All disease begins in the gut. – Hippocrates

In an earlier post we introduced the benefits of bone broth as part of a healthy diet.  Here we focus on bone broth as it relates to gut health.  “Tens of millions of Americans suffer from digestive disorders.”  This statement from Nourishing Broth book, hits home, really close to our home.  It was Doug’s struggles with acid reflux that started us down the path of learning about grassfed beef and real food as the true source of healing.

gut health

The health of our gut affects our entire being.

Back in 1937, Dr. Francis Pottenger and others may not have known the exact science behind the healing power of bone broth, but these were a list of gut related conditions they knew broth would relieve:

  • nervous digestion, slow digestion
  • diarrhea, gas formation
  • heartburn, vomiting
  • children allergies

We brought up Dr. Pottenger in a prior post.  (If I just could have understood in elementary school how his cat research related to my health, oh how much pain could have been avoided!)

So what has happened over the years that millions of folks deal with gut issues daily?  For one thing, broth went out of style.  With the advent of antacids and other pills to pop, broth was just “old school”.  Broths disappearance and the appearance of the modern standard American diet (SAD) and our guts were primed for trouble.

Current science points out a number of digestive power components in broth.  First of all it is rich in glycosaminoglycans, used by the body to form healing mucus.  The mucus in our intestinal tract protect us from foreign substances entering our body including food, microbes, heavy metals and toxins.  When our mucus secretion becomes depleted, the result is a “leaky gut”.

Have you heard the term “microbiome”?

Early on in our cattle operation we learned that cows cannot digest grass!  A cow is entirely reliant on trillions of bacteria (microbiome) within their gut to digest grass.  The bacteria break down the grass and release nutrition to the cow for life.  We have a number of visual techniques to quickly diagnosis the status of a cows microbiome on a daily basis.  Guess what, we are entirely dependent on trillions of microbes everyday to stay alive also.  When our microbiome is happy we, are happy.

The mucus in our digestive system provides a safe home for our microbes.  The mucus protects the bacteria from our bodies normal process that tries to expel them.  The presence of the bacteria stimulates production of mucus, a wonderful cycle, that is if our bodies are healthy.  The happy beneficial microbes help us absorb and transport nutrients across the gut barrier within our body.  Unfortunately a compromised “leaky gut” allows foreign microbes and toxins to keep us in a state of inflammation or disease.

As science learns more about our microbiome, pharmaceutical companies will surely look to develop pills to help manage and promote healthy gut microbes.  WHY WAIT?  Broth is a tried, true traditional food added to all gut healing diets to help address:

  • allergies, candida, parasites
  • bloating, gas, acid reflux
  • constipation, diarrhea, IBS
  • and all other leaky gut issues…

Looking for more information?

  1. Broth Is Beautiful – WAPF
  2. Why Broth Is Beautiful – WAPF
  3. Book – “Nourishing Broth” (information used in this post)

Want to try making your own broth?

  1. Certified Grassfed Beef BONES at DS Family Farm, drop us an email!
  2. Dr. Axe Beef Bone Broth Recipe (try it in your crock pot)

In a recent post titled “Peaceful“, we related a story of a visitor to our farm.  After spending a little time with the herd our visitor mentioned “this is peaceful”.  We feel blessed to have the opportunity to work in God’s creation with our small Grassfed beef herd.

Looking for a little “peace” in the hustle and bustle of life?  Contact us for a farm visit.

  • Walk/Hike the pasture
  • Identify tallgrass prairie grasses and flowers
  • Bird watch
  • Bring a lawn chair and sit with the herd
Four generations of cattle in one herd. Our little peace here on earth.

Four generations of cattle in one herd. A little peace here on earth.

Many people turn to the outdoors and creation for relaxation and peace.  For true peace, we hope you took sometime this past weekend to worship and celebrate with family & friends the birth of Christ, when the Creator visited the earth.

For we saw his star when it rose...

For we saw his star when it rose…

Matthew 2:1-2English Standard Version (ESV)

The Visit of the Wise Men

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

 

 

About a year ago national news carried the story of a Bone Broth drive through opening in New York City (move over espresso).  Yes bone broth, you have probably heard it is good for you?  Here at DS Family Farm, the most requests for additional product information is for BONES!

