Osso Good Bone Broth for Immune, Digestive, and Energy Support
Okay, I’ll admit it. Like any good paleo blogger, I’ve tried my fair share of different bone broths.
In fact, I remember exactly where I was when I saw my very first pre-made bone broth available to purchase. I was living in San Francisco at the time, attending grad school at California College of the Arts. A few of my favorite paleo bloggers lived in the Bay Area, too, and talked about this amazing AIP/Whole 30/Paleo restaurant called Mission Heirloom Cafe in Berkeley.
I had to go.
I was in heaven. Dandelion green pesto, turmeric spice tonic, Yucan crunch chips, chicken liver pate… a whole wall of bone broth, a gorgeous outdoor garden.
When I moved away from the area a few years later, I lost my bone broth connection. I started making it myself, but it took DAYS to simmer the bones. On top of that, I never remembered to actually drink the broth I stored in glass mason jars in my freezer… and the jars would often crack, meaning goodbye to the broth that I spent hours creating.
A few years later, a well-known wellness public figure, Josh Axe, came out with a powdered bone broth protein. Then I started seeing it everywhere–even on the shelves next to the regular stock.
What I never found again, like at Mission Heirloom, was a wonderful source for perishable bone broth… until I found Osso Good Bone Broth.
Since there are so many options in stores now for bone broth, I wanted to do a quick compare and contrast for you, so you can decide which kind works best for your health needs and lifestyle.
But first, let’s talk about all the incredible benefits of bone broth.
What’s So Good About Bone Broth, Anyway?
When animal bones simmer, they release healing nutrients like collagen and glutamine, along with numerous minerals. Collagen is found in our muscles, bones, skin, and many other places in the body, and it’s what keeps our skin bouncing back with elasticity once it has been stretched.
Bone broth is also great for digestive health for a few reasons. It’s easy for your body to process, since it’s in liquid form. It’s supportive of the immune system and can even reduce inflammation, because it contains components found in human and animal joint cartilage (like chondroitin, and glucosamine, which was shown to lower inflammation AND oxidative stress levels when given to humans in a double-blind study). 1
Many who consume bone broth notice less aches and pains after a short amount of time, because the minerals and healing components released from the bones tend to help strengthen tissues, joints, and skin. Some even find various levels of relief from arthritis.2
Bone broth, especially with veggies added, is full of magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sulphur, and amino acids, which are vital minerals for optimized health.
Many people note clinical improvements, like more energy, healthier skin, and longer nails. The benefits really are endless.
Comparison of Perishable, Shelf-Stable, and Powdered Broths
There are a few types of bone broths you can purchase so you don’t have to make it yourself at home. Here’s a quick comparison of each kind, so you can make the best and most-informed decision for your health. For the purposes of this post, I’ll be comparing Osso Good as the perishable broth, Kettle and Fire for the shelf-stable broth, and Ancient Nutrition for the powdered broth.
Perishable Broth: Osso Good
Perishable bone broth means it’s made just like you’d make it at home. It comes in liquid form, frozen, packed in dry ice. It has an expiration date. This form of bone broth is the least-processed and keeps the fragile gelatin, collagen, and nutrients the most stable and most potent, something you lose in powdered, processed, or shelf-stable broths.
About the Company: Osso Good Bone Broth was founded by three friends, Jazz Hilmer, Meredith Cochran, and Toran Hillmer. The company works with small family farms in California and Oregon, ensuring the animals are raised in safe, pasture-raised, organic environments.
Price: $9.99 – $16 for 20 ounces.
How It’s Made: Their beef is pastured-raised, grass-fed, and grass-finished. You have to be careful of “grass-fed” labels on products now, because grass-fed can mean corn- or grain-finished. Not with this company. Their chickens eat foraged foods out in the sun–like herbs and organic veggies. The company roasts their bones first, then simmer them for 24-48 hours to get all the nutrients out that they can. Then, they freeze the broth and ship it to your door!
