Why Bone Broth is Inherently Sustainable

Photo courtesy of Bartels Farms, which incorporates sustainable practices
Photo courtesy of Bartels Farms, which incorporates sustainable practices

We don’t talk about this enough, but one of the reasons Ryan and I started Bare Bones Broth Co. three years ago is because we want a more sustainable food system.

We hate waste. Truly.

We will do anything we can to avoid contributing to landfills and wasting the energy it has taken to get high-quality food to our fridge. (Did you  know the food sector accounts for about one-third of the world’s total energy use? And one-third of that food isn’t even consumed!). We use the ugly vegetables, and the parts (tops, greens) that most people throw away are a staple in our home. We don’t drink milk, but if we buy some for a special dish we’re making, we’ll come up with a dozen other ways to use it before it goes out of date.

I know, I know. What does that have to do with bone broth? you’re asking yourself.

Everything, really. Because bone broth is inherently sustainable. In fact, bone broth is one of the most sustainable foods available, because it makes use of bones and offal that for a very long time were a byproduct of the meat industry.

Encouraging Sustainability Up the Food Chain

By taking that byproduct and making something delicious and nutritious out of it, not only are we:

  1. Reducing food waste (yay!), but…
  2. We’re also helping to boost the bottom line for grass-fed beef ranchers and conscientious poultry farmers who care about how they raise and feed their animals.
  3. As a result, bone broth is contributing to sustainable agricultural practices, too.

Think about it: Ranchers — even those with the most sustainable operations – used to have no choice but to toss thousands of pounds of bones and offal. They simply had no use for them.

Now they have customers clamoring to pay $4-$10 per pound for those same bones and offal. That’s almost as much as they’re making on the meat itself! It’s a full product line extension for these guys. As a result, bone broth is making it more affordable and profitable for them to keep doing what they’re doing. That’s only one of the many reasons we get so excited about our partnerships with farms and ranches like Bartels Farms and Singing Prairie Farm.

We’re already seeing this encourage even more farmers to incorporate more sustainable practices into their operations. One day it may even contribute to reducing the costs of grass-fed beef and organic, pasture-raised meats at your local market. So it’s a win-win-win– the best kind.

We’ve been talking about this a lot the last few weeks, as we look back on where we have been and look forward to where we want to go in the coming years. Thank you all for the part you’re playing in helping us to reshape a very broken and wasteful food system.

Here’s to a more sustainable food future.

Farmer John of Singing Prairie Farm, a sustainable farm we partner with