Why I tested my chicken broth for lead using a LEAD Group Water Kit
By Tony McConnachie, LEAD Group Kit Purchaser
Photo of homemade organic chicken broth, by Tony McConnachie
“You know chicken bone broth contains lead, don't you” says my doctor after I describe my current diet. I confess I didn't believe him at first. I went home and immediately started googling. All I found was one UK study completed in 2013 that found large doses of lead in organic chicken broth. This was quite alarming. But I also found several articles about the study that were less than complimentary. The study itself also seemed to lack some information about the details it was tested under. I was dubious. But because I consume chicken bone broth everyday I felt it important to know the truth and had to find out for myself.
So I contacted The LEAD Group charity and ordered one of their easy to use Water Test Kits containing 2 samples.
The first sample was filtered tap water unflushed for 7 hours. The second sample was the chicken broth itself made with filtered tap water and 2 organic chicken leg bones and some organic vegetables.
Water: 0.001 mg/L (0.001 milligrams of lead per litre of water)
Broth: 0.002 mg/L
So the bad news is the doc was right! There is indeed lead in chicken broth, in fact double the amount of filtered tap water! The good news is it's not that much – two tenths of the allowable lead in Australian tap water.
Also there could likely be other influencing factors such as boiling the broth which can concentrate existing lead and adding vegetables which may contain trace amounts of the nasty stuff.
In any case some would argue that the benefits of good nutrients (including those with chelation properties) found in broth outweigh the negatives of lead and is therefore still worthwhile to consume. Maybe they are right and maybe they are not.
But to be honest, this test has kind of ruined chicken bone broth for me. When I'm eating it I can't help thinking about the extra lead I am knowingly ingesting into my system, so I've just recently decided to stop consuming bone broth altogether.
Final thoughts, we live in a very toxic world that our bodies have not yet evolved to handle effectively. It's important to eliminate as much of these toxins from our diet and environment as possible. Knowledge is power. Know what you are putting into your body and what your body is coming into contact with in your environment. Then you can make an informed decision, one that is right for you and your family.
Peace and good health to you.
Ref: The risk of lead contamination in bone broth diets, by J.A. Monro, R. Leon and B.K. Puri, in Medical Hypotheses, April 2013 Volume 80, Issue 4, Pages 389-390. http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877(13)00013-3/fulltext
Extract of abstract from the reference above:
A small, blinded, controlled study of lead concentrations in three different types of organic chicken broth showed that such broths do indeed contain several times the lead concentration of the water with which the broth is made. In particular, broth made from skin and cartilage taken off the bone once the chicken had been cooked with the bones in situ, and chicken-bone broth, were both found to have markedly high lead concentrations, of 9.5 and 7.01 μg/L [micrograms per litre], respectively (compared with a control value for tap water treated in the same way of 0.89 μg/L.)