Bone Broth-Loving Hipsters Are Pushing Up the Price of Bones

Tove Danovich wrote . . . . . . .

Dear dogs of America — sorry about bone broth. Since this well-marketed take on an ancient beverage started sweeping hip enclaves like New York, Austin and Los Angeles a few years ago, it’s getting harder to find cheap bones. Unlike many food fads, bone broth seems to be here for the long simmer. As more people switch to sipping, there are fewer bones to go around.

Bone broth is commonly confused with broth (the quick-cooked mix of meat, bones and aromatics used to make chicken soup) and stock (a similar but more bone-heavy mixture that’s often cooked for 4 to 6 hours to extract collagen from the bones), though it’s closer to the latter. Many bone broth recipes say to simmer the mixture for anywhere from 14 to 48 hours, depending both on the type of bones and the patience of the cook.

Meat broths have been touted for their restorative properties for centuries. In the 1800s, chemist Justus von Liebig began working on a meat-based food to feed Europe’s poor — a reduction of meat and bones that he claimed could address “all cases of weakness and digestive disorder.” By the 1860s, a London hospital was using 12,000 pots of beef “tea” every year to feed their patients.

At more than $12 per quart at many stores, bone broth is no longer a food for the poor. Its healthful properties (and familiarity) have made it the elixir du jour. And it’s a relatively easy sell in a time when even Wal-Mart carries organic products and foods filled with the antioxidant of the month. Yet until recently, bone broth — even made from grass-fed meats — was relatively inexpensive to produce due to the low price of bones. That’s not the case any longer.

Tressa Yellig, who started Portland, Ore., broth company Salt, Fire & Time in 2009 (and now runs Broth Bar with her sister Katie Yellig), has noticed a spike in prices over the past few years. The company only sources from local farms that meet specific environmental and humane standards, which leaves a short list of farms to partner with.

“Trying to get enough bones is really hard,” Yellig says. “You have to remember, [bones] were waste products that were going to dog food. Farmers were ecstatic if they could get anything for them.” Today, a butcher in Seattle might be selling beef bones for $4 a pound retail when the Yelligs used to pay a farmer about $30 per case of bones – between 30 and 50 pounds.

Just three years ago, it wasn’t worth it for Katherine Johnson of Virginia’s Dragonfly Farms to get her bones back from the butcher. “They didn’t sell,” she explained. “They take up a lot of space and we have to pay to have them packaged.” Then the calls started coming in. People and restaurants wanted bones. Now she’s charging $2 per pound.

Jenni Harris of White Oak Pastures in Georgia is a fifth-generation rancher whose family has been raising cattle since 1866. Today, White Oak tries to make use of every part of its animals by selling tallow soaps, leather bags and even candles. They used to grind up unused bones to use on the farm as fertilizer.

So even Harris was surprised by the sudden demand for bones one winter a few years ago. “Our knuckle, marrow and soup bones stayed sold out,” she said. Eventually she learned that her customers were making broths at home using the beef bones she sold. Since then, growth has been explosive, she says. “We hardly have any bones left over at the end of the week.”

Despite the sourcing difficulties, the Yelligs have used the high price of beef and chicken bones (still the most popular meats to make broth from) to try to expand their customers’ broth horizons. All of Salt, Fire & Time’s broths are priced the same, but the margins for chicken and beef keep getting smaller. “No one wants to pay for broth the way they pay for steak,” Yellig said.

Salt, Fire & Time also sells broths made from lamb, bison, pork, turkey and alpaca bones. But Tressa Yellig says many customers think the only way to make broth is with chicken. They often expect lamb or bison broth to taste gamey. “When we do conferences or events we don’t take chicken for just that reason,” Yellig said.

How will anyone know if they like alpaca broth if they never try it?

