Bone Broth Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/22/22 •  11 min read

What are bone broth benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Is bone broth vegan? Good for you? Sustainable? Food you should buy organic and fair trade? Here are bone broth pros and cons…

bone broth benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on bone broth benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about bone broth benefits and side effects. This will include bone broth benefits for your health and potential risks, bone broth water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if bone broth is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if bone broth is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about bone broth benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Top Bone Broth Benefits And Side Effects

HEALTH

Bone broth benefits may include:

Additionally, bone broth is…

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: likely high, it takes 15,415 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of bovine meat / 1,847 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of bovine meat

Carbon footprint: likely high, 27 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of beef, a car driving equivalent of 62.25 miles or 100.25 kilometers

Destruction: high, bone broth production is relatively destructive, land usage for pasture, grain and forage, solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, deforestation for feed crops, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction

Bone broth is…

ANIMALS

Kills: various animals such as cows, calves, pigs, turkey, lamb, bison, buffalo, deer, chicken and fish, body parts often sliced, legs cut off and throats slit while still conscious, breathing and blinking and without pain relief

Harms: various animals such as cows, calves, pigs, turkey, lamb, bison, buffalo, deer, chicken and fish, many locked in tiny cages, genetically modified to grow so obese that many become lame (unable to walk) shocked with electric prods, shackled with chains and dragged, beaten, prods poked up rectums, live last few months in crowded feedlots with hundreds or thousands of others, without pasture, often without shelter, must stand in mud, ice and their own waste

Animals indirectly killed or harmed: ecosystems and wildlife, habitat contamination (water and soil pollution), wildlife habitat destruction (deforestation/land clearing), wolves and coyotes killed to prevent predation on livestock 

Bone broth is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: hazardous, meat processing workers have some of the highest rates of occupational injury and illness in the USA, the work environment in processing plants is dirty, dangerous, at times machines that injure workers by crushing, amputating, burning and slicing them, workers use tools such as knives, hooks, scissors, and saws, injuries include cuts, stabs, infections, scars, scratches, missing fingers, swollen joints, working conditions are humid, slippery, loud, hot or below freezing resulting in respiratory problems, skin infections and falls, workers experience

Living conditions: poor, workers must process thousands of animals per day, they are pressured to work as fast as possible, rest breaks and bathroom breaks are discouraged or denied, many workers must wear diapers, they experience stress, physical and emotional pain

Wages: low, in the USA workers are poorly compensated and earn under $15 an hour, they are often pushed to work faster so companies can profit more

Bone broth has…

Where does most bone broth come from?

The United States and Brazil are the world’s largest beef producers followed by the European Union.

Is bone broth nutritious?

Bone broth rich in minerals and contains nutrients including vitamins, amino acids and essential fatty acids.

bone broth may or may not be gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is bone broth gluten free? Possibly. Bone broth may or may not be gluten free. Bone broth should not contain gluten but be sure to check, as some broths and soup add glutinous ingredients.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

bone broth is not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is bone broth a common food allergen? No, bone broth is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to bone broth but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

bone broth likely has a high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does bone broth have a high or low water footprint? Bone broth likely has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake…quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

bone broth likely has a high carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does bone broth have a high or low carbon footprint? Bone broth likely has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

There are a number of steps we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

bone broth is unsustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is bone broth eco friendly? Is bone broth sustainable?

Bone broth production is relatively unsustainable.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

bone broth is not vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Is bone broth vegan? No, bone broth is not vegan. Bone broth is made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of animals, the product of various animals, therefore making it an animal-derived food. A pig, cow, calf, turkey, lamb, bison, buffalo, deer, chicken, or fish must be killed in order to produce bone broth. 

According to Sentient Media, “more than 200 million land animals are killed for food around the world every day. Including wild-caught and farmed fishes, we get a total closer to 3 billion animals killed daily.”

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

bone broth has labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is bone broth a product with labor concerns? At this time there are major concerns with livestock production. It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

This post was all about bone broth benefits and side effects.

Sources:

bone broth – FoodData Central – USDA

Essential and toxic metals in animal bone broths – NCBI

Taking Stock: the Health and Hype of Bone Broth

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.