Testing Bone Broth for Lead

We have a proposal for testing bone broth for lead. We want you to join with us. There is the notion that lead contamination is widespread in the US and especially in the Northeastern US. There is no doubt that lead contamination exists in Northeastern soils.[1][2]

Also, it is known that livestock animals tend to accumulate environmental lead in their bones. That , too, seems to be established fact. People have begun using bone broths for nutritional purposes and tests of broth in the UK revealed elevated levels of lead in chicken bone broth.

Marcy L and I (Randy W) have decided to implement some serious testing to find out what is really going on. Our children eat bone broth and we think it somehow neglectful to NOT find out whether this stuff is actually safe.

We have a source of bone typically used by people following a GAPS diet or eating a-la Weston A Price. We also have connected with Sora Labs in MO and gotten quotes for testing samples for lead. Our aim is to try to refute the hypothesis that

All of PA is so contaminated with lead that it will concentrate lead in bone broth to a level that approaches or exceeds the EPA limit of 15 parts per million.

We cannot prove this hypothesis except by testing every place in the Northeast. But we can refute it by showing that even one Northeastern source does NOT produce bone broth that has lead exceeding 15 part per million.

ICP Tester

Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry Tester

Our plan is to test two samples of chicken broth and two samples of beef broth.

We’ll be using bones aquired from Amish farmers who use no pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers in their farming practices. We also know that the farms in question are distant from any EPA listed sources of lead pollution, such as smelters, lead paint factories, coal fired power plants and the like. They are also distant from major interstate highways.

We will document and publish our methods of creating the broth, the water source and the cookware involved. We will be using the chain of custody forms supplied by the lab. In short, we hope to be rigorous, yet create tests that hold up to scrutiny and are reproducible by others.

We intend to publish not only the results of our test, but the documentation of how we did it.

We are looking for supporters to help us defray the costs. Here’s the budget:

Broth Ingredients1$70.00$70.00

Item Quantity Unit Cost Extended Cost
ICP Sample Testing 4 $80.00 $320.00
Packing material and Shipping 1 $30.00 $30.00
Total $420.00 est.

We hope you’ll contribute. We will be setting up a paypal link in the near future. When the amount of funding reaches the goal, I’ll remove the paypal buttons. If we receive more than we spend, I’ll refund the person(s) whose contribution(s) took us over the goal.We welcome comments and feedback.

I saw an arilce describing the results of lead testing in California. The article did not reassure me. There is a belt of land between Interstate 5 and the Pacific Ocean that is likely to have had about the least exposure to lead in the lower 48 states. We don’t live in that belt. Kaayla Daniel was critical of the UK study and then offered results of other testing that was even less rigorous than the UK study.

In the years of leaded gasoline use, we managed to spew about a half a ton of lead per acre on the lower 48 states. It does not wash away with rain. It isn’t evenly spread around. Some farms may produce highly contaminated bones, others will show little lead in bones, so I feel we need to be a bit ore rigorous in order to be truly reassured.

In addition Marcy had this to say:

We are not reassured by the statements some health bloggers (who don’t seem to be parents) have made that any concerns of high lead in the broth are “negated” by the calcium in the broth leached, as well, from the long-cooking of the bones. There may be some validity to this claim but not enough to make us feel safe. Think about it, would you give your child a food or beverage high in lead and trust a milk chaser to negate the effects? When there is food product recall for lead, such as, for example, the lead in chocolate that occurred with the Dagoba brand, the FDA does not tell people to just drink some milk with it or enjoy their chocolate with cheese so the calcium will reduce the lead absorption to safe levels, they take the product off the market.

We are hopeful that local bone broth will not test high in lead so we may continue to feed ourselves and our children this otherwise extremely nourishing and healthful food. We are not testing to steer anyone away from making bone broth; we simply have some concerns and if they prove to have validity here on the E. Coast per testing, we may make some changes in how we incorporate local bone broth into our diets.

1 National Research Council. 1980. Lead in the human environment. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. Report Number PB-82-117136. OSTI Identifier: 5455381; ISBN No. 0309030218.

2 Toxic Truth: A Scientist, A Doctor and the Battle Over Lead
by Lydia Denworth, Beacon, 2008, ISBN-13 978-0-8070-0032-8

This entry was posted in Articles, Health, Technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.