Ingredients: The ingredients are organic, non-GMO, and hormone- and antibiotic-free. There’s a range of broth options, from the simple Chicken Bone Broth (made with chicken wings, backs, and feet, and infused with organic vegetables like onions, carrots, tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, and parsley) to the more complex Revive the Gut (made with AIP Beef Bone Broth, and Chinese healing herbs like Huang Qi Zhi, Dang Shen, Fu Ling, Chen Pi, Shan Zha, Bai Bian Dou, Da Zao, and Hua Jiao). All ingredients are clean, with no fillers or preservatives.
Pros: In my opinion, this product is made out of the very best ingredients you could hope to find. Most importantly, this bone broth does gel like healthy bone broth should, which means the company is using an abundant amount of collagen-rich animal bones. It also means you’re reaping all the health benefits and nutrients, and what’s the point of drinking bone broth if you can’t experience the healing bone, skin, digestive, and immune bonuses? When I make bone broth at home, I know I’ve added the proper bones-to-liquid ratio when the broth actually wiggles like jello once it’s cooled, rather than staying liquified like water. Osso Good is the only store-bought bone broth I’ve found that gels just like homemade broth, and that’s what you should be looking for in your purchasing process. Additionally, Osso Good is very transparent online about what they put into their broth, how they make it, and how to use it. I love the packaging, and they ship quickly, too. The taste is phenomenal. There are also a ton of options! I adore the Chinese herb options, as well as the bone broth for your doggie (hey, he deserves great health, too!). Mostly ALL pros for this company.
Cons: I really can’t think of any cons for this broth. If you’re really picky: the broths do come in plastic. BUT it is very high-quality, BPA-free plastic, so it’s not leaching bad chemicals into your broth… so that’s actually not a con at all. (:
Flavor Options: Chicken, beef, spicy pork, bison, turkey, and Chinese-herb infused mixes for recovery, immune health, digestive repair, new mamas, dogs, and energy.
Taste: Tastes just like when I make it at home. Great flavor, especially with all the herbs and veggies they add. Easy to sip just by itself–no need to hide it in a soup or dish.
Buy It: Visit Osso Good’s website to buy the broth.
Final Thoughts: I absolutely love this company. They donate $0.20 of every bone broth sold online to a worthy charity, like Charity: water (offering water and sanitation to communities in Nepal), The American Arthritis Foundation, and the Marin Food Bank. I love the way they give back, how they source the best ingredients (hello, organic, non-gmo, hormone-free, no antibiotics, pastured-raised, grass-fed AND finished), and all the interesting blends and mixes they offer. This bone broth tastes the best out of ANY that I’ve ever tried, including my own homemade. They really know what they’re doing! I highly recommend Osso Good Bone Broth!
Shelf-Stable Broth: Kettle and Fire
About the Company: Kettle and Fire is founded and run by brothers Justin and Nick Mares. Nick, an avid cross-fitter, came up with the company idea when he tore his ACL and wanted natural ways to help the healing process. He didn’t find the quality products he was looking for (organic, grass-fed), so he made his own.
Price: 19.95 for a two-pack, 16.2 ounces each.
How It’s Made: They exclusively use “knuckle, patella, femur, neck, and feet” bones in their broths. They simmer the bones slowly on low heat with organic veggies and spices.
Pros: Their broths are 100% grass-fed and organic. I do love that their packaging is recyclable and the product is boxed, not plastic. They vacuum-pack the liquid so they don’t have to add preservatives, with a special liner to make it shelf-stable. Their shelf-life is two years. I like that this company is concerned about the environment, sourcing their wood pulp from responsibly-sources trees. The packaging is even biodegradable and doesn’t release harmful chemicals while being packaged. That’s a huge plus!
