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LEAD IN MY BROTH?

As if arsenic and aluminum in my kelp wasn't scary enough, I read this article as I'm slow-cooking 8 pounds of chicken thighs from Whole Foods for bone broth and lunch for the week:

At the risk of sounding like a food racist, I have to admit I was always freaked out when I went to the asian grocery store - not just by the exotic stuff I simply wasn't accustomed to eat (e.g. chicken feet, etc), but I was actually concerned about how cheap the stuff was. The stuff didn't seem high quality, and of course china has a terrible reputation for tainted products and contamination.

So, do you think I'm any safer buying poultry form Whole Foods to make bone broth with?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/...

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  1. No.
    Buy the bird/s from a local farmer. First ask if you can visit the farm. If you like how the birds are being cared for buy them.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Puffin3

      Thanks, but if I visited the farm, I'd probably name them and become a vegetarian :-) Not an option.

      Besides, as a city-slicker, what do I know about how much lead is in the bones of the chickens, even if they seem well cared-for.

      Likewise, if I visited a rice farm, I wouldn't know how much arsenic is in the rice.

      Mike

      1. re: mike2401

        If I were concerned about the amount of lead in my foodstuffs, I would take a definite pass on anything raised in northwest Illinois or southeast Missouri. No matter how loving and caring the organic farm would be.

        Nature over nurture.

        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

          GOOD POINT, I DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THAT AREA

        2. re: mike2401

          I take it you have never seen chickens, pigs, beef, that are humanely and organically pasture raised. You will not go back to the mass produced, factory farmed, fed animal by products, supermarket meat again!!!

          1. re: ospreycove

            I'm sure they are lovely, and I'd probably name each and every one of them, and then promptly become a vegetarian.

        3. re: Puffin3

          What difference does that make? Do you propose testing the feed that the farm uses. and test the soil as well?

        4. Go you think the asian stores are importing the chicken from over seas? Or do they have the opportunity to sell for less because they are selling the entire chicken, from beak to claw?

          1 Reply
          1. re: genoO

            good point, no idea, there's a complete language barrier and nothing is clearly labeled.

          2. No. Lead is present to some degree throughout the environment. Chickens everywhere will accumulate lead in their bones.

            1. You realize the concern in the abstract was for those limited to bone broth based diets, not those eating a wide menu of offereings?

              Concentration of risk vs, naturally occurring in a regular diet.

              4 Replies
              1. re: mcf

                Good point. I want to have bone broth every day for good health. Even though it's not my sole source of nutrition, I'm not thrilled about lead in my broth.

                I wonder if beef broth is better.

                1. re: mike2401

                  If you're concerned about the lead, try, instead, to buy from a known location of production that you can get EPA or other soil content data about.

                  Again, unless your diet is restricted to bone broths, it's not likely a high concentration.

                2. re: mcf

                  Yes, lead is comcentrated in the bones. That's the point here. But lead is in the air and water, so to some extent will be in bones everywhere. It is also in the soil. The only unusual risk would be from chickens that were raised on ground which had been contaminated with lead beyond the normal amount which is found everywhere. But you can't tell how much lead there is by just looking. You have to test for it. That's the job of the FDA and EPA.

                3. a food racist? geesh!!!!!

                  buy local.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: alkapal

                    O K you know this was being served up.......A little lead in the bone is not always a bad thing..........

                  2. From the abstract:
                    "A small, blinded, controlled study of lead concentrations in three different types of organic chicken broth showed that such broths do indeed contain several times the lead concentration of the water with which the broth is made."

                    The abstract is a bit unclear on this, but I'm guessing that a broth made with the bones after the meat has been cooked and removed for further use, will be higher in lead.

                    Chicken at an asian grocery (in USA) probably is from the same sources as the chicken in regular American groceries (e.g. Foster Farms on the west coast). It's unlikely to be imported.

                    But in any case there is nothing in this abstract to indicate that lower-cost chicken is more likely to contain lead. The test was on 'organic' - presumably the same stuff you get at Whole Paycheck. In fact if the birds pick up lead from 'the environment', free range ones might be higher than caged ones.

                    1 Reply