Warm and drink beef bone broth.

Warm and drink beef bone broth.

So here are some basics on bone broth with an emphasis toward beef bones.

There are three kinds of bones:

  1. Meaty, for flavor = oxtail, short ribs and shank/soup bones
  2. Collagen, for body, think gelatin = knuckle bones
  3. Marrow bones, for “essence” a delicacy

Flavor, actually all bones will impart some flavor and all broth recipes will call on other ingredients for more flavor (vegetables, spices, herbs).

So lets talk about collagen or the gelatin, think Jell-O, like consistency of broth.  Note here that broth from your local store will most likely be in liquid form, lacking the gelatin results of home-made bone broth.

Collagen, it is needed every where in our body and actually makes up about 30% of our body’s protein.  These proteins contain thousands of amino acids.  Collagen production in our body slows with age.  Think of sagging skin, stiff joints and increasingly prone to injuries as we age.

Marrow, think fat and brain food from this bone source.  Actually there isn’t a lot of data on marrow.  This soft white tissue (marrow) is actually one of the largest organs in our bodies and we don’t know much about it!

What about minerals in the broth?

Actually broth does not contain high levels of minerals.  When you drink bone broth, the minerals you consume will be in the correct ratio, making it easy for our body to absorb.  Broth is “real food” unlike a pill you take from a jar labeled “multi-mineral”.  Bone strength comes from the collagen and not from the minerals we consume.  Our friend Danna recently shared this interesting blog post from a person who did their own research on bone broth mineral content.

Protein

Compared to minerals, broth has higher levels of protein but is an “incomplete protein” (we cannot live on broth alone).  So always plan to compliment bone broth with other high-quality animal proteins such as eggs, milk, fish, poultry or meat.  Bone broth will lower the amount of protein needed from these other sources.  In turn, this will relieve stress from your digestive system.

The big 3 Amino Acids found in broth:

The following amino acids are not actually considered “essential”, but supplementing your diet with the amino acids found in bone broth will aid in your search for better health:

  • Proline
    • Looking for healthy pain-free joints, healthy cartilage, this amino acid does the work.
  • Glycine
    • For healthy blood, digestion and detoxification!
    • Prevents acid reflux, supports wound healing and used by our bodies to remove toxins.
    • A building block for glutathione = cancer curbing, age slowing, an antioxidant.
  • Glutamine
    • For cell regeneration such as the lining of cells in the small intestine (Gut-Healing).
    • Enhance injury recovery from wounds, stress or surgery.
    • Cuts cravings for sugar/carbs.
    • Prevents muscle wasting, stimulates muscle-building and repair.
    • Helps with depression, anxiety and mood swings.

So how much broth should you drink?  One cup per day should be fine for health maintenance and disease prevention.  If dealing with a medical condition try a cup in the AM, at Noon and again in the PM.

warm bone broth

Homemade bone broth from DS Family Farm beef bones will be a thick gelatin. To drink, warm the broth first or add some broth to your hot coffee or tea.

Looking for more information?

  1. Broth Is Beautiful – WAPF
  2. Why Broth Is Beautiful – WAPF
  3. Book – “Nourishing Broth” (information used in this post)

Want to try making your own broth?  All you need:

  1. WE HAVE BONES at DS Family Farm, drop us an email!
  2. Dr. Axe Beef Bone Broth Recipe (try it in your crock pot)

AHHHHH, pour me some bone broth please…

With the recent warm weather, forages are green when they are normally brown this time of year.  Especially down in the swamp pasture.  This wetland area is quite unique, tucked between the more common rolling hills of Lancaster County.  While trudging through the muck with portable fence I was struck by a change in vegetation and open water.  Why the change?  Please refer back to the July 2015 post “Animal Impact – Reed Canary Grass Example“.  Take a moment to look at photos from 2014 & 2015 and compare what you notice in the 2016 photos below.

The first photo shows open water with small floating algae along with a number of different broadleaf plants and some cattails.  Diversity abounds in this area but what happened to the Broad Leaf Arrowhead that was thick in the 2015 photo, the first year after animal impact?

Plant diversity is evident in this swampy area due to past animal impact.

Open water and plant diversity is evident in this swampy area due to past animal impact.

