeneration, improve water and air quality, and ensure the ethical treatment of animals. To achieve these goals, organic farmers are prohibited from using harmful chemicals and are encouraged to plant diverse pastures and cover crops, to input minerals to the soil, to utilize no-till or low-till practices, and to retain, protect, and improve forests and wetlands.
The elimination of harmful chemicals results in cleaner air, a cleaner and more abundant water supply, rising water tables, replenishing aquifers, and eliminating toxic algae blooms.
Our organic practices are helping to protect and enhance the water, air, and permacultures on our land. As we increase organic matter and rare and ultra-rare minerals in our soil, we improve drought resilience, increase the water holding capacity of the soil, and protect the water quality and wildlife. These practices also eliminate soil destruction, erosion, desertification, the loss of arable topsoil, and decarbonization.
The loss of arable topsoil is a growing concern for agriculture. Topsoil protects our water supply, improves our air quality, and is needed for good crop yields and for plants to reach their full genetic potential. Not to mention, it lessens the impacts of drought and pests.
Decarbonization is the loss of carbon from the soil, resulting in more carbon in the air. Permacultures and organic practices sequester the carbon, pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and putting it back into the soil as organic matter. Improving and increasing our woodlands and wetlands also reverse decarbonization. Photosynthesis is the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere through the leaves with solar energy and then releasing oxygen into the atmosphere and providing sugar for the plant to grow.
In addition to the 120-day National Organic Standard for pasturing animals, we pasture our animals 365 days a year and eliminate the need for grain. It also eliminates the construction and upkeep of barns and the energy to run them. And it allows us to utilize their waste to build organic matter in the soil right in our pastures and woodlands. Allowing our animals to live year-round in a natural habitat and eat their natural diet increases the health of all our animals and make us less reliant on outside inputs for their health.
Our choice to practice regenerative agriculture is so that our land will be a reserve for wildlife, our soil will be regenerated, our water will be free of chemicals, our air quality will improve, our animals and plants will be heathier, and we can provide healthy, sustainable food to our community.
We are committed to getting the most nutrition out of our products (-or- grass-fed beef, lamb, chicken, pork, eggs, and produce): from soil testing in our pastures, greenhouses, and gardens, to the health and well-being of our animals. We are constantly researching the latest information, having the experts out to our ranch to evaluate our operation, and implementing what we have learned.
We are also involved with the Real Food Campaign and their efforts to make food as healing as medicine.
What we are doing:
To the Soil
Differing from grain-fed beef in several ways, grass-fed beef has:
Beef contains Oleic acid, the same “heart-healthy” fatty acid in olive oil
Beef contains the highest amounts of Coenzyme Q10
Beef is one of the most complete dietary sources of protein, the amino acid profile being almost identical to that of our own muscles, containing all 8 essential amino acids needed for the growth and maintenance of our bodies. It also contains Carnosine, a dipeptide important for muscle function
Beef is an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, iron, niacin, and vitamin B6.
Beef contains contains a number of bioactive substances, such as creatine and taurine
We believe organic farming is two-fold: the animals and the soil; what we don’t put into it and what we do put into it.
Organic standards for the animals are all about the ethical treatment and care of them. It is to create a natural environment, not raising them indoors. It is to make sure that they are on soil and have natural habitats, like chickens dust bathing and perching. It is to prohibit anti-biotics, unless to save the life of the animal*. It is also to prohibit pesticides and hormones and create strict standards for their food. It is to feed them natural food: all of their food must be non-GMO, organic, and free from petroleum-based seed coatings, fertilizers, and herbicides.
Makes sense. Healthy animal food equals healthy animals, equals healthy human food supply and healthy consumers.
The other, and possibly the most important, is the soil. Soil is where the minerals come from to grow the healthy pastures for the animals to graze. The health of the soil is also the health of the whole ecosystem and water supply. That is why one of the standards in organic is to maintain or create diverse environments like woodlands, wetlands, and other natural habitats for wildlife and wild forage. Our land has over 100 acres of woodlands and natural forage, and we have 4 wetland areas teaming with diverse wildlife. Our pastures are designed to utilize the natural habitats and to protect them.
Healthy soil needs to be built as a result of over-grazing and conventional mono-plantings. But crop rotation and cover crops are only a small part of soil health and vitality. We have extensive soil testing done to find out the micronutrient, bacterial, and mycorrhizal activity as well**. These are where the nutrition comes from and it is also where the flavor comes from. Based on our soil tests, we purchase the missing or low nutrients or microbiology and spread them onto our fields. The result is better tasting and healthier beef, chicken, lamb, eggs, and produce.
*animals given antibiotics become organic ineligible
** soil building is scalable to home gardening without soil testing