Source: npr

Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles) with Shrimp and Dairy-free Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients

4 Tbsp olive oil (extra virgin preferred, divided use)
15-20 peeled, raw, medium shrimp (rinsed, patted dry)
2 to 3 medium to large unpeeled zucchini, ends trimmed
1 medium avocado (peeled, pitted, cut)
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 medium garlic cloves

Method

  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the shrimp for about 4 minutes, or until pink on the outside, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl. Cover to keep warm. Wipe the skillet with paper towels.
  2. Put the zucchini on a cutting board. Using a spiralizer, julienne peeler, or mandoline, make zoodles from the zucchini.
  3. In the same skillet, still over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, swirling to coat the bottom. Put the zoodles in the skillet.
  4. In a food processor, process the avocado, basil, lemon juice, and garlic until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  5. Stir the sauce into the zoodles. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the zoodles are tender and the sauce is heated through, stirring occasionally. Stir in the shrimp. Cook for 1 minute.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: American Heart Association

In Pictures: Panda Character Sweets

Sweet Red Bean Paste Balls

Cupcake

Buns with Sweet Red Bean Paste

Panda Set

Maturing Well: Inside U.K.’s First Gourmet Retirement Village

Guy Kelly wrote . . . . .

At the Redwood Bistro, the on-site restaurant of Bishopstoke Park care home in Eastleigh, Hampshire, lunch is taken very seriously.

Head chef Rob Quehan hunches over the hot pass, inspecting an outgoing dish. Scattered expertly on the plate is a loin of farmed rabbit, carrot puree, asparagus, broad beans and cep mushrooms. It looks like a delicious work of art.

“Right,” he says, wiping a non-existent fingerprint from the dish’s rim, “this one’s ready to go.”

The value of elderly residential care has come in for criticism this week. According to a scathing Commons report, in many instances, quality simply isn’t being delivered. But no such charge could be leveled at Bishopstoke Park – especially when it comes to food. Unlike the catering facilities of many retirement homes, lasagnes the size of football pitches are nowhere to be seen here; boil-in-a-bag is practically a curse word.

For the retirement village’s 108 retirees and 18 care home residents, only the best will do: the food is so good, in fact, that it’s recently become the UK’s first retirement home restaurant to be awarded an AA Rosette – the coveted national award recognising excellence in cooking.

“When we set this place up, we decided that if we were to have the restaurant, we were going to do it right,” says Kevin Young, the village’s 55-year-old proud general manager. “That meant finding the best chef, getting the right ingredients and kitchen, and trying to get it accredited.”

Only around 10 per cent of eateries in the country possess an AA rosette, awarded on an annual basis by conspicuous inspectors. To pass, AA’s criteria states, food must be “prepared with care, understanding and skill, using good quality ingredients,” and diners must be able to eat “with confidence and a sense of anticipation.”

Finding a top chef willing to join a retirement home in order to deliver on those promises proved tricky. Ahead of the site’s opening in 2015, Young searched high and wide; eventually Quehan applied, and as an alumnus of The Ivy and The Dorchester in London, before opening his own restaurant nearby in Winchester, he was more than qualified.

“I had a few reservations about it at the time,” Quehan, 37, admits. “People don’t really associate care homes with having good food, so I had a bit of stick from the guys I used to work with, but this was a chance to change that perception.”

That opportunity, as well as the fact the gentle hours (10am-8pm, rather than his old midnight finishes) meant he could see his wife and three young daughters more, made it a worthwhile one.

The Redwood Bistro’s menu changes daily, often depending on what local ingredients Quehan can source on a tight budget, including fresh seabass and mackerel he catches in the English Channel on his days off.

“Some do still prefer egg and chips every day, but a lot of residents here have decades of experience eating in restaurants all over the country, and probably all over the world. That actually makes their standards much higher than working people in cities,” says services manager Katrina Lane, who leads the floor staff. “We keep notes on residents’ preferences, so if they like thin gravy or crispy roast potatoes, we’ll have that on their reservation for the chefs next time.”

Bishopstoke Park will eventually have a population of more than 300 retirees, in addition to its 48-room care home, when further building phases are finished. At the top end, residents can pay more than £700,000 to buy a new apartment outright, then a £110 per week service charge on top. Facilities include a salon, café and shop, none of which is free but are all reasonably priced. There is also a gym, a swimming pool, regular social events and even a cheerleading club.

The 100-cover bistro is just as high quality. Every lunchtime is busy, as are the three nights a week it’s open for dinner, and today is no exception

Colin Beevers, an 87-year-old former civil engineer, pays £1500 per week for his one-bed apartment in the village. He eats here every day, normally settling his wheelchair at a table for one in by the window.

