Solid nutrition information for bone marrow is hard to come by. I talked to several nutritionists about it and scoured the Internet extensively, and the consensus seems to be: “Probably good for you; nobody’s quite sure.” Self Nutrition Data has the USDA’s single bone marrow entry, for Alaskan caribou bone marrow (1 ounce = 220 calories, 24 grams fat, no carbs, 2 grams protein and a lot of vitamin A). Bone marrow is likely rich in B vitamins, vitamin K, and other fat-soluble nutrients. It may play an important role in blood cell formation and the immune system. It’s high-fat, though mostly the monounsaturated kind.
“If there was only one food I could recommend in my practice for its nutritive and healing action in the body, it would be slow cooked and gelatin-rich bone broth,” says herbalist, nutrition counselor and traditional foods expert Claudia Keel.
“Its amino acids and minerals help the body gently detoxify and its enzymes and hydrophilic qualities make the nutrients in any food that it is eaten with much more bioavailable,” she adds. “It is soothing and healing to the entire digestive track, particularly the gut, and is critical in healing from Chron’s, IBS, GERD, food allergies and a host of other digestive imbalances. It also nourishes the cartilage, tendons, collagen and bones, and so is very helpful for the muscular skeletal system.”
The bone luge may remain a novelty, but it sounds like there are some good reasons to consider adding more bone marrow or bone broth to your diet, if you’re into that sort of thing. Here’s a beef bone broth recipe to get you started. Since the whole artisanal, urban goat owning, new-domesticity, home whiskey-distilling, DIY-jerky and beet-tattoo spirit persists, I suspect we’re going to see quite a bit more bone-based culinary creativity to come. And as far as food trends go, the popularization of bone byproducts—as gross as that sounds to me—is probably a pretty healthy development.
Photo: Food Blog PDX