In the photo below we note that the reeds canary grass still maintains a stronghold on most of the swamp area.  Reeds canary is a very productive forage, good for erosion control and our herd doesn’t mind it at all.  Again, my eyes are drawn to the diversity at the bottom of the photo, only made possible by animal impact.

diversity by animal impact

A dull monoculture of reeds canary stand in the top area of the photo.  Open water, broad leaves and bulrush provide diversity in an area of past heavy animal impact, lower part of photo.

I recall hunting this area about 20 years ago with a wildlife biologist.  I asked, what could we do to increase diversity in this swamp area for wildlife?  How could we beat back the monoculture of invasive reeds canary?  He thought for a moment and came up with the idea of “try a burn”.  We did burn this area several times before bringing the herd to the farm.  Let’s just say burning had NO impact compared to what the herd was able to do in just a few weeks.  In addition the “herd effect” has now proven to have a lasting impact!

So is this good, bad or does it even matter?

  • From a strictly “production” stand point, the reeds canary may give more total pounds of forage for the herd.
  • From an ecosystem stand point, we prefer the DIVERSITY:
    • Some species may excel during different times of the year.
      • Monoculture grass results in boom or bust.
    • Different plant species, different nutrient values.
      • Cows can choose between plants.
      • Don’t you like a salad bar of choices rather than just lettuce?
    • Wildlife thrive on edges of habitat.
      • The herd has created an edge in a solid stand of grass!

So the next time someone tells you cattle are evil to the environment consider Alan Savory’s point that a resource cannot cause environmental degradation.  Rather it is the human management of that resource that causes the impact on the environment, good, bad or does it even matter?

Give us a call if you would like to stop by and see first hand the herd in MOOOO-TION.

“This is peaceful.”

The phrase most spoken by a recent visitor to the cow herd here at DS Family Farm.

Who was this visitor?  A young man from Omaha on a mission.  He is in High School and has lived a vegan lifestyle for the past seven years.  He arrived by himself on a recent Saturday evening.  He did not go into details why he was abandoning the vegan lifestyle but he obviously had done some research about the benefits of Grassfed beef.  I asked him what brought him to our farm in search of Grassfed beef, below are a few points from our visitor:

  • Cattle allowed to live and consume a “natural” diet.
    • Cattle are ruminants designed for forage consumption not grains.
  • Healthy meat with a low Omega 6 to 3 fatty acid ratio.
    • Conventional beef maybe as high as 27:1, highly inflammatory.
  • Saturated fats found in animal meat are good for us.
    • Our brains main fuel is fat.

He was happy to talk about these different topics but he was more interested in seeing first-hand what our herd was up to.

cow and calf

DS Family Farm pasture grazed cow and calf “peacefully” enjoying a nice October afternoon.

We observed the herd just before sunset.  Cows were grooming their calves.  Some calves were grabbing a quick nighttime snack of milk.  Yearlings milling around taking in one more mouthful of grass before calling it a day.  Yes, I agreed with our visitor, this is peaceful.  Compared to all the options high school youth have to spend a Saturday evening in Omaha, this was more than peaceful.

So what’s up with teenagers and Grassfed beef?

Earlier this month I relayed to our Farm Update Subscribers a story that my son Jacob had with a friend at Malcolm High School about Grassfed Beef.  It caught Jacob a little off guard when a friend brought up the topic of Omega 6:3 fat ratio in grassfed beef.  You can read our October Farm Update for the full story.

Back to our recent visitor.

Our visitor was happy with what he saw in our herd behavior.  He was very interested in how the animals were handled right up to harvest.  I explained our goal was to make the trip from our pasture to the locker as low stress as possible.  He then asked about how the animals were treated at the locker.  Since we are an Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) beef herd, part of our certification requires us to use a certified AWA Locker.  He asked what was required of the locker for certification.  Since I did not exactly know the answer to that question we referred him to the AWA Slaughter Guidelines.

Back at the house we showed our visitor where we store beef for sale in health department approved freezers.  We discussed different cut options that he could start with.  In the end, we sent our new friend home with some ground beef.

A peaceful evening?  For this young man who has lived a vegan lifestyle for seven years, walking out to his car with Grassfed beef in his possession, I would call this “courageous“.