Cons: There are only two flavors, so if you get bored easily, you might have to get creative with your cooking. From what I can see, you can’t buy their products on their website, but they do give you a map so you can find the best place nearby. This is a con for anyone chronically ill or healing, looking to do much of their shopping online to avoid the stress of the stores. Additionally, Fire and Kettle bone broth does not gel at all when cooled or refrigerated, meaning it doesn’t congeal or become thick like gelatin. This thickening is a hallmark of good, nutritious bone broth, because it means the broth is full of collagen and nutrients… which is the very reason you’d want to consume bone broth in the first place. To get gelling bone broth, like Osso Good’s (or homemade), you need a large amount of collage-rich bones, like feet, knuckles, or tendons, and a longer cook time. A broth that doesn’t gel doesn’t have the collagen or minerals you need–the very compounds that provide all the health benefits, like reduced inflammation, gut-healing, and improved immune health.
Flavor Options: Their beef both is made from marrow bones, organic carrot, organic celery, organic onions, organic bay leaves, and organic apple cider vinegar. Their chicken broth uses the same veggies and herbs, and adds all-0rganic scallions, tomato, parsley, thyme, and rosemary.
Taste: I do like the taste of this broth, but it does taste more like stock you’d buy at the store in a box than it does homemade broth. Still, the mix of herbs and veggies gives it a nice umami taste.
Final Thoughts: I think this is a good option if you want to have something in the house but are lacking the freezer space to fit perishable broths. I personally still prefer bone broth with a shorter expiration date, but I would definitely use this in a pinch.
Powdered Broth: Ancient Nutrition
About the Company: Ancient Nutrition was founded by Josh Axe (founder of one of the biggest health and wellness websites, Dr. Axe, and author of the book Eat Dirt) and Jordan Rubin (founder of supplement company Garden of Life, and author of The Maker’s Diet).
Price: Most range between $59.95 and $69.95 for 17.3 ounces.
How It’s Made: They use “high pressure and sustained heat to expedite the process,” per their website, which is unclear to me how exactly they make the bone broth into powder. When I wrote them for questioning about the creation process (for information on histamines, in particular), they simply responded that I should consult my doctor for health questions. The product is a dehydrated bone broth concentrate that is “spray dried.”
Pros: You can buy a sampler pack, which is nice if you want to make sure you like the flavor before making the big tub purchase. There are also a lot of flavor options, as well as a new organic line. It’s easy to add to a smoothie or shake, since you don’t have to thaw it. (As a side note: I work as a writer for public figures in the health and wellness industry, and someone I work with asked Jordan Rubin about histamines with this product. Jordan said it’s processed so it’s low in histamine, but I’d still be careful if you’re sensitive. I assume this means the broth is not slow-roasted, like the other two options). This is a convenient option if you’re traveling and can’t take a frozen or boxed broth with you.
Cons: Taste is a big con for me. I’ve tried the Pure, Turmeric, and Vanilla Ancient Nutrition flavors, and I have a lot of trouble with the first two flavors. To me, it doesn’t taste like bone broth I’m used to. The Pure was a little on the cardboard side. The vanilla flavor, though, tastes great when added to a green smoothie. I would not drink these plain. I don’t like the fillers added to this product to make it shelf-stable as a powder, like guar gum, xanthan gum, stevia, and monk fruit. If you’re trying to avoid sugar, these last two ingredients are a more natural, plant-based sweetener, but sweetener nonetheless. It’s also pretty pricy, and the most processed out of the three. I’m still unclear about how they’re processed.
Flavor Options: Their products are made from chicken bones, with no added fillers. Flavor options range from umami to dessert-like: Savory Herbs, Sweet Greens, Dark Chocolate, and Cafe Mocha. There are also protein blends available.
Taste: I like the sweeter flavors better, personally, like vanilla. I think these products taste best when mixed into a soup or smoothie to mask the flavor.