“They deserved that rosette and more,” he tells me, hungrily awaiting his cod. “It’s always excellent, and the presentation is lovely, it looks like they do on the television.”

Two tables away, 84-year-old Pat Lucker and her husband of 68 years, Ivan, 91, are settled in for their big meal of the day.

“I was a housewife for decades, and now I get to come here every lunchtime and have such nice food cooked for me,” Pat says. “When our children and grandchildren come to visit they enjoy it too.”

After the awarding of the AA Rosette in December, Redwood Bistro is now extending a welcome to non-residents, too. Locals have been coming in occasionally over the last year, but the aim now is to attract even more outside diners, helping to defeat the stigma about retirement home food once and for all.

“A Michelin star might be a bit far, but AA rosettes go up to five,” Young says, with a glint in his eye. “I’m pretty confident we can get a second this year.”

Source: The Telegraph

Overactive Bladder Drug Raises Dementia Risk of Seniors

Randy Dotinga wrote . . . . . .

A drug linked to a raised risk of dementia is taken by millions of older Americans who have an overactive bladder, researchers say.

More than one-quarter of patients with the urinary problem had been prescribed the drug oxybutynin (Ditropan), an international team of investigators found.

Yet, “oxybutynin is a particularly poor drug for overactive bladder in elderly patients,” said study lead author Dr. Daniel Pucheril, a urologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Prior studies have linked the drug to thinking problems and increased risk of dementia in older people, possibly because of the way it affects brain chemicals, he said.

“It’s a great and effective drug for younger patients, but is a risky drug for older patients,” Pucheril said. It boosts dementia risk even when not taken indefinitely, he said.

Alternatives exist but they’re more expensive and may not be covered by insurance, at least initially, the study authors explained.

For instance, “most Medicare Part D plans have a tiered drug formulary, which means that patients must try and ‘fail’ oxybutynin before they will be eligible for the newer generation of [so-called] antimuscarinic medications,” Pucheril said.

Also, there’s debate over the safety of alternatives.

The Urology Care Foundation estimates 33 million Americans have an overactive bladder. These people often need to urinate urgently, frequently or both. Some also suffer from incontinence.

Non-medical treatments — including changes in diet, exercises and scheduled urination — are usually the first line of treatment. Surgery is sometimes an option, as are prescription antimuscarinic medications like oxybutynin.

To determine how often oxybutynin is prescribed to seniors, researchers examined 2006-2012 statistics from the U.S. National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. The investigators focused on about 2,600 patients aged 65 and older who received prescriptions for oxybutynin or similar medications for overactive bladder. The drug was prescribed 27 percent of the time for those patients.

Only 9 percent of those who took the drug underwent a neurological exam, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends monitoring these patients for any signs of brain problems, the researchers pointed out.

“We cannot tell if patients are being monitored for neurologic problems in other ways,” Pucheril noted.

In addition, some doctors — but certainly not all — may be unaware of the mental side effects of oxybutynin, the researchers said.

Although alternatives exist, not everyone agrees they’re safer. A 2011 paper in Current Urology Reports described darifenacin (Enablex), tolterodine (Detrol), trospium (Sanctura) and solifenacin (Vesicare) as “having little or no risk” of oxybutynin-like effects on the brain.

However, urologist Dr. David Staskin contended that “no one has ever shown that tolterodine, darifenacin, or solifenacin is safer.” He said only trospium has been shown to not penetrate very deeply into the central nervous system.

“The problem here is whether it would eliminate the risk to switch everyone to another antimuscarinic,” said Staskin, an associate professor of urology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

According to Pucheril, other possible options include a newer class of medications called beta-3 agonists, neuromodulation (zapping nerves with electricity), and Botox delivered into the bladder.

A Canadian specialist noted that immediate-release oxybutynin is the form most linked to dementia. “Older patients on the drug should consider a review with their clinician,” said Dr. Adrian Wagg, director of geriatric medicine at the University of Alberta.

There’s no evidence that a family history of dementia adds to the drug’s risk, he said, or that people who already have dementia will face the same added risk as others.

The study was released Monday at the European Association of Urology conference in London. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

One of the study authors reported receiving a grant from the pharmaceutical company Genentech via the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Source: HealthDay


Today’s Comic