Anarcho-Bone Marrow

Sunday, December 30, 2012
Posted in category Food & Nutrition

Bone marrow is a very wonderful yet unappreciated food here in America. Mostly, Americans will say, “You eat what?” Less for them is not necessarily a bad thing – it means more for me, and at prices that are pretty economical. Bone marrow is popular in Filipino, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, and French cultures. I work with folks from these cultures and they like to talk about their pre-America days when this food was a staple in their home. Julia Child was a big advocate of marrow bones. This is from a 1998 article in the New York Times: “Begging for Bones: A New Craving for Marrow.”

Julia Child, who applauds a return to foods in the classic French tradition, like bone marrow, said that the French also opted for simplicity. ”We just cracked the bones, dug out the marrow and poached it,” she said. ”But it wasn’t something we’d do on a 90-degree day.”

In fact, the French love marrow so much that an excellent little restaurant in Paris is named L’Os a Moelle — the Marrow Bone. Just try a name like that in New York. You might as well call your restaurant Tripe.

Also, here is an article from the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Sally Fallon on bone marrow – its history, nutritional value, and culinary traditions.

Photo by Karen De Coster









If you don’t have access to a stock of grass-fed bones, local butchers can usually supply you with all you want at prices between $1.50 – $2.50/lb. When I don’t have any grass-fed soup bones left, I’m known at a couple of local places as the “lady who eats the bone marrow.” I frequent a meat packer in Detroit’s Eastern Market where I walk back to the large freezer and they bring out various leg bones. I choose my size and explain where I want the cuts. I have the knotty ends cut off for my dog, then I have the butcher cut the rest of the bone in even distributions of approximately 2-3 inches.

To get the bone marrow out of the bone, I find that a baby spoon is optimal. My mother had given me my baby spoon as a keepsake, and I found that the long handle and tiny spoon came in handy when I looked for the ideal tool for scooping out the marrow without breaking it up and losing the juices. A butter handling utensil will also work.

Here are some additional online resources to educate you on eating bone marrow.

- An article by Stanley Fishman, an author of grass-fed cookbooks.

- Gear Patrol has some amazing photos and recipes for bone marrow.

- Some links to studies and articles about bone marrow.

- At the bottom of this post is a short video from the Healthy Home Economist.

Photo by Karen DeCoster









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3 Responses to Anarcho-Bone Marrow

  1. Mike Walgenbach says:

    December 30th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Great post. Definitely want to try some marrow. Traditionally, I believe, it has been the marrow from bones in chicken soup that has made that dish an effective remedy for the cold or flu. And on the topic of whether to feed a cold and starve a fever, good nutrition is what always makes people feel better.

  2. Pam Maltzman says:

    January 4th, 2013 at 4:31 am

    IT takes getting used to marrow because if’t fatty. But it’s good! And I’ve got a pot of soup-to-be with poultry bones in it simmering on the stove. I made mayonnaise tonight using a stick blender instead of a regular blender. Instead of having to add the oil (coconut and olive oil) drop by drop, I just get a big bowl, put in all the ingredients, an blend away. It came out fine! I also put some Vitamin C crystals into the mixture, to stave off mold (Formerly I had trouble eating it all up before it went moldy). I just put a dollop on some steamed vegetables along with Kerrygold Butter.

    BTW, you can get Kerrygold Butter at Trader Joe’s, and you can buy it by the case if you order a couple of days ahead of time. Gawd but I love food!

  3. jeannie queenie says:

    January 4th, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Methinks the butchers are catching on to those of us who enjoy the marrow of bones for soup. Yesterday when picking up some meat, I looked at the beef bones and shocked to see that what was $2 a couple weeks ago, was now in the $4 range…egads.  I remember as a small girl in Detroit when my mom would send me a few blocks away to our local butcher to get a bone. Back then they were free..and now $4!!

    Her other request when she sent me to the butcher was for a pound of ground chuck with a warning, “and tell that damn butcher, he better not put a block of bad chuck in the center and the good stuff on the outside”.
    I guess some things never change for that happened to me a couple months ago. Next time I shopped at that same store, I told the butcher I didn’t appreciate the trick of a co worker..he then gave me super fresh.

    Speaking of all things meat, do be informed as to the growing supply of halal meats creeping into markets all over the country, espec MI and NY.
    Ann Barnhardt, a former cattle broker has this to say about halal meats.
    “Halal is an Islamic term meaning the meat is lawful to eat for a devout Muslim. What makes it lawful or acceptable is that the meat has been processed in a very specific way. Unlike kosher food, where the physical processing of the meat is the focus, for Islam it is the  spiritual component that makes the meat lawful.”

    “For lawful (halal) meat in Islam, the animal must be killed while the butcher faces Mecca, and either the butcher cries “Allah Akbar” or a tape plays the words over a loud speaker. 
    “I am in the cattle business, and believe me when I tell you that Halal kill plants are CONSTANTLY being cited and shut down by the USDA for horrific infractions. Most of these plants are in Michigan and upstate New York.

    One of the  things that halal kill plants are notorious for is putting already-dead animals in the human consumption line. They will go pick up a dead cow off of a farm or ranch and instead of putting it in their rendering tank where the resulting “tankage” is worth pennies on the dollar as pet food or industrial products, they will shackle the dead animal on the normal kill line and process it as human food which is the highest-dollar product.

    Since Islam teaches dishonesty (taqiyyah) and no regard of one’s neighbor, this kind of sickening behavior is standard. Halal plants are also notorious for general citations for filth and uncleanliness. I have toured NORMAL cattle slaughter plants, and guys, you could eat off of the floor. Everything is white and men walk around with water hoses and steam guns constantly keeping everything in a state of spotlessness.”

    Halal  plants are filthy. A lot of Halal meat is also labeled as “organic.”
    Again, don’t be fooled into thinking that “halal” means “better.” It isn’t.
    I would never, ever knowingly eat halal meat purely from a food safety perspective.”  Many thanks to Ann for telling the truth about akbar meat.
    I LMAO upon reading..”or a tape plays the words over a loud speaker.”
    How special is that…face mecca and be modern..use loud speaker..ugh.

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