Final Thoughts: In their FAQ’s, they say they PCR-test their products for GMOs and test for heavy metals, falling below California Pop 65 warning standards. The verbiage on the herbicide and pesticide section is unclear. They state they test for dozens of pesticides and the results represent the “the spirit of organic standards,” and that they’re in the process of testing for hormones and antibiotics. I do love that they added an organic line and source non-GMO products with no preservatives. They also offer a 60-day Money Back Guarantee.
Bone Broth FAQ’s:
- How can I cook with bone broth?
-Drink it plain, like you would a cup of tea
-Use it instead of water when you make rice, beans, or other foods.
-Make a soup or stew.
-Add it to mashed potatoes, cauliflower, or parsnips.
-Make it into a gravy.
-Marinate your meat in it.
-Make a pasta sauce with bone broth.
-Cook your veggies in it.
-Use it instead of water in your Instant Pot.
-Bring it in thermos to work. There are lots of ways to use bone broth in your cooking. Do you have any more suggestions? Leave them in the comments!
- How can I make it myself? You’ll need apple cider vinegar, your choice of veggies (I usually use organic carrot, celery, parsley, basil, onion, and garlic), filtered water, salt, and pepper. Either throw these ingredients into your Instant Pot for 120 minutes, or simmer them on your stove for 24 hours.
- How long will it last if I make it? You can keep it in the fridge for about three days, and in the freezer for 6-9 months. I freeze it in glass, but be sure to let it cool first and leave some air so your glass doesn’t crack.
- What type of animal bones are best? The type of animal depends on your preference: chicken, beef, lamb, bison, turkey, or even fish. Try to source the cleanest bones possible, like organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised, non-GMO, no hormones. Otherwise, whatever toxins or antibiotics that were injected into that animal will leach into your stock. (That’s another reason why I love Osso Good… their sourcing quality is so high!)
- What if I have histamine intolerance? Most broths, whether made at home or purchased, are slow-roasted. Most people handle this just fine, and this method is the best for extracting nutrients. But if you KNOW you’re sensitive and histamine-intolerant (ie: you get flushing face, throat-closing feelings, upset stomach from foods such as avocado, tomato, fermented foods), then proceed with caution. Once you heal your gut, it’s likely that your histamine intolerance could diminish. If you have histamine intolerance, you typically won’t do well with slow-cooked foods or leftovers. I recommend pressure-cooking your bone broth in an Instant Pot for a short amount of time (1-2 hours), letting it cool, then freezing it right away.
- I heard there was heavy metals in bone broth…is that true? Most companies specifically test for heavy metals, pesticides, and hormones. I came across a great article by Chris Kresser which dives more in-depth into how nutrients can protect us against unwanted heavy metals.
- What are the nutritional benefits of bone broth?
There are so many! Here are just a few:
-Clearer skin 3
In the end, you have the make the right choice for your health needs, wallet, kitchen space, and tastebuds. Personally, I highly recommend Osso Good Bone Broth for a lot of reasons: taste, minimal processing, best-quality ingredients, company mission.
It’s also important to note that the gelatin is more stable in this bone broth option (well, or if you make it at home and freeze it), because it’s minimally processed. So if you want the most nutritional and health benefits from your both, Osso Good is a great option for you.
Let me know in the comments your thoughts on bone broth. Is it a staple in your diet? Have you noticed any health improvements? I want to hear what you think!
If you liked this article, you’ll love my post on how to make Mom’s Chicken and Rice Soup in the Instant Pot.
*Note: This post is sponsored by Osso Good Bone Broth, but all thoughts and analysis of bone broth products listed are 100% honest and my own. This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click a link and buy a product, I may receive a very small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps pay for the fees to run my blog and post free content.
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- Fujita, T., and K. Sakurai. “Efficacy of Glutamine-enriched Enteral Nutrition in an Experimental Model of Mucosal Ulcerative Colitis.” British Journal of Surgery 82.6 (1995): 749-51. PubMed. Web. 3 Dec. 2017.