Pork bone broth/stock recipe

Ramen pork broth is famously milky white, and I wanted a way to make the broth without having to go through the trouble of blanching and scrubbing the bones, then keeping the broth at a rolling boil until it was done. I’ve found a way to do it without, yet get the milkyness and extract the full flavour of the bones. Here’s how I do it.

3 lbs pork bones*
10 L water*

  1. Place the bones on a sheet pan, spread out so they’re not all touching. Turn on the oven broiler and put the pan on the rack about 10″ or so below the top heater element. Roast the pork bones in the oven under the broiler until they are nicely browned on all sides. This takes about 30-45 minutes, turning the bones over about halfway through.
  2. Put the bones in a large stock pot and fill it up with water. Bring the pot of water and bones to a boil, then reduce to a simmer or even slightly less. Cover the pot and let it cook for 10-20 hours. I do this over two overnight sessions, leaving the bones and water to cool down in the pot during the day.
  3. Once the broth is finished cooking, there will be a good layer of fat on the top of the golden yellow broth. Skim off the fat into a blender, and place another 2-4 cups of the broth into the blender.
  4. Blend the broth and fat on high or max for one (1) minute. The resulting liquid in the blender will be milky white and bubbly.
  5. Pour the blender mixture back into the stock pot with the rest of the broth and mix it all together.
  6. Strain broth out using a sieve (I don’t bother to use a cheesecloth/fine mesh sieve/tea towel) to remove the larger chunks of meat and bone. Add the broth to soups, drink it plain with a few pinches of salt, or use it to accompany your favourite soup noodles.

Notes:
* This is the ratio I generally use. Feel free to use more or fewer bones to the amount of water.

Pork fat and broth
Pork fat and broth before blending
Pork fat and broth after blending
Pork fat and broth after blending

Feedlot aerial photos

Mishka Henner’s Feedlot photos from 2013 show satellite photos of the conditions in which feedlot cows are held. Be sure to check out the video trailer for the exhibition.

Inspired by those photos, I’ve taken my own screenshots from Bing maps of the JBS Food Canada Inc meat processing facility and the nearby Lakeside Feedyard in Brooks, Alberta. That doesn’t look like good food to me.

JBS and Lakeside
JBS Food (upper right) and Lakeside Feedyard (lower left)
Lakeside Feedyard
Closeup of Lakeside Feedyard

Pig farming and transportation

On CBC’s The Sunday Edition – Is it a crime to give a pig water on a hot day?:

When the thermometer hit 28 degrees last summer, Anita Krajnc pushed a water bottle into a truck-load of pigs on their way to slaughter. Krajnc was charged with criminal mischief. Public outrage and concern over animal welfare blew up, and Krajnc became an international hero.

On the culture of meat

Karen Coates at The Human Palate blog – Meat Culture:

“Do you eat meat every day?” I asked.

“No!” the kids shouted, and their teacher elaborated: A few times each year their communities have traditional cultural ceremonies that serve large quantities of meat. But it’s not a common part of the diet—although some children live in an orphanage, where they are fed meat two or three times a week.

We in the western world consume a lot of meat, and it’s the centrepiece of most meals – just take a look at the vegetables found in many restaurants’ menu items and compare it to the meats. In other parts of the world, meat is very scarce and eaten on rare occasions. While many  nutrients are more readily absorbed from meat sources than vegetable sources we certainly don’t need to eat as much meat as we currently do for health reasons.

More data on how eating meat helped to grow our brains

Sujata Gupta for Nature – Brain food: Clever eating:

Our ancestors’ consumption of meat is what made us who we are.

Moreover, what the animal eats also matters. Livestock and poultry in Western nations are often raised in large facilities and fed diets that consist mainly of maize and soya, whereas animals from poor villages are typically farmed on a much smaller scale and forage for a greater variety of foods, which increases the nutrient content of their meat. Given these sorts of variations, Hosking says, “we have to be very cautious about making dietary recommendations … for people who have access to large quantities of food.”

Meat is good food. But only certain meat.

So the key question becomes how much meat should a cognitive-health-conscious person eat. Too little can delay development and cognition. But too much, particularly if it is low quality and mass produced, is associated with other health concerns, such as heart disease and cancer, along with memory problems later in life. A person’s life stage matters: pregnant women need more iron, as do babies and children. Genetics also play a part, but we don’t yet know all the particulars. All these caveats make for a murky takeaway.

But a lot of other animals eat meat. The article doesn’t talk about our cooking of meat, which I think is the key to how we’ve evolved.

People are increasingly obsessed with meat

Lisan Jutras – Why are humans so obsessed with eating meat?, an interview with Marta Zaraska:

What do you make of the more meat-heavy Paleo diet trend?

There wasn’t just one Paleolithic diet. Some people close to the North Pole ate enormous amounts of meat, while some others, some hunter-gatherer tribes, ate barely any meat at all. Which Paleolithic was more Paleolithic? That’s the first and foremost thing for me. And then why not other times in our species history? We’ve evolved for a very long time, so why Paleolithic? And then next, contrary to what many Paleolithic-diet gurus say, our bodies actually have evolved since the industrial revolution and we are evolving faster than we have evolved before.

What also of cows and pigs vs antelope or buffalo or rabbits and squirrels?

Meathooked: The History and Science of our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession With Meat by Marta Zaraska

Measuring the carbon footprint of eating

Chris Ying for MAD: The Carbon Footprint of Eating Out

Eating, it turns out, is the most significant interaction most of us have with the environment. Even if we remain cloistered in air-conditioned rooms in front of keyboards and monitors for most of the day, at some point we must eat—and whether it’s a carrot stick or a Big Mac, with our first bite we implicate ourselves in the food system, and the food system is responsible for 30 percent of worldwide carbon emissions. That is to say, almost a third of greenhouse gases are a result of growing, shipping, cooking, and disposing of food.

A good effort in trying to assess the costs of eating out versus eating in. One of the main conclusions is that meats, especially beef, has a very large environmental impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

Eating less meat will lead to better human health, as well as reduce our overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Also see this article at